Hancock Highway Department experiences high turnover

  • Hancock Public Works Director Mia Gagliardi. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Hancock Public Works Director Mia Gagliardi. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Hancock Public Works Director Mia Gagliardi. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 9:55AM

Three of the four people at the highway department in Hancock left shortly after a change in leadership occurred at the town’s Department of Public Works.

The current Director of Public Works Mia Gagliardi, who previously worked in Guilford, started working in Hancock in July. 

Not long after Gagliardi started, Jim Morris, an equipment operator, Jeff Wright, a highway foreman, and Ron Clough, an equipment operator, resigned.

Hancock’s select board Chair Tom Shevenell called the shakeup a “normal evolution.”

“The DPW director was Kurt Grassett for many, many years and he had a style that the boys felt comfortable with and then when someone new comes in everything sort of changes,” Shevenell said.

He said when former DPW Director Kurt Grassett stepped down, the town offered the position to Jeff Wright.  But after the winter season, Wright said he wasn’t comfortable in the position and asked the town to look for someone with more administrative experience. Shevenell said the town then hired Gagliardi.

Morris resigned “to take advantage of another opportunity,” according to select board meeting minutes dated Aug. 14. Shevenell said Wright decided to move on in the fall and Clough not long after. 

None of the three men who resigned were available to comment by deadline on Monday afternoon.

Gagliardi said she wasn’t aware anyone had expressed concern about her management style.

“That really wasn't what was expressed to me,” Gagliardi said.

She said she hasn’t been at the department that long before the turnover started to happen.

“I don't know if they really got a chance to see what my management style was,” she said.

Shevenell said he isn’t concerned about Gagliardi’s management style despite the high turnover.

“She’s doing an excellent job,” Shevenell said. “She’ll take [the department] to a new level.”

Gagliardi the department has hired two people to fill the vacancies; Brett Martin, a highway foreman, and Bob Sardinsks, an equipment operator. Adam Blanchette, an equipment operator, stayed on amid the shakeup. Gagliardi said the town is still looking to fill the last slot.

“I didn’t want to change things right away, we started slowly implementing things, but with the change in staff we’ve started implementing things and running things differently with the new crew,” Gagliardi said.

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com.