NEWINGTON - The town said goodbye to its principal engineer last week.
Chris Greenlaw served in Newington’s engineering division for over 15 years - the last six as department head. He is resigning from his position to pursue another career opportunity in Bloomfield.
Among a lengthy list of undertakings over the years, Greenlaw designed drainage and flood control systems and oversaw sidewalk and roadway construction projects on roadways and parks across the town.
During this time he built a strong relationship with town officials, who praised him for his exemplary service at the Town Council’s last meeting. He was presented a proclamation as his family sat in the front row, filming the event on their mobile phones.
Foremost in their praise, elected officials spoke of Greenlaw’s innate ability to translate often confusing engineering concepts into simpler language.
“Engineering is a real expertise,” Councilor Gail Budrejko said. “You’re very even-tempered, you listen, you explain and I really did enjoy working with you.”
Greenlaw served as an agent to the town’s Inland Wetlands Commission, of which Councilor Tim Manke was once a member. Manke thanked him for his efforts specific to this capacity.
“You explained things in a calm manner until I understood them,” he explained. “People in town and those around this table will surely miss you.”
Working closely with staff in public works, Greenlaw prepared project estimates and budgets. He described the town’s response to one particular disaster as one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors of his career.
That incident took place on Howard Street and Eddy Lane in Newington, where several houses were significantly impacted by flooding. Greenlaw was able to restore infrastructure while mitigating damage to the homeowners.
“This project was very rewarding because everyone was involved,” he recalled. “The drain restoration was completed solely by town forces and that truly exemplifies what it means to have a working town government.” He went on to thank councilors for their volunteer work with the town, calling his departure “bittersweet.”
“The years go by very fast when you’re doing so many things. It’s truly been an honor to be your engineer and your residents’ engineer.”
TPZ Vice Chairman Dominic Pane worked with Greenlaw on many occasions and said his contributions were invaluable to Newington.
“I wish you the best and congratulations. Your wealth of knowledge is really going to be missed here in town.”
Mayor Roy Zartarian, also a former town employee, remembered meeting Greenlaw when he was first hired back in 2002.
“You know your stuff,” the mayor told him. “Somehow we’ll struggle through without you but it will be tough.”
The town manager’s office is responsible for filling the vacant position. A job posting went up on the town’s website and applications are being accepted until May 23.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.