Water/Wastewater Superintendent Pelletier Resigns

by William F. Galvin
Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Pelletier submitted his resignation effective April 26. FILE PHOTO Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Pelletier submitted his resignation effective April 26. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH – Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Pelletier, who has overseen the early phases of implementing the town’s comprehensive wastewater management plan while maintaining an annual award-winning water department, has submitted his resignation effective April 26.

“It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you of my decision to resign from my position as Water/Wastewater Superintendent for the town of Harwich, effective April 26,” he wrote in his resignation letter, presented to the water/wastewater commission last Thursday. “This decision was not made lightly as it has truly been an honor to serve the commissioners alongside the dedicated team at the Water/Wastewater Department. I have grown both personally and professionally in my nine years with the town and remain beyond grateful for the opportunity, experience, and relationships I've formed.”

Pelletier will be taking a position in a private firm where he has been working part time for the past six years to make ends meet, he said. Pelletier lives in Pembroke and commuted to Harwich on a daily basis. The company he will be working with is in Rockland, just five miles from his home. It is a 40-hour a week position where he can work four 10-hour days. He has been offered 100 percent health insurance and the opportunity to be a part owner in the company, he said.

“I honestly thought I was going to retire from Harwich, but I got a call and was asked what’s the number and when can you start,” Pelletier said.

The work he will be doing will be similar to his Harwich job in a lot of ways, he said, including wastewater, sewer and pump station design work, which he previously did before coming to Harwich. The company is looking to grow its municipal services side, Pelletier said.

“While I am excited about the next chapter in my career, leaving Harwich is bittersweet,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “I have developed a deep admiration for the town, its residents, and the incredible team I've had the privilege to work with. The support, mentorship, and camaraderie I've experienced has truly made Harwich feel like a second home.”

He added, “I took great pleasure in the hundreds and hundreds of people I have met in Harwich. They’ve been very supportive of me and the department and I want to emphasize that.”

Pelletier expressed his gratitude to the commissioners for their support, encouragement, and advocacy throughout his time in Harwich. The commissioners’ dedication to the department and its staff has been invaluable to him, he said.

“I am genuinely appreciative of the support they have provided.” Pelletier said. “One of the hardest things I’ve had to do is break the news to the staff, my fellow workers. The department is in great hands. It was an award-winning department before I got here and it will continue to be one without me. The team in my office is excellent and has carried the baton before to be sure the department keeps moving forward.”

Pelletier said there are a lot of projects taking shape as the town heads into the May annual town meeting, such as funding for phase three of the wastewater plan, bids for two projects, designer selection for the Great Sand Lakes project and other water and sewer projects. He said he will continue to work on those projects through the end of the month. He informed the commission he would be available for department-related articles at the May annual town meeting. Pelletier also said he would be willing to serve as a consultant if the town deems it necessary.

The department is in a great spot with newly hired assistant wastewater superintendent John Long, who has had years of experience in Chatham, and assistant water superintendent Steve Hicks, Pelletier said.

“That said, as the commissioners begin their search for a new superintendent, I would recommend the town hire a consultant, or create a position to support implementation of the CWMP,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “While I took great pleasure in the town and the implementation of the CWMP, the time needed to fully support the residents and town throughout [the] planning, design, and construction process is beyond what can be reasonably done by one person and outside the scope of a traditional design contract. It would be my strong recommendation to have the new superintendent solely focused on the operation of the water and wastewater system.”

As Pelletier heads for that new chapter in his career, he said there will be “less politics, which I will be very grateful for.”