Longtime building commissioner Calisewski retires

  • A sign outside the Deerfield Building Commissioner's office. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

Recorder Staff
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

SOUTH DEERFIELD — It’s the passing of an era. With the new year, longtime Building Commissioner Richard Calisewski will step down.

“Where to start — Dick has been a truly awesome asset to the community. He’s been around for many years. He has a great knowledge of the history of town, and he has been a good building commissioner,” said Selectman Henry “Kip” Komosa.

The town’s three-member Selectboard unanimously voted Wednesday to appoint Assistant Building Commissioner Kyle Scott in Calisewski’s stead starting Jan. 1.

Since moving into Deerfield in 1960, Calisewski has served local constituents in many different capacities, including as a Planning Board member and the town’s Health Agent.

As Building Commissioner, a position he took on more than 12 years ago, Calisewski managed projects with a deft hand, balancing business needs with Deerfield’s small-town community, Komosa said.

“He knows all the rules, and he’s good with people. He was firm, but easy going and approachable,” Komosa said.

Over the past year, Calisewski has trained Scott, who previously worked as a building inspector and certified building commissioner in Northampton, to take over in Deerfield full-time. At the same time, Calisewski was instrumental in bringing to fruition key projects, said Selectboard Chairwoman Carolyn Shores Ness. Specifically, Calisewski oversaw a large solar farm in East Deerfield, and facilitated Deerfield Academy’s recent gift of a permanent home on Routes 5 and 10 for South County EMS.

“He has worked really hard to make that happen, with the help of (Police Chief) John Paciorek, for a couple of years,” Ness said, also noting that “Dick has been a tremendous resource negotiating our marijuana issues for the last several years.”

“There’s just so much stuff, every single day he has an impact on town,” Ness continued. “He’s a walking encyclopedia about the history of Deerfield. We’re going to miss him as a building commissioner, but we’re going to continue tapping into him as a historical resource.”

In the last decade, Calisewski said he’s always wanted to see Deerfield residents treated fairly — to comply with standards, be good neighbors, and be open to business.

Moving forward, Calisewski will retain his position as Health Agent for the foreseeable future.

“We still get to draw from his experience,” Komosa said.

You can reach Andy Castillo

at: acastillo@recorder.com

or 413-772-0261, ext. 263

On Twitter: @AndyCCastillo