By Mary Chasse, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 11/7 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works hired for Park, Sewer, and Water departments. The board also settled a grievance with the Highway Department and discussed 2023 annual fees.
The board started the meeting by interviewing for a new position, Working Foreman, for Park Maintenance. BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado explained that at some point the BPW will be taking over the responsibilties of the Tree Warden.
The new position will help with that down the road. Mr. Furtado said at some point they will need to hire an arborist and someone to run the bucket truck. The job now will be to manage a crew in the summertime with cutting grass and landscaping.
Mr. Furtado said they hadone interview for the position, Manny Souza, who has worked for the town for 22 years and has worked as a Foreman and a Superintendent when the Highway Superintendent has been absent.
Mr. Souza said he knows how to run all the equipment and that he has his pest and mosquito spraying licenses. He said he also has experience as a groundskeeper.
BPW Vice Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said Mr. Souza was a good candidate for the job and would be great at managing a crew.
Board members Marcus Ferro and Anne Morton-Smith agreed.
Mr. Souza asked about the possibility of getting paid on the top step. Mr. Furtado said the maximum step allowable would be an 8.7.
The board voted unanimously to hire Mr. Souza as Working Foreman for Park Maintenance at the maximum step allowed.
In another matter the board interviewed two candidates for Sewer Treatment Plant Operator. The first candidate to be interviewed was Matt Manzone.
Mr. Furtado explained that Mr. Manzone met all the job requirements and has worked 18 years with the town and is currently a craftsman.
Mr. Manzone said he enjoys working for the town,
Mr. Hobson said Mr. Manzone is one the best and he is a good employee.
The board also interviewed Nick Parker for the position. He told the board he has a grade 6 license, which the new sewer plant they are building will require. Mr. Parker also said he has been working for the town for about six years.
Mr. Furtado said Mr. Parker is a good employee and is currently working as an outside Foreman, but due to the union contract they are required to hire the senior most qualified candidate which would be Mr. Manzone.
The board voted unanimously to hire Mr. Manzone as Sewer Treatment Plant Operator.
In another matter the board also interviewed Joshua Chase for Water System Maintenance Craftsman. Mr. Chase said he has a grade 1 water license and he would be moving from the Highway Department.
Mr. Furtado said he recommends Mr. Chase for the position. The board voted unanimously to hire him.
The board also met with employees from the Highway Department about a grievance.
Mr. Furtado explained that two employees have filed a grievance in regards to a recent employee, Jimmy Lawrence, getting paid the top step in a junior position. One of the employees who filed a grievance, Matt Gerard, said he is senior in the position and is currently making less than Mr. Lawrence.
Mr. Hobson suggested that the board vote to give the same pay to the two employees that Mr. Lawrence is getting.
Mr. Furtado said he would love to, but it could open up a can of worms. He explained that the board did not violate the contract by giving Mr. Lawrence top step pay. Mr. Furtado said he would love to give everyone a raise, but it would be skipping steps in the contract to give both employees the top step.
Mr. Furtado said when it comes time for union negotiations they need to attend and give their opinions on new hires and if there should be limits on the maximum step they can be hired at.
He suggested they give both employees a raise, but not all the way to the top step. Mr. Furtado suggested step 7.5.
Mr. Hobson made a motion to give both employees a raise to step 7.5 and to give them retro pay.
The board also briefly discussed 2023 annual fees. They voted to keep the recycling center fees the same as last year.
The board voted to change contractor fees, increasing driveway contractors to $200, and the combined water and sewer drainlayer fee to $450.
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