Chair of Framingham Strategic Initiative & Financial Oversight Committee (SIFIOC) Resigns

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FRAMINGHAM – The chair of the Framingham Strategic Initiative & Financial Oversight Committee (SIFIOC) submitted his resignation to Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, effective today, February 3. He no longer wishes to serve as chair or as a member of the Committee.

District 6 resident Michael Gatlin, an attorney, was appointed chair of SIFOC by Mayor Spicer, when former chair Robert Case resigned. Case resigned after he was elected to the City Council in November 2019.

Gatlin did not give a reason on why he resigned.

He had cancelled the last two scheduled meetings of the Committee recently, including one scheduled for Monday, February 1.

“It has been my great honor and privilege to work with you on this Committee in service to the City of Framingham,” wrote Gatlin to the Mayor today, February 3. “I appreciate your confidence in and support of my efforts.”

Gatlin served on the Mayor’s transition team when she was first elected Mayor in 2017. He also has donated to her campaign.

The mayor is up for re-election in November 2021.

Mahmood Akhtar, who was the Mayor’s at-large appointee, resigned in 2020. The District 3 resident was the Spicer’s campaign manager.

When the Mayor makes an appointment to replace Gatlin it will be her sixth appointment to the 9-member Committee in 3 years. She appoints three seats to the Committee.

Gatlin wrote in his resignation letter he was pleased to work with the Mayor on the city’s Strategic Plan, which was required to be submitted per the City Charter.

The Committee mandated by the City Charter and formed after Framingham became a City, has nine members. The Committee is tasked with advising the Mayor, Council and School Committee on the status of Framingham’s long-range strategic plan, the state of the municipal economy, the sufficiency of municipal revenues, and other financial matters that may from time to time be referred to it. Three members are appointed by the Mayor, three by the 11-member elected City Council, and three by the 9-member elected School Committee.

City Council SIFOC members include:

  • James Culhane, CFA, is appointed to serve in the expertise in Finance seat. He has more than three decades of experience, working in municipal, corporate and project finance. He possesses an extensive record in understanding what conditions are necessary to fund ongoing operations and infrastructure improvements for municipalities. A long-time Framingham resident, Culhane is the parent of two children who attend Framingham High School. He resides in District 6. His term expires this year.
  • Mary Kate Feeney is appointed to serve in the Member of the Local Business Community seat. Feeney is the Founder and Chief Strategist for Dockside Media. She served as Governor Deval L. Patricks’ Director of online media 2010-2013. Feeney resides in District 3. Her term expires in June 2022. She serves as the current vice chair.
  • Gerard E. Desilets, JD, is appointed to serve in the At-Large seat. Desilets is a long-time resident of Framingham and has served in a number of volunteer positions, including seven one-year terms as Town of Framingham Moderator. For the last twenty years, he has worked for the South Middlesex Opportunity Council in various capacities, such as Senior Director of Planning and Director of Behavioral Health Services. Desilets resides in District 5. His term expires in June 2021

School Committee Applicants Selected for SIFOC Include:

  • Joel Francis is appointed to serve in the Expertise in Finance seat. He has been employed by a multi-national public accounting firm for over 20 years, providing financial statement audit services for a diverse group of companies. A current parent in the Framingham Public Schools, he is a PTO Co-Treasurer and youth sports coach. Francis resides in District 2. His term expires in 2021.
  • David Kilkis is appointed to serve in the At-Large seat. As a Senior Director of IT, Security, and Operations at a company in Massachusetts, he has extensive experience in the fields of technology, financial planning, contract negotiations, and capital projects. A current parent in the Framingham Public Schools, he is a former PTO Co-President. Kilkis resides in District 1. His term expires in 2022.
  • Chris Hauck was appointed to serve in the business seat. A chiropractor, his term ends in 2023.

Mayor appointments:

  • Gatlin was the mayor’s selection for business leader on the Committee. His term was to end in June 2021.
  • Scott Ellinwood was the finance expert appointed by the mayor. The District 6 resident’s term is scheduled in end in June 2022.
  • David Mawhinney was the Mayor’s at-large appointee. His term is scheduled to end on June 30, 2023.

There are no members from District 7, 8, or 9 on this important Committee.


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