COVENTRY â€”The Department of Public Works in Coventry hired a new Director last month to replace Dennis Smith, who retired after 30 years of employment to the town.
Robert Clarkin began as Director Public Works on March 19 where he had to jump into learning the budget and the town.
Town Manager Thomas Hoover explained that 37 candidates applied for the Director position, which pays $83,000.
Once it was narrowed down to seven, Hoover said that â€śClarkin stood on top of the seven I interviewed.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s always a change to have somebody new but I was looking for somebody who has experience, in public works and management and somebody that could best do the job,â€ť he said.
Hoover explained that Clarkin showed that he had good experience and academic requirements.
Clarkin, who resides in Cranston, previously held the position of Director of Public Works in Foster and before that he was the Parks and Recreation Commissioner in Cranston.
â€śI expect that he will do improve the department,â€ť said Hoover.
Clarkin explained that he applied for the job because, â€śit was an opportunity for me to improve on my career.â€ť
He said that working as the Director for the department in Coventry will give him added responsibility because it is a bigger department to run than his previous position.
Coventryâ€™s Public Works Department consists of engineering, building inspector, roads and bridges, snow removal, building maintenance, garbage collection and disposal and vehicle maintenance.
They are also required to fix storm water systems, traffic and street signs, winter storm operations and sanitation services.
â€śI was confident coming in because I knew some of the employees from the Rhode Island Public Works Association and meeting them at different meetings, so I was confident in my ability,â€ť he said.
With the budget season underway Clarkin said that he and his department will find ways to improve through input from his employees about how to do things better with less cost.
He explained that overall he wants to try and meet the expectations of the taxpayers in Coventry â€śin the most cost effective way we can.â€ť
Clarkin said that his department is trying to find way to save money in the long range, â€śto continue to provide the services that taxpayers have come to expect in Coventry.â€ť