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Reading’s acting public works director to step down

Reading’s acting public works director will be stepping down from his post next month, Mayor Eddie Moran announced in a press release.

Moran said acting Public Works Director Charles Jones will leave the position Wednesday

“On behalf of more than 95,000 residents who call the City of Reading their home, I wish to commend Charlie Jones for his exemplary leadership as acting public works director and for
being an outstanding public servant under several administrations,” Moran said in the release Monday. “We will miss his expertise and his technical knowledge but above all, his calm and friendly demeanor, which has also gained respect and admiration not just at public works, the wastewater treatment plant and City Hall but throughout the entire community. Charlie has a special place in our hearts.”

Moran also announced that he named the city’s Capital Project Manager Stan Rugis, who also is the deputy public works director, to replace Jones.

For Rugis to serve as acting public works director, City Council would have to pass a resolution appointing Rugis to the position. Council has not been asked to do that.

The city’s charter requires the public works director to be a professional civil engineer registered in Pennsylvania. Rugis is not, according to department of state records.

An amendment to the city’s charter will be on the fall ballot asking voters if the requirement to be a professional civil engineer registered with the state should be removed from the public works job description.

Moran has had trouble finding a public works director since he took office in 2020.

Moran asked Jones, who served as public works director in three previous administrations, to be the department’s interim director and lead the search for a full-time public works director.

Moran asked City Council to approve Jones as interim director in July 2020, and council did by a 7-0 vote.

Jones’ compensation was based on a $65,000-a-year salary, and he is expected to work 24 hours a week. He receives no benefits.

The first task listed in the job description is to lead the city’s search for a new public works director.

Jones was unable to find a full-time director in the first six months of his contract, and council was asked on Jan. 25 to extend it for another six months. Council unanimously approved the extension.

The contract extension should have expired July 1.

“The purpose of life is service,” Jones said in a press release. “Public works is all about service, and the department knows fully well the meaning of it and how to provide it efficiently for the residents of the City of Reading. I’d like to thank Mayor Moran for the opportunity to return to public works along with the fine men and women who work tirelessly to make Reading a good place to live, work and raise a family.”

Source: Berkshire mont

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