ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen are positioned to finally hire a permanent Department of Public Works director next week after interviewing three finalists.
The board on Tuesday interviewed finalist candidates Paul Markland of North Adams, Robert Tober of the Boston area, and Michael Salem of Virginia. The Selectmen plan to convene Tuesday, Dec. 3, to make their decision.
"All three are qualified and motivated to become the town's next DPW Director," Town Administrator Jay Green said Wednesday in an email exchange. "It will be a difficult decision for the Board."
The minimum qualifications require a bachelor's degree in a relevant field — civil engineer, public administration, engineering or management — and five years of progressive responsibility in public works, operations, construction, facility management or a combination of experience and education. The personnel subcommittee also expanded the position to consider public buildings.
The subcommittee's recommendation was also to cast a wider net for applicants for the competitive position.
The town has been without a permanent director since Joe Bettis resigned in 2015. Deputy Director David Nuvallie held the position until his retirement in 2018. Since then Operations Supervisor Tim Kota took on day-to-day operations while Community Development Director Donna Cesan handled the more administrative duties — while she was also filling in as interim town administrator.
The DPW post had been left empty largely because the town didn't have a full-time town administrator for a year until Green was hired this past February.
The board on Tuesday held public interviews of Tober, Salem and Markland, in that order.
Tober is a facilities management administrator for Caritas Communities of Boston, a nonprofit that provides housing and property management to support low-income individuals.
Salem is a supervisor for the Virginia Department of Transportation in Petersburg.
Markland is director of North Adams Department of Public Works and has been with the city for more than a decade.
Green said according to town charter the selectmen are responsible for hiring the director, which they plan to do next week.
"The board is grateful for the candidates' interest in this critical position and will undertake deliberations next Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Selectman's meeting room at Town Hall," Green said.
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ADAMS, Mass. — The director of public works job will remain vacant for at least another week as the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday decided to ask two of the candidates back for another round of interviews.
The position has been unfilled for the better part of two years after David Nuvaille retired in 2017 2018.
Town Administrator Jay Green feels the time without a director might have given the town the chance to re-evaluate how the position is defined and what the town is looking for.
"Without a DPW director, we have been functioning and getting the essentials done. I don't want to hire someone just for the sake of filling the position," he said. "We are working with a very reactive mindset right now though. A pothole pops up we fill it. A structure we hear is falling apart we fix it. We haven't had the capacity or the skill set with someone who can look ahead. We need to introduce someone into the mix who can say, 'Let's look at next year and year two.' Let the operations supervisor run the day to day. That's been going well."
After last week's lengthy interviews of three finalists, it became apparent that the board on Tuesday could not come to consensus on one but was splitting in favor two of the finalists: Paul Markland and Robert Tober.
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The late Adams fire chief decided to throw a turkey dinner for any senior citizen able to show up on the first Wednesday in December. All the fixings, no charge, no questions asked. All run by himself and his fellow firefighters.
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