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The New DPW Director: Involved in Every Aspect of Your Daily Life

Dan Nason wanted to work in Northborough because of its well-managed government and progressive nature.

Coming from the town of Ayer as its DPW director, Dan Nason said he took the job in Northborough as its director in order to advance his career in a community run by a strong administration, as well as work in a community that "has foresight, goals and commitment, is advance, proactive and progressive."

Nason started as Northborough's DPW director in March.

He grew up in Westminster, graduated from WPI, and now lives in Holden with wife Melanie and two young sons, Andrew and Tyler.

"In my mind, Northborough has a reputation for its well-managed form of government," said Nason. "My findings, after researching Northborough prior to my interview, were confirmed after meeting with some of the key staff members and [Town Administrator John] Coderre. Northborough’s government focuses on a team-based approach. This approach fits well with my collaborative management style. That’s what attracted me to this community and finally made me realize this position would be a great fit for me personally." 

Ask most people, and they don't quite know what "public works" actually means. What does the DPW do, anyway, besides plow the roads in the winter?  

Nason says he describes it best by saying that a public works staff is intimately involved in every aspect of daily life.

"Public works provides you with clean, safe potable water to shower, cook, brush your teeth," he said. "We provide you with wastewater disposal to flush your toilet, wash dishes, bathe, wash clothes. We also provide a safe roadway network to commute to school, work and shop. Public Works plows the roads and treats the surfaces for safe vehicular traffic in inclement weather."

In Northborough, the DPW also manages the cemetery, parks and tree divisions.

"My job is to manage this multi-disciplinary department, which is constantly seeing the challenges associated with new regulations and unfunded mandates," he said, "while performing long-range planning and upgrades to an aging infrastructure. I think the largest challenge today is the continued influx of new regulations and mandates in all the different disciplines of the Public Works arena. Because we are multi-divisional, I find the Public Works directors need to be resident engineering experts in all aspects of public works including water, wastewater, stormwater and roadway construction.

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