By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Town Manager Kevin Mizikar presented a reorganized chart of town departments to selectmen at their June 26 meeting with the intent to formally adopt a Department of Public Works (DPW) with a reorganized municipal structure that consolidates several existing departments into the new department.
Current departments such as Highways, Engineering and Water and Sewer along with Public Buildings and Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries will fall under the heading of DPW.
“The purpose, of course, is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness to enable us to provide services in a better functioning way to the citizens of Shrewsbury,” stated Mizikar.
With consultants, the reorganization has been fully vetted within the organization’s employees over the past several months.
A new division within the new department would also be created. The new division, Business Management, would serve in a leadership role to carry out administrative and mission support such as procurement and customer service, payroll and other financial concerns.
The assistant town manager’s role within this organizational plan will be leading land use, planning and economic development which requires close ties to DPW.
“I just want to say I am fully supportive of this,” said Selectman Maurice DePalo. “A lot of thought has gone into it and I think it’s a good opportunity for the town and its very forward thinking.”
“…The impact is less than one full time employee which is well done,” added Selectman Moira Miller. “I’m looking forward to not just moving ahead but to actually implementing it.”
Selectman Beth Casavant added, “Creating a DPW brings us in line with communities similar to ours and it presents an opportunity to improve the way we do business and what we deliver to the residents.”
Board Chair John Lebeaux said that he agreed with his fellow selectmen, adding that, with several retirements taking place in the near future, there will be less impact on employees.