CHATEAUGAY--- Town Hall Theater Director Josee Allard said she felt some relief as she announced her resignation in front of the Chateaugay Town Board on Monday.
“I got burned out,” said Allard.
For about a year now, Allard said, she has wanted to leave her position but stayed on for a couple of reasons –– one because Chateaugay Town Supervisor Don Bilow asked her to not leave and the other because of the community.
“Everyone in the community kept telling me how amazing the theater was and I knew it was important to them. It brings 100’s of people together and we all know there are fewer opportunities for people to get together anymore,” said Allard.
Allard was the first person to be hired for the position and for the past six years, she has done what she called “pushing the snowball up the hill.” After six years on the job, it was time to step away, she said.
“I put my sweat, heart and soul into this job,” said Allard.
“I hope the town will hire another theater director and keep the theater going.”
At the Town Board meeting Monday, two people expressed interested in the position and while Allard’s official last day is Feb. 28, she has agreed to help train the new person for however long they might need it.
Allard was hired for the position in 2012. When she was interviewed by the Town Board she was told that, as the first person in the position, she should expect trial and error would be involved.
Allard is a singer and a songwriter herself, who has been performing for many years. Originally from British Columbia, Canada, she lived in the state of Washington for 10 years before she and her husband moved to the area in December 2010. She is credited with starting the first-ever Chateaugay Arts & Film Festival back in 2012.
“When I started this job in 2013, it was $500/month and the job description was 15-20 hours a week working mostly from home except when working an event,” said Allard.
Her current salary is $9,600 a year and it is a set amount. Whether she works 10 hours a week or 40, it is the same amount in each paycheck.
Over the years, the job was evolved into so much more than simply running the theater, Allard said.
“It’s developing and managing the town website, the electronic sign, social media, concerts at the Rec Park, organizing volunteers, building relationships with the radios stations, newspapers and local businesses, and renting the theater out for private functions and fundraisers,” said Allard.
During her prepared speech before the Town Board, she was not upset with anyone and there was no anger about the job and all the work she did. Instead, she said, she was grateful for the opportunity.
“I want to thank the town of Chateaugay for the opportunity to serve the community as theater director for the last six years,” said Allard.
After reading her speech, she gave all of the board members a handshake or a hug, with some like Bilow saying they were lucky to know Allard, even if it was only for a few years.
“Josee has been one terrific employee,” said Bilow. “I never had anyone that I enjoyed working with more than her, when she comes in she lights up the room.”