Retired Water Works Director says it’s not personal, but Croasdale ‘not qualified’ for top job

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Tom Bowen
Tom Bowen

MANCHESTER, NH  –  A retired city official has sent a letter to the Mayor and Board of Alderman expressing his concerns over agenda item #23 for their April 21 meeting, the confirmation of Philip Croasdale as Director of Manchester Water Works.

Longtime Water Works Director Tom Bowen, who retired in 2013 after 20 years of service, says it’s nothing personal against Croasdale; he’s simply not qualified for the job, as outlined by city requirements.

Writes Bowen:

With regard to the confirmation of Phil Croasdale to succeed Dave Paris as MWW Director, I must admit that the selection concerns me greatly. This is not because Phil hasn’t done an excellent job in his current position of MWW Assistant Director of Finance, because he has. Prior to my retirement in 2013 I worked very closely with Phil for more than 20 years. During his career at MWW, Phil has become an invaluable member of the MWW management team.

The problem that I have with the selection is that the candidate does not meet the minimum education and experience requirements as listed in Job Classification which is set by City Ordinances. The job spec states that the candidate must meet the following:

Acceptable Experiences and Training:

Graduate…with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry or a related field

Extensive experience in water works operations, including considerable engineering experiences…or

Any equivalent combination of training and experience …

Required Special Qualifications:

Professional Engineer License strongly preferred or Water System Operation License Grade IV

The candidate under consideration does not meet these essential job requirements. These are in place to guarantee that the MWW Director has the engineering knowledge to ensure that water quality and utility operations meet the technical requirements of the NH Department of Environmental Services and the USEPA.

Philip Croasdale
Philip Croasdale

Bowen cites “several upcoming critical projects” that will require the expertise of a civil engineer. He commended Croasdale, a CPA, for his years of service as assistant director of finance for the Water Works, but added that  Croasdale “does not meet the minimum education and experience requirements as listed in Job Classification which is set by City Ordinances.”

An attempt to reach Bowen on Monday for further comment was not successful.

You can read the full letter below:

Letter from Tom Bowen to Mayor/BOA

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About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!