Town Manager James McKenna attended a three-week program titled “Executive Education in State and Local Government,” at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge.
McKenna joined state, city, and town administrators and public safety officials from across the country at forums, workshops, and seminars reviewing case studies ranging from financial issues and development projects, to emergency response and departmental management.
“The issues ran the gamut and it was a tremendous experience for me professionally,” said McKenna, who received a certificate for his completion of the program. “Going into the program, I didn’t know what to expect, but I certainly received more information than I thought I would get, and then some from the experience.”
McKenna lived in Cambridge for three weeks. He said the program required “a mountain of reading.”
McKenna said he was deeply grateful to the town for sponsoring his attendance at the program and giving him the opportunity to participate in the invitation-only event.
McKenna said town administrators have to be well versed in so many areas of government and municipal operations today and have a thorough understanding of public safety scenarios affecting communities.
“Look at the tornado that happened in Revere Monday,” said McKenna. “Being able to manage through a crisis is part of the business we’re in. I think the Mayor of Revere, Dan Rizzo, did a fine job this week.”
McKenna said he was able to learn from the experiences of other administrators while officials asked him about his many successes in Winthrop.
“Hopefully now I can bring back this educational experience back to Winthrop,” said McKenna.
McKenna, his staff and town departments, notably police and fire, will practice its emergency preparedness and response to a tornado in a simulated event this Monday.
“What if we had experienced what happened in Revere Monday – how would we handle it? How would we respond to a situation like that?”