The director of the Tisbury department of public works has resigned, town administrator John (Jay) Grande confirmed Thursday.

The resignation of Glenn Mauk is effective July 25 and comes during a time of change and upheaval in the town department. At the annual town meeting this spring, voters agreed to petition the state legislature to abolish the DPW as an independent government entity, bringing it under the control of the selectmen.

Mr. Mauk, a civil engineer and attorney, began work in December 2013. His 18-month tenure has been marked by strained relations with union employees and other town departments. The DPW was the brunt of criticism over the long, snowy winter for poor plowing on town streets, and during a recent investigation of a workplace dispute harassment, Mr. Mauk was faulted for failing to enforce the town’s sexual harassment policy.

He could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Since 1989, the DPW has operated as its own government under the supervision of an elected board of commissioners. Special legislation to repeal the act that created the DPW is expected to win approval in a process that could take from three to 18 months, Mr. Grande said last week. Trash removal, maintenance of town streets and cemeteries and operations at the wastewater treatment plant all fall under the DPW.

Meanwhile, the DPW commission was recently left in disarray after three of the elected members resigned, and a fourth declined to take office, leaving only one incumbent. Immediately after the town meeting vote, commissioners Leo DeSorcy, John Thayer and Denys Wortman resigned. Jeff Kristal was elected to both the DPW board and the finance and advisory committee in the April 16 election, and opted for the finance and advisory committee. That left George Balco the only commissioner in office.

“I can understand why they left,” Mr. Balco said. “I was the newest one on the board, so the change, I didn’t feel, would impact my prior actions as much as it did some of those on the board for a long time. I’m going to stay on through this transition period. When it becomes an appointed [advisory] board, I won’t stay on any longer.” New commissioners have since been appointed by the selectmen. They are health agent Tom Pachico, former finance and advisory committee member David (Cricket) Willoughby, and Tomar Waldman, who has been active in promoting large-scale composting on the Island.

“Having this new board will greatly help us in the transition,” selectman Tristan Israel said.

Tensions have been growing in recent years between the DPW and the selectmen over everything from snow plowing to handling of internal affairs. When the town convened a series of visioning workshops early this year aimed at creating a blueprint for the future, the problems surfaced again.

“From my perspective, it was really all about the visioning process that had clearly pointed to government disorganization as problematic for the town,” said selectman Melinda Loberg. “The community kept pounding us about it.”

The result was a quickly pulled-together article for the annual town meeting warrant to abolish the DPW.

Mrs. Loberg and Mr. Israel both acknowledged the selectmen could have done a better job of communicating with the DPW about what was on deck. “The visioning report came out fairly close to the deadline for submitting an article,” Mr. Israel said. “There was some strong sentiment in the community to make a change. It was a matter of making a decision. Do we do this now, or wait a year.”

Despite the fallout, Mr. Grande said the independent branches of town government are already functioning better.

He said he has recently established a weekly infrastructure meeting on Monday morning, with the participation of managers from the DPW, fire department, water works, building department, and the health department.

“I think people are seeing the immediate benefit,” the town administrator said. “We’re physically spread out over the town, and it’s not easy to communicate because we’re not in the same building.”