NORTH KINGSTOWN – With the advice and consent of the North Kingstown Town Council, town manager Ralph Mollis appointed Tim Cranston to the position of director of water.
Cranston, who had previously worked in the department as the water quality specialist for more than 17 years, was named the interim water director after Susan Licardi retired from the position in July. Following the 100-day interim period, Cranston was officially appointed on Monday to the position of water director.
Town manager Ralph Molllis said that, over the past 100 days, Cranston had “risen to the occasion” of being named the interim director, which was why he was being chosen for the official position.
“Approximately four months ago, our director of water, Susan Licardi, retired,” Mollis said. “Since that time, I had the opportunity to appoint on an interim basis Tim Cranston, who for approximately 100 days now has served as the interim director of water. Tim has served on the water department I believe for almost 20 years now.”
“It’s been a very difficult position to hold and he has truly risen to the occasion over the past 100 days,” he continued.
He also complimented the water department for providing the town with “some of the best water quality in New England,” with one of the lowest rates in the state, making the position of water director one of “very high demand.”
During the interim period, Mollis added, Cranston had been very active in the various studies to evaluate the water rates and ensuring the town’s infrastructure is sound for the next five to 10 years.
Mollis also said that Cranston had been inventive in his methods of repairing breaks in the water main.
“Many times during the middle of the night, I’ll hear from Tim about a water break and how they’re responding,” Mollis said. “I know one particular situation where […] I got a call at 11 p.m. saying there’s a water main break and expecting to hear how we’re going to respond to it immediately.”
“But instead,” he continued, “Tim took the initiative to say we’re going to hold off until 1 a.m. because by doing so we would affect the businesses in the area less, and we could finish it by 7 a.m. when they open. That’s just thinking ahead.”
He went on to say that Cranston had been able to handle the position well, making him an important addition to the department.
“He’s been able to handle a lot of this job with clarity, which is important to me because the water department can be somewhat confusing, and I have to make it sound like I know what I’m talking about,” Mollis said. “He’s become a vital part of the team.”
After the meeting, Cranston said it was “very exciting” to be appointed to the position of the official water director.
“I am really looking forward to tackling the challenges that face the department in the near and long term,” Cranston said over email. “I am also very thankful for not only the trust and confidence afforded to me by the town manager and the members of the town council but also the valuable contributions of my staff.”
“They are the dedicated, conscientious hardworking men and women who allow me to continue to operate the water department in a manner that focuses upon providing safe dependable and affordable water to the community in a manner that is ‘customer service’ centric,” he added.
After the town manager recommended that Cranston be appointed to the position, the town council voted unanimously to do so.