Published in the August 5, 2019 edition


WAKEFIELD – The town could have a new Public Works director as soon as tonight.

At this evening’s Town Council meeting, Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio will recommend current DPW Assistant Director Joseph P. Conway to replace longtime Public Works Director Richard Stinson, who retired last month.

Under the Town Charter, the job of appointing the Director of Public Works falls to the Town Administrator, subject to the approval of the Town Council.

Conway emerged as the recommended candidate from a weeks-long process. A nine-member screening committee interviewed 12 candidates and recommended four finalists to be interviewed by Maio and the town’s Human Resources Manager Amy Forziati.

In a memorandum to the Town Council, Maio lists 16 “qualifications and observations” that led to his decision to recommend Conway. Among those were Conway’s experience in “planning, directing and supervising all facets of a Department of Public Works.” Maio also cited Conway’s “deep institutional knowledge of the infrastructure of Wakefield” and his “excellent customer service skills.”

Conway also received an enthusiastic letter of recommendation from former DPW Director Richard Stinson, who stressed Conway’s strong leadership and communications skills, creative problem-solving ability and extensive knowledge of public works issues.

Starting his 12-year career with the Wakefield Department of Public Works in 2007 as a heavy equipment operator, Conway has risen through the ranks to serve as Operations Assistant (2016-2018) and Assistant Director of Public Works (2018-present).

A 2003 graduate of Wakefield Memorial High School, Conway has a bachelor of science degree from Salem State University and a graduate certificate in Local Government and Leadership from Suffolk University. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Massachusetts.

Also on tonight’s Town Council agenda:

• An application from Modern Collision center, located at 57-61 New Salem St., for a Class II used car dealer license.

• Consideration of proposed parking infrastructure improvements to be provided by the developer of a self-storage warehouse at 205-209 Water St.

• A request from Jimmy Crump for approval to restore the trail that starts from J.J. Round parking lot and ends on Holland Road as his Eagle Scout Project.

• A demonstration of the town’s new website by the town’s Content and Communications Manager, Jennifer McDonald.

• A summary of site assessments for possible installation of electric vehicle charging stations. A vote is anticipated.

• Acceptance of donations to Beebe Library.

• Acceptance of a flower planter donation from Jack Palano of Alano located at 364 Main St. Vote Anticipated.

• Re-assignment by the Chairman Edward Dombroski of a Town Councilor designated to sign warrants.

Tonight’s meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. at the WCAT Studio, 24 Hemlock Rd., in the rear of Wakefield Memorial High School.