Spotlight on Ernie Purdy, the recently retired Chief of Public Works for Brigantine:
Purdy worked for the city for 32 years. He has seen a lot over those years culminating with Superstorm Sandy hitting the island in 2012. “I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years,” he said. “I have been on the island my entire life, and it was just a summer spot with motels all over. Then it became a casino bedroom community, but now it is becoming a summertime resort.”
Purdy has done it all during his time with Public Works, starting in 1981 at a salary of $12,048. “I started out digging ditches,” he said.
Purdy took over as acting superintendent in 1999 after the department was shaken up & made more efficient by the popular superintendent; John Costello. The dysfunctional Public Works department was none too happy with the more aggressive & professional oversight from Costello.
Purdy built his reputation of ‘doing more with less’ as the island has grown. The department has shrunk from as many as 32 employees to a staff of 22.
Some video of Ernie in action; Summer 2013.