It won’t take West Reading’s new borough manager very long to get up to speed.
That’s because the person hired to lead the borough office isn’t all that new. In fact, he’s quite a familiar face.
Dean Murray has nearly three decades working for West Reading under his belt. He started as a member of the road crew and worked his was through the ranks to public works director and, most recently, was chosen to serve as interim borough manager.
It’s a level of experience that made him a perfect fit.
And those credentials are what led council members to vote unanimously last week to hire Murray as the permanent borough manager for overseeing the day-to-day municipal operations and implementing the policies set by borough council.
“Dean knows what needs to be done and knows how to get our projects from the planning stages all the way to council for approval,” council President Jack Gombach said. “He has the trust of the borough and, as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, we felt it was very important that the borough has someone in place who the community knows and respects.”
Gombach said the borough of about 3,800 residents received interest from a slate of experienced and qualified candidates, but the working knowledge Murray possesses made him the right choice for the job.
“Dean was able to explain a vision for how he wants to move the borough forward by focusing on things like improving our infrastructure,” he said. “And that is sort of the foundation of a good community.”
Murray said he’s excited to be taking on the new role.
“It’s honestly always been something that I wanted to do,” he said. “I like a good challenge and I love the borough. I was born and raised in West Reading and have spent most of my life here. I just absolutely love it here and I love our residents.”
Murray said his time as interim manager prepared him well for the future. He stepped in to fill the temporary position four months ago following the resignation of Nicholas Imbesi from the post after he was found to have violated the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act while he was serving on borough council.
“I love the teamwork among our employees and the people we have on borough council,” Murray said. “We are always willing to do whatever we can to make West Reading a better place to live and work. I see a positive change in West Reading moving forward, and I want to be a part of that for the rest of my career.”
Murray will be paid an annual salary of $78,000 in his new position. However, Gombach said that figure could change as they are still negotiating some aspects of the contract.
Gombach said council will have those details in place soon. And council members are looking forward to having Murray take on a bigger role in the borough.
“The borough has a good tradition of bringing in the borough manager as part of the process,” he said. “We really do have a teamwork mentality with all our department heads. We understand that we are not the experts on certain matters so we really rely on their expertise and guidance.”
Murray said he’s up for that task.
“I want to focus on working in unity,” he said. “I just want to keep us moving in a positive direction. And there is nothing we can’t do to make it a better place.”
Source: Berkshire mont