NEWBURYPORT — Longtime Department of Public Services Director Anthony Furnari recently submitted retirement papers and will be stepping down in February.
Furnari, a Salem native, joined the city’s DPW in 2002 while Mayor Alan Lavender was in office, and left in 2007 to take a similar position in Danvers. He returned to Newburyport two years later.
In 2016, the Town of Lynnfield attempted to recruit him, only for the city to adjust Furnari’s salary enough to entice him to stay. Upon his retirement, he will have worked 18 of his 30 years in municipal service for Newburyport.
“My next move is to enjoy the time with my wife, children and grandchildren,” said the 63-year-old Furnari in an email statement.
In all, the Peabody resident worked for five mayors – Lavender, Mary Anne Clancy, John Moak, Donna Holaday and Sean Reardon. He thanked them all, along with his DPS crew and city counterparts.
“It has been an honor to work for a great department and city for this past 18 years and will miss all,” Furnari said, adding that his decision to retire came in concert with his wife’s recent retirement as a teacher.
Holaday called Furnari’s retirement “well-deserved.”
“He has given decades of his time in public services work to several communities but Newburyport received the greatest benefits. Tony knows our city so well and no matter what issue; a water main break, major storm, paving or capital project, Tony always gave 100%. Under Tony’s leadership at DPS, our city has seen tremendous improvements and upgrades.”
“As mayor, I was always reassured knowing our dedicated, committed and dependable DPS director was there. His institutional knowledge and care will be missed,” Holaday said in a written statement.
Reardon, in an email statement, said he felt “fortunate” to be able to work with Furnari closely during his first six months as mayor.
“I look forward to working closely with him until his last day in February,” Reardon said.
Reardon went on to praise Furnari for helping to pave 23 streets this year as part of the city’s five-year streets and sidewalks plan.
“Tony has also been instrumental in working through snow emergencies and the challenges on Plum Island. I know anytime I pick up the phone to call Tony and his crew that the job will get done. Tony is an incredible director of DPS but he is an even better person. I’m glad I have him until February,” Reardon said.
Reardon added that the city will have Furnari’s successor in place by the time he leaves.
Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.