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Search is on for new Peabody Public Services director

As David Terenzoni, director at Public Services moves to head the Water Department, the search is on for a new director.

The Public Services director has lots of responsibility in a city of 53,000 residents, with paving, plowing, and potholes just the tip of the iceberg.

“The position of director of Public Services is an extremely difficult and important position that really impacts everyday lives in Peabody,” said Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jr. “From plowing, to highways, to water treatment and water distribution to our landfill and engineering services, this is a job that requires a wide range of skills.”

The City Council approved upping the maximum salary for the position to $135,000 a year, up from $119,000 at the request of the mayor.

By upping the maximum salary, Bettencourt said the city can ensure it attracts qualified candidates for the job. While the maximum salary for the director is $119,000, Terenzoni’s salary is $114,000.

The new Public Services director would not necessarily be hired at $135,000, but raising the upper limit gives the city flexibility, the mayor said. The position is scheduled to be advertised today.

Councilor-at-Large Anne Manning-Martin supports the mayor’s request. But she suggested the educational requirements be raised so a Bachelor’s degree would be required and a Master’s preferred.

“If we do want the best candidates, we should match the quality or experience to the maximum salary,” she said.

The council also approved an increase in the maximum salary for the assistant public services director to $95,000 from $85,500.

“The assistant director does not get overtime rates like others in the department do, and he works more hours than anybody,” said Bettencourt.

In other business, the council last Thursday also recommended an $1,100 raise for the Peabody Municipal Light Commissioners to $5,100 per year. The last time the elected commissioners got a raise was in 1996.

The pay bump will now have to be approved by Legislature.

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