ELIZABETHTOWN - Fred Buck will retire next month as Essex County's superintendent of public works.
After 16 years on the job, Buck said he's ready to move on. His last day on the job will be Dec. 18.
"I gave it a lot of thought over the last year or so," Buck said. "It's time. I'm going to be 65. I also had some family circumstances that kind of helped it along."
Buck listed several accomplishments during his tenure, including the restoration of the Jay Covered Bridge and the construction of a new courthouse, county jail and public safety building. He's also been a member of the Champlain Bridge Public Advisory Committee.
Buck has been responsible for overseeing a department with 80 employees whose tasks include maintaining county highways and bridges, buildings and grounds and the county veterans cemetery. DPW also oversees county solid waste facilities and the county fairgrounds.
Buck said he'll miss coming to work for the county each day.
"I'll miss the interaction with all the people," he said.
Buck is recommending the county promote Deputy Public Works Superintendent Anthony LaVigne to his position.
"He's been there for 25 years," Buck said. "He knows the county infrastructure inside and out. He's worked with the whole board. He would be the best option right now."
The county Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee passed a resolution Monday offering the job to LaVigne, according to county Manager Dan Palmer.
"He's clearly ready at this point," Palmer said. "The salary still has to be worked out."
Buck's salary this year was just over $85,000. LaVigne makes $71,000 a year.
St. Armand Supervisor Joyce Morency described Buck as a "serious guy" who took a conservative approach to budgeting.
"He's been a great DPW superintendent," she said. "Being chair of the DPW Committee for quite a few years was an easy job with him in charge."
Morency said she supports promoting LaVigne to DPW superintendent.
"I think we should pick from within when we have someone with the qualifications he has and the knowledge of all our roads," she said. "That's important."
Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.