Deputy Director of Utilities Makes Move to Cranston
The Cranston City Council appointed Kenneth R. Mason as public works director on Monday night. Mason is the Deputy Director of Utilities in Newport.
After several years without a full-time Public Works director, the Cranston City Council last night appointed Kenneth R. Mason to the job with a salary of $105,000.
Mason is the deputy director of utilities in Newport. He will start either Sept. 10 or 17 and said he needed to give Newport two weeks' notice.
"I am up for this challenge," Mason told the council moments before he was appointed to the position. "I fully understand the demands placed by this position both in time and energy required."
Gerald Cordy, Cranston's director of administration, told the council that Mason is "no stranger to the city," growing up here and a graduate of Cranston High School East. He also attended the University of Rhode Island.
A licensed professional engineer, Mason also has "unique abilities that he brings to this position" such as overseeing the waste water contractor for the city of Newport "much like we do here," Cordy said.
Mason said he felt he was a "perfect fit for this position."
In Newport, "I pride myself running an efficient department and keeping within budget."
Councilman Paul Archetto took the opportunity to ask Mason about how he'd address sidewalks that have buckled and bulged because of tree roots — a widespread issue in Archetto's ward.
Fast on his feet, Mason said one method is to grind the edges of the sidewalk to make a smooth transition. It has worked in some parts of Newport, avoiding costly repairs and replacement of entire slabs.
Archetto was satisfied.
"I'm glad to have an answer," he said, adding that he "liked to see Cranston hire people from Cranston."
David Ventetuolo has served as acting Public Works Director since December 2010 when former Director Richard A. Bernardo resigned for a job in the private industry.