Brockton: Embattled DPW Commissioner announces retirement

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Brockton DPW Commissioner Michael Thoreson is retiring from his post.  The announcement came in the form of a press release from Mayor Bill Carpenter office.

“Commissioner Thoreson’s retirement allows me to conduct an in-depth review and evaluation of the DPW,” said Carpenter. “It also allows us to conduct a detailed search for his successor.”

Many expected such a move, as there weren’t enough city council votes to reappointment him and the mayor was also pondering a change. City Councilor Jass Stewart took a moment to a share his thoughts on the situation.

“Obviously Thoreson has been in public service for a great number of years and I think we all want to appreciate anyone who devotes their lives to working the public sector,” Stewart said. “I do think this does give Mayor Carpenter a unique opportunity to further build his team and so I certain this is an opportunity for the city and i look forward to seeing what the next steps are in terms of a replacment.”

Stewart notes that Thoreson will always be remembered for his inability to manage the water billing crisis that sparked an outrage, as hundreds of residents complained about incorrect water bills.

“I really felt as if that was a catostrophic failure of management, it was handled extremely poorly and there was total absent of customer service and accountability,” said Stewart. “I was the City Councilor that sort of sparked this whole conversation, when Bob Ford contacted me about his $14,000 water bill which made no sense to me and frankly I couldn’t image how it could make sense to any rational human being. I think there’s a lot to be said about the need for better management.”

In 2011, nearly 6,500 residents received property tax bills with liens for unpaid sewer and water bills. The city eventually did an audit of the water billing system and replaced many of the defective meters. Meanwhile, Thoreson plans to stay on as Brockton’s DPW commissioner until August 6th.

About Kevin Tocci

Kevin Tocci is a Brockton area reporter and correspondent, and Host of Monday Night Talk which airs on Monday nights at 6:15 p.m. on WATD.