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Deerfield considers Wendy Foxmyn of Leeds as interim town administrator

— A Pioneer Valley Planning Commission manager will help the town transition to a new town administrator once Bernie Kubiak retires on June 30.

The Board of Selectmen is considering Wendy Foxmyn of Leeds to serve as the town’s interim administrator while it searches for a permanent replacement.

Kubiak, 65, has worked as town administrator for Deerfield for more than seven years, and was instrumental in helping the town secure grants and proposals and navigate state and local politics.

Since March 2012, Foxmyn has worked in the Regional Services and Innovations Office of the planning commission in Springfield. On May 2, she will leave the position.

The transition period will be to ensure the town has someone to run the day-to-day operations.

“There is an ongoing role here for the town administrator in terms of how the town operates. ... The position can’t be left vacant,” Kubiak said.

If the selectmen offer Foxmyn the full-time salaried position, she will start on June 17. The two administrators will overlap until Kubiak leaves at the end of the month. Foxmyn will take over the reins temporarily on July 1 and could be in town for up to six months. Foxmyn will be paid Kubiak’s current salary: $34 an hour.

The town has chosen to take this route because of the lack of time it has to hire a replacement before Kubiak leaves.

“It takes awhile to hire a town administrator,” explained Kubiak. “There isn’t sufficient time remaining in the 65 days of my contract to advertise, recruit and hire a permanent administrator.” It has also learned from past experience. Before hiring Kubiak in September 2005, the town tried to run without a town administrator after its previous administrator left. After three months, the town called Kubiak to work as an interim.

“It’s not that simple anymore,” Kubiak said. “A town administrator takes care of day-to-day business. It’s that much work that goes on.” The selectmen have not decided when to start the search for a new town administrator. They are currently debating the responsibilities and duties of the job.

Until the selectmen determine the role of the town administrator, Foxmyn will work under the current job description. According to the job description, duties include overseeing all town departments, boards and offices under the jurisdiction of the Select Board. Job responsibilities include overseeing planning, administration, personnel management, procurement of services and equipment and coordination of the daily operation of the town on behalf of the board.

Foxmyn has worked for over 30 years with local governments in western Massachusetts, serving as town administrator in nearly a dozen communities, including Sunderland. She served as interim town administrator in Longmeadow, Leverett and Northfield.

Foxmyn brings with her experience searching for new town administrators and directors.

She served as interim director of the Greenfield Senior Center and managed the process of hiring a permanent director. And she coordinated the permanent administrator search processes in Longmeadow and Northfield. In addition, for five years, she worked as a municipal law paralegal.

Foxmyn is also a leader in project development. She co-founded the Western Massachusetts Dialogue Project, which organized group conversations around public policy and workplace issues. She developed a public health and safety program, called the national demonstration project.

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