PITTSFIELD >> Pittsfield Housing Authority commissioners are seeking a replacement for Executive Director Charles L. Smith Jr., who plans to retire in July after 40 years with the authority.
"I came in mowing lawns and shoveling snow," Smith told The Eagle. "I was just 20 years old."
Over the years, he worked his way up to head the maintenance department then became housing inspector and special projects coordinator; and then, five years ago, the executive director.
Smith, who turned 60 in December, said he and his wife, Mary Louise "decided that's going to be enough."
His last day is expected to be July 27, he said, pending the results of an ongoing search for his replacement.
The past year has been a tough one, Smith said, and that figured in his decision to retire. During that period, his father, former Mayor Charles L. Smith, and his sister Pamela died, and his sister-in-law became seriously ill.
He said it seemed important to spend more time with family members and also do some traveling. The couple has two grown daughters and four grandchildren.
"I've been working since I was 6 years old, delivering papers," Smith said, "so I am sure I'll find something to do, to help out here and there," most likely as a volunteer.
"I've had a ball," he said of his years with the authority. "I never got to the point I didn't want to get up in the morning and go to work."
Always having a new position he could work toward was a plus, he said, and Smith praised the authority for supporting his education and professional training initiatives. That included making it possible for him to complete a business degree at Berkshire Community College.
"The Pittsfield Housing Authority worked with me and provided me with a great career," he said. "And I have been working with some great people."
Authority board Chairwoman Lucille Reilly said Smith "will be very much missed."
She said the director worked his way up through the ranks over the years after he arrived in 1976. Along the way, Smith "certainly knew his jobs," she said.
Contact Jim Therrien at 413-496-6247.
How to apply ...
Applications for the executive director post are due by April 29; there is no firm timetable for making a hire.
Requirements listed in an advertisement for the position include: "Eight years of experience in housing management, community development, public administration, or a closely related field. Applicant must have a working knowledge of fiscal management, maintenance systems, personnel and administrative management systems in public or private housing. Supervisor experience of a staff of 10 or more is required."