LANCASTER — Transfer Station manager Brian Patnoe is stepping down.
In a resignation letter Patnoe explained that he was leaving the position for personal reasons. His final day is Sept. 30.
“While I was planning on spending the rest of my working career at my position, things in life change,” Patnoe wrote.
“First and foremost, I want to make this change for my family. Secondly, I feel that I can no longer do this job to the best of my ability and that is not acceptable on my part. This decision has been very heavy hearted as anybody that knows me knows I am connected to the facility.”
Town Manager Ben Gaetjens-Oleson broke the news during a Select Board meeting on Monday.
He thanked Patnoe for his service and said he would be missed.
“It’s a tremendous loss for the town to see Brian go,” Gaetjens-Oleson said. “I count on him a lot and I saw that the transfer station was moving in a great direction. [Patnoe] was doing a lot of great work. But I can’t fault anybody for putting family at the front of their priorities. I know it was a hard decision for Brian.”
Patnoe started working in the recycling field as a freshman in high school in 1998. What he thought was a three-week temporary position turned into a lifelong passion.
After working part-time through high school at the Lancaster Transfer Station, he received his associate’s degree in computer information systems at NHTI (New Hampshire Technical Institute), and co-founded the NHTI Recycling group.
After graduation, in 2003, he worked at the Littleton Transfer Station and eventually took over as manager in 2013.
In early 2021, he became the manager at the Lancaster Transfer Station. He took over from his father, Dennis, who retired after a 24-year career.
Also in 2021, Patnoe was appointed by the NH Municipal Association as a representative of rural communities with source-separated recycling on the NH Solid Waste Working Group, which is designed to assist with planning for New Hampshire’s solid waste future.
For his work, the Northeast Resources Recovery Association recognized Patnoe as the “2015 Rookie of the Year” and “2021 Recycler of the Year.”
In his resignation letter, Patnoe thanked Gaetjens-Oleson for his support, calling him “the top manager I have worked for in my 20+ years experience,” and indicated a willingness to remain involved in town affairs when time allows.
Gaetjens-Oleson said the feeling was mutual.
“I consider when you’re working for the town, you’re family, whether we get along all the time or not. I do consider us all to be family and that doesn’t stop when [you] stop working for the town,” Gaetjens-Oleson said.
Transfer station assistant manager Bill Brown also announced his retirement and both positions will be advertised.
Patnoe expressed a willingness to work Saturdays at the transfer station through the fall to ease the transition to new leadership and will participate in the hiring of his replacement.