Robert S. Repucci, executive director of CAPIC for the past 41 years, will be retiring from the agency that assists residents and seniors in Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop.
Repucci, who has worked at CAPIC in various capacities since 1972, publicly announced his decision in a letter to friends Tuesday. He had informed the CAPIC Board of Directors at a meeting last Thursday.
Repucci, 68, said he will remain in the position until a successor is named. The succession plan to select a new CAPIC executive director has begun, and starting next week the position will be advertised in various newspapers and on social media platforms.
Chelsea community leaders lauded Repucci’s many accomplishments at CAPIC. He has been the much-revered leader of the agency for decades and has always supported local organizations with his attendance at their events. CAPIC became a national model during his tenure.
“Bob Repucci’s retirement is a loss for the region and a loss for the city of Chelsea,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino, who also worked closely with CAPIC when he was mayor of Revere. “Bob has been a tremendous partner to Chelsea, particularly over the last few years as we’ve ramped up our efforts to address a lot of the social ills in the downtown.
“A lot of our success in the past few years is due to Bob’s efforts, and he will be greatly missed,” added Ambrosino.
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, whose relationship with Bob Repucci goes back to 1972, said, “Bob is a great person and I have nothing but respect for the man as he has a heart of gold.”
GreenRoots Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni said Repucci’s important legacy will continue in the city.
“Bob Repucci has dedicated years of his life to help some of Chelsea’s most needy and most vulnerable,” said Bongiovanni, a former Chelsea city councillor. “His contributions to the betterment of our city should not be overlooked. While we are sad to see Bob retire, we know his legacy will live on.”
On Beacon Hill, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo also lauded Repucci’s career as an administrator at CAPIC.
“In all years of government, Bob was one of the most caring people I ever worked with,” said DeLeo. “Whenever people in the community needed a helping hand, Bob always found a way to say yes. He has been a tireless and kind servant to his community. I thank him for all of his years of service and his friendship.”
‘A Challenging Decision’
Repucci said his decision to leave CAPIC was a challenging one.
“This has been a challenging decision given my utmost devotion to CAPIC and my need to safeguard the legacy of those who preceded me and those to follow,” wrote Repucci, whose agency helps low-income residents in Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop.
He said one of the reasons for deciding to leave the position at CAPIC was that “I’ve become growingly saddened and frustrated with the housing situation that we have in Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop. I’ve watched all these people that are essentially being forced out of their housing.
“All this great residential building has caused rents to increase – the new developments are looking at $1,800 to $3,000 a month so the average landlord of a three-family house looks at that and says, “I’m only getting $1,100, but I could get $1,800 or $2,000 a month, that’s one of the contributing factors why these rents are going up and I want to do something about it.”
Will Lead Winnisimmet Realty Corporatioon
When Repucci leaves CAPIC he will assume the duties of executive director of the Winnisimmet Realty Corporation, whose mission is to acquire property for the interest of the CAPIC agency.
He said it will be tough to leave CAPIC and the outstanding, professional staff that he has overseen for more than four decades.
“CAPIC is my home and the people that work there are really family to me,” said Repucci. “Separation from the organization is going to be as tough as I thought because of all these issues that we have that are poverty-related and I’m working on.”
He said people’s “access to healthcare” is one of the issues that brought him to work for CAPIC in 1972 “and here we are 48 years later looking at the same issue recurring and that’s in the presence of health centers which we didn’t have back then.”
Repucci will be in involved in the process to select his successor as executive director. He is in charge of recruiting candidates and expects a large pool of diverse applicants for the position.