Saugerties village gets new DPW superintendent

Rich Forbes and Bob Fanelli.

Saugerties village superintendent of public works Bob Fanelli announced at the meeting of the village board on Tuesday, August 20 that he will retire next month. His last day will be September 6, he said.

“I want to thank the board and all the department heads,” he said. “You can’t do this [job] without cooperation, and we had the best. That’s the key to success, cooperation; working together.” 

“Any time I needed something, I could just call,” he added. “And the board has been top-notch. I think the village residents are lucky.” 


“You’ve done a phenomenal job, as I have said to you many times,” mayor Bill Murphy responded. “When Ciarlante [former superintendent Bob Ciarlante] retired, I was terrified. You turned out to be Ciarlante on steroids.”

Fanelli said that he had met with village trustee Terry Parisian and Murphy and recommended Rich Forbes as his replacement. “Rich Forbes has been with the department for over 20 years,” he said. “He knows the ins and outs, and I feel confident about him. I think it’s the right thing to do, to hire from within, and I would recommend him to fill my position.” 

Murphy noted that it was “good to hire from within, as it incentives people because they want to move up.” Murphy suggested that the Forbes appointment should be for a probationary period, “and we can see how it works out. “

Parisian said his feelings were similar to Murphy’s. “I have no regrets,” he said, “and I think Rich will make a good replacement.”

Later in the meeting, Parisian again thanked Fanelli for his service. While he was sad to see Fanelli go, he said, “I’m happy that he still has his health, and can enjoy himself in his retirement.”

Parisian formally moved to make the Forbes probationary appointment to the position, which carries a salary of $57,500.

Following the board vote to confirm him, Forbes thanked the board for giving him the opportunity “I will always work to the best of my ability to take care of the village, as I have for the past 24 years,” he said. “I have a great crew, and that’s why I am interested in taking this position.”    

After he finishes up with his village responsibilities, Fanelli will move to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he has a house. 

Fanelli has been working for the village for the past decade, serving as public works superintendent for the last four. Prior to that, he worked with the Ulster County Highway Department. He served in the Marine Corps for two years, and the Navy Reserves for six. His work with the Seabees, the Navy’s construction battalion, fit well with his background in construction.

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