Charlemont to have town administrator for first time in two years

Staff Writer
Published: 12/2/2020 3:34:46 PM

CHARLEMONT — Sarah Reynolds, who served two terms on the Selectboard before her recent resignation, is set to be hired as Charlemont’s new town administrator once a 30-day waiting period passes.

Voters at Annual Town Meeting in July opted to add $58,895 into the fiscal year 2021 budget to fund the town administrator position, which hasn’t existed in Charlemont since Peg Dean resigned in January 2019. Since then, the town has opted instead for extra secretarial help.

Discussion continued at the Nov. 14 Special Town Meeting, during which Jay Healy, a former Selectboard member, suggested that Reynolds would be “a great town administrator.”

According to a notice from Selectboard Chair Marguerite Willis, Reynolds said at the time that her Selectboard term would be up in May and that she would not be running for re-election. She also said her understanding was she could not take another job with the town for a year.

After seeking advice from the State Ethics Commission, however, Willis said she learned that Reynolds would only need to be out of office for 30 days before the town could offer her another job. According to Willis, this was confirmed with town counsel.

With this understanding, the Selectboard has committed to hiring Reynolds after the necessary 30-day period without advertising or posting the position. Reynolds officially resigned from the Selectboard at the end of its Nov. 30 meeting.

“This fortuitous event presented an opportunity for the town,” Willis said. “Sarah is a bridge between the older generation and millennials. She has proficiently demonstrated technological, organizational and management skills. She is a lifelong resident of Charlemont with great knowledge of the town, practical institutional memory and a good temperament.”

Willis also noted that Reynolds’ “proven grant writing skills, in the millions, will be needed as we go forward with major infrastructure projects.” She said Charlemont is in the middle of positive transitions, evidenced by the first year of a two-year Village Road Reconstruction/Calming Project, the nearly complete broadband project and developing recreational businesses.

“Reynolds’ continuity, commitment and ceaseless pursuits on our town’s behalf are a bonus for us,” Willis said. “For example, the replacement of the Long Bridge at approximately $10 million dollars will have Reynolds working with our state and federal partners for a long time.”

With Reynolds’ resignation, the Selectboard now consists of two members: Willis and Elizabeth VanIderstine, who was recently elected through a write-in campaign during the Nov. 4 election.

The town does not plan to hold a special election to replace Reynolds on the Selectboard, and the seat will be open when the annual town election rolls around in the spring. Willis said this will avoid an additional election expense, but also give possible candidates time to listen to meetings and be up to speed with town business before filing nomination papers in March. She added that she hopes younger generations of residents will get involved with town positions and other volunteer endeavors.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-930-4579.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy