Select Board appoints new DPW Superintendent

The Board was impressed with the resume and answers of a public works Superintendent from Spencer.

Above: The Select Board voted to appoint William Cundiff as the new DPW Superintendent, pending a finalized contract. (images cropped from meeting video)

Yesterday afternoon, four Select Board members interviewed a candidate for close to an hour. Following the interview, all four voted to appoint William J. Cundiff as Southborough’s new DPW Superintendent.

Each member expressed satisfaction that he would meet the Town’s needs. Chair Kathy Cook summed up, “I think he is the whole package.”

The Board’s vote was contingent on a successfully negotiated contract and background check. (For the latter, recruiter Bernie Lynch referred to an already successful background check. That and a CORI check were also mentioned in the recommendation memo from the Assistant Town Administrator.)

Member Andrew Dennington noted that Cundiff has experience in each of the departments that they were looking for and brings private sector experience as well. Others agreed.

Cundiff is currently the Utilities & Facilities Dept Superintendent for Spencer. According to his resume that encompasses the Highway Dept, Water Dept, Transfer Station, and Utilities and Facilities Office. Before taking the job two years ago, he worked for over 20 years in Douglas where he was a Town Engineer and Department Head. Cundiff began his career as a Project Engineer in the 90s. He still owns his own firm.

Member Sam Stivers stressed that Cundiff’s background as an engineer is helpful for overseeing contracted engineers. He was also impressed with his “fairly relaxed temperament”.

Vice Chair Chelsea Malinowski opined that he would get along with the department’s “great employees”, other Town boards. She believed he wouldn’t take it personally if a board shot down one of his projects, but instead work on it to bring it back the next year. She also believed he would keep vendors honest.

Cook agreed with everyone’s points. She also believed that he wouldn’t charge into the department, with employees used to working under one manager for a long time, and immediately make changes. Instead he would work to get the lay of the land.

Lynch told the Board that they had started out with 15 candidates, narrowed down to 5, and Cundiff was “by far the best fit” with a wealth of experience and outstanding temperament.

During the interview, Cundiff acknowledged that the commute to Southborough will be longer. But he reassured that didn’t concern him. He told the Board that he applied for the job because it was a good opportunity he didn’t want to pass up.

Malinowski and Dennington agreed to be in charge of the negotiations, as they had with the prior candidate. (Referring to the prior appointed candidate who withdrew, Stivers quipped, “How’d that work out?”) Lynch offered his assistance if they need it.

You can read the recommendation memos and resume from yesterday’s packet here.

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