The town manager’s effort to add a new layer of management as he merges two of the town’s busiest departments is catching flak from some Andover officials.
Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski is working to combine Plant and Facilities and the Department of Public Works into one, single department: Municipal Services. His budget for the coming year reflects that consolidation and sets the hire of the department’s head for July 1, he has said.
The new department would operate much as its components do today. Under one roof, the town would house all of its individual maintenance divisions: engineering, highway, solid waste, street lighting, sewer, water, facility services, building maintenance, mechanical and electrical, vehicle maintenance, and a single, final division covering parks and grounds, forestry and cemetery.
Currently, those divisions are broken up into the two departments, led by acting directors Maria Maggio (Plant and Facilities) and Chris Cronin (Public Works). Before they were named as acting directors to fill posts emptied by retirements, Maggio was the Plant and Facilities business manager, and Cronin was superintendent of Highways.
Under the town manager’s plan, the two would become assistant directors, and both report to the new director of Municipal Services. The director position is currently listed in Stapczynski’s recommended budget as two 0.5 full-time equivalent positions earning $69,616 per half, or $139,232 total. Of that money, Maggio and Cronin would each get a $10,000 stipend for their appointed work as assistant directors, he said.
From there, the department could see another reorganization as early as a year later. This time, it would be orchestrated by the newly hired director and could line up with any decisions to relocate or rebuild the Town Yard happening at the time, according to Stapczynski.
“I didn’t want to saddle the new director with a rigid structure, because I wanted the director to come in, evaluate where it is at and recommended a structure to me,” he said.