January 9 2018

Longtime Town Employee Paul Cauldwell Honored Upon Retirement

By: Rich Hosford

A long-time town employee was given a heartfelt send off as he begins his retirement.


On Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting Town Administrator John Petrin came around the table to address the board to praise the hard work of Buildings & Cemeteries Superintendent Paul Cauldwell, who is retiring.


Petrin said Cauldwell began working for the town in 1982 in the Highways Department. In 1987 he moved to the Cemeteries Department where he was promoted to foreman in 1996. In 2002 he became the Cemeteries manager, a job that was reclassified in 2008 as superintendent.


Cauldwell was an instrumental part of the 2013 move to combine the Buildings and Cemeteries departments into one unit and he became the head of the new, combined, department after the change was made.


“When I came to town Buildings was a problem and it was something that needed to be fixed,” Petrin said. “We were not maintaining town properties the way we needed to and we were looking for a change. I was talking to [DPW Director John] Sanchez and trying to twist his arms to have Buildings be part of DPW. I talked with Paul and his team and they said they had an interest and people willing to do it so it came to fruition. Paul became superintendent and did a wonderful job.”


“It was probably one of the best decisions I was part of,” Petrin continued. “We used our good people and put them to work in an area we had problems and since then most of those problems have been fixed.”


“Paul is now leaving for retirement and I wish him well,” Petrin finished. “He leaves his legacy to the town and that is having a highly capable and functionable Buildings & Cemeteries Department. We wish him well in his retirement and thank him for his service to the community which has been extensive.”


Members of the Board of Selectmen also had words of praise for the longtime town employee.


Selectman Bob Hogan said that in his time as the town’s Veterans Services Director he was always proud of how well cared for and maintained the cemeteries were, something that was clear during Memorial Day and other ceremonies.    


“Paul made my life much better and I know he made the lives of veterans much better and the lives of the family members of the veterans in the cemetery much better,” he said. “When people came to town for our ceremonies they couldn’t wait to talk about how great our cemeteries looked. Putting your heart and soul into all you did made things so much better.”


“We are all very proud when we visit the ceremonies so I want to thank you,” Selectman Mike Runyan added.  


“Thank you for everything you did for the town,” Selectman Joe Morandi said.


Chairman Chris Hartling said he was always impressed with how Cauldwell worked with families in need of cemetery services.


“I thank you on behalf of everyone you treated with dignity over the years,” he said. “Most of those interactions would be at a difficult time in their lives and you did it with dignity.”


For himself, Cauldwell said his job was made easier by everyone who supported him.


“I say thanks to all of you, you made my job easier,” he said. “I thank Richie [Reid] and all my crew, they made my job a lot easier.”


As reported on BNEWS, Reid was appointed as the new Buildings & Cemeteries superintendent last month.


Finally, though DPW Director Sanchez could not be at the meeting due to an illness, he emailed BNEWS his thoughts on Cauldwell and his retirement.


“I met Paul 11 years ago when I started working for the Town of Burlington,” Sanchez said. “Since day one, Paul has been an outstanding public servant. Always doing all he can to serve his community. The care he has always shown to take care of the cemeteries and later of the town buildings speaks of he as a person. Over the last few years he has made sure that everyone who works for him learns all the jobs and procedures, so this can be a smooth transition as he prepares for retirement. I am very fortunate that I have been able to learn so much from him, and that I can call him a friend. Thank you Paul!”


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