Litchfield Town Administrator Leaving with a Smile
July 17, 2015
by Len Lathrop
Now that you say “what?” let’s explain: if you ever had a dream job in your head, you might have said, “boy, would I like to do that.” Well, Jason Hoch got his dream job.
For several years, in fact, more than several, Hoch felt that being the town administrator of Williamstown, Mass., would be a great job and something he would love to do. He had even told Litchfield Selectman Steve Perry that he was happy in Litchfield and the only way he would leave would be to Williamstown, but the town administrator there had been in office for 15 years.
Well this summer, five years after his statement to Perry, while at his college’s 20th class reunion, he was asked to apply in Williamstown. You ask, what is the connection? Hoch, who grew up in Downingtown, Pa., will tell you that as a high school junior visiting New England colleges, he fell in love with Williamstown and the quiet mountain area. With a chuckle he tells you that’s why Litchfield was a great fit, quiet small town somewhat in the mountains. If you have not read between the lines yet, Hoch is a graduate of Williams College, with a degree in political economy. It is a four-year liberal arts college, in, yes, Williamstown, Mass., where today the 2,000 students can choose from 30 majors in 24 departments.
While Williamstown is about the same size as Litchfield with a board of selectmen form of government, Hoch will point out that, with the college and the Francine Clark Art Institute, the demographics are slightly different. Even as he left the college 20 years ago, he has keep connected through alumni activities and involvement in the art institute.
Hoch, Litchfield’s first town administrator, leaves after five years on the job. When asked about accomplishment in Litchfield during his stay, first was that he got the town to accept the idea of having an administrator and the role that job played in the town. Hoch emphasized the importance of, “getting everybody used to having a single point of contact and having the board being comfortable to have somebody handle the day to day.”
Next was to develop the different departments of the town to better work together. Third came a more effective budget process, and, lastly, it was that the Town of Litchfield has not made the newspapers in a bad way in the last five years.
Hoch starts his new job on Sept. 8 and is committed to helping Litchfield find a new administrator before his time here is over at the end of August.