Thurkettle delays his retirement

Wilton Public Works Director Tom Thurkettle was originally scheduled to retire as of Sept. 1, but there has been a delay.

“He pushed his retirement out by two weeks due to vacation schedules within the department,” said First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice..

The opening for the job has just recently been posted, she said. There is no indication of when Thurkettle can be replaced. “At this point I cannot speculate on the time frame of the search as it is dependent on the quality and the quantity of applicants,” Vanderslice said.

Thurkettle manages a staff of 22 workers and is responsible for 323 town roads, covering 127 miles, with 770 acres of town right-of-way, not counting town buildings, parking lots and grounds.

The people mean a lot to him

“I’ll miss the people,” said Thurkettle, who is 73, who came to Wilton nearly 37 years ago.

“I’ve been here more than half my life,” he said, explaining how he knew it was time to retire.

In his time, he has watched the town grow from a much smaller community, and in particular, has overseen the construction of municipal buildings, parking lots and sports fields.

His great achievement, he said, is his ability to save the town money, usually by performing work in-house rather than contracting it out.

“We’ve got great people. Everybody works as a team,” he said.

He plans to spend his retirement doing what he loves to do, boating on Long Island Sound in his powerboat with his wife Carol, an administrative worker at Wilton High School.