By Chris Maza
LONGMEADOW – Residents, elected officials, department heads and town employees gathered at the Community House for a reception on July 25 to bid farewell to outgoing Town Manager Stephen Crane.
“It has been a sometimes bumpy ride, but mostly fun,” Crane told those gathered during a brief program during the reception.
Crane, who was Longmeadow’s Town Manager for six years, left the town to take the same position with the town of Concord. The move brings with it a raise of approximately $60,000.
“My new position is a great opportunity, but I know that I have learned so many lessons from people here and people who are not in the room right now that I am very confident going into the town of Concord,” he said. “I know that serving the town of Longmeadow and learning what I’ve learned in this community puts me in a great position to succeed.”
Select Board Chair Marie Angelides called Crane’s tenure “an amazing six years” for Longmeadow.
“The things that have happened, the things that Stephen has done in town to move this town forward, he’s left his fingerprints on this town for a long, long time,” she said before presenting him with a citation from the Select Board.
Crane said he played “a pretty small part” in the successes the town has realized during his tenure, crediting the work of the Select Board, School Committee, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission and others.
“There are so many people who have been excellent partners – both in government and residents,” he said. “Longmeadow has just such a dynamic and committed group of volunteers on multiple boards and committees. We are so fortunate to have people engaged.”
Crane specifically thanked Select Board and Town Manager Administrative Assistant Debbie House and Director of Finance Paul Pasterczyk with whom he worked closely.
Crane also received citations from the state House of Representatives and Senate. State Rep. Brian Ashe and Michael Clark, senior advisor and director of strategic engagement for state Sen. Eric Lesser, spoke of their fondness for Crane not only as a colleague and government partner but as a friend. Clark, who also served on the School Committee during Crane’s tenure, called Crane a mentor.
“I can’t think of anyone who deserves the promotion that he’s getting to a top-tier Eastern Mass. town than Stephen because what he’s accomplished in this community on behalf of all of the residents is nothing short of impressive,” he said. “There are building projects going on and there are building projects that have been completed. There is a sense that staff members in town feel valued and feel appreciated on a daily basis. Overall, things are really trending in a good direction.”