SWANSEA — The replacement for Robert Marquis as water superintendent is filled with uncertainty and conflict.
Marquis, after four decades in charge, plans to retire when he turns 65 in February.
For the past several months, the three-member Board of Water Commissioners has interviewed six candidates, including two finalists, for an assistant superintendent to work under Marquis until he retires.
Forty-six people applied for the job, which now pays up to $85,000 and is in line to receive a sizable salary hike when Marquis retires from the district. The district has a $4 million budget and 11 employees.
The finalists, interviewed twice, are civil engineer Paul J. Ferland of Fall River, project manager for five years for the Fall River Department of Community Utilities; and Jeffrey H. Sutherland of Somerset, a professional engineer and project engineering for 10 years with the Beta Group Inc. in Norwood and Lincoln, Rhode Island.
The water commissioners have called a special meeting on how to proceed with the hiring for June 14 at 10 a.m. at the district headquarters, 700 Wilbur Ave. (Route 103).
According to James Hall, the chairman, they have invited the water district lawyer, Edmund Brennan Jr., and insurance agent, Brian Murphy, to guide the board through complex circumstances.
Bruce Sutherland Jr., the nine-year ranking commissioner on since April 26, obtained two state Ethics Commission advisory opinions the district furnished to The Herald News with a public records request.
The first was on whether Bruce Sutherland could vote to hire…
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