CLARKSBURG -- Selectmen have begun conducting interviews to fill the town administrator position.

The process kicked off last week, with the board reviewing three candidates for the post: Mark Pruhenski, of Great Barrington, Craig Kleman. of Greenfield, and John Sanguinet, of Plymouth. Three more interviews will be conducted Thursday.

Current Town Administrator Thomas Webb, who has held the title since June 2012, announced his retirement on Jan. 15 and his last day is March 3. Debbie Choquette, the town's administrative assistant, will fulfill the duties during the search.

After the initial interviews, Selectmen hope the compile a short list of finalists next month and choose a new administrator by the end of March, Selectmen Chairwoman Lily Kuzia said.

Pruhenski, the Great Barrington health agent/director since 2005, said he's learned much from watching three different town managers.

"I have a great deal of enthusiasm and interest with public service," he told Selectmen. "I like challenges and I feel that I'm ready for a new position."

Pruhenski serves as the president of Berkshire County Boards of Health Association (BCBHA), is enrolled in a local government masters program at Suffolk University in Boston, and has experience with grant writing for his department and the BCBHA.

"I'm a go-getter," he said. "I like to see things move forward in a reasonable time frame."

Kleman told Selectmen he worked several years in Manchester, N.H.


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, writing Community Development Block Grants before heading into municipal management. He went on to serve as the interim town administrator of Plaistow, N.H., and then as a town administrator in East Montpelier, Vt., and Becket.

"I think one of the things that's important is personnel administration," he said. "You spend a lot of money to train people, to keep them on board. ... I'm also a firm believer in progressive discipline; everybody getting a warning if they cross a line."

Kleman said his experience with grant writing could help Clarksburg secure funds to replace the Gates Avenue culvert and other projects.

Sanguine said he became interested in government when he served as a town meeting member in Greenfield years ago. He worked as both the interim town administrator and town administrator of Wareham, and had previously served 14 years with the state Department of Revenue.

"By working at DOR, I've learned a great deal about municipal finance and the municipal laws," he said. "I think that's my strongest attribute."

Sanguinet noted he was a "people person" and in Wareham would make a point to set up meetings with concerned citizens.

Sanginuet referred to the town's Financial Management Review from DOR, which highlighted concerns with practices in town, and said he would meet with staff to address those concerns. He also said he'd like to increase the town's tax base by redeveloping vacant industrial properties in town.

Selectmen will interview another batch of candidates at 5:15 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall.

One expected applicant is Carl McKinney, former Selectmen chairman, who resigned in late January to apply for the position.

To reach Edward Damon:
edamon@berkshireeagle.com
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