EAST GREENWICH — The man who has worked by the motto ‘No Surprises’ for the last quarter century inside East Greenwich Town Hall gave his co-workers – and the Town, for that matter – the biggest surprise possible earlier this week.
William Sequino, Jr., who for the last 25 years has worked the finances and maintained stability in the Town of East Greenwich, as well as helping to revitalize the community despite Rhode Island being in economic dire straits as a whole, will be stepping down as Town Manager due to him recently accepting the position of Executive Director of the Rhode Island Clear Water Finance Agency (RICWFA).
“This has been a long time in the making,” said Sequino early Tuesday afternoon.
Sequino will be replacing outgoing RICWFA Executive Director Anthony Simeone, who is retiring after 19 years at the helm of the organization, which has a goal, Sequino said, to provide financing to help eliminate pollution from the waste water treatment plants, to provide funds to water suppliers for safe drinking water and supplies funds that municipalities can loan out in order to upgrade septic systems.
Sequino said the RICWFA is a financing agency that works with one goal in mind, but also serves to assist local government as the reason why he accepted the position, which was offered to him a couple of weeks ago.
“Instead of dealing with infrastructure and policy, I’m dealing with financing,” Sequino said.
“I can understand Bill’s wanting to take on a new challenge, particularly one that involves finances and bonds,” Town Council President Michael Isaacs said via telephone Tuesday. “They’ve been a particular interest of his. I can certainly understand him wanting to pursue that. But we will certainly miss him in East Greenwich.
Sequino added that he made the formal announcement to his staff at Town Hall on Monday, but hadn’t had a chance to talk to them in detail about his decision to leave because he had a meeting to go to. But, he complimented his employees that he has gotten to know in being the longest-serving Town Manager in the history of East Greenwich.
“We’ve been together for a long time and it’s a good group,” Sequino said. “They’re a very good group of employees and I’m sure we’ll miss each other.”
During his long tenure as Town Manager, Sequino was responsible for helping East Greenwich receive the highest bond rate (Aa+) in Rhode Island, according to Standard and Poor’s. His other accomplishments include producing and adopting a development impact fee ordinance to be used for new infrastructure, open space, recreation and municipal buildings, creating a program with bond writers for local residents to purchase town bonds/notes; negotiating with the New England Institute of Technology to relocate their university campus to East Greenwich and negotiating an agreement with the State for an ultra violet disinfectant system and a nitrogen removal system at the town wastewater treatment facility.
Back over the winter, Town Council members and state officials formally recognized Sequino for his 25 years of service to East Greenwich and the endless dedication he showed as Town Manager.
“Bill has brought high standards for performance in municipal government to East Greenwich,” Isaacs said, “and always demonstrated fiscal responsibility. You can see that in the service the Town provides and the high bond rating it has. As a result of bills efforts, East Greenwich was able to cope with the financial difficulties that were brought on by the most recent recession much better than many other Rhode Island cities and towns.”
Sequino has also served as the chair for the Woonsocket Budget Commission.
Isaacs also said the process in searching for a new Town Manager will begin “right away” and it will be discussed at the next Town Council meeting this coming Monday.
Sequino’s final days inside the Town Manager’s office at Town Hall will be around July 5-6 and his start date with the R.I. Clear Water Finance Agency will be June 8. Although his presence will be missing at Town Hall, he will still have solid footing in East Greenwich.
“I’m not moving anywhere,” he said. “I’ll still run into people in the grocery store.”