Staff Updates: Traditionally a town’s work force is fairly stable. Most staff are dedicated workers who typically spend much of their working career with the same municipality. This is true in Manchester as we have many town employees who have worked for 20 to 30 years or more for the Town. Their commitment to the Town is commendable and greatly appreciated.
None the less, the day comes when it is time to retire. And with a work force that mirrors the changing demographics of the general population, we have a number of newly announced retirements: Town Clerk Denise Samolchuk, Public Health Nurse Pam Ciccone and Chief Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator John Sibbalds. In addition, we will be saying goodbye to Interim DPW Director Carol Murray at the end of her service contract with the Town through MRI, a municipal consulting firm, come April. And Career Firefighter/Paramedic Tom Aldrich has decided to work for another community. Each one has provided the Town with excellent service and they will be sorely missed.
Searches are (or will be) underway to find new people in each of these important town positions. Despite the many rewards of working for a municipality, public sector jobs are often overlooked by people. While I admit to being biased, working for a town offers a wonderful opportunity to feel very connected to your community and to see immediately the fruits of you labor. As I like to tell staff, we are in the noble business of community building. And the commute can be a breeze!
DPW Updates: Efforts to ensure our DPW continues to provide high quality work is on-going. A review of our structure and practices is nearly complete. We are comparing our operations to recognized “best practices” in the industry and identifying the areas that can benefit the most from these practices. As noted in previous articles, we have made significant progress in identifying and repairing priority needs whether they be roads, sewer and water pipes, or our treatment plants. This work will be continuing for years to come. While the summer construction season was hectic and at times disruptive, important investments were made. (With future projects, a more robust communications effort should keep residents well informed about where construction is taking place.)
Additional work is coming up. Starting on November 26, poorly functioning water valves at the intersection of School and Pleasant Streets will be replaced necessitating the closure of the intersection. Given this is one of the main intersections in town, the work will be done over four consecutive nights. New water and sewer lines will be installed on Bell Court (off of School Street) in December. And additional work on sewer lines along the golf course near Memorial School and along the inner harbor will be done before the end of the year.
One of our emerging success stories is the provision of curbside composting. This service is saving us money (we pay by the ton for trash disposal; food and yard waste are the heaviest elements of the waste stream.) About a third of our households are participating – it would be great to get to 2/3rds! The collected material is turned into rich compost which will be available to residents each spring at the Town’s compost site. Help us continue to be a leader in wise waste management by participating in this easy to use service. Contact the DPW Office if you need more information.