Stencel becomes next Sutton Highway Superintendent
BY TOM REILLY
Sutton selectmen approved the hiring of Matthew Stencel of Auburn at their March 4 meeting as the town’s Highway Department Superintendent, replacing the retiring Mark Brigham.
Town Administrator Jim Smith said there had been extensive interviews of the applicants with a committee made up of Sutton Building Commissioner John Couture, Fire Chief Matt Belsito and former Uxbridge Department of Public Works chief Larry Bombara. He said Police Chief Dennis Towle was involved in the follow up meetings. Smith said the committee selected Stencel, currently the operations manager in the town of Millbury, and he concurred.
Smith said Stencel currently oversees Millbury’s highway department, park department, sewer department and transfer station—“a wide range of responsibilities.” The town administrator added that in 2007, Stencel was appointed as general foreman for the parks and highway department in Norwood, a position he held for four years. Smith said Stencel enjoyed living in Norwood, but his family was attached to Auburn and never moved to Norwood.
Stencel, who holds a degree in urban forestry from UMass Amherst told the Board he has lived in Auburn all his life except for when he was away at UMass, said he first went into the landscaping business for the first few years before going to work for the town of Brookline. By the time the opportunity came to relocate to Norwood, his children had grown to a point where they were reluctant to leave and so he missed his chance, Stencel said. He then began looking for something closer, ultimately spending three years in Millbury, a time he enjoyed. He said he applied for the job in Sutton because he thought it was a better fit and “a better opportunity for me to stay for the long haul.”
Smith said Stencel’s background check “came back with flying colors” and that both Millbury Town Manager Bob Spain and DPW director Rob McNeil “appreciate him and are reluctant to lose him.”
Selectman Ken Stuart said he read Stencel’s resume and told Smith they definitely had the right man for the job. He noted big shoes to fill in the case of Mark Brigham but knew he would do a great job. Selectman Dave Hall said he told Smith the same thing that Stuart had, noting that Stencel could provide the town a lot of flexibility moving forward.
Selectman John Hebert said he echoed his colleagues, adding he thought Stencel would “blend right in” with the other department heads and he urged him to establish relationships with them. He said that the highway department was expected to lend assistance to other departments when necessary. He urged him to rely on foreman Lyman Rosebrooks, saying he could provide Stencel with a lot of knowledge about the department. He said he hoped Stencel was “here to stay.”