Spence to Return for Non-Profit Forum on City Manager Process

Another well known name from the receivership era will be coming back to Chelsea in January to participate in a panel organized by several local non-profits concerning how to give community input and stay involved in the city manager hiring process.

Harry Spence, now an administrator of the Massachusetts Trial Court, was once the City of Chelsea’s receiver during the dark days of total City government collapse.

He will return on Jan. 13 at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) to participate in a panel forum entitled ‘The Importance of Good Leadership in a City Manager: Roles and Responsibilities of the City Manager vs. the Council; Challenges and Opportunities.’

Just last month, another receivership name popped up when Stephen McGoldrick came to town as leader of the City’s search firm, the Collins Center at UMass-Boston. The Collins Center will conduct the search and will advise the Council on choosing a new manager.

Spence will be joined on the panel by Supt. Mary Bourque, who will act as moderator; Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll (a former Chelsea Assistant City Manager); and Marta Rosa (a former Chelsea City Councillor).

Ann Houston, executive director of The Neighborhood Developers (TND), said they wanted to conduct the forum to answer questions and clarify roles.

“I think that there is a lot of conversation in Chelsea about how really important this decision is and because we haven’t had this experience in 13 or 14 years, there is not a lot of clarity about how the process happens and what the roles are between the city councillors and the city manager,” said Houston. “We have come so far as a City and Chelsea has become a real bellwether for what clean government and strong partnerships can do to move a City forward. A Mollie Baldwin recently said, ‘We changed the guard; now we have to guard the change.’”

Sponsors of the event currently include:  TND, Centro Latino, Roca, Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, BHCC, CAPIC, MGH-Chelsea, MGH Center for Community Health, and the Jordan Boys & Girls Club.

Other elements of the meeting will include a talk by TND’s Melissa Walsh about how to share priorities and stay engaged in the city manager process.

There will also be presentations about the City Council Hiring Committee Chair and the role of the Collins Center.

The forum will take place at 6 p.m. in BHCC Chelsea Campus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *