PAWTUCKET — After less than two months in his new position, Robert Howe, the city's acting director of public works, has resigned.
Howe submitted his letter of resignation to the City Council last week. He told The Times that he is leaving to take a job in the private sector and will stay on as acting DPW director until July 20.
Howe said the new job opportunity came up and that the decision to take it was made by him and after consulting with his family.
He declined to name the business, except to say he had done some part-time work for them in the past. “It's been a pleasure to work for the Grebien Administration and it also was a pleasure to work for the Doyle Administration,” he said.
In early May, Mayor Donald R. Grebien asked Howe, the city's director of emergency management and homeland security since 2007, to take on the additional role of acting director of public works.
In this capacity, he has been responsible for overseeing the city's department that handles roads, snow-plowing, trash pick-up, and other related operations while also continuing to work as EMA director.
Grebien cited Howe's administrative experience, education, and general skills set as making him qualified for the top DPW job as well as EMA director. The former DPW Director, Jack Carney, retired last year and the position had been filled by DPW supervisor Ron Leitao, who had agreed to stay on and help with the transition but who also retired recently.
Howe was also a Pawtucket Firefighter for 20 years, retiring as a fire lieutenant in 2007. That year, he was chosen out of a field of 30 candidates by Mayor James Doyle to take over the role of EMA Director.
Douglas Hadden, director of constituent services and communications for Mayor Donald Grebien, said of Howe's departure, “We wish him well and the mayor thanks him for his many years of service to the city.” He also said that the mayor intends to hire a new DPW director to replace Howe but there is no set timetable as of yet.