Town still searching for new DPW director

Dec 21, 2020

With Department of Public Works director David Hickox retiring at the beginning of next year, members of the Select Board and Board of Public Works met on Dec. 21 to discuss the hiring process for the position.

According to Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes, the town has “received a number of applicants” since announcing the job posting six weeks ago. 

He said while the applicants were qualified, the joint committee of Select Board and Board of Public Works members are still waiting for “the proper candidate to come forward.” 

MacInnes noted that any applicants should be experienced and “really ready to hit the ground running.” 

“We have a lot going on with a large water distribution system, large wastewater system, [and] refuse,” he said. “It’s an all-encompassing Department of Public Works.”

If there is no immediate hire by the new year, MacInnes noted that there is a protocol in place for department heads to manage their stations. If there’s an opening for more than three months, the town administrator suggested that an interim director be appointed.

“Certainly in the short term, I think things will continue to operate,” MacInnes said.

Board of Public Works Chair Brian Hawes said that with so many calls and decisions that need to be made at the DPW, getting an interim director should be a top priority.

“We probably ought to do that ASAP,” he said.

Select Board Vice Chair Shawn McDonald agreed, saying that “it’s probably the smart thing to do.” But McDonald did note that any applicants should have “a significant knowledge” of how the DPW operates.

“And somebody that’s personable,” he laughed. 

Hawes assured the Select Board that the Board of Public Works has a candidate in mind for the interim position and that they “would satisfy Shawn.”

At the same meeting, the two boards honored the longtime DPW employee for his dedication to the town.

“I’m very honored to have worked with you over these years — I wish you nothing but the best in your retirement,” McDonald said to Hickox. “But I still have your cell phone number so just in case I have any calls I know where to get a hold of you.”