Who in their right mind but City Manager Jay Ash could make a proposal to turn the city’s trash removal practices upside down and then host a talk about it with more than 100 people from throughout the city attending?
Ash was at his – get everyone together – best Tuesday evening at the Chelsea Senior Center.
How he rounded up such a wonderfully diverse crowd, how he interested them in discussions about how to put out trash and how the system might be streamlined and improved – all with the end product being a cleaner city – was the stuff of city hall activism and foresight at its very best.
He didn’t do this on his own.
He had the backing and support, which was considerable, of the entire city council. All the members were there and took part in the discussions.
Also there were the Inspectional Services chiefs – Joe Cooney and Frank Henry, and Police Chief Brian Kyes.
The discussions were to the point and passionate, at times. There were many young people in attendance who talked like future leaders and who all had something to contribute about the city’s endemic trash problems.
Ash led the discussions and personally participated in some of the debates.
He showed on this night at the Senior Center why he is considered one of the best municipal leaders in the Commonwealth.
He also showed why Chelsea is a much better since receivership was imposed almost 18 years ago.
This meeting of so many residents, homeowners and apartment dwellers from every walk of life proved that the Chelsea experience remains alive and well, that all kinds of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, can get together in one room and actually debate an important citywide issue without the police being called to the hall.
Most of us who have watched Jay Ash grow into the city manager’s job have marveled at his ability to form coalitions and to debate the important issues.
Jay Ash has not stopped growing into the job that he loves.
This was proven ten times over at the trash talk get together at the Senior Center Tuesday night.