By Seth Daniel
The City Council has assembled a committee of three members to begin the annual evaluation process for City Manager Tom Ambrosino after the passage of his one-year anniversary on July 20.
As part of the City Charter, the Council must evaluate the Manager annually on a set of criteria defined by the committee.
This time around, Councillor Leo Robinson will chair the Committee and he will be joined by Councillors Matt Frank and Roy Avellaneda. Council President Dan Cortell appointed the members.
A meeting of the sub-committee hasn’t been scheduled yet, but will be once the Council reconvenes from the summer.
This week, in preparation, Ambrosino released his one-year self-evaluation of his work based on Economic Development; support for Chelsea Public Schools and Youth Initiatives; and Neighborhood and Quality of Life Issues.
For Economic Development, he pointed to the opening of Phase II of One North, just opened at the end of July; and the impending completion of the FBI building this summer. For hotels, the Hilton Homewood Suites and Events Center is fully into construction and will be completed in winter. He indicated two projects would break ground in the current budget year, including the Broadway Hotel near the Revere Line and the Fairfield Residential Project at the old Chelsea Clock.
The biggest piece of Economic Development, however, are tracts in the Downtown Business District and along the Chelsea Creek waterfront. Both are in the formative stages, but Ambrosino said there is major groundwork that has been completed on both.
He also indicated that the developers of the Forbes site in Mill Hill are interested in coming back to the City with a much smaller, but still major, redevelopment.
Ambrosino also highlighted investment in the Chelsea Public Schools, noting that the Council approved his recommendation to reverse a net school spending deficit and make a significant investment in the schools. The expansion in funding has allowed the Citizens School program in the middle schools to reach more kids, and to bring on an after-school and summer program provider in For Kids Only. He also highlighted the Clark Avenue School building project that is well underway and that he is closely shepherding, having overseen numerous school building projects while mayor of Revere.
The City Manager also stressed in his review that he has targeted funding youth programs, including doubling the summer jobs money available for youth, creating a Youth Navigator position, and establishing a new Recreation and Cultural Affairs Division of City government.
His greatest asset, though, has been investing in neighborhoods.
He listed the investments in the Downtown Corridor, as well as the quick successes of the Navigator and services on demand programs for those who congregation in Bellingham Square. Additionally, he highlighted park investments and streamlining services at City Hall.
“The paramount task of any municipal government is to improve the life of its residents,” he wrote. “During this past year, through collaboration and good decision-making, we have advanced this goal. I look forward to another productive year ahead.”