Pete Polubiatko, former coordinator for the Norwich Clean Cities coalition.
Pete Polubiatko (far right) poses with (left to right) Clean Cities Coordinator Lee Grannis; former Clean Cities Regional Manager for Connecticut, Michael Scarpino; and Clean Cities Coordinator Wendy Lucht.
A veteran Connecticut coordinator says farewell, leaves an impressive legacy
After serving Clean Cities for more than 20 years, one of the program’s longest-tenured coordinators has retired.
Pete Polubiatko, who helmed the Norwich Clean Cities (NCCC) coalition since their original designation in 1994, officially retired at the end of October. He is the second longest-serving coordinator in the program’s history, following Melissa Howell of the Kentucky Clean Cities Partnership.
During his time as lead coordinator for NCCC, Pete worked with hundreds of fleets and other transportation decision makers to implement numerous alternative fuels projects with the goal of cutting petroleum use and vehicle emissions. Over the years, Pete also became widely recognized as one of the state’s alternative fuels experts by both the public and private sectors and was often called on for his advice.
“While the Clean Cities program has experienced many changes over the years and many people have come and gone, Pete has been a constant,” said Michael Scarpino, Pete’s former regional manager. “He has provided consistent, long-term leadership to his stakeholders and has been a source of support and collaboration for his fellow coordinators. You can always count on Pete!”
Most notably, Pete was involved in the opening of the first public compressed natural gas (CNG) station in eastern Connecticut for Norwich Public Utilities. He also helped the company launch its biodiesel fueling and electric vehicle charging program. Additionally, Pete was instrumental in establishing one of the first programs for educating fire officials and first responders about the safety aspects of alternative fuels.
However, one of the things that made Pete unique as a coordinator was his ability to partner with other coordinators beyond the boundaries of his own coalition. It was not unusual for Pete to team up with Connecticut’s three other coalition leaders to collaborate on various education, outreach, and legislative initiatives.
“I have many good memories of working with Pete over the past 15 years, but one I will never forget is of our first CNG open house at Norwich Public Utilities,” said coordinator Craig Peters of the Capitol Clean Cities of Connecticut coalition. “It was in late October and had been pouring rain all day, but we stayed open for the full three hours even though we were cold and wet. We only had about four people show up, but he was a real trooper and was dedicated to making it a success.”
Added Lee Grannis, coordinator of The New Haven Clean Cities coalition: “Pete’s leadership and support of the Clean Cities program efforts in Connecticut will certainly be missed. Pete has been a good friend and could always be counted on to be there when you needed his help and support the most.”
Pete and his wife plan to retire to Naples, Florida. He is succeeded by coordinator Jeanne Kurasz.
- Kendall Septon, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- For more information:
- Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team