Great Barrington man tapped as new Richmond town administrator
RICHMOND — A Great Barrington man currently serving as a town administrator in a Franklin County community has been selected to take the same post in Richmond.
The Select Board on Wednesday night unanimously chose Mark Pruhenski, 42, following public interviews earlier in the week with the four finalists for the job.
The village of Housatonic resident will succeed Matthew Kerwood, who left the position in late January to become the finance director in the new administration of Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer.
"Mark is exactly what we need," board chairwoman Marguerite Rawson said on Thursday. "He has experience and has been successful at it."
Pruhenski, who has served since 2014 as administrator of the town of Whately, is looking forward to the shorter commute — 15 minutes rather than a two-plus hour round trip.
"I'm excited about coming to Richmond," he said on Thursday. "It's a very stable town, well managed for years."
Before taking the Whately post, Pruhenski spent nearly a decade as the public health director in Great Barrington. He also doubled as a special projects manager working on special assignments for the Great Barrington town manager on an as-need basis.
In just two years in Whately, Pruhenski has overseen a cell tower and riverbank stabilization project and helped consolidate into one facility town offices scattered among several buildings.
"I feel I have gained 10 years of experience in two years," he said on Thursday.
Pending a contract agreement with the board, Pruhenski is expected to settle in at Town Hall by June 1, according to interim Town Administrator Peter Fohlin. The job was advertised with a salary range of $65,000 to $70,000; Kerwood was earning nearly $71,000 at the time of his resignation.
Fohlin, former town manager in Williamstown, will continue to serve in an interim capacity and work with Pruhenski to ensure a smooth transition.
In all, 19 people applied for the post that required candidates to have a bachelor's degree and at least three years of municipal government know-how.
"When I first saw the resumes, I Mark's and said to myself he's probably our guy — he was so outstanding in his interview," Rawson said.
The three other finalists included Ryan Aylesworth, who last December was sworn in as Hinsdale's first-ever town administrator. He previously worked as the conservation agent in his hometown of Richmond among his other municipal and federal government experience.
The other two finalists were Julia Sabourin of Richmond, once director of administrative services for former Pittsfield Mayor Daniel Bianchi, and Cheryl Provost, currently town clerk in Chester and the administrative assistant for Westhampton.
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.
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