Chelsea’s loss will be the town of Reading’s gain, as public works commissioner Fidel Maltez prepares to take over as Reading Town Manager.
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Maltez was honored with a celebratory resolution highlighting and honoring his six years of service to Chelsea as assistant commissioner and commissioner of the public works department. Councillors and city officials praised Maltez for his dedication and skill as a leader both on the job and in the community.
“Many of you know how highly I regard Fidel,” said City Manager Thomas Ambrosino. “I look at him as someone who is just an incredible administrator and an incredible public servant. He has made my life so much easier here, and a lot of the tremendous progress that we’ve made in the last five years has come because of his hard work and dedication.”
Ambrosino said Reading is getting not only an extraordinarily capable administrator, but also a top-notch human being.
Several councillors noted not just his dedication to the city, but also his dedication to his family and his ability to put the needs of others before himself.
“This is a huge L for our city, but a major gain for Reading,” said Councillor-At-Large Damali Vidot. “The DPW under your leadership stands head and shoulders above any DPW I’ve seen.”
As DPW commissioner, Maltez helped oversee the launch of a new water and sewer division, renovations to City Hall and its clock tower, and the implementation of the city’s 311 program.
“I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for the city,” said District 4 Councillor Enio Lopez. “We have better streets in the city, better sidewalks, better lights. You are a great leader in our community and have done an excellent job, and it is great to see fellow Latinos like you taking important roles like you will be doing.”
Maltez was born in Nicaragua and came to the United States when he was seven.
Councillors Giovanni Recupero and Judith Garcia said Maltez stands as an example of what immigrants can bring to this country.
“You brought so much hope to this community, and we see in you the possibility of making a place a better place to live. You have improved many of our residents’ quality of life through your hard work and through your decisions of hiring local talent and ensuring that we make this community a better place.”
Councillors Calvin Brown and Todd Taylor both mentioned how Maltez has been on the frontlines during the pandemic, making sure those who are most vulnerable in the community are taken care of.
“I really thank you for all of your hard work and the professionalism you brought to the job,” said Taylor.
Police Chief Brian Kyes and Council President Roy Avellaneda were among those who noted that Maltez was always responsive to any request.
“The one thing he doesn’t know how to do well is say no; he says yes to everything and he is incredibly responsive,” said Kyes. “He is one of those leaders that in my opinion comes along only once in a generation.”