Shutesbury highway worker named to head department

Published: 09-13-2023 2:14 PM

SHUTESBURY — A new superintendent to oversee the town’s public works, just the third person to be in charge of the Highway Department since 1979, has been appointed by the Select Board.

Based on a unanimous recommendation from the Highway Superintendent Search Committee, the board Tuesday voted 2-0 to name Steve Sullivan, a current equipment operator for the department and a town resident, to succeed Tim Hunting. Hunting, who began his tenure in Shutesbury in September 1999, is retiring.

Sullivan thanked Hunting for his 24 years of work for Shutesbury.

“He laid the framework so that my job is super easy, because he lifted it up and the town looks the way it did and does because of Tim,” Sullivan said.

Meryl Mandell, who chaired the hiring committee, told the Select Board two candidates, each of whom met the basic requirements, were interviewed Monday.

“We were happy to have a couple of good candidates to consider,” Mandell said.

She said that descriptive comments about Sullivan, who served on both the Shutesbury and Amherst-Pelham Regional school committees, included “totally dependable and punctual,” “has served as a mentor to new highway staff,” “supports lifelong learning,” and “handles conflict well, stays professional in tough situations.”

“While both candidates rated very highly, Steve Sullivan rated the highest,” Mandell said. 

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When Hunting was hired, he succeeded Gary Dihlmann, the superintendent for 20 years and an employee in the department for 26 years.

— Scott Merzbach