By Katherine Lazarus
PITTSFORD — As retiring Pittsford Town Manager John Haverstock, 59, looks to move on from his municipal position, he feels the transition is “bittersweet.”
“I’m excited to take a break and spend time with my girlfriend,” he said, “but it is also a sad time because I’ve enjoyed my work.”
Among his most prominent work as the town manager for the past 13 years, Haverstock cited a series of water and sewer projects, including:
Water Project Number 1, that connected the Pittsford and Florence water systems, installed new meters and improved service along U.S. Route 7 south of the Mobile Station, from 2009-2010.
Water Project Number 2, that was a merger with the old Fire District Number 1, that served Corn Hill and orchard Hill customers, from 2013-2014.
Sewer Project Number 1, that was an upgrade to the Wastewater Treatment Facility by way of a new installed sewer pipe and a new Elm Street pump station, from 2012-2013.
Kendrick Pond Dam Removal that took place in 2014.
Sewer Project Number 2, that replaced two aging Depot Hill pump stations, that began late 2020 and is now nearing completion.
“I’ve worked for 40 years with municipalities all over the state on these type of large infrastructure projects and I’ve found John to be one of the most competent, fairest and well-organized people,” said Mark Youngstrom, managing engineer at Otter Creek Engineering in Middlebury, who worked with Haverstock directly on Pittsford’s water projects and helped in the early stages of the sewer projects.
“[Haverstock] communicates very well, represents the town, looks after the best interest of the town and is a team player on projects,” Youngstrom said. “He respects everyone involved and is very forward-looking. If he decides something needs to get done, he does it and doesn’t ‘kick the can down the road.’ I know he’s highly respected in every town; everyone likes working with him and thinks as highly of him as I do. He’s going to be missed.”
Before he is missed, the retiring town manager looks forward to the next six months serving the town, including hosting a great Pittsford Day on Sept. 4, planning for a new Florence fire substation this fall, and the receipt and review of the town’s sidewalk scoping study.
Upcoming projects also include more reconstruction work on Route 7 by the Vermont Agency of Transportation that is nearing completion of the first segment of four in September. Pittsford will also see the second half of federal COVID relief funding from the American Rescue Plan Act sometime next year.
As for what Haverstock has gained from the past 13 years at Pittsford, he said he had loved the work and the people. “I’ve valued being of service to my hometown and working with a supportive Select Board and Water & Sewer Commission, a wonderful staff and a first-rate group of colleagues.”
Select Board member Joe Gagnon, who helped hire Haverstock and remains on the select board, said that Haverstock will help the select board with finding a new town manager and assist in that transition, though Gagnon said the next person has big shoes to fill.
“John’s job is to follow through and make sure everything gets done the way it’s designed to, and he’s done a good job of that,” Gagnon said. “I’d hire him all over again if we had the chance.”