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Nashua eyes new streets chief

NASHUA — Selected from a pool of 73 applicants, a candidate has been chosen to fill the city’s Superintendent of Streets position, which has been vacant for about three months.

The Board of Public Works is expected to approve the hiring of Eric M. Ryder of Tewksbury, Mass., for the role left open when Roy Sorenson resigned for a job opportunity in Bedford, Mass.

Since that time, it has been revealed that Sorenson authorized spending about $5,000 in taxpayer money on meals to feed city workers. However, city officials have stressed that Sorenson’s departure was not related to the excessive meal spending described as an “error in judgement” by Mayor Donnalee Lozeau.

On Monday, Lozeau said she is pleased to have found a replacement for Sorenson.

Ryder is the superintendent of maintenance for Lowell, Mass.

“All interviewers were impressed with his resume,” Andrew Patrician, operations manager for the Streets Department, said of Ryder. “Mr. Ryder brings 20 years of public works expertise to the Streets Department.”

According to Patrician, Ryder has the experience and skills necessary to effectively lead the largest department within the city’s Division of Public Works.“His background includes strong leadership, supervision of union employees, street paving, rebuilding sidewalks, snow removal, fleet management and emergency management,” Patrician said in a memo to the Board of Public Works.Ryder’s starting salary, as proposed, is $89,441 a year. He was interviewed first by city managers and again by city officials, including Lozeau, before being selected as the final candidate.Ryder has been superintendent of maintenance in of Lowell since 2004, where he has managed water main replacement and repair projects and all maintenance of pump stations, water storage tanks, road work, equipment procurement and more. Previously, he served as the water quality manager for the same city.If his employment is finalized in Nashua, Ryder’s duties will include the maintenance, repair, upgrade and construction of over 300 miles of streets and about the same amount of sewer and drain lines throughout the city. Fleet maintenance will also be a primary duty, as well as serving on the mayor’s emergency management team.

The Board of Public Works is scheduled to vote on Ryder’s appointment at its regular meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at the Public Works Administration Building, 9 Riverside Drive.

Meanwhile, the city still has one other significant vacancy to fill, left open when Kathy Hersh retired as the city’s community development director earlier this summer.

Lozeau said previously that at least six applications had been received for the position.

There will be at least two interview teams established to help find the most qualified candidate for that vital position, the mayor said.

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