Brookline officials have named a longtime administrator to serve as the town’s commissioner of public works, becoming the first woman to oversee the department, according to a statement.
Erin Chute Gallentine started her time in Brookline as its conservation administrator in 1998, and for the past 20 years has been the director of the Department of Public Works’ Parks and Open Space Division, according to a statement from Mel Kleckner, Brookline’s town administrator.
In the same statement, Gallentine said public works creates “stronger, healthier, more resilient, and more connected communities.”
“We provide foundational support for the community’s daily activities and have the ability to effect meaningful change,” she said.
Gallentine began her new role as department head on Sept. 9 after the Brookline Select Board approved her appointment, Kleckner said. She replaces Andy Pappastergion, who worked for Brookline’s public works for more than 50 years.
“Erin has served the Town of Brookline tremendously well, and has overseen the successful completion of countless, large scale projects from start to finish over the course of her career,” Kleckner said in the statement. “We’re confident she’s the right person to build on the work Andy’s done over the last 10 years.”
As the director of the Parks and Open Space Division, Gallentine managed the design, development, maintenance, and management of more than 500 acres of public land, including parks, playgrounds, school and town property, and nature sanctuaries, the statement said. She oversaw a staff of more than 50 workers and completed about $30 million in construction projects.
Before coming to Brookline, Gallentine worked as an environmental management consultant at EnviroBusiness, Inc., according to the statement. She has a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University’s College of Engineering, as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Boston College.
Pappastergion served as commissioner of the DPW for about a decade, and served on the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s board of directors. He also guided the DPW to receive accreditation from the American Public Works Association.
“This is a rare opportunity for the town to both celebrate and reflect on the tremendous impact Andy had on the DPW during his tenure while looking ahead to the work Erin will do as his successor,” Kleckner said.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.