January 18, 2012SANBORNTON — Less than a month after accepting the resignation of Public Works Director John Thayer, Sanbornton selectmen announced Monday morning that the position had been filled by Thayer's second in command, John Van Tassel.
Nine candidates made the cut to begin the interviewing process on Jan. 11, and from those, Van Tassel stood out, said board Chairman David Nickerson.
"All three of us on the board had questions. We talked to him for almost an hour and a half the first time, then another couple hours today," Nickerson said. "We had some great candidates to select from — some who lived nearby, and others from farther away — and they all had something to offer. John had the most experience, though, and knows the town better. I think he'll do well."
Van Tassel has been with DPW in Sanbornton for three years. Among his duties have been road maintenance projects, assisting Thayer and filling in in during his absences, and heading up operations at the transfer station. Prior to working for the town, he was employed by Person's Concrete as a truck driver and dispatcher. He also worked for an extended period with highway painting crews for the State Department of Transportation.
"John knows construction. He still has things to learn, but those things aren't going to be a big deal," said Nickerson.
Van Tassel was called in for a second interview with selectmen on Monday morning, where details and responsibilities of the position were discussed. The three selectmen went over budgetary procedures, methods of documentation, safety procedures, employee evaluations, and maintenance of both dirt and asphalt roads in town.
Nickerson noted that with a new director, there would be some changes in the management-style of the department, but he felt each time a person steps into a position, they bring new ideas and new ways of handling things that could streamline operations and strengthen the department.
"We discussed our expectations of him, and what we considered were the expectations of citizens in town. We also asked that he further his education in management and construction, which will benefit him in doing his job," Nickerson said. "We all came to the same conclusion that hiring John as director would be a good thing for the town, so we offered him the job."
Van Tassel accepted their offer, and his new title was made effective immediately by the board.