2018-02-15 / News

Recognition widespread in town

Nota, Ruggiero and wastewater site are honored

Less than a month after the feds nominated Melrose School as a National Blue Ribbon School, Jamestown and its leaders continue to be recognized, from the State House to the sewage plant.

Andy Nota, the town’s chief executive, has been designated as a credentialed manager by the International City Management Association. There only are 1,300 municipal managers at that level among the organization’s 10,000 members.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” said Nota, who was appointed administrator in February 2014. “I’m proud to have achieved this, but I’m also humbled to be in this exclusive group.”

To receive the prestigious credential, nominees must highlight their experience as a government executive along with their academic achievements. They also must “demonstrate a commitment to high standards of integrity and to lifelong learning and professional development.”

To remain a credentialed manager, Nota will have to continue meeting standards set by the association. Although the program was voluntary — he is not mandated by the town council to meet these marks — Nota said it’s important to challenge himself.

“It’s easy to get caught in a situation, do your work for the day and leave,” he said. “But it’s difficult to step beyond that and advance yourself.”

Among the 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island, 22 municipalities have appointed managers or administrators at the helm, as opposed to elected mayors. Only three of those towns are led by credentialed managers: Nota in Jamestown, Derrik Kennedy in Westerly and Graham Waters in Coventry. Nota, however, is the only executive to earn the designation while employed in Rhode Island; Kennedy and Waters gained accreditation while working in other states.

Kennedy, as president of the state association that represents appointed managers and administrators, wrote to newspapers across the state congratulating Nota. His letter appeared in the Providence Journal last week.

“Dedication to one’s profession is honorable and noteworthy,” he wrote.

Less than 2 miles northeast, plant superintendent Doug Ouellette and his team at the wastewater facility were given an award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its spotless operations throughout 2017.

“The treatment plant has made significant improvements to the collection system, such as slip lining and pipe replacement,” the EPA said in its decision. “In addition, the facility continues to far exceed permit requirements set by Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management.”

The facility also was recognized for outstanding wastewater operations by the Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater Association.

Finally, state Rep. Deb Ruggiero was recognized alongside four of her legislative colleagues by the Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families. The Providence agency honored the lawmakers for advocating measures to protect children by instituting background checks on volunteers and extending state foster care into adulthood.

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