A Gloversville High School alumnus will soon return home to lead the city’s Department of Public Works, after the Common Council approved his appointment Tuesday night.
James Frank, 51, will begin Dec. 1 as director. The position has remained vacant since former director Heath Hardman stepped down in July after it was learned his experience didn’t fulfill civil service requirements.
“What it really came down to was Mr. Frank’s experience and just the knowledge that he has,” said Mayor Dayton King. “He knows this area well. He grew up here and is excited to come back. He just really rose above the other candidates.”
Frank currently lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he is owner and president of Richmond Homes Construction Corporation. He began at the modular home company in 1996, and in that time has led a large group of employees, King said.
Prior to that he served for six years as executive director of the Senior Lifestyle Company in Chicago, Ill., a company that helps seniors choose retirement options such as independent living, assisted living communities and affordable senior housing communities.
“He has a lot of those management and other skills — engineering, architectural, construction skills — that we’re looking for,” King said. “He’s an effective manager and business owner and has worked in the public works sector for over 20 years.”
King said he received applications from 12 people for the DPW job. Of the four candidates he eventually interviewed, he said Frank’s experience and civil service qualifications got him the job.
Frank will earn $62,000 a year, the highest salary Gloversville can offer for the job. In addition, he will receive two weeks vacation time and any holiday that City Hall gets off. He will receive insurance through the MVP HMO plan and pay a 25 percent premium, as dictated by the city’s new personnel policy.
“Really just because of all of his experience, we wanted to start him off at that salary,” King said. “Especially knowing that he likely won’t get a raise in the next couple of years with the economy the way it is.”
King said a challenge of the job for Frank will be running a department that currently faces a workforce shortage. About 20 or 30 years ago the DPW staffed 60 or more people, he said. Now it operates with about 20 employees.
Another challenge for Frank will be starting the job at the beginning of winter.
“We’re hoping for a mild winter up here, but obviously that’s going to be his biggest challenge is to come in here Dec. 1 and have that set of storms to deal with in the winter.”
Frank did not return calls for comment.
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Categories: Schenectady County