NORTH ADAMS — City Clerk Joshua Vallieres resigned Friday after less than a year on the job.
He was sworn in to the job in July, and said in a resignation letter sent to City Councilors Friday morning that his last day will be May 5.
“This has been one of the most professionally satisfying times in my life, and I am grateful to the offices, boards, and individuals that have been there in support of this tremendous learning experience,” his letter reads.
“Going forward. I do plan to remain involved in this city as a constituent, but in my pursuit of starting a family, I seek a better work/life balance. Thank you to everyone who put their trust and faith in me to hold this appointed position. I wish my successor well, and will be open to providing the same level of support as all the former city clerks had given me.”
He declined to comment further on Friday.
The job has seen a lot of turnover. When he was sworn into the job over the summer, Vallieres was the third person to hold the position in a year.
Vallieres, a graduate of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, ran for mayor in 2021 and later dropped out of the race. He was then elected to the School Committee but had to resign because he could not be city clerk and on the committee due to a city ordinance. Before becoming the clerk, he was the city’s acting and assistant city clerk.
The City Council is in charge of hiring the clerk, and the details of the upcoming process of hiring the next one have not been finalized, Council President Lisa Blackmer said on Friday.
Recruiting people to work in city government is a challenge, she said. “Municipal positions across the state are hard to fill ... Also dealing with the public is difficult.” Pay could be part of the issue — Blackmer said she is waiting on the results of a city compensation study. “Our positions are perceived to be relatively low [paid],” she said.
“I would says the turnover we had previously, they were pretty specific, it was due to the toxic environment,” Blackmer said. “That’s why they left. Now, I don’t think that’s the case with Clerk Vallieres.” When the previous two clerks left, they did not talk about the work environment with The Eagle. At the time, one declined to comment and the other said she left for another job.
“I think Mr. Vallieres did an excellent job with the skill set he had,” Mayor Jennifer Macksey said on Friday. She emphasized that the clerk does not report to her.
“I think the City Council needs to take a deep look inward and really look for the best person fit for the job,” she said. “I haven’t been here that long but this is my third city clerk and it’s not for the lack of my trying to help that office.”
The position is paid $55,872, according to the city budget. The same position in Pittsfield is budgeted for $81,511. Macksey said she could not comment on whether compensation is an issue in the clerk turnover because she did not do the hiring, but said across city government, it is a problem.
“Compensation is an issue across the board,” Macksey said, adding that she is looking at city pay. A grant-funded study of city pay is not yet finalized. A recent Eagle records request for the draft of the report was denied, saying that the mayor and her team were deliberating on it and it was exempt for release until they are done.