NORTHAMPTON David Pomerantz will not be retiring at the end of this year. Hell continue to work with governments in order to improve energy efficiency.
Pomerantz (70), Northamptons director, Central Services, announced his retirement in Oct. After 15 years leading the department that provides maintenance, heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical services, as well as energy management, security, and much more for city properties, including schools.
Last week, Pomerantz spoke at his Memorial Hall office and stated that he would assist in the transition of a new director. He will then concentrate his efforts on Sea Change Associates, a budding business venture that will help government agencies implement mitigation measures for climate change.
I grew up on Long Island’s south shore, on the beaches. So things like the environment and the oceans have always been important to my family, he said. I’ve been involved in many environmental causes my whole life and it has shaped my work.
Pomerantz stated that he visited Ireland twice and plans to return to the country to exchange ideas and expertise on climate change.
He said that I must bring my banjo to the pubs. I try to play for no less than a half hour every night. Although it may not happen every night, it is a wonderful instrument.
Pomerantz received a University of Cincinnati degree in urban planning and community planning. He then worked as a city planner in Vermont before moving to Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1977. After working as a state environmental director at MassPIRG, Pomerantz moved to UMass Amherst to perform microstudies for U.S. Department of Energy.
Pomerantz was hired by the International City Management Association in 1980. He then moved to Washington, D.C. Pomerantz traveled across the country to deliver management workshops and conduct training sessions on topics such as energy efficiency and sustainability.
Pomerantz stated that it left a lasting impression on him. He said that he was so drawn to the cause for protecting the environment that he never considered other career options.
After his work in D.C. he returned home to Amherst, where he started Elements of Structure, a construction firm. He also served as an Amherst firefighter for 20 years and FEMA disaster aid worker for two decades.
After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, I spent a month living in Florida. I remember being in communities to do assessments and not structural assessments. There was nothing left. Pomerantz stated that unless you had a compass, it was impossible to know where you are. Neighborhoods are as flat as this desk.
Pomerantz was hired in 2004 by Northfield Mount Hermon School to be its construction manager. He was responsible for overseeing the expansion and upgrading of the school’s Gill campus. He described himself as an orchestra leader who gets all the collaboration done between people. He carried that attitude to his next gig at Central Services Northampton.
Pomerantz, who now resides in Leyden was first appointed Central Services director in May 2007 by Clare Higgins. For his efforts to modernize the department, Pomerantz was praised by incumbent Mayor David Narkewicz.
He has been a consummate team player as well as a problem solver, Narkewicz said about Pomerantz in statement. Central Services has played a crucial role in the advancement of the city’s goals of accessibility, energy efficiency, sustainability across all its facilities.
Pomerantz stated that we are the veins and arterial of municipal operations. Although you don’t think about the veins or arteries in your body, it is essential for the city to provide the services it does through other departments. It is a lot of work, both planning-wise and physically.
Pomerantz’s Central Services crew, which includes nearly 60 people, runs the annual blitz that repairs, remodels, and upgrades every school building in the city. It is the only eight-week period during the summer vacation when the schools aren’t empty. They are also partially responsible for achieving the city’s goal to be net carbon neutral by 2050. They include reducing building energy loads and replacing street lights with LEDs.
Pomerantz stated, “I have worked hard to bring in people who are qualified, they have their licenses and certificates, and they are dedicated and aggressive as positive employees.” I have a great team.
Pomerantz received a Climate Resilience Certificate Program through Antioch University in 2020. His capstone project was a review of mitigation measures to reduce coastal flooding in five New England States.
Climate impacts are so dangerous, and I don’t know the timeframes or how serious it could get, I decided to do my final project: What is the state for implementation? He said.
Sea Change Associates, his new company, will conduct research and offer technical assistance to people. He explained that while every country and every region in the world might be different, they all deal with the same issues.
After Pomerantzs January 3rd take-office, Gina-Louise Sciarra, the Mayor-elect, will ultimately appoint Pomerantzs successor.
Brian Steele can be reached at [email protected].