Sept. 27 Select Board meeting: Board to interview Town manager candidates, discusses Article 37 implementation

Saud Afzal Shafi

The Williamstown Select Board met on Sept. 27 to discuss the implementation of Article 37 and the ongoing search process for a permanent Town manager. Article 37 is a citizen’s petition — passed during the August 2020 Town Meeting — that aims to promote racial and socioeconomic equity within Town government. 

Select Board member Hugh Daley announced at the meeting that the Town manager search committee will screen all applicants and narrow them down to two to four candidates. The Select Board will interview those finalists during a public meeting next week, Select Board chair Andy Hogeland ’76 wrote in an email to the Record.

Williamstown Diversity, Inclusion, and Racial Equity (DIRE) Committee member Andrew Art will fill the seat reserved for DIRE on the search committee, Daley also announced. 

Hogeland said that he met two weeks before the Sept. 27 meeting with the chairs of several other Town committees to discuss the Town-wide implementation of Article 37.

Article 37 was adopted at the 2020 Town Meeting after being recommended by the DIRE Committee and the Select Board. It asks Town boards to consider goals such as accessible living, promoting racial and socioeconomic diversity in the Town, increasing public input in Town affairs, and providing diversity training to public employees and Town boards, according to Hogeland. 

The article would also require Town boards to share with the DIRE Committee quarterly reports on the Town’s progress towards fulfilling Article 37. In August, members of the DIRE Committee said the Town had yet to deliver such a report. 

At Hogeland’s meeting with Town officials, the chairs discussed developing diversity and inclusion training for their respective boards, according to Hogeland. 

Also at the Sept. 27 meeting, the Board voted unanimously in favor of extending DIRE Committee member Randal Fippinger’s term from one to two years. 

Ella Marx contributed reporting.