Departure of clerk, treasurer has Monterey considering a shared administrative post


MONTEREY >> The search for a new town clerk and treasurer has officials looking into a potential shared post with another community.

The former clerk and treasurer, Jennifer Brown, left her positions in July, and her departure has left a void that's proving difficult to fill.

Her positions are professional, highly trained jobs. At the same time, the lack of work — Monterey only generates 10 hours a week for the clerk, for example — makes attracting qualified employees difficult, officials said.

Selectman Steve Weisz said the town is looking into shared services with other towns.

"There's an opportunity here," he said. "We already share emergency services with surrounding towns, maybe we can share administrative services too."

Weisz said that he hopes the town can emulate the cooperation local fire departments have in Southern Berkshire County. Great Barrington and Monterey in particular cover each other's stations when needed, he said.

But that could require appointing someone from outside the town, and that brings its own complications, Weisz said. The Select Board has the authority to appoint a replacement in the interim, but the position will be filled during the annual town meeting in May.

Due to Monterey's regulations, the positions of clerk and treasurer are filled by election at the town meeting. If the board appoints someone from outside of the town, that person would have to step down if a town resident was elected to the position in May.

It's all led to a shorthanded feeling in Town Hall.

"It's hard to find people," Selectwoman Carol Edelman said. "The talent pool is not as big as the need."


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