Selectmen praise Josie, Hale as SELCO prepares for leadership change


By Bonnie Adams Government Editor

Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury will have a change in two significant leadership roles this spring as Thomas Josie steps down as the general manager of Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations (SELCO) April 1. Taking his place will be the town's current Assistant Manager Michael Hale. The two men were lauded for their achievements and service to the town by the Board of Selectmen at the board's March 21 meeting.

Josie has been the head of SELCO since 1986. At the meeting, Chair Moira Miller thanked Josie for his dedication to the town and for running the SELCO organization to what she said was “maximum advantage” for the benefit of the residents.

“You really always met the needs of the community above and beyond,” she said.

“I'se always found you to be extremely knowledgeable about the different issues,” Selectman Maurice DePalo added. “The town was well served by you.”

“This clearly has been a team effort,” Josie replied, noting that his staff deserved much of the credit as well for his success as general manager.

“I also really appreciate the support from the Board of Selectmen,” he added. “The relationship [between the selectmen and SELCO] has been nothing but positive and professional.”

“It's a first-class organization,” Selectman John Lebeaux said. “You can's have a first-class organization without a firstclass leader.”

Miller also acknowledged and thanked Hale for his tenure as the town's assistant manager, noting that he had “the respect and admiration of everyone you have worked with.” Hale's leadership in helping to get funding for road improvement and infrastructure projects had helped to lay the groundwork for the town's economic development progress.

Hale noted that he was excited to start work at SELCO, adding that it was “the chance of a lifetime to work in an organization with such great people.”

“Both teams [SELCO and the town] are strong because of the strengths of the people [working there],” he said.

As one of his last acts as general manager, Josie informed the board that SELCO had agreed to amend the town's Cable Franchise Agreement by $30,000 a year for 2011 and 2012. After the two-year amendment expires, it will be up to the selectmen to decide if they wish to ask for an extension.

This request was made by the selectmen of SELCO, Hale said, in response to budget cuts that were made by other town departments.

In other news, the board noted the recent death of resident Carol Cullen, a member of the Borgatti family, the founders of the popular Route 9 retail establishment Spag's Supply. She was also a dedicated supporter of the Shrewsbury Public Library, DePalo noted, serving on the Board of Trustees for the library, the nonprofit Shrewsbury Public Library Foundation, and the Friends of the Public Library.

“She was a compassionate and loyal person,” DePalo said, “just a great person.”

Miller offered condolences on behalf of the selectmen to Mrs. Cullen's family and friends, adding, “Mrs. Cullen will be greatly missed.”

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