With Sandisfield's town administrator leaving, officials to ponder needs of town

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SANDISFIELD — With the current town administrator set to leave his post at the end of June, town officials are about to begin pondering, before they advertise the position, what kind of a role a new administrator should have.

"It's our first attempt to try to grapple with this," said Select Board member George Riley, speaking of Wednesday's first work session on the matter.

He said the board will be asking for input from other town workers as well.

Town Administrator Fred Ventresco is leaving after about two years, and has been interviewing for similar positions in other states. His contract expired May 6, but he agreed to stay on until the end of the fiscal year.

Ventresco, who did not return calls seeking comment, is applying to other towns, including Montevideo, Minn., and Oakwood, Ore. His profile on Oakwood's municipal website says he has been a town administrator/manager in every state in New England since 2001.

Ventresco's fiscal 2019 salary of $68,250 was bumped up to $70,146 for 2020.

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Riley said Ventresco's departure has nothing to do with his job performance.

"It's really a matter of fit," Riley said. "There are certain towns where Fred would be an excellent administrator. We're looking for something different."

Sandisfield has had four town administrators since the position was created about seven or eight years ago, Riley said. One of those was a consultant who lived in Eastern Massachusetts, an interim administrator until the town hired Ventresco.

"We would like to hear from the folks who've been in Town Hall, how has it been with these four?" Riley added, noting that the board wants a good grasp of what's needed before advertising the job.

"We really want to get a handle on this first," he said.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.


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