Adams Hires New Town Administrator From Maine
|Tony Mazzucco, center, speaks with residents after Saturday's interview. The Selectmen voted unanimously to offer Mazzucco the post of town administrator, which he accepted. He and the board went into executive session to iron out salary and benefits details.|
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted on Saturday morning to hire a town administrator with experience in public and private management.
Tony Mazzucco, assistant city manager of Caribou, Maine, and a native of Randolph, was the third and final candidate interviewed. The board made its decision shortly after speaking with him Saturday morning.
"I think all three would have done a good job in Adams but I think that there is one who is definitely outstanding," Chairman Arthur "Skip" Harrington said. "It is fortunate that we have the ability to hire a person of such good quality and character."
The board interviewed Richmond Town Administrator Matthew Kerwood and Brewster Selectmen Chairman James Foley on Wednesday. A fourth candidate had accepted a job elsewhere. Mazzucco was asked the same questions as the other two candidates.
Mazzucco also was a management intern in Milton, Vt., and Bourne, and an operations manager for National Amusements. He earned his bachelor's degree and master of public administration from Bridgewater State University.
"I am ready to take the helm. I am a local government guy, and I have a passion for local government and for community development," Mazzucco said. "I am ready to start the uphill battle with trying to make Adams a better place."
Mazzucco said he comes from an area that is similar to Adams and has similar challenges.
"I think it is a great community with a lot of potential. I think it has a lot of challenges, but I don't think you are going to find a community in the commonwealth that doesn't have challenges," he said. "I work in a community that used to have 12,000 people that now only has 8,000 people. It has an older population and used to be a one industry town … but now it isn't so I understand some of the challenges Adams is going through."
Mazzucco said involvement in the community is important because it fosters communication.
"There is a mix of people in the community from one end to the other, and you need to be able to relate to everybody in the community," he said.
Mazzucco said he helped implement a downtown event series in Caribou, which has had a high vacancy rate since the Air Force base left in 1994. He said he brought in bands and vendors and organized a celebration.
"We have whole generations of kids who didn't have good memories of downtown and now we have changed that and people have started to have positive memories of downtown," Mazzucco said.
When asked about how he would implement a strategic plan in Adams, Mazzucco said he recently developed a comprehensive plan in Caribou. He said he would use the same procedure in Adams and engage the community in planning for the future.
Mazzucco said he would focus on the downtown to jumpstart economic development and try to bring in jobs by continuing work that has been done. He said he would focus on better marketing, talk to local business and look at bringing new ones in.
Mazzucco said he has a background in private sector in service delivery and learned how to compromise. He said this ability transferred well into government. He said he likes to put all "information out on the table."
"I believe in being professional and polite ... my approach is to speak clearly and plainly," Mazzucco said. "I don't believe in raising your voice, I don't believe in shouting. I believe in a certain demeanor and civil discourse."
Mazzucco said this is part of his conflict management style, too.
"I am not afraid to invite somebody to the table who does not agree with me," he said. "When you can't resolve somebody's complaint or conflict, you can at least sit down with them and try to empathize."
He added he does not like to micromanage people, but the process. In Caribou, he would never tell the police chief or DPW director how to do their jobs, but liked to go on patrol with them so he could better understand their challenges.
Mazzucco said his expertise is in general operations in administration with budgeting and expenditure control
"I think you have to look at every dollar that goes out and how you expand every dollar that comes in," he said. "You need to put everything out to bid as often as you can and get the best return that you can because those dollars and cents add up."
Mazzucco said he fostered a love for government at a young age and become a town meeting member when he was 18. He said his own hometown suffered from population decline and he has dedicated his life to bettering communities in need.
"The passion I have for communities and for local government stems out of that desire to want to make sure we don't have communities where people say, 'this just isn't where I want to live anymore,'" he said.
Tags: interview, town administrator,
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