CLARKSBURG — The town administrator, Rebecca Stone, officially is leaving. She is one of several public officials to recently leave Town Hall.
The story so far: “Rebecca will not be returning, due to extended medical reasons,” Select Board Chair Danielle Luchi said at the board’s meeting Wednesday morning.
The Select Board voted to approve a separation agreement with Stone, but declined to make a copy of it public Wednesday morning, saying it had not yet been signed. It includes pay for six months of Stone’s contract, according to Select Board member Allen Arnold.
At a Select Board meeting in late August, Ron Boucher, then the Select Board chair, raised his voice at Stone in a conversation about issues with the town’s bookkeeping. Stone walked out of the meeting and has been on extended sick leave.
The town is looking for an interim administrator, and then the board plans to form a committee to help make a permanent hire, Luchi said.
Administrative assistant Darcy Feder also quit recently, and the Select Board formally accepted her resignation at its meeting Wednesday. Feder said she had another job lined up.
Closing out the books: Hill-Town Municipal Accounting Services was hired in August to help close out the town’s books from fiscal year 2021, which ended June 30. Terry Green, of Hill-Town, said at a Select Board meeting in late August that when she visited the office, she saw “really no organization, basically no rhyme or reason where things were, mail that had not been opened since March.”
The accounting services cost $75 an hour, Luchi told The Eagle last week.
Clarksburg struggled to keep up on payments after the departure of its treasurer last year, resulting in overdrawn accounts, canceled life insurance policies and public turmoil. The town says that its finances remain strong, and it’s working to resolve the bookkeeping issues.
In filling Feder’s job, Town Clerk Marilyn Gomeau suggested that it be split between working as the administrative assistant and helping Amy Cariddi, the town’s treasurer and tax collector. “From my observation being in the building, it’s very intense, some of the work that they have to do,” Gomeau said. “The treasurer is under a lot of pressure, has a lot of work and is working extremely hard.”
Arnold agreed. “I think that’s what we need down there — people who are going to be team players. I think that was part of our problem in the past.”
Feder quickly said, “For the record, I would like to add, if any of these suggestions were made six months ago, I wouldn’t be handing in my resignation.”
The tax collector and treasurer position recently added eight hours each week, Luchi said.
“I feel as if the administrative assistant was always there to lend a hand if need be,” she said. “We’re just going to have to take things one step at a time.”
Last year’s books will be closed out “shortly,” Luchi said at the meeting.
Town Hall turnover: Others have left town government recently. Town Accountant Angela Garrity resigned in late September, citing administration issues, and her job temporarily will be filled by Donna Estes, who has been the town’s accountant in the past, Luchi said at the meeting.
Boucher quit the Select Board. His term was not set to expire until 2024, according to Gomeau, and an election to fill his open seat is scheduled for Dec. 7. Nomination papers are available from the town clerk from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday.