FRAMINGHAM – City of Framingham Mayor-elect Charlie Sisitsky talked about the transition to his new administration with the 9-member Framingham School Committee tonight, December 15.
Sisitsky told the School Committee he was “under the weather” from the end October through November.”
The mayor-elect spent a couple of days in the hospital in November following his overwhelming defeat of current Mayor Yvonne Spicer on Tuesday, November 2.
Sisitsky won the election with 8283 votes. Spicer received just 3,909 votes.
Sisitsky told the School Committee “it restricted his ability to get around town and meet with people, and I was kind of restricted to home and on the phone. And that kind of slowed me down in terms of the transition but I’m pleased to report I’m feeling fine now. I’m back up and running and very active and moving ahead with the transition.”
Sisitsky will be sworn in on January 1 at Nevins Hall in the Memorial Building, along with the other newly-elected leaders.
It will be a “low-key inauguration,” said Sisitsky, due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Mayor-elect told the School Committee he had a chance to meet with Framingham Public Schools Superintendent Bob Tremblay and his leadership team.
“We had a very productive meeting,” said Sisitsky, who said the Superintendent brought he up-to-date on a lot of the issue.
Sisitsky, as the City of Framingham’s mayor will serve as an ex-officio member of the School Committee, only voting when there is a tie.
Sisitsky said he and Tremblay talked about possible joint projects, but did not name any.
“I pledged to him, as I will pledge to you, that I intent to work closely with the you. Treat you with dignity and respect. And view you as part of the team,” said Mayor-elect Sisitsky.
Sisistky told the School Committee he has named Cathy Miles chair of his transition team and that he has formed 9 subcommittees focused on key transition issues, “with a lot of volunteers.”
One of those subcommittees is education, chaired by District 4 School Committee member Adam Freudberg, who endorsed Sisitsky for mayor, and Sarah Guernsey, a Walsh Middle School teacher, who is on the negotiating team fighting for a new Framingham Teachers Association contract.
The Mayor-elect said the transition committees have been meeting regularly and said they have been “very productive.”
Sisitsky said he was very happy with the “results so far” and the “enthusiasm” of these committees.
Sisitsky, a former elected City Councilor and Selectman, told the elected School Committee members “this is a team effort. We are all in this together.”
Mayor-elect Sisitsky said he and his team are working to replace the employees in the mayor’s office.
“We have been interviewing for many vacant positions,” said Sisitsky.
Already advertised last month was the Chief Financial Officer position, the Chief Operating Officer position, the City Solicitor, and the Chief Participation Officer.
Other positions in the Mayor’s office that will be replaced include the administrative assistant, the senior advisor position, the Chief Information Officer, the Records Access Officer, and the Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer.
Besides the “personnel in the mayor’s office,” Sisitsky said he has to fill a lot of positions in “City Hall.”
That list includes DPW Director, Human Resources Director, Planning, Economic Development, & Community Development Director, Assistant Health Director, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director, Assistant Facilities Management Director, among others.
Sisitsky said he is “working hard to get ready for January 1.”
The mayor-elect has had at least two meetings with Mayor Yvonne Spicer – one in November and one in December.
Sisitsky told the School Committee he has a lot of work ahead of him.
“I’m doing what I can to get up and running,” said Sisitsky, who said there is a lot of work to do including preparing and submitting the Fiscal Year 2023 budget in less than 6 months.
Sisitsky will also be in charge of controlling the COVID surge happening currently in the City.
More than 10,000 people have tested positive since the pandemic began in early 2020.
Framingham, along with the rest of the world, is about to enter year 3 of COVID (2020, 2021, & soon 2022).