By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
The Fairhaven Board of Public Works conducted interviews for a Water System Maintenance position, and discussed future plans for Cooke Park, a its meeting on Monday, 8/7
Jeffery Furtado, the Foreman for the Sewer Department, told the board he obtained his grade one license and just finished his grade two license, as well as upgraded his grade six wastewater license.
“Since last year, I took the initiative and got my licenses,” Mr. Furtado said, adding that he had 10 years of experience and will soon have his full grade two license and will get his treatment license soon.
“You are completely qualified,” said board member Brian Wotton.
Mr. Wotton said his only concern was that the change in jobs would be a “substantial setback” in pay.
“Sometimes you have to take one step back to take two steps forward,” Mr. Furtado said, adding that he did a lot of “soul searching” and that he needs a change.
Mr. Wotton asked if there was someone in the Sewer Department capable of filling Mr. Furtado’s current position. Mr. Furtado assured the board that there were plenty of people in the Sewer Department who could fill his position.
“You are a huge asset to the town and you have my support,” Mr. Wotton said.
Board member, Robert “Hoppy” Hobson agreed with Mr. Wotton that Mr. Furtado is a great employee for the town.
Board member Cameron Durant also agreed adding, “The depth of your resume and your willingness to meet requirements of the job, speaks volumes.”
Mr. Furtado asked the board that if they do pick him for the job, if he could start at the top step and be able to keep his wastewater license active because he does not want it to expire. He said he wanted to keep his knowledge in both the water and sewer departments.
The board agreed that if hired Mr. Furtado should start at the top step and keep his wastewater license active.
The board moved on to their next interview with Highway Department employee, Daryl Snell. Mr. Snell explained that he has been with the town for seven years. He currently works as a laborer, truck driver, and has worked with the tractor, the truck, and has done drainage work.
Mr. Snell explained that he had no licenses for the Water Department, but was willing to put in the work to get them.
“I can’t be compared to the gentleman before me,” Mr. Snell said referring to Mr. Furtado.
BPW Chairperson Michael Ristuccia expressed what a great worker Mr. Snell is.
Mr. Wotton asked why Mr. Snell wanted to leave the Highway Department.
He explained that he was looking for a change and that he does not like doing the same thing all the time.
Mr. Snell explained that he would love to get the job, but if he did not get it, he was still glad he showed his interest and will focus on getting the licenses.
“Be proactive,” Mr. Ristuccia said.
“Maybe I’ll put in for the Forman position in the Sewer Department,” Mr. Snell joked. The board broke out into laughter.
The board also interviewed James Lawrence, who currently works in the Highway Department.
Mr. Lawrence explained that he has worked for the Highway Department for three years and grew up in Fairhaven.
He said that he did not have licenses, but is confident that he would be able to take the classes and pass the tests.
Mr. Lawrence said that the Highway Department has limited hours and overtime opportunities. He said he was looking for overtime, more hours to work, and an opportunity for advancement.
“I don’t dislike highway, I just want more work,” Mr. Lawrence said.
Mr. Lawrence also said he believed the Water Department offered a better chance for advancement.
“I am willing to work whenever needed…one a.m. I am there,” Mr. Lawrence said, adding that getting the licenses should not be an issue. “Go to classes, study, take notes and pass the tests.”
Mr. Ristuccia told Mr. Lawrence that if he did not get the job this time, he should pursue the licenses, so he is ready for the next job opening.
The last interview was with Thomas Perry, who has worked for town for about seven months.
Mr. Perry explained that he knew he was a long shot for the position.
“I just wanted get my name out there that I am interested in the Water Department,” Mr. Perry said.
Mr. Perry explained that his next step is to start getting all the licenses necessary to better himself.
Mr. Hobson explained there will be other job openings down the road.
“I can’t stress licensing enough,” Mr. Ristuccia said.
He explained that if Mr. Perry had his licenses he would have been ahead of two out of the other three applicants.
The board hired Jeffery Furtado in a unanimous vote.
In another matter, the board discussed what the next step was with investigating Cooke Park. At the past few BPW meetings, it has been discussed and investigated to see if the park is a cemetery, and the BPW has received conflicting reports
BPW Superintendent Vincent Furtado explained that he had reached out to three archeological investigators for quotes.
At the time of the meeting he had only heard back from one company. That company said it would do a lot of documentation research and dig six test pits at the park.
Many members of the board expressed their concern with the cost and not wanting to spend tax payers’ dollars on this.
Mr. Furtado explained that the only way to find out if Cooke Park is a cemetery and to put the issue to rest is to hire an archeological company to investigate.
“It might have to go to town meeting,” Mr. Furtado said.
The quote was for $7,575.00.
In other business Mr. Hobson reminded everyone that the recycling center opens at 8 a.m. on Saturdays.
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