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Greenfield DPW head to retire

GREENFIELD — The town’s director of public works plans to retire March 1, after five years in the position and almost 40 years with the town.

Sandra Shields said she announced her plan to retire to the mayor three months ago.

“I wanted him to have plenty of time to find someone,” said the 61-year-old Shields. “It’s time.”

Shields, who has seen the town through millions of dollars of repairs to damage caused by a tropical storm, as well as the “greening” of Greenfield, with the building of a solar farm on the town’s capped landfill, will be greatly missed, said Mayor William Martin on Monday, the same day the town advertised her job.

Shields, who said she will be staying in the area, worked for many years as the town’s water and wastewater treatment plant superintendent.

She said the town hopes to have her replacement on board by February — the mayor hopes sooner — so that she can train the person.

“John Bean (former DPW superintendent) trained me and the time with him was invaluable,” she said. “I hope to do the same for the next person.”

Shields said she will “retire for now” and maybe do some part-time work in water and wastewater treatment down the road.

Shields has also been performing the duties of the town’s central maintenance manager over the past few months, so the town will also be looking for someone to fill that position.

Martin and Shields said how much the two new position pay will depend on the experience of the people who fill them.

“Sandy is a wonderful and great asset and we are going to lose a ton of knowledge with her leaving,” said Martin.

The mayor said the next director will have to know about rubbish, recycling, snow plowing, paving, building sidewalks, road work, the purchase of bulk electricity and fuel, budgeting, capital projects, and the creation of “green” programs.

He said the new director will have to have at least a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline, public administration, management or a closely related field, seven to 10 years of professional experience in municipal public works, and at least two years as a director or assistant director.

“He or she will have to have a mind for detail and analysis,” said Martin.

“We’ll be fortunate if we find someone close to Sandy’s caliber.”

For more information or for an application, visit: www.greenfield-ma-gov.

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