Ash Back to City Manager? In Cambridge This Time?

By Seth Daniel

Numerous media outlets reported on Wednesday that State Housing Secretary Jay Ash  – the former Chelsea City Manager – has made an application to become the next city manager of Cambridge, possibly leaving the cabinet post on Beacon Hill for the confines of Cambridge.

Ash confirmed to the Globe on Wednesday that he has applied and is pursuing the job.

Ash did not return a request for comment from the Record in time for publication.

He was one of the first to join Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration in January 2015 and was credited with luring in and ushering in General Electric to Massachusetts earlier this year. He also concentrated on getting homeless families out of motels an into long-term housing situations – something that he worked on also while in Chelsea.

Ash also told the Globe that his current job requires a lot of travel across the state and prevents him from focusing in on one community. Rather, he said, he is constantly rushing from one place to another listening to the needs of various locales.

His expertise in drilling down on problems, as he did in Chelsea one by one, is not particularly as useful in his current position.

The city manager position in Cambridge would also nearly double his salary, the Globe reported.

Ash’s current salary is approximately $160,000, while the salary for the Cambridge city manager exceeds  $300,000.

A decision on the position is expected by the City Council in Cambridge this fall.

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