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Lowell DPW Chief Leaving After Less than a Year

November 29, 2018

Sun Staff Report

LOWELL -- Department of Public Works Commissioner James Donison is leaving his post less than a year after he started leading the city department, The Sun learned Thursday.

He will become the public works director in Lebanon, N.H. His first day there is Dec. 17.

Donison’s time in Lowell got off to a rocky start.

A search to replace former city Department of Public Works and parks chief Thomas Bellegarde ended with Donison, then DPW chief in Weare, N.H., getting appointed to the position. Initially, Donison rejected the job offer when he learned he’d have to move to Lowell. Later, when City Manager Kevin Murphy threatened to pull the job offer, Donison relented and took it.

Between April and June, Bellegarde had a spot on the city payroll as a consultant. In June, Donison declined to answer when asked if Bellegarde’s services were needed or whether the DPW had the personnel capacity to handle such job in-house.

“I’d refer you to the city manager on that,” Donison said.

Donison could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

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