LEWISTON — The city announced Monday that Dale Doughty, a veteran employee of the Maine Department of Transportation, has been named director of the Department of Public Works.

Doughty will take over for Dave Jones, who has led the department for the past two decades. 

City Administrator Ed Barrett announced the decision Monday, saying Doughty will begin Dec. 27, which will allow for a two-week overlap for training purposes before Jones retires Jan. 9. 

Doughty, a Maine native, has worked for the Maine Department of Transportation for 22 years, including the last eight years as director of Maintenance and Operations, where he was responsible for a budget of more than $170 million and 1,250 employees. He has also served as manager of its eastern region and with assignments in the Planning and Program Development division.

“We are extremely pleased to bring on board someone with Dale’s many years of public works experience and who is highly regarded throughout the state of Maine,” Barrett said. 

Jones said Monday that he has worked with Doughty on and off for the past 10 to 12 years through MDOT projects. 

“He’s been a great guy to work with,” he said. “He’s done a lot of good things for the state. I think he’s going to be a good match.” 

Jones said he’s setting up a “turnover schedule” now for the two-week overlap, where the pair will go through each division of the department.

In a news release Monday, Mayor Shane Bouchard, who served on the hiring panel along with Jones and others, said, “Dale is a great choice and was unanimously recommended by the hiring panel. His experience and contacts with public works professionals throughout the state will allow him to quickly move into the position and maintain Lewiston’s statewide reputation for excellence in Public Works.”

Jones announced his retirement in May, giving the city a number of months to find his replacement. In October, another longtime employee, Mike Danforth, also retired after reaching 50 years at Public Works. 

At the time, Danforth told the Sun Journal that many of his fellow employees are friends he grew up with. Some aren’t far behind him in terms of tenure, he said, with a few at 40-plus years with the department.

Councilor Jim Lysen, a former planning official who also served on the hiring panel, believes Doughty will be able to bring the department into the future as a number of its employees reach retirement age. 

“Dale has a strong management background and has shown the interest and ability to work to help his employees develop their skills and abilities and advance to more responsible positions,” he said. “This will be of great benefit to a department that is facing a significant transition due to the number of employees who are nearing retirement.”

Doughty said Monday that he’s “pleased and honored for the opportunity to direct a public works department that has such a history of excellence, and looks forward to working with the city council and city and department staff to build on and enhance that history.”

Doughty has a degree in geology and chemistry from the University of Maine at Farmington. He also did additional graduate work in geology at West Virginia University and is a Maine Certified Geologist.

Earlier Monday, Jones also posted the announcement on the Lewiston Rocks community Facebook Page, where in the past Jones has been well-known for posting updates regarding winter storms. 

Jones said of Doughty, “He will undoubtedly do a great job and the city is lucky to have him.”

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Dale Doughty has been named director of the Lewiston Department of Public Works, replacing longtime director Dave Jones, who is retiring. (Submitted photo)