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Susan Clark Named New Senior Center Director

Sue Clark is the new director of the Ruth Anne Bleakney Senior Center.

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously on July 8 to name Susan Clark, head of the town's Community Development office, as the new director of the Ruth Anne Bleakney Senior Center. Selectmen renamed the center after Bleakney earlier this year after the long-time director passed away. Program Coordinator Dolores Alvarez-Devita had been acting as the center's interim director.

Town Administrator Richard Villani told selectmen that 24 people had applied for the post. A committee consisting of himself, Council on Aging Chair Vincent Squiciari and Phyllis Ahearn reviewed the applications and interviewed six finalists before deciding to recommend Clark for the position, he said. Villani cited her roughly 20 years in the Community Development position, proven administrative and supervisory skills and past membership on the Senior Center Building Committee as reasons for recommending her.

Chairman William Buckley said he had hoped that someone with direct experience in working with the elderly – such as current Program Coordinator Johnna O'Loughlin – would have been recommended, but added that he would make the vote to appoint Clark a unanimous one.

Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis noted Clark was responsible for bringing more than $15 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to the town during her tenure as Community Development director. "I think she'll do a great job for the seniors of Milford," he said. Selectman Brian Murray said Clark was able to get $600,000 of Community Development funding to help build the $3.5-million senior center, and cited her role on its Building Committee. "If Ruth Anne was on my right, Sue was on my left," he said. "I think she'll be a great director."

At the July 8 meeting, the board did not address Clark's starting date or salary, nor plans for who would take over Clark's role in the Community Development office.

Clark told the Town Crier on August 1 that she expected to officially start in her new position by mid-moth, and praised Alvarez-Devita for the job she did as the interim director.

On July 22, selectmen voted unanimously to name Carlos Benjamin as senior building custodian to replace the retiring Charlie Skaff. Villani said 21 people applied for the position and five finalists were interviewed by himself, Skaff and Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin. Benjamin was scheduled to start on July 29 at a pay rate of $19.90 per hour, the town administrator said.


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