PLAINVILLE – Matt Daskal is heading into his second month as the new assistant town manager for Plainville.
Daskal, who grew up in Wethersfield, previously served as an intern for Town Manager Robert E. Lee in 2010 and 2011, which is where he got his start with local government.
“We had 20 people apply for the position and we interviewed three of them,” Lee said. “He rose to be the best qualified candidate. He has been on the job for 30 days now, working with the Aviation Commission on Robertson Airport, getting up to speed on blight issues and getting to know our department heads. He has a lot of attention to detail and he has a good way with people. He’s a good fit for Plainville.”
Daskal, who was formally a town manager in Westminster, Vt., said Plainville has had a “very successful” internship program and is grateful for the opportunities it provided him. He had just finished his Masters of Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University when Lee took him on as an intern. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Isenberg School at the University of Massachusetts.
“It was a very positive experience,” he said. “When I was looking at the assistant town manager position, the leadership and stability that Robert provides was a real attraction.”
Daskal said both Lee and the Plainville Town Council have done an “excellent job” with controlling their budgets and managing capital.
“I’m excited to be back; it’s like coming home in a way,” he said. “Plainville is a wonderful community.”
While Daskal was interning with Lee, he was also working with the Capitol Region Council of Governments, which he said provided him with regional experience along with local experience. He then served as town manager of Westminster from 2011 to 2013.
“Westminster is a small town with a population of 3,200 people,” he said. “I was very hands-on and exposed to all functions of government. My experience has focused on collaborative, innovative and results driven public sector management.”
Daskal said as town manager of Westminster, he helped the town to get out of the recession and to rebuild after Tropical Storm Irene, which he said hit Vermont much harder than Connecticut. After that, his most recent previous position was as Financial Analyst for the town of Vernon.
“As financial analyst I provided program, project and cross departmental management of improvement and efficiency projects, and assisted in the management of town-wide finance operations,” Daskal said.
Daskal has long held a passion for local government. He said he first got involved starting in middle school, serving on school boards.
“Local government is the most direct way to have an impact,” he said. “I strive to be a resource for the community and leave it in a better place than when I got there. I’m here to serve and my door is always open.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.