There’s no place like Home-ilton for director of operations Rome D’Angelo.
After more than a year of running the operations department for Niagara-on-the-Lake, D’Angelo is returning to his home of Hamilton and taking a job with Hamilton Police Services.
D’Angelo told The Lake Report he’d be leveraging his background managing facilities at the city of Hamilton in his new role.
“I’ve always been eyeing police,” D’Angelo said. “It was only over the last three months that there was a vacancy there. And I saw it, and I thought, ‘Wow.’”
Had the opportunity been open to him a year ago, he said he would have gone there instead of to NOTL. He joined the town’s staff last November.
The decision to leave has been “bittersweet,” he said.
“Just driving in between the vineyards, like the fall or the spring. It’s just amazing. It’s a touch of heaven.”
Still, the regular commute to town from Hamilton is a challenge given the needs of his family.
D’Angelo said he has two adult children living in Hamilton and a mother struggling with early-stage dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
D’Angelo said he needs to be “readily available” to his mom as her health declines.
Despite a short tenure, he has a few feathers to add to his cap after his year in NOTL.
“I feel that I brought value to the organization over the past year,” he said.
D’Angelo said he was happy to help the town wrap up its fleet review and get it investing in environmentally friendly vehicles for the future.
He also brought up the new children’s recreational activities at the community centre, another change implemented under his leadership.
For a small town, NOTL punches well above the belt and was “on the cusp of great things” in municipal management, D’Angelo said.
The lean team delivers impressive services on things such as coastal protection, tree management and climate change preparedness, he said.
Though he would have liked to oversee a few upcoming projects at the town he looked forward to the work waiting for him back in Hamilton, D’Angelo said.
“They’re (the Hamilton police) looking at a combined fire and police station in the Waterdown area. That’s a $28 million project,” D’Angelo said.
The police service is also planning to build a new marina in the Eastport area of Hamilton, he added.
“That’s a whole new construction project as well that I could bring a lot of value based on my facility experience.”
Looking back on his past year, he said he liked NOTL’s big-city attitude and would miss the small, welcoming team at town hall.
“I think it’s just a great community,” he said.