City Manager Thomas Ambrosino got high marks from the City Council’s city manager review subcommittee on Monday night, recommending a three-percent cost of living raise for each of the two years remaining on his contract.
Ambrosino signed a five-year contract with the city in 2019 at a salary of just under $190,000 annually.
“In summary, the final rating by the committee was that the city manager did an incredible job managing city business and the covid response during one of the most stressful and difficult times in recent memory,” said Council President Roy Avellaneda. “The evaluation committee is aware that this is most likely the last two years that the city manager is working, and expects that the same professional effort shown previously will continue.”
The evaluation committee included Avellaneda along with fellow councillors Judith Garcia, Todd Taylor, Giovanni Recupero, and Melinda Vega Maldonado. The committee graded Ambrosino on finance, economic development, neighborhood enhancement, community development, public safety, government philosophy, policy development and execution, intergovernmental relations, community relations, overall effectiveness, labor relations, and City Council relationships.
On a scale of one to five, Ambrosino got top marks in finance, neighborhood enhancement, community development, government philosophy, intergovernmental relations, and community relations.
In community development, the evaluation committee report stated that “the amount of social services provided by both the city and its third party organizations during COVID-19 pandemic was instrumental in literally keeping Chelsea residents fed and with shelter.”
Economic development and labor relations were on the lower end of the scale, where he earned a 3.5 out of 5 in each category.
For economic development, the evaluation committee report recognized the recent realignment by the city manager of community planning and development as its own department and a recently released economic plan for the Second Street/Spruce Street corridor.
“The grade here is more a reflection of lack of a more holistic economic development approach in the last few years since the last evaluation,” the report summary states.
District 8 Councillor Calvin Brown said the evaluation is a reflection of the professionalism, care, and compassion Ambrosino has shown in his role as city manager, adding he hopes Ambrosino stays beyond the final two years on his contract.
“I just want to thank you for your work,” Brown told Ambrosino. “I know it’s been a very, very trying and tiring time with a lot of time away from home throughout the pandemic, but you are a great leader and I hope you continue to be that great leader.”
In addition to the council members on the subcommittee, Avellaneda said the evaluation also took into account the input from over 35 residents who filled out an online survey.
The council will vote on approval of the three percent cost of living raise for Ambrosino at its next meeting.