Editor’s Note: This continues the Meet the Leaders profile series in The Alternative Press of South Plainfield. The objective is to provide our readers the opportunity to hear from South Plainfield’s leaders in government, public safety, commerce and other areas, regarding South Plainfield’s present and future outlook, their background and what they enjoy doing in their private life. In order to keep the format consistent, The Alternative Press presented each individual with the same five questions. We are publishing their answers unedited.
Superintendent of Public Works – Robert “Bobby” Capparelli
I was born in Plainfield, NJ, 1955, attended South Plainfield Public Schools and St. Pius High School in Piscataway. I also attended Middlesex County College and Rutgers Continuing Education classes for Supervision in the Department of Public Works. I have been married to Eileen since 2005.
What inspired you to pursue a role in the Department of Public Works and to become the Superintendent?
While in school, I worked the summers painting garbage containers for a family business. I have been working all of my life. I began driving roll-off trucks after leaving college.
I began working with the South Plainfield Public Works Department in 1976 as a Laborer. In 1996 I was promoted to truck driver; Heavy Equipment Operator in 2000; Foreman in 2007 and General Supervisor in 2010. I love my job and love helping the residents of South Plainfield. We do a variety of different functions. Every day is different.
What are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing South Plainfield today?
The challenges are what keep me striving to do better. The residents are the number one priority and we try to assist them in any way possible. I enjoy interacting with everyone to make things better. Road repairs, trees, grass, signs, special events, and property maintenance are just a few of our job duties.
The last 5 years have been both very challenging and rewarding. I believe we have accomplished a lot. I give thanks to our Administrator/CFO and the majority Mayor and Council and would hope to see us continue to improve.
I believe our infrastructure – roads, parks, and equipment are going to be our biggest challenge. This will be an on-going challenge and I will continue to work with everyone to see that improvements continue to happen and come to fruition. I believe our D.P.W. does a great job and will continue to do so.
When you are not being the Superintendent, what do you do you in spare time?
I enjoy saltwater fishing, although I have not done much of this over the last few years.
Five words to describe South Plainfield: Great, hard-working, family community strong.