Dalton board

The Dalton Select Board might approve contracts next week with a new town manager, Tom Hutcheson, and a new police chief, Deanna Strout.

DALTON — By next week, Dalton might ink contracts with two new civic leaders, people who will shape municipal policy and policing for years.

The Select Board might use an executive session Monday to review final contract terms with future Town Manager Tom Hutcheson and with Sgt. Deanna Strout, the board’s choice to lead the Dalton Police Department.

Robert W. Bishop Jr., the board’s chairman, said Tuesday that colleagues John F. Boyle and Marc Strout were in final steps of contract negotiations with Hutcheson, who was selected Feb. 1 to replace Kenneth Walto in the top Town Hall job.

Hutcheson said in an interview that he is looking forward to starting work in Dalton and confirmed that terms have been reached for an initial three-year contract.

“We’re down to typos at this point,” Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson lives in Greenfield and serves as town administrator in the Franklin County town of Conway. The job he is taking requires managers to live in Dalton within a year of hiring. Hutcheson said he is looking for a home to rent in Dalton. He said that because his current job requires a 60-day notice, his arrival in Dalton will come in late April.

Hutcheson said he is looking forward to settling down in the community.

“I look at this as, I hope, the last position of my career,” he said.

As a current member of the police force, Deanna Strout won’t be giving notice. It was just a week ago, Feb. 11, that the board selected her over two other police chief finalists.

Bishop said that if a contract is ready to be reviewed and approved by the board next week, a swearing-in ceremony for the new chief could come as early as Feb. 27.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

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Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.