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Gloversville is seeking new DPW head

Current director Dale Trumbull resigns effective Feb. 7 after securing another position

GLOVERSVILLE — The city over the weekend began the search for a new Department of Public Works director following the announced resignation of current Director Dale Trumbull.

The city posted the position online on Facebook on Friday around 6:45 p.m. and on indeed.com on Saturday around 10 a.m.

On Monday Mayor Vincent DeSantis said the position was posted after Trumbull gave notice on Thursday after securing another position. Trumbull’s final day with the city will be Feb. 7.

“I really appreciate Dale’s service to the city, he’s done a lot of positive things for the department. I feel that he is a person who really had the city’s best interests at heart from the time he started and I appreciate him very much and told him I was very sorry to see him leave,” DeSantis said.

Trumbull was first appointed DPW director in January 2016. He received annual reappointments each subsequent year until the Common Council’s organizational meeting on Jan. 1 when his name and title were absent from the list of mayoral appointments included in the agenda for council confirmation. All other sitting non-elected officers were nominated for reappointment by the mayor and unanimously confirmed by the Common Council.

If he had not submitted his resignation last week, Trumbull would have remained in the position as a “hold over” until his reappointment or the appointment of another individual was put forward by the mayor for council confirmation.

Following the organizational meeting DeSantis expressed his confidence in Trumbull and the belief that the council would have confirmed the DPW director had his reappointment been moved forward, while questioning whether the vote would have been unanimous.

Rather than facing a possible split vote, DeSantis said he decided to hold off on putting the appointment forward for up to a few months while a task force established in October 2019 at the direction of the Common Council continued working with Trumbull to make improvements to the operation of the DPW.

DeSantis on Monday said he was still planning to follow through with Trumbull’s reappointment within the next few months until he submitted his resignation.

“It was kind of a surprise to me,” DeSantis said. “The task force we’ve had working with Dale over the past few months said they were really happy with how things were progressing.”

With input from the full council, the task force comprised of 1st Ward Councilwoman Marcia Weiss, 3rd Ward Councilwoman Elizabeth “Betsy” Batchelor and 5th Ward Councilman Jay Zarrelli focused on improvements to the handling of personnel and policies within the DPW, city street maintenance and how jobs are assigned and performed.

The task force worked with Trumbull to enact policies that would ensure sufficient daily manpower such as limiting the number of DPW employees taking scheduled time off on the same day and weighed options to improve the conditions of city streets and optimize snow removal through possible future equipment purchases.

DeSantis said he planned to look to the task force and the council for the green light to reappoint Trumbull and had anticipated moving the nomination forward by the end of February based on the results from the task force.

“I was very disappointed that he is leaving, because the responses I am getting from my council are very positive,” DeSantis said. “He said he appreciated everything we’ve been doing, but he found another position.”

Following the news, DeSantis said he informed the personnel committee of Trumbull’s plans to vacate his position during a meeting on Thursday that had previously been scheduled. The committee met again on Friday to go over the job description for the DPW director position before listing the opening.

“We immediately hit the ground running and we’re advertising for another director,” DeSantis said.

The listing describes the DPW director as responsible for planning, directing and supervising the activities of the department which include the construction and maintenance of streets and sewers, the collection of refuse and the maintenance of city buildings, vehicles and equipment.

DeSantis is hopeful that the city will secure a new DPW director before Trumbull’s departure on Feb. 7, pointing to the importance of both the position and the department.

“The DPW director’s job is probably the hardest job in the whole city,” DeSantis said. “The DPW, their services are essential to everybody in the city everyday. Streets, public spaces, maintenance of parks go to the responsibility of the DPW, so it’s really a very, very challenging position to be in.”

DeSantis added that the task force established last year to work with the DPW director to implement departmental improvements will continue working with the new director once the selected individual is in place.

“As a city, the council and myself, we’re trying to make real positive steps, we’re investing in [the DPW], making the organization more efficient and making things easier for the director and the people who work there,” DeSantis said “This is the process that we were undergoing to make it that way and we’re going to still continue with that.”

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