Blandford appoints new highway superintendent

Rene Senecal, Blandford’s new highway superintendent, will begin on March 1. (Photo by Amy Porter)

BLANDFORD – The Board of Selectmen appointed Rene Senecal of Goshen as the new highway superintendent at its meeting on Monday. Senecal, who has been DPW superintendent in the town of Hinsdale since 2014 and previously served Chester as highway superintendent from 2007 to 2014, will begin in Blandford on March 1.
Senecal also served on the Chester Select Board from July, 2016 to Nov., 2018, when he stepped down before his move to Goshen.
Interim Town Administrator Joshua Garcia said that three candidates were interviewed for the position, with Senecal the only one advancing. The Board went into executive session on Monday to finalize the contract negotiations, before appointing Senecal during the open session.
The town has been without a highway superintendent since December, when Brad Curry, who had served as superintendent since 2006, resigned to take the same position in Sandisfield.
During the interim, Garcia has been serving as supervisor of the DPW, which has three full-time and two part-time employees, working with Frank Lucia as the lead laborer. In January, Blandford selectman Eric McVey took over the administrative duties for Garcia during the federal workers furlough.
Garcia said town administrators are important for local government because they are able to fill in when there’s a key vacancy. He said the position is more of a quarterback than an expert lineman or receiver, and relies on the expertise of the lead employees and team work to keep the system going. “It’s not me telling them how to fix the roads,” he said.
Garcia did say he rode along in a plow during the last storm. “It’s scary. You’ve got to really know what you’re doing,” he said.

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