The news this week that Mayoral Chief of Staff Melissa Murphy Rodrigues is leaving to take over as Town Manager in Sudbury is just the latest of five losses among key administration officials this year alone.
In the past 12 months Mayor Carlo DeMaria has seen his Chief Financial Officer, Planning and Development Director, Personnel Director, Public Works Director and now his Chief of Staff all depart for greener pastures, new professional challenges, or personal reasons.
Critics of the Mayor are whispering that the recent string of departures is a sign that all is not right in his administration. However, an alternate view of the changes is that Everett has had the good fortune to have hired a lot of good people who are now being recognized for their hard work and success and moving on to new challenges.
There is a possibility that some of those who have left did not want to continue working in a city that will soon be home to the state’s largest casino operation. It is also possible that the recent departures are truly unrelated circumstances, and the timing is coincidental.
Former Planning and Development Director lived west of Boston with his wife and three children and left for the opportunity to take on a similar role in a community right next door to his own.
Former Public Works Director Jay Marcotte also reportedly left to take a position closer to his New Hampshire roots and home and former Chief Financial Officer Richard Viscay left to take over as CFO in Belmont, a wealthier community that pays better. Personnel Director Robert Dionne said he was leaving for personal reasons when he left early last winter.
Now Rodrigues is leaving, apparently for the opportunity to take the next step in her career and in a position that will no doubt pay her better as well.
Whatever the reasons behind the recent string of losses, those who want to find fault with the DeMaria administration will point to these recent losses as proof that the Mayor needs to be more accountable.
Meanwhile, the Mayor’s supporters can point to the success of those who have departed as proof of his ability to attract qualified and capable personnel.
In the end, the important thing will be how DeMaria responds to the departures and who he chooses to replace those who have left. Because after all, results ae what matters for any municipal official and how DeMaria continues to produce will be the real litmus test for the city.