City Manager Looks to the Future

New City Manager Fidel Maltez is taking both a short- and long-term look at his new position.

Maltez, who recently completed his first 30 days in office, recently met with the city council to discuss his 100 Days Action Plan for his first three-months plus as city manager.

The action plan focuses on some shorter-term measures, such as the realignment of the city manager’s office and an increased focus on outreach to residents. It also looks ahead in a big way, as Maltez said he hopes to have the city advertise a request for proposals for a major master plan undertaking later this spring.

Some of the other upcoming 100 day action plan items coming up include the finalization of the FY25 budget, a focus on Downtown Broadway improvements, and establishing a women’s commission and the relaunch of Disability Commission the Beautification Committee.

Continuing through his first several months in office, Maltez has held a number of listening sessions with community groups and residents to get their feedback on where they would like to see the city manager lead Chelsea.

“A lot of the work that I am doing right now really is to educate and inform me and our staff on what is important for the residents,” said Maltez. “I want to make sure that we are prioritizing the needs of the council, prioritizing the needs of all of our residents in this process.”

During the early days of his administration, Maltez said he worked on creating focus areas and structure them so that there was someone invested in working on those specific areas of focus.

“I am taking a lead role in support of our schools, that is something I am not only passionate about, but I also have an incredible relationship with our superintendent, whom I admire,” said Maltez. “I am investing a lot of time on thinking about how I can support our schools.”

Some other key focus areas include public safety, youth and workforce development, and housing.

“Another thing that I have spent a lot of time on is what I call our core values,” said Maltez. “I am hoping that it becomes our manta and our guiding light. It’s goals, but it’s also how we shape our work and how we talk about our work.”

At the heart of the core values are accountability and responsiveness, Maltez said.

“Accountability is the idea that we will own our mistakes and we will always look at ways to improve our processes,” said Maltez. “Responsiveness is the notion that we will respond to every resident. We may not provide the answer they are looking for, but we will respond and we will always provide an avenue for residents to provide feedback.”

Maltez said he has heard from the council, and he agrees, that Chelsea should have a resident-focused government that is innovative, proactive, and ahead of the curve.

Looking further ahead, Maltez said the master planning process is something that will see the city looking at its future and how it should be shaped for the next 25 years.

“It is something that we have talked about in Chelsea quite a bit in the past, and it is definitely something that is going to be a big priority of mine in order to move it forward,” said Maltez. “We are calling it Chelsea 2050 … but the idea is that it is going to be a strategic master plan, and it is going to be a city-wide conversation that is going to be led by an external entity, with support and input from my office. It is going to be someone who has done this before in other communities, and they can walk us through where we think Chelsea should be in 25 years.”

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