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New Bristol road foreman not so new to the job

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Posted on April 19, 2018 |
By Christopher Ross



Bristol road foreman Eric Cota_cmyk 1077.jpg
AFTER NEARLY 28 years working at the Bristol Highway Department, Eric Cota recently was named to the top job — Road Foreman. He replaced his old boss, Peter Bouvier. Independent photo/Christopher Ross

BRISTOL - When Eric Cota started his new job as road foreman of the Bristol Highway Department on Saturday, the weather had plans for him.

Over three days, snow and wintry mixes turned into occasional heavy rain, and were followed by strong winds. 

“Thankfully no trees were down in the roads,” he said in an interview.

Then on Monday, in honor of Cota's 28th anniversary with the Highway Department, one of his trucks promptly quit on him.

And to top it all off his department is short one employee because of the position he left open when he was promoted from within.

But of course weather clears, mechanics rehabilitate trucks, and positions get filled.

“I used to work on a farm and I would watch the town trucks drive by, and I'd think, 'Hey, that looks easy, drive a truck.'”

But the job he took back in 1990 was harder than it looked. 

It was the schedule mainly, he said. The odd, inconsistent hours. And learning the routines.

What's different about his new job?

“The worrying part,” he said, adding that he'd gotten up at 3:00 Tuesday morning to check on the weather.

“It used to be I was the one waiting for the call,” he added. “Now I'm the one who makes the call.”

Cota replaces retiring road foreman Peter Bouvier.

One thing that makes the job easier? 

The selectboard.

“Seriously,” he said. “Bristol has a great selectboard.”

Cota knows a little something about selectboards - he's a member of one, himself, in Starksboro.

The process of filling the Bristol Highway Department's new vacancy is under way, according to town administrator Valerie Capels, and a job announcement is forthcoming.

Reach [email protected].

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