Austin Faison, the new town manager got right down to business on his first day on Monday morning. He started the
morning off with a department heads meeting and delved into his first Town Council meeting Tuesday night, including an executive session meeting to get up to date on some pending legal matters facing the town.
Faison, 34, recently inked a three-year contract for $140,000 for the town manager position. Part-time Town Manager David Cressman, who has filled in during the past months, has a contract extension to November, but he hinted he may be leaving a few weeks early.
For the past nine years James McKenna was the town manager of Winthrop with a $150,000 annual salary. McKenna opted to take the last year of his 10-year contract as a consultant to the town. His contract expired May 15. After McKenna left Police Chief Terence Delehanty filled in as town manager. He was offered the position, but turned it down.
Originally from Durham, N.H., Faison brings years of experience from the City of Boston. He was recently the assistant town manager for the town of Brookline and has spent three years working for the City of Somerville as the deputy director of the Traffic and Parking Department. He was employed as a senior analyst for the Somerville mayor and holds a masterâ€™s of public administration from Northeastern University and a bachelor of arts in political science degree from Bates College.
Faisonâ€™s experience as the assistant town manager of Brookline includes collaboration with the school department and budget management. He played a major role in a Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) award for a winning financial plan balancing over $270 million in revenue and expenses in Brookline.
â€œItâ€™s been an eye-opening experience to be in the role. Iâ€™ve been making my career to get to this point,â€ Faison said after Tuesdayâ€™s council meeting. â€œWinthrop has a history that Iâ€™m familiar with, but I think we are primed to move in the right direction.â€
He believes that those who were in the role before him â€œset the tableâ€ and he is going toward the low hanging fruit in the next few months.
A resident of West Roxbury, Faison and his wife Nneke, who is employed by WCVB on â€œChronicle,â€ have two young children.