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Stonington - Public Works Director Joe Bragaw has informed town officials he will be leaving his post as of Nov. 1 to take a job as director of public works in East Lyme, the town where he lives.
First Selectman Ed Haberek said Wednesday that Bragaw has done a spectacular job in his 13 years as head of the town's public works department.
"It's been an honor and a privilege to have worked with him," Haberek said. "Joe has been a terrific asset for the town and he will be a tremendous asset for East Lyme."
Haberek praised Bragaw for his handling of streetscape projects, the current $6.2 million project to fix town athletic fields and roads and his handling of recent storms.
In addition, Haberek said Bragaw has done a superb job informing residents about projects and scheduling even when they involve controversial issues.
Haberek said the town will now begin a search for Bragaw's replacement. Until then, Haberek said Bragaw's duties will be shared by Highway Supervisor Lou Dicesare, Town Engineer Larry Sullivan and Steve Steadman, who has been the clerk of the works for projects such as the recent installation of the artificial turf football field at the high school.
Bragaw, an East Lyme native who is paid $97,344 in Stonington, said his new job offers added responsibilities and new challenges.
He called Stonington a "fantastic community with a lot of good people."
"I think with a team effort we accomplished a lot and have a lot to be proud of," he said.
Bragaw will begin as East Lyme's full-time public works director on Nov. 4, said East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica.
Bill Scheer, East Lyme's acting public works director who began the position following the passing of former director Mike Gianattassio last October, will now serve as the assistant public works director, he said.
They will handle different responsibilities and projects, according to Formica.
"We've tried to reorganize the department. We have a growing public works need," in terms of water, sewer, roads and sanitation, Formica said.
Formica added that there is a vacant position at the Field Services building, and the public works position may incorporate some of those duties.
Staff writer Kimberly Drelich contributed to this report.