Q&A With Mayor-Elect Sisitsky On His Health, Transition, & Plans Come Inauguration

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FRAMINGHAM – On November 2, Framingham voters overwhelming elected former Selectman and City Councilor Charlie Sisitsky to be the City of Framingham’s second-ever Mayor.

But that weekend, the Mayor-elect was hospitalized for a few days.

Despite the hospitalization, Sisitsky said he has been working quietly over the last 3 weeks, working on the transition and the kick-off of his administration come the inauguration on January 1, 2022.

Today, November 24, Mayor-elect Sisitsky and current Mayor Yvonne Spicer met.

Sisitsky told SOURCE the meeting “went very well.”

“The Mayor and (Chief Operating Officer) Thatcher (Kezer III) were well prepared and very cooperative. We had a very productive meeting. I appreciate their willingness to do whatever they can to make the transition as successful as possible,” said Sisitsky to the digital news outlet.

Earlier today, the Mayor-elect announced his transition team chair, Cathy Miles, the founder of Framingham FORCE. The Mayor-elect and his team also announced 9 transition subcommittees and co-chairs for the 9 subcommittees.

Since three weeks has passed since election day, on Tuesday, November 23, SOURCE asked the Mayor-elect a few questions about the transition, his health, and his goals for the administration.

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SOURCE: Charlie, you spent a few days in the hospital, after easily winning the election on November 2. How is your health?

SISITSKY: I experienced some unexpected medical issues following a routine medical procedure which I have been dealing with since the election. My condition has greatly improved and I expect to be fully recovered shortly.

During this time, I have still managed to have conversations and meetings with my transition team while we plan for my new administration. I have a lot of confidence in the transition team, subcommittees and co-chairs that we have been shaping, and look forward to working closely with the entire group in the coming weeks.

I appreciate all the outpouring of care and support and I want to assure everyone I am doing well and ramping up my activity every day. 

SOURCE: Have you been in touch with the Mayor? Describe the transition relationship.

SISITSKY: I met with the Mayor on Wednesday (today) afternoon and I am confident that the transition has begun and will go smoothly over the next five weeks.

SOURCE: Do you plan to announce your transition team soon? 

SISITSKY: I have appointed Cathy Miles, Founder of Framingham FORCE, to head my transition team.

We have also named people to be Co-chairs of nine transition committees and plan to add additional people to these committees shortly.

The transition team is built around nine subcommittees consisting of nearly 50 community members in their respective areas of focus. 

SOURCE: What are your top 3 transition goals?

SISITSKY: The most immediate goal is to fill the myriad vacant positions throughout the City government.

The other important consideration is to get a true evaluation of the City’s financial situation including the school system.

During my campaign I committed to establishing a culture of respect, civility, and transparency and I intend for that to start on day one. 

SOURCE: The employees in the Mayor’s office serve at the pleasure of the Mayor. Plus, several positions in the City of Framingham, including several department & division heads are vacant. What is your philosophy on hiring staff? What is your #1 position to fill?

SISITSKY: As provided in the Charter, the people filling several positions in the Mayor’s office are coterminous with the Mayor and therefore those positions all have been advertised.

There are some key positions that have to be filled ASAP including the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Human Resources Director.

I want to recruit talented, competent, responsive and diverse professionals to oversee city departments, initiatives and boards. 

SOURCE: What can the residents of Framingham expect from a Sisitsky administration in January?

SISITSKY: One of the things that the residents can expect will be my outreach to various constituencies including; the Framingham Business Association, the Downtown Framingham, Inc., Chamber of Commerce, and neighborhood groups. I want to let these groups know that I will be a Mayor who will listen, respond, and eager to hear their concerns.

As I have previously stated, the most important change we need immediately is a new culture of collaboration and cooperation from the Mayor’s Office with the School Committee, the City Council, our legislative delegation, and neighborhood groups to ensure we have a team effort for our City.

SOURCE: The first Mayor of the City of Framingham requested a new SUV and wanted two senior advisors in her office. Is there anything you think is needed for Mayor Sisitsky to do the job that is currently not in place?

SISITSKY: I currently have no plans at all to use anything other than my own personal vehicle as Mayor.

I need to fill vacant positions in the Mayor’s Office with talented, respectful staff.

The government customer services will be transparent, open and respectful and I will ensure that when people call City Hall, someone will answer the phone.

SOURCE: The coronavirus and its impact still lingers. Businesses are still struggling. Families are still struggling. Individuals are still struggling. Do you plan to put together a plan to help everyone not only survive this pandemic but thrive when it is over? What do you see as the keys to that plan?

The impacts of the pandemic have been detrimental, most often to small business owners and those with lower socio-economic status.

I have been distraught by Framingham’s hundreds of deaths, thousands of positive cases, extended school closures, businesses trying to stay open, and the mental health impacts of the pandemic. 

I have always been a longtime supporter of small businesses in our community. I have advocated for, and supported many small businesses in the area of licensing.

I will support the efforts of citizen groups that are currently providing vaccination and other services to members of the community.

SOURCE: The current Mayor never held press conferences and rarely took questions in public. How do you plan to communicate your goals, initiatives, and efforts with the media & the public? 

SISITSKY: Right now, Framingham needs more focus on collaborative transparency: meaning the government must do more to open up and facilitate residents’ understanding and participation, and community participation.

I look forward to holding press conferences and will be readily available to the press, as will my top administrators.

My administration and I will also be open to meeting with various groups throughout the City in order to keep residents apprised of the activities of their government.

SOURCE: How can the public reach the Sisitsky administration now if they have ideas? 

SISITSKY: An official City of Framingham email address  is now available for all to use at Mayorelect@framinghamma.gov 

SOURCE: Anything else you want the public to know with about a month until the inauguration?

SISITSKY: Our team is very busy managing numerous tasks between now and January 1st.

In the near future, the designated nine subcommittees will recommend short-term and long-term actions for my administration to take during our first term. Their perspective and contributions will prove invaluable.

The Inauguration Planning Committee has also had success meeting with City employees to begin establishing the logistics for the swearing-in of our newly elected officials in an inclusionary ceremony on January 1, 2022. 

editor

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