Peter Castanino, the long-serving director of the Belmont Department of Public Works, is retiring after 33 years of service, according to Town Administrator David Kale at Monday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Sept. 29.
“Too bad we can’t lock his door and keep him here,” quipped Selectman Mark Paolillo who said Castanino’s departure is “a significant loss” to the town and that replacing him “will be very difficult.”
Kale, who said Castanino will be leaving his position before the end of the year, said the director of the approximate 65 employee department with a budget of $21 million is “irreplaceable” due to his significant institutional knowledge of the town.
Every resident have had some direct involvement with Castanino and his department which maintains streets and sidewalks, plows the roads after snowstorms, oversees garbage and recycling collection, takes care of Belmont’s playing fields and parks and runs the Recreation Department. One of the most significant responsibilities under the DPW’s wing is water and sewer maintenance and construction.
In addition, Castanino has helped shepherd town projects and proposals – the two most recent being the new Underwood Pool and the restoration of the turf field and running track at Harris Field – through the planning and construction process.
Castanino’s departure will end his family’s long tenure of service to Belmont. Castanino’s father, James, was Belmont’s highway superintendent – when the public works and highway departments were separate divisions – until he retired in 1988, working for the department for a total of 42 years.