By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – The announcement of SELCO’s (Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations) General Manager Michael Hale’s retirement was quietly made recently. It was under the radar for the most part because of the global pandemic and also because Hale doesn’t seek the limelight.
“I’ve had 32 years with the town of Shrewsbury and it’s been absolutely wonderful but it’s time for a new chapter,” Hale shared by phone. “I’m going to be exploring some other opportunities.”
His first day on the job in Shrewsbury was on August 8, 1988 (8-8-88 as he phrased it) in the Town Manager’s office.
His first position out of college was as a research aide for the Massachusetts Municipal Association and then he had the opportunity to go to work for Richard Carney, Shrewsbury’s former longtime town manager.
“It was an opportunity of a lifetime for somebody who wanted to get into municipal management and I was lucky enough to be chosen,” reflected Hale. “I had great mentors; both he and [former Town Manager] Dan Morgado. It was a blessing to work with such great principled people who at the same time taught me the business.”
“My father was a selectman in Holden for over 20 years so local government issues were discussed at the dinner table,” Hale said.
He matriculated to the University of New Hampshire for his undergraduate degree and then to Boston University for his master’s in business administration.
When asked what accomplishments he is most proud of during his tenure in Shrewsbury, Hale replied, “For the town side it was the Town Center Improvement project, the Route 9 Lakeway project and then when I transitioned over to SELCO which was a great opportunity… it was the perfect marriage of my training and my interests.”
Relevant to the SELCO side of his career he noted the accomplishments of training young staff who will become the future of the organization, the building of a new substation on Centech Boulevard, an extensive solar array at the landfill and getting fiber-to-the-home off the ground.
“We are at the crossroads of some major projects and those two projects are building a fiber-to-the-home system for the entire town and two, building an automated or AMI meter system,” he remarked. “I got the seed planted and the funding in place although I still have to go to Town Meeting to get authorization to borrow for fiber-to-the-home.”
As an aside, he didn’t think that would be too difficult in light of what people may have experienced lately working from home, sometimes with slow internet, through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hale’s retirement will be effective on July 1, 2020. He is extremely pleased, he said, that that he will be leaving SELCO as he inherited it from his predecessor Tom Josie, with whom he credited with doing an outstanding job.
He is talking to a number of people about the next chapter of his life and he has some possibilities. First of all though, he hopes to enjoy some quiet time for relaxation on Cape Cod with his wife Vanessa.
“I still want to be very active in volunteer efforts in the community,” he concluded. “I am still involved with the Library Foundation and the Hannah Kane Charity Golf Classic and I’ll look for other things to do as well.”
Hale reported that his successor, Christopher Roy, current general manager of Belmont Light in Belmont, was named on April 29. The town is currently negotiations with Roy.