HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Carl Rossi of Clifton, New Jersey has been named director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Holyoke.

Rossi was a Director of Public Works for Tenafly and Englewood, in New Jersey as well as Director of Operations for the Sportfriends Soccer Club in Wayne, N.J. He graduated from Rutgers University. His first day begins on January 18th.

According to a news release from Mayor Joshua Garcia’s office, the role has been renamed from superintendent to director. Mary Monahan, chair of the Public Works Board said the title director better describes the scope of Rossi’s responsibilities, which include business, finance, human resources, budgeting, and administration.

“Director Rossi is an experienced public works professional skilled in engineering, operations, finance, personnel management, and communications,” said Mary Monahan, who chairs the Board of Public Works. “Under the leadership of Director Rossi, Public Works will prioritize controlling costs, protecting public health and safety, improving quality of life, supporting economic growth, and making Holyoke a great place to work and live,” she said.

Monahan noted that attracting candidates for municipal professional positions “is challenging in this latest labor market.” Accordingly, she said, “the city did what was needed to attract more candidates, including adjusting salary and benefits to be more competitive. This was a team effort among the Mayor’s Office, City Council, Board of Public Works, and more. We were confident that if given enough time and the right message that there was an experienced public works professional who saw the same opportunities in Holyoke that we do. We’re confident that we found that team player in Carl Rossi.”

“The contributions of Amie and the entire public works team is something they should be proud of,” said Holyoke Mayor Garcia. “Holyoke’s Department of Public Works will continue to provide employees an ideal place to work and grow while attracting and maintaining new staff.

The Department of Public Works is responsible for taking care of streets and sidewalks, the storm water and sewer system, and other important infrastructure for the city. The news release indicated that Holyoke’s DPW is facing several opportunities and challenges indicated below:

  • Economic growth that underscores the need for the city to have adequate infrastructure to support business expansion.
  • Environmental permits and regulations that mandate that the city continue efforts to protect local public health and improve water quality.
  • The city is beginning to assess and plan the next steps in the long-term operations of the wastewater treatment plant and flood control facilities.
  • The fluctuating recycling markets and costs associated with municipal waste management which demand creativity and consideration for new approaches.
  • Enhanced funding opportunities to support improvements to roads, sidewalks, and bridges.
  • Ongoing training and education for staff and new hires to retain experienced workers and attract new hires.