New York man is new city CD director

PITTSFIELD - A New York man who owns an engineering firm has been hired to fill the city's vacant director of community development position.

Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi said Wednesday that Douglas C. Clark, of New Lebanon, N.Y., will fill the vacancy created when Deanna L. Ruffer left in September for a similar post in Chatham.

"I think he brings a lot to the table; he has government experience and has a lot of experience with municipal projects for more than 30 years," Bianchi said.

With a staff of 14, including the city's parks and open space manager, recreation coordinator and conservation agent, the Community Development office oversees major city projects and seeks additional grants.

Under Ruffer's direction over eight years, Pittsfield received more than $ 22 million in government funds toward job creation, building affordable housing and improving city parks. That money was in addition to the federal Community Development Block Grant funding that Pittsfield receives annually.

Clark, who owns Clark Engineering & Surveying, has worked on wastewater treatment plants, water systems, athletic facilities and other projects, the mayor said. The business was founded in 1986 by Clark and his wife, Ann L. Clark, a professional engineer and president of Clark Engineering, who will continue to lead the firm.

Clark is a licensed professional engineer in Massachusetts and New York and a LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professional, the mayor said.

He " also is familiar with grants and the need to acquire them for city projects," Bianchi said.

Clark understands the need to have a vision for Pittsfield, "and he is someone who is very familiar with the city," the mayor said.

In a press release, Clark said he's impressed with the progress Pittsfield has made in recent years and is excited about the opportunity to use his experience and skills to help continue these efforts.

The appointment does not require City Council approval, but the mayor said he will send Clark's name to the council on May 14. The new department head will begin work that week.

The third time literally was the charm for the city. Two previous choices for the job had declined it over the $ 73,000 salary. As a result, Bianchi has said he wants the city to review the pay levels of all positions to ensure Pittsfield can be competitive with other communities in the region.

The mayor also praised Bonnie Galant, the assistant director, who has managed the department during the hiring process, saying, "She really did a terrific job."

Galant had decided not to apply for the director's job, he said.

Bianchi said Clark had not applied for the job, but recently approached the city because he knew of the vacancy. He then met with a screening committee at City Hall and "everyone was very impressed," Bianchi said.

Clark holds a master's degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also serves as a town board member, an elected post in New Lebanon, and as deputy supervisor.


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