New London - Three department heads will remain in place and three positions will be filled by newcomers when Mayor-elect Daryl Justin Finizio takes office Monday night.
“We have a diverse group, not only in makeup but in politics and life experiences,'' Finizio said in announcing his selections for department heads. He also named his choices for his personal staff, which includes an office administrator and executive assistant to the mayor. All appointments are effective Dec. 6.
Those who will remain are Tommie Major, who has been director of the Parks and Recreation Department for 21 years; Joseph Lanzafame, director of Public Utilities; and Jeff Smith, director of the Finance Department.
All department heads must live within the city limits, according to the City Charter. Lanzafame will have six months to move into New London. Smith, who has been head of finance for about six months, has decided not to relocate, Finizio said. He will remain for about six months while a national search is conducted.
Other appointments include Timothy Hanser, director of Public Works, and Kristin Havrilla Clarke, director of the Office of Development and Planning. They replace Keith Chapman, special assistant to the city manager, who oversaw both departments and did not apply for either position, Finizio said.
Hanser, who was campaign chairman for the New London Green Party, was a senior associate scientist for Pfizer Inc. for six years and worked as a high school chemistry teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and master's degree in science from Pace University. He is fluent in Spanish.
Although he has no experience in public works, Hanser will be an "innovator for this position," Finizio said. "I have every confidence he will bring dynamic new leadership to our public works department,'' he added.
Clarke, who is the assistant director of planning and development in Ledyard, has a bachelor's degree from Roger Williams University and master's degree in urban planning from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. She is also a former archivist for New London Landmarks and a former consultant for New London Main Street. She lives in Waterford but will relocate to New London with her family.
Finizio also nominated Jeffrey T. Londregan to replace his father, Thomas Londregan, as the city's new law director.
According to City Charter, which requires the law director to be a resident of New London and have five years' experience as an attorney, the City Council must approve the appointment. After appointment the law director serves at the pleasure of the mayor. The city spends close to $300,000 a year on legal services.
The younger Londregan, a member of the law firm Conway, Londregan, Sheehan and Monaco, has done work for the city in the past and was the most experienced municipal attorney who applied for the job, Finizio said.
"Attorney Londregan has the long term commitment to this post that the city needs at this critical time,'' Finizio said. "Our city is going through significant constitutional change as we transition our form of municipal government for the first time in a century."
Last month, Finizo selected Jane Glover, a former ceremonial mayor, as his chief administrative officer.
Thursday, he also named other members of the mayoral staff, including Tammy Daugherty, office administrator and principal secretary to the mayor's office; and Zak Leavy, executive assistant to the mayor.
Daugherty is a realtor and the office administrator for New London Harbour Towers. She also worked for New London Main Street.
Leavy, who is Finizio's executive assistant during the transition, will graduate from Eastern Connecticut State University in December with a bachelor's degree in political science.
Finizio also announced that Manuel Rivera, former deputy secretary of education for the state of New York and former National Superintendent of Schools of the Year, will be the senior education policy advisor to the mayor. That is a pro-bono, volunteer position.
Rivera, a 1970 graduate of New London High School, moved back to his hometown about two years ago, and runs a national consulting agency in New York state.
He was also Finizio's education advisor during the campaign.
"I view his insights as tremendous benefits,'' Finizio said. Rivera also will be available for consultation with the Board of Education.
City Manager Denise Rose, and the city manager's assistant, Gail McKissick, will remain as transition support staff through Dec. 31. Their positions were eliminated in the new charter. Finizio said both may leave government service after Dec. 31 or may remain in new positions.
There is money in the budget to fund all positions, Finizio said, but specific salaries are still being discussed. Those numbers will be available from the personnel office, he said.
Finizio also announced the appointment of Lorraine E. Allen as chairwoman of the Board of Tax Assessment Appeals. Allen, who was a recent candidate for City Council, replaces Don Harrington, who was chairman and resigned from the board.
When voters amended the City Charter in 2010, the change gives broad powers to the new position of elected mayor, including final approval of the hiring of all city employees.
Finizio said that, as promised during his campaign, none of the appointees contributed more than $100 to his campaign and nor served as treasurer, deputy treasurer or graphic designer for the campaign.