First and foremost, I want to be clear that I am writing this as a very proud former employee of Hoosac Bank and MountainOne Financial Services.
The recent announcement of the 12 or so "local" staff reductions within the MountainOne banking structure is undoubtedly very hard for those who lost their jobs. All of them are my very good friends -- good enough to be called family -- many of whom I worked directly with for years.
There are some who see only the loss of jobs at the bank, most specifically the loss of their friends at a beloved "community" bank. I was very fortunate to have spent 36 years with Hoosac Bank through many good, productive and profitable years. What needs to be understood, is that while being a community bank, Hoosac Bank is still a business. Through these difficult economic times, they are no different (except in scale) than many larger banks or businesses that have struggled over the past several years fighting what all have fought ... rising costs and shrinking revenues.
Tom Leavitt, the new CEO has had to make some very difficult business decisions, in part to create efficiencies to lower costs which have had unfortunate impact on people ... our people ... our friends. I am 100 percent certain that these decisions were not easy for bank management, but were made with the best intentions of strengthening their financial and service-based position with the end result being a stronger, sustainable organization.
As for Hoosac Bank and MountainOne, well, they will continue to take some heat on this latest announcement, but let’s not forget the organization’s multi-generational commitment to the people and organizations of this greater Northern Berkshire region. Yes, this is the end of the road for a handful of wonderful people and a bump in the road for the bank, but Hoosac Bank and MountainOne will continue to serve its employees and this community well for many more generations to come.
Mayor Richard Alcombright