City Manager Fidel Maltez recently made three new hires to round out the leadership in his office.
Last year, the city council approved the funding for Maltez to reorganize the city manager’s office as he began his new position. Maltez sought to create two, rather than one, deputy city manager positions and add a director of constituent services.
Last week, Maltez announced hires for all three positions.
Bernabe Rodriguez started with the city on Monday as the new director of constituent services. Devon Fields, the new deputy city manager of operations, is scheduled to begin on March 4, and Michael Mason, the deputy city manager of finance, is scheduled to begin in April.
“It was a priority for me to focus on bringing in three talented people that could hit the ground running,” said Maltez.
Rodriguez was the assistant city clerk in Somerville for two years, and spent five years in various roles with the City of Chelsea. Maltez said Rodriguez is a resident of Chelsea and will bring significant knowledge of city operations to the new role.
Maltez said that when he headed the city’s public works department, he saw that there were a lot of resident needs that needed to be navigated, and that Rodriguez’s new position will help address those needs.
“Sometimes, residents’ needs aren’t necessarily related to one department, they have significant overlap,” said Maltez. “The intention of this position is someone that can help the city manager create systems and develop policies that can improve constituent services and our response to constituents in the city of Chelsea.”
With two deputy city managers, Maltez said there will be an opportunity for each to focus on what can be two really different areas.
“Finance requires a unique set of skills, it is very regulatory in municipal government,” said Maltez. “It is about meeting deadlines, setting tax rates, setting tax bills, and having someone that can really focus on the way that we engage internally with the budget, but also someone who can assess how Chelsea can sustainably meet the needs of all of our residents.”
Mason is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations in Arlington. Prior to that, he spent six years in different roles for the Chelsea Public Schools. Maltez said Mason has deep Chelsea roots and is well-known in the community. He added that he is confident Mason will hit the ground running and be able to address the budget and the city’s other financial responsibilities.
Fields has been the assistant town manager for operations in Brookline for the past four years.
Prior to that, Fields worked for the Massachusetts Municipal Association for five years, leading many of the MMA’s efforts to foster Women’s Leadership in Municipal Government.
Among Fields’ responsibilities in her new position in Chelsea will be increasing interdepartmental collaboration and ensuring that the city’s municipal government is modernized and running smoothly.
Maltez said Fields has worked at a similar position as the assistant town manager in Brookline and brings a lot of knowledge to the table.