Tisbury names Ray Tattersall Department of Public Works director

Mr. Tattersall will take over from interim director Paul Wohler.

Tisbury selectmen appointed Ray Tattersall to be the new director of the Tisbury Department of Public Works last week. — File Photo by Janet Hefler

Following a yearlong reorganization, last Thursday Tisbury selectmen appointed Ray Tattersall to be the new, full-time director of the Tisbury Department of Public Works (DPW). Mr. Tattersall has worked as the Tisbury DPW electrician for almost six years.

Mr. Tattersall oversaw all aspects of the town’s electrical needs from running new underground electric services to wiring the wastewater treatment facilities. He also worked as the head groundskeeper for the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, maintaining the baseball field from 2013 to 2014, and was an electrician for Berube Electric Inc. for 16 years.

“I’m very enthusiastic about having Ray in this leadership role in the town, and it’s nice to see someone from within the ranks move up into this position and responsibility,” town administrator Jay Grande said Thursday.

The DPW handles refuse and recycling services, municipal building maintenance, highway and sidewalk maintenance, parks and recreation, cemetery maintenance and operations, wastewater operations, and special projects in town. Mr. Tattersall said his main goals for the department include uniting the staff and establishing good communication with the town.

“My main goal is to give the townspeople some quality professional work and great service,” he said. “We need to step up our game and I think we can do that with the people that we have. It’s a good group of people that work there, we’ve just got to all come together to do that.”

Mr. Tattersall’s hiring follows a nearly yearlong imbroglio between the department and selectmen. Last year selectmen moved to assert control from the elected five-member public works commission, established in 1989, following criticism of the DPW for its snow-clearing efforts. At town meeting in April, selectmen approved a warrant article that resulted in legislative action to place all DPW duties and responsibilities under the control of the board of selectmen.

In the midst of those changes, then-director Glenn Mauk resigned in June. Former DPW assistant director Paul Wohler took over as interim director.

Selectmen have since appointed a DPW advisory commission and proposed a reorganization of the department to include dividing the department into three divisions: parks and recreation, highway, and recycling/solid waste. There is also discussion about developing a water superintendent position, making the facilities management department a separate entity under the selectmen, and creating a facilities manager position.

At Thursday’s meeting, the selectmen praised the DPW’s work over the past six months. The DPW staff coordinated communication and stepped up their snow-removal efforts, which involved a crew of nine DPW employees and 12 subcontractors working around the clock following snowstorms.

“Over the last six months I’ve seen a lot of hardworking people; you’ve done a lot of reorganization, there’s been a lot of changes, and I think we all appreciate everything that’s been going on so far,” board of selectmen chairman Tristan Israel said. “We welcome you aboard and are happy that you’ve stepped up to participate.”

Selectman Melinda Loberg said Mr. Tattersall has the board’s full support.

“I appreciate that,” Mr. Tattersall said. “And I will do what it takes to be successful for you.”