Keith Noyes new DPW Director
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 14, 2011
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — The former Exeter public works director, who served in that town for more than 20 years until 2007, is the new director of the Public Works Department in the town of Hampton.
Keith Noyes was officially hired last week to replace John Price, who resigned over a month ago because he was tired of working under what he called "constant backstabbing" conditions.
Selectman Mike Pierce said Noyes' contract was finalized last week after a full background check was completed.
"We probably did more of a background check on this candidate then we have for any town employee," Pierce said. "We wanted to make sure we had the right candidate for the town."
Prior to coming to Hampton, Noyes served as the director of operations and maintenance at Star Island.Town Manager Fred Welch said the town received more than 20 candidate applications from all over the country for the job opening.
Officials narrowed down the field to three finalists. Each were called in for an interview, during which selectmen were present.
Pierce said Noyes stood out above the rest. I think we made good choice," Pierce said. "I'm looking forward to a new day at public works in Hampton. I just hope some people who like to tear Hampton apart keep their mouths to themselves and give him an opportunity to succeed."
Noyes served as the director of public works in Exeter until Sept. of 2007, when he and the town manager came to mutual agreement to end his employment, Noyes said.
His departure came several weeks after the resolution of a lawsuit between the town of Exeter and former Water and Sewer Superintendent Victoria Del Greco.
Del Greco, who worked for Noyes at the time, filed a wrongful termination suit against the town after she was allegedly told her position would be eliminated to make way for a newly created utility superintendent.
She claimed she was retaliated against after she reported another town employee for allegedly violating the town's computer usage policy.
At the same time, she filed a charge with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights claiming gender discrimination.
Pierce said the board was made aware of Noyes' history in Exeter and he received a "glowing" recommendation from that town.
The lawsuit, Pierce said, was against the Town of Exeter and not Noyes.
The search for a new public works director comes on the heels of Price resigning during the April 25 selectmen's meeting. Price tendered his resignation stating, "working under constant backstabbing is nerve-racking to say the least."
His resignation came a week after Budget Committee member Mary-Louise Woolsey expressed concerns to selectmen about the atmosphere at the Public Works Department under Price's management. Woolsey said the department's mployees were being bullied, intimidated and treated poorly, and believed that if something didn't change, she feared it could result in "physical violence," she said.