PEPPERELL -- Residents frequenting Town Hall will recognize a new face among town employees. Martin Cadek began his new role as the IT systems administrator on Feb. 4 after being appointed by the Board of Selectmen on Jan. 14.
Cadek is following in the footsteps of Dale Sinclair, who passed away in October. His first task, he said, will be figuring out the system devised by Sinclair and the systems administrators who preceded him.
"I'll be figuring out how the network works, how the system is set up. Everyone in IT has different ways of doing things. I'm just figuring out how everyone had it working before. I'm trying to clean it up a little bit," said Cadek. "I'm just trying to figure out where he left off."
To establish his starting point, Cadek will be doing a full system audit, including securing data and checking for viruses and spyware.
"All that can be done remotely but the first time it's nice to sit down and talk to people," said Cadek.
Next, he'll be establishing priorities for systems updates, although he's already anticipating what these will be. The first he expects to be networking between the buildings and within Town Hall, both with the wiring and the equipment.
"It's rather outdated and could definitely be improved in many ways," said Cadek.
The second priority will likely be updating the townwide email system. But Cadek doesn't expect this to come around for another year or so.
"We've got to communicate, but we can't have an email system without networking. It all goes hand in hand," said Cadek.
Cadek is originally from the Czech Republic, and moved with his parents and sister to the U.S. in 1996 as he was getting ready to enter high school. His uncle had lived in the states since 1978 and loved it.
"He was doing well and was very happy. Not that we weren't, I just think my parents wanted me and my sister to have a better future," he said. "Unemployment back then (in the Czech Republic) was relatively high. It was just one of those things where they wanted to try something new."
Cadek has been in the IT field since he was a junior in high school in Canton. After graduating from high school, Cadek enrolled in Wentworth College.
It was while in college that Cadek got a job with Fraen Corporation as their systems administrator. He worked there for nine years, until 2012. Although he enjoyed working for the company, he said that there had been closings and layoffs in the automotive department.
"There was writing on the wall that it wasn't going to last forever, so I moved on, and now here I am," said Cadek.
The thing that Cadek enjoys most about working in IT is the constant learning curve.
"It's something new every day. It's not stale. It never gets stale," he said. "A day doesn't go by that there isn't something new that's been made or invented or put together."
As he moves forward with Pepperell, Cadek will be learning the ins and outs of working as a town employee, including working with the town budget.
"It will be interesting. I'm not used to the town planning budget systems," he said.
But Cadek is prepared to adapt. Pending the budget he receives, certain projects can be put on the back burner for the time being, like upgrading the email system.
"That's one area where you don't want to do it in a cheaper way. You want to do it right the first time. So we could easily wait a year. What we have is working," said Cadek.
With networking, although he'd prefer to get a quote from Cisco Systems, Inc., he said there are alternatives that are close to or just as good. "It's easy enough to justify top of the line. It'll last year for 10 years ... if there's money there, standardization is probably key. If not, we'll just deal with it," said Cadek.
As far as the technology goes, though, Cadek is confident.
"Technology wise, it's stuff I've done before, so if I'm able to get funding, we'll be able to move ahead pretty fast."
Cadek, who lives in Manchester, N.H., with his wife and 2-year-old son, Martin Jr., plans to remain long term in the position in Pepperell and hopes to potentially help grow the department at some point down the road.
But, he said, "There's plenty of work to do until we get to that point."