Highway foreman Richard Tomasco has been named acting public works director, taking the place of Bruce Kolwicz, who retired Nov. 1, until a replacement is hired.

Kolwicz retired Nov. 1 after more than 20 years on the job after heading one of the biggest city departments since the Fred Lisman administration. He started his city career as Lisman’s mayoral assistant, then Lisman named him to the director’s job.

Some city officials said that Kolwicz’s decision to retire was a sudden decision, and others said he had been thinking about it for a while.

He was earning about $102,000 when he left.

The mayor is forming a search committee to help interview applicants for the job. A posting has been put on the city website and various media announcing the opening.

The city is looking for someone with extensive administrative or professional engineering experience in various municipal public works programs. The applicant should be a graduate of a four-year college with a degree in civil engineering, according to the city posting.

The salary range is $87,871 to $102,698. The application deadline is Dec. 20.

The job is a mayoral appointment. Mayor Ben Blake said the search committee will be asked to review applicants and recommend a replacement for Kolwicz. Then Blake will make the appointment.