A day before the Marion Board of Selectmen held its regularly scheduled meeting, they met on May 3 with Town Administrator Jay McGrail at the Police Station to truncate what easily could have been an arduous process taking months.
Impressed with an internal candidate during the first wave of interviews brought about by the April 30 retirement of Public Works Director David Willett, the selectmen conducted one next-level interview with Nathanial Munafo. That half-hour interview ended with a vote to appoint Munafo as the town’s new DPW director.
Town Administrator Jay McGrail summarized the hiring process, having interviewed 15 candidates after widespread advertising and interviewing a half-dozen selected candidates. Two strong candidates emerged from that group, and the subcommittee thought it prudent to examine its in-house candidate and then decide on a direction.
In a matter of 30 minutes, Munafo made it an easy choice for the selectmen.
Munafo grew up in Hyannis and attended Mass Maritime, having studies facilities and environmental engineering. A decade ago, he earned his master’s degree. He has been working in the Marion Sewer Department as chief operator at Marion’s wastewater treatment plant. For eight months, he and Frank Cooper ran the plant, a job that usually takes five people.
“At this point for me, I think it’s an excellent time for me to step outside of my comfort zone,” Munafo told the board, alluding to a wide range of experience in the field and in leadership roles.
Over the last two years, Hyannis’ local fire district is a separate municipal entity and he sat on the board for the town’s new $2,500,000 fire station. He helped the station come in under budget. He has also been serving as chairman for five years on Hyannis’ committee examining the town’s fire laws.
“It’s been a tremendous learning experience and real exposure,” said Munafo, who now has an appetite for bigger-picture issues facing the town.
Members of the board questioned Munafo about his management style and facing difficult personnel decisions and situations. At the end of the discussion, they did not hesitate to vote him in as the town’s new DPW director effective immediately.
Willett told the selectmen upon his announcement earlier this year that he will stay on part-time to help the town finish its lagoon cleanup project and will be available for consultation.
By Mick Colageo