By Pattie Pacella
Neighb News Correspondent
After 22 years working for the Town of Acushnet, 20 years as Town Administrator, Alan Countinho is retiring at the end of June and taking the summer off to “decide what he wants to do when he grows up.”
In a candid conversation with Mr. Countinho recently, he expressed how much he is going to miss the people he works with. Mr. Countinho said that he had a good “farm” team, with department heads and all the staff. He even stated that as being one of his proudest accomplishments as Town Administrator.
“I’m most proud of assembling the team of department heads here,” he said. “We made up a good team.”
His other proudest accomplishment was building the new library, saving the town a million dollars.
“They said we couldn’t do it,” he said. “We proved them wrong. And we did it with all in-house staff.”
Mr. Coutinho is known to ask prospective employees what book they read last, so the Neighb News asked him what books he was looking forward to reading in retirement.
Mr. Countinho laughed.
“My wife tells me I need a cultural upgrade,” he said, adding that h has hundreds of books he needs to start reading.
When asked for parting words, Mr. Countinho said he would encourage people to get involved more.
“Drive the train, instead of chasing it,” he said.
Administrative assistant Lisa Leonard expressed how grateful she felt to work under Mr. Countinho for the last 10 years.
“He’s been wonderful,” she said. “We’re like family around here; everyone works well together.”
Ms. Leonard said that Mr. Countinho knows what he’s doing and is to the point.
“You know what you’re getting when you work with him,” she said, adding that she was going to miss him, but wished him well in his retirement.
Another staff member, Cathy Doane, the current Finance Director/ Town Accountant, had nothing but nice things to say about Mr. Countinho.
She said she has a great working relationship with him.
“I am very fortunate to work with him and I’ll miss that.” She said.
Ms. Doane also said that they have built a really good staff in Acushnet and the Town is very fortunate with all the talented department heads.
Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher stated, “Alan has truly left a mark upon Acushnet.”
“Alan has had a steady hand on the tiller for the last two decades,” said Chief Gallager. “And as a department head, I have never felt micro-managed but always felt he made me bring my A-game.”
“I’ll miss him,” he said.
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