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Lenox event coordinator approved

LENOX – The board of selectmen has approved an applicant for the spring events coordinator position.

The board voted to award the position to Tara Consolati Marketing and PR at a special March 27 meeting.

This vote was taken on the recommendation of the events committee. Three other candidates also applied for the position.

Ms. Consolati and another employee of her business, Marilyn McFarland, will carry out the duties of the events coordinator position, which will focus mainly on promoting Lenox’s three major upcoming spring events: The Berkshire Cycling Classic, The Memorial Day Marathon, and The Lenox Car Show.

Notably, Ms. Consolati has also worked with the Lenox Wedding Tour, and wedding tour organizer, and  Lenox Chamber of Commerce President, Katherine “Kat” Lockridge was a reference on her business’ bid for the coordinator position.

In the discussion prior to approving the bid, Selectman John McNinch noted that Ms. Consolati’s proposal was far more ambitious than the RFP, although he added that he didn’t have a problem with that.

“They didn’t write this to the RFP,” said Selectman McNinch, noting that the proposal also emphasized finding and planning new events, and didn’t just focus on the core three events.

Town Manager Gregory Federspiel said that in the interview process, which he conducted with Selectman Gibson and Cranwell Resort General Manager and events committee member Carl Pratt, it had been emphasized that the focus would be on the core three events, and that any extra efforts would need to come secondary.

“I took it from a different perspective and said, gee that’s pretty good,” said Selectman W. David Roche, addressing Selectman McNinch’s point.

Selectman Roche said, should the selectmen hire a full time events coordinator, the job description in Ms. Consolati’s proposal would be what they would be looking for. He also said that, after  reading all the applications, Ms. Consolati’s had struck him as  by far the best.

The proposal was also slightly more than the $8,000 the selectmen had originally agreed to spend, coming in at $8320. This figure came from the proposal offering to devote 16 hours a week to the position for 13 weeks at a rate of $40 an hour.

“How are we going to grade this person when it’s (the position’s) done?” said Selectman Edward P. Lane, asking what kind of benchmarks would be used to evaluate Ms. Consolati and Ms. McFarland’s performance, and noting the tricky nature of evaluating the job.

“I guess that has to come down to the people on the committee,” said board of selectman chairman Kenneth L. Fowler, suggesting that the events committee, who will be working with the coordinator position, could present a report to the selectmen on the subject.

While the events coordinator position will be working with the events committee, Ms. Consolati and Ms. McFarland will be reporting to Town Manager Federspiel directly.


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