NEW SCOTLAND The Town of New Scotland has hired a retired Bethlehem police officer to the newly created position of Public Works commissioner to address a mounting workload in the DPW office.
The Town Board on Wednesday, Aug. 14, approved hiring Wayne LaChappelle as commissioner of public works, a part-time position totaling 20 hours a week at the rate of $25 per hour. LaChappelle, who serves on the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, will start his new job on Monday, Aug. 26. LaChappelle retired from the Bethlehem Police Department in January of 2003 on disability after contracting Lyme disease while training his canine partner, according to Bethlehem Town Board minutes.
LaChappelle, a 57-year-old Feura Bush resident, was selected from a pool of candidates that was narrowed down to three finalists. The other two candidates had more of a “professional” background while LaChappelle had a more “hands on” background, which appealed to the majority of board members.
“I was humbled,” LaChappelle said. “I was very, very appreciate of being trusted into a position like that and hopefully I will live up to the expectations of the Town Board and the town residents.”
Councilman Daniel Mackay was the only member to vote against LaChappelle’s appointment. Mackay said he preferred one of the two other finalists because he believed that applicant offered a “greater chance for program development” and “launching” a new department.
Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said the position would be “heavier on the water and sewer” hands-on duties. Dolin said he is hopeful the position can be expanded over time.
“I am happy we are doing something to solve this problem,” Dolin said.
He also said some candidates could be hired as consultants to handle parts of the job he does not feel there will be “enough time to handle.”
Councilwoman Patricia Snyder said the town saw a “nice selection” of candidates.