ADAMS -- A Board of Selectmen subcommittee has recommended the creation of a town tourism director, expanding its community development efforts.
At Wednesday's meeting of the personnel subcommittee, Town Administrator Jonathan Butler and Community Development Director Donna Cesan advocated for the creation of a tourism development director and two community development department positions to be filled.
In addition to the new positions, the subcommittee also forged a plan -- subject to the selectmen's approval -- to replace the outgoing director of the Department of Public Works and also the building inspector.
The tourism director, Butler said, would be a full-time position with the goals of coordinating tourism, events and business outreach in Adams, Butler said.
"This becomes a person that can actually give all of those things the day to day time that they deserve."
The tourism director would create and implement "annual tourism development plans" for Adams.
He or she also would be the managing operator of the Visitors Center -- supervising volunteers and part-time staff -- and administer the department's budget, including the annual $13,000 annual state visitors center grant.
The town is looking for a candidate with a bachelor's degree and at least two years of experience in the tourism, hospitality, or another related industry, according to Butler.
North Adams already has a tourism director, Butler said. The position in Adams would be similar, and Butler expected the two could work together on some projects.
"I'm 100 percent behind it," said Selectmen Arthur Harrington. "I think this is definitely the way to go ... to not do this would be a big mistake."
John Duval, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, also expressed support for the position, and advocated for an increased online presence through Facebook for tourism-related events.
The tourism director position was brought to Town Meeting earlier this year and is covered under the budget, Butler noted.
Cesan and Butler also advocated for the refilling of the grant-funded positions of community development specialist and program and grants coordinator.
"We have enough projects right now where I think it's difficult to juggle the weekly oversight they need," Butler said.
Cesan noted that the community development department has several responsibilities in addition to applying for grants.
"I'm beginning to be worried about meeting deadlines," Cesan said.
The vacant program and grants coordinator position, could be filled as early as January, Butler said.
Though the positions will be grant-funded in the near-term, Butler said the town should think about rolling the salaries into the budget.
"I think that's a good thing to do, if it can be built into the budget," Butler said. "The only positions the town actually funds in economic development are [Cesan's] and mine."
Butler said having the positions paid for out of the budget by restructuring in other areas would allow the town to be "more flexible" if grant money runs dry.
DPW Director Tom Satko is retiring after decades of service with the town, and Building Inspector David Pelletier announced his resignation last month.
Pelletier's last day is Dec. 31 and Satko will retire in the spring, leaving holes to fill at Town Hall.
Duval recommended that a search committee be formed to hire a new DPW director, which Butler suggested should consist of a selectman, himself and possibly the town accountant.
At least two other town employees also plan on retiring in the coming months.