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New town engineer and veteran’ services officer sought following resignations

Date: 11/5/2015

LONGMEADOW – The town is looking to hire a new veterans’ services officer and town engineer, after individuals in those positions resigned to take similar jobs in other communities.

Town Manager Stephen Crane told Reminder Publications Director of Veterans’ Services Paul Seifert recently resigned to take a comparable position in Springfield.

“We are a one-person shop,” Crane added. “They have a bigger office for veterans’ services and for him it’s definitely an advancement opportunity and I’m happy for him. I’m sad for us, but happy for him.”

Seifert, a Holyoke native, was hired by Longmeadow in August 2014. He took over the position vacated by Anthony Lawrence, who had recently graduated from the Springfield Fire Academy. Lawrence was hired in April 2014 to replace Jason Dieni, who held the position from October 2011 to July 2012 and left to take a federal position with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport,?RI.

Crane said the town is currently advertising the position.

“Benefits will continue to be processed by our accounting department and Paul Seifert will come in on weekends part time to make sure things that need to be processed are done,” he added.

Crane said Town Engineer Yem Lip resigned in order to become the assistant director of Public Works and city engineer for Holyoke. The position was advertised, but “quite candidly we did not get sufficient applications that were qualified.”

He added that the town is “getting the word out” among public works and engineering circles in order to find a qualified candidate that would be the right fit.

The town has seen numerous municipal employees leave their positions this year, including Fire Chief Eric Madison, Police Chief Robert Siano, Department of Public Works Director Michael Wrabel, Williams Middle School Principal Christopher Collins, and Town Accountant Sandra Choquette, all of whom retired.

Former Information Technology Director Kevin Warenda also left to work at a private school in Connecticut on June 30 and Superintendent of Schools Marie Doyle announced her retirement this summer, following the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

“I think much of that is due to really personal decisions by the individual employees,” Crane said. “We’ve had retirements; we’ve had people move out of state; we have a quality work force and it is a good organization so people often times are able to spring board to a more advanced position in another community from here.”

He added that every time there is turnover in a given position, the town analyzes the position’s wages.

“We spend a lot of time making sure that we have the opportunity to change the position or adjust the wages or any kind of modification to make sure that we have the best organization possible,” he noted.