Mayor Domenic Sarno appointed Springfield City Engineer Christopher Cignoli as the next director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) after Al Chwalek held the post for 17 years.
Chwalek, who has been a Springfield resident for 61 years, plans to retire May 31. Police Commissioner William Fitchet will retire on the same day.
Sarno said Chwalek has been a dedicated and invaluable member of his cabinet since he took office as mayor.
"His passion for the city of Springfield was evident everyday he came to work. I will miss his counsel and wealth of experience," Sarno said.
Chwalek began his career with the DPW part-time in 1974 and became a full-time employee in 1977. He has worked more than 37 years with the city of Springfield, the last 17 as the director of the DPW.
Chwalek said he had the pleasure of working alongside the most talented and dedicated men and women anywhere.
"Their loyalty and commitment to the residents have made Springfield a better place to live and work." Chwalek said, "The most important accomplishment is after many years of budget cuts and layoffs, we have kept the DPW moving forward and provided the residents and businesses of Springfield the highest level of service possible."
Incoming DPW Director Cignoli has more than 30 years of civil engineering and administration experience. He has held his current position as city engineer in the city of Springfield since January 2010.
"Chris is a consummate professional who is battled tested and has played a key role in all of our recovery efforts." Sarno stated. "Chris will hit the ground running having been closely involved in all of our major development projects. His mix of private sector experience coupled with his time with the city will serve the residents and businesses of Springfield well."
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