CONCORD — Governor Maggie Hassan yesterday nominated William Cass of Laconia for the position of assistant commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DOT). He will succeed Jeff Brillhart, who will retire next month.
A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Cass joined the DOT as a civil engineer in the Bureau of Highway Design in 1986. He worked for most of his first 15 years with the department and in 2001 became chief project manager in the project development division of the DOT. He was the project manager for the reconstruction of I-93 between Salem and Manchester. Since 2007 Cass has been director of project development, managing the eight bureaus within the division, which together employ 360 people, have an annual operating budget of $35-million and pursue an annual construction program with a value of more than $175 million.
Cass said yesterday that the assistant commissioner also carries the title "chief engineer," but he expected that with Patrick McKenna of Gilford serving as acting commissioner he would be representing the department in a variety of capacities.
Cass said that he moved to Laconia from Belmont about 15 years ago. He was a religious education teacher, Eucharistic Minister and Lector at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lakeport and chairman of the board at Holy Trinity School from 1998 to 2003. He also coached a number of youth athletic teams in the city. And he served on the Master Plan Steering Committee from 2005 to 2007.
"Representative Frank Tilton (R-Laconia), a former director of public works in the city and a member of the House Public Works and Highways Committee, described Cass as "an excellent choice. He's been on the hot seat many times in the last three or four years," he continued, " and has always given good, informed, reasonable answers and been easy to deal with."
Cass said that he anticipates the Governor and Executive Council will vote on his nomination at their next regularly scheduled meeting on April 7.
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