Town Manager Austin Faison Completes First Year on Job

Town Manager Austin Faison walked into his new position a year ago on Aug. 20, 2018.

Within the coming weeks he will have a review with the Town Council to reflect on what has been done so far and where Winthrop will position itself in the future.

Looking back on the year from his perspective, Faison has found it in-teresting and he’s learned a lot.

“There are a lot of things I couldn’t have predicted working on,” he said, citing the infrastructure, Center Business District and the effects of climate change on Winthrop.

Faison prefers to take up issues as they come up and ultimately he tries not to be reactionary, he said, adding that the professionalization in Town Hall can largely be attributed to technology.

“I think that we will provided a budgeting process this year that was more informative and streamlined than it had been in the past,” he said.

 â€œWe went through the rebuilding of the entire budget and came out with a pretty good product in the short amount of time,” Faison said of the $64 million budget for 2020.

Another accomplishment was the $13.1 million financing of the Center Business District infrastructure, something he had made a priority. Now the project has gone out to bid.

“The cost has gone up, but it is an incredibly important project,” he said.

There is also money from the Environmental Bond Bill to do some work at Ingleside Park for installing a water-storage system. He said the town is also very close to getting the old middle school building ready to go out to bid for reuse.

“We do have parties interested in that piece of property,” he said.

He hopes the projects start a new wave of momentum for the com-munity.

Another area he’d like to work on is the new zoning of the entire town, not just the center business district. He’s also asking for people to think about where Winthrop will be in 2030. He said its important for the community to know where it wants to go and then determine the zoning around that.

“I’m working with MAPC on a 2030 visioning document,” he said. “It’s Winthrop choosing where it wants to go.” Prior to coming to Winthrop, Faison was the assistant town administra-tor in Brookline.

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