By Bethany Bray
---- — SALEM — John Tomasz, the public works director for the town of Hamilton, has been hired as the city’s new director of public services.
Tomasz’s appointment was approved by the City Council last week. He replaces Richard Rennard, who retired in November.
He is slated to start work in Salem on Feb. 19 at an annual salary of $105,000.
Tomasz has more than 30 years’ experience in public works, engineering and project management. He has been Hamilton’s DPW director since 2008. Previously, he was public works director in Rockport for 10 years.
He also serves as a water and sewer commissioner in his hometown of Newburyport.
In a Jan. 22 letter to the City Council, Mayor Kim Driscoll said Tomasz’s extensive experience will enable him to “hit the ground running.”
The City Council’s Jan. 24 vote to confirm Tomasz was 9-2, with Councilors Michael Sosnowski and Tom Furey voting against his appointment.
Sosnowski has a self-imposed rule to vote against hiring anyone who does not live in Salem. Furey said he had hoped the mayor would promote someone from within the department of public services.
Rennard began working in Salem in 1982, as the manager of Greenlawn Cemetery. A certified arborist, he was later named city tree warden and soon was in charge of cemeteries, trees and open space. Driscoll named him director of the DPW in 2006.