Written by Barbara Tetreault
Mayor Paul Grenier and the city council made the announcement at last night's work session. Wheeler will come on board full-time on June 1. Current City Manager Patrick MacQueen will stay to help with the transition but will retire by the end of the summer.
Grenier said he was honored to announce the selection of Wheeler, noting the new city manager grew up Berlin, worked for the city, and has children in the Berlin school system.
Wheeler said most of his career has been in the public sector and he has missed serving the public since leaving the city.
He praised MacQueen, noting he has been city manager during very lean years but still managed to plant some seeds of growth for the city.
"I know I'm going to have big shoes to fill," Wheeler said.
Wheeler said he expects to spend a lot of time in the immediate future studying and getting up to date with the work that has been done by MacQueen and city staff. He said he hopes for as seamless transition as possible and to continue initiatives underway.
In his letter applying for the position, Wheeler said he brings skills and experience that uniquely qualify him for the position. But he said what sets him apart from other candidates is his "personal mission to contribute to the economic growth and position of Berlin and the North Country."
Wheeler grew up in the Berlin area and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in civil engineering in 1986. After working as a project engineer for Whitman & Howard, Wheeler returned to his hometown to take the position of city engineer in 1994. Four years later he also assumed the role of public works director when his father, Maurice Wheeler, retired.
In June 2005, Wheeler left the city to become director of facilities at Androscoggin Valley Hospital. Five years ago, he was promoted to vice president of strategic management and human resources at AVH. In 2011, Wheeler noted the hospital was named one of the Best Companies to Work For by Business NH Magazine. While at AVH, he earned his master's degree in management.
When Wheeler left the city to go to AVH, city officials publicly stated they were sad to see him go. MacQueen said city government was losing "one heck of a fine asset".
Grenier, then a city councilor, recalled there was a debate back in 1994 over hiring Wheeler for city engineer because his father was public works director. Grenier said the council was worried the hiring would open it up to charges of nepotism. But in the end, Grenier said the council decided Wheeler's qualifications earned him the job.
MacQueen notified the council last fall that he intended to retire by September 2013. The council enlisted the services of Primex in setting up a process to hire a new city manager. The position was advertised and the city
received 41 applications. A council subcommittee narrowed the number to five semi-finalists who were interviewed over two days earlier this month.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 00:04
Former Fire Chief Ted Tichy had to step down for medical reasons, but remains deputy chief of the department. Tichy served the department for 28 years, nine of those as fire chief
“Tichy is well respected and trusted by his fellow firefighters and the town of Milan,” St.Gelais said. “He has done a great job and the department will continue to build on the foundation that Chief Tichy built.”
The Milan Fire Deportment also recently promoted Randy Davis and Bud Chapman to the position of lieutenant. Randy Davis has served the Fire Department for 18 years and Bud Chapman for eight years. Both have shown dedication, hard work and character.
Photo "milan randy davis" shows Lieutenant Davis (on left) receiving his new red helmet from Chief St.Gelais,
Photo "milan Bud chapman" shows Lieutenant Chapman (on left) receiving his new red helmet from Chief St.Gelais
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 00:03
Its first action is to request Randolph selectmen write to HEB Engineers of North Conway, which engineered and supervised the renovation, noting that townspeople are dissatisfied with the quality of the work which has resulted in much heaving and cracking in the roadway, asking why this is occurring, and asking how HEB Engineers proposes to eliminate the problems.
Meanwhile, the committee will review the engineering plans, the daily and other reports made while the construction was underway by Nelson Communications Services, Inc., and look into the availability of another engineering firm to take a look at the road, its construction, and problems. Town meeting authorized $7,500 to engage such a firm and proposed that should more funds be needed, they could be drawn from the highway trust fund.
HEB has already taken a look at the road. On March 18, the firm's representatives, including company founder Ed Bergeron, "observed current roadway conditions," according to the firm's report to Randolph selectmen.
"Based on concerns raised by citizens at the 2013 Town Meeting regarding the condition of Randolph Hill Road subsequent to its reconstruction in 2011, HEB intends to observe the condition of the road periodically over the next month or more to document how the road reacts through the spring thaw cycle," the report says.
The report promises a final report "within 1 month" "once documentation through the spring thaw cycle is complete."
The town has not received such a final report, although the road is now clear of ice and snow, as it was not during HEB's first look in March.
In other business, the committee elected Jim Hunt chairman, with Randolph Selectman John Turner as stand-in, should Hunt miss a meeting. Randolph Road Agent Kevin Rousseau is a member, as are David Arsenault—who is in the road business—and Chris Hawkins, a road engineer.
They heard a report from John Scarinza, who initiated the town meeting motion calling for the committee. Scarinza quickly discussed what documents about the road construction are available and talked about where they might be found. The committee as a whole discussed what work needed to be done and who should go over the documents and other organizational matters, including unearthing a copy of the design plan.
Most of the members of the committee also walked the road on Saturday afternoon.
The committee expects to meet Saturday, May 4 at 9 a.m. to review what they have discovered in the interim and to discuss what engineering firms might be available to do the road study.
The town meeting motion charges the committee to have completed its work by July 15 and to present a report to the public by Sept. 1.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 18:11
Written by Barbara Tetreault
The five are Matthew Buteau of 275 Willard St, June Ann Kelliher of 100 Rheims Street, Lynn Moore of 178 Sweden St., Ralph Aversano of 307 Norway St., and Mark Evans of 1831 Riverside Drive.
Interested people had until 4 p.m. Friday to submit a letter to the city clerk. The city council is scheduled to interview the candidates Monday night and appoint one to serve through 2014.
Three of the candidates, Buteau, Aversano, and Moore, wrote that they have children currently in the Berlin school system.
Evans is a former city councilor and ran unsuccessfully for the school board. He has a bachelor's degree in education and partial completion of his master's in math. He works as a medical billing consultant and as an acupuncturist.
Buteau submitted his name last year for a vacant position on the board that was ultimately filled by Donald Labrecque. He works for Northern Human Services and serves on the Berlin Housing Authority.
June Ann Kelliher is the manager of Brookside Park housing complex.
Lynn Moore is chief officer of finance and administrative services at White Mountains Community College. She holds a dual associates degree in accounting and management and a bachelor's degree in general studies with a business concentration.
Aversano holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and currently works as a stay-at-home dad.
Last Updated on Saturday, 27 April 2013 13:42
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