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Clarke 'looking forward to retirement'

DPW director reflects on tenure, looks ahead to future

Hamer Clarke is set to retire at the end of the month from his position as director of the Public Works Department, a position he has held for nearly 30 years. (click for larger version)
January 17, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — After nearly 30 years as the director of the Department of Public Works, Hamer Clarke is ready to retire.

As previously reported, Thomas Daley was appointed the new DPW director at a Town Council meeting Monday, Jan. 10, and will take the reins of the department, officially, on Jan. 31, but for the next couple weeks, Clarke and Daley are working together to make the transition as seamless as possible.

"Mr. Daley is clearly the most qualified man for the job, without a doubt," said Clarke, who was on the committee to find the next DPW director. "He is just an overall team player that will be an asset to the town. He will bring plenty of experience and maturity that is needed for the job. He also has plenty of licenses beyond what is necessary, which was very attractive when we were deciding on him."

Originally retiring in 2007, Clarke returned to the position last August after his replacement, Kenneth Kalinowski, resigned from the job to take a similar position closer to his home. The stipulations of Clarke's return was that he would not work more than 20 hours a week and would hold the job for six months or when a replacement could be found, whichever came first.

In an interview Friday, Jan. 14, Clarke said he would not miss the stress and general problems that come with the job, but will miss the camaraderie he had with the people he has worked with for so many years. He said he would also miss using the cutting edge technology that the DPW is currently using.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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