Austin Faison Offered Job as town manager

It’s been more than a year since former Town Manager James McKenna left, and the road to finding a replacement has been rough.  On Wednesday night, Town Council President Ron Vecchia appointed a full-time manager, Austin Faison, in hopes that he will guide the town through some very difficult and challenging times ahead.

“I believe he is the right individual to guide our town through some very difficult and challenging times,” said Vecchia.

The new town manager will be faced with what to do with the old middle school, center business district issues, development, the ferry, a new public safety building, and two legal cases involving Winthrop Police.

“It will be his responsibility to execute the collective vision of our citizens and town council,” Vecchia said. “I look forward to working with him and the council to improve the delivery of essential services to our resident and continue to improve the quality of life for all of us.”

Originally from Durham, N.H., Faison brings years of experience from the City of Boston. He is currently employed as the assistant town manager for  Brookline and before being the assistant town manager, he had 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 masters of public administration from Northeastern University and a bachelor of arts in political science from Bates College.

Faison’s experience as the assistant town manager of Brookline includes collaboration with the school department and budget management.

“I feel strongly that the town and schools should work together,” said Faison during his interview. He believes in both an open-door policy and communicating with the residents. “I want to make a community great for the people who live there so they continue to live there and thrive.”

During his interview, Faison expressed his passion for the town and the extreme potential it has for development.

“There is a boom happening not just in Boston, but in the entire metropolitan region and Winthrop is too close to everything else that is happening to not see success,” he said. “You are in a great position to prosper over the next five to 10 years and all it takes is a couple of new projects to flourish.”

While Faison would like to see development in Winthrop, he also believes in the importance of maintaining the character and traditions of the town.

“I’m ready for a job like this, I have innovative ideas and I believe it’s a team effort,” he said. “I understand how a municipality works, how a budget works.”

Since McKenna’s departure, Police Chief Terence Delehanty stepped in with a dual role of town manager and police chief.  He was offered the position and later declined the offer.

Presently,  David Cressman was hired as a temporary part-time town manager.

The other two finalists for the position were, Tim Gordon, who worked with former Town Manager James McKenna, and Michael Lombardo, town manager in Hamilton.

No word yet on salary or start date.

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