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FRAMINGHAM – The City of Framingham has been without an assistant health director for more than a year.

The City of Framingham officially began advertising for the position in October 2021.

But as of the start of February 2022, no one has been hired, and no one has been interviewed for the position with a salary range of $96,536 to $108,272.

“We have now received 7 applications for the Assistant Director of Public Health,” said Framingham Health Director Alex DePalo to SOURCE. “We have not started interviews and do not have a timeline for filling this position at the moment.”

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DePalo said she is “eager to meet with the incoming Human Resources Director in the coming weeks to consider additional strategies for filling this important position under the new administration.”

City Council unanimously approved a HR Director for Mayor Charlie Sisitsky earlier this month.

Kathy Davies O’Leary starts Monday, February 14. 

She will be busy to fill a lot of vacant positions, including in the health department.

Until DePalo was approved by the City Council in September of 2021, the City of Framingham was still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic but without a permanent health director.

In December 2020, when Sam Wong resigned. Wong emailed the City’s legislative delegation including Senate President Karen Spilka, and the three Framingham state representatives to announced his resignation.

SOURCE broke the news of his resignation, but the Spicer administration then decided to spin the departure of Wong as a leave of absence through the end of February. But Wong when he left in December 2020 wrote he was never coming back, according to internal emails.

With Wong gone, DePalo was in charge of the department as deputy health director. Later she was given the official title of interim health director in February 2021, when the Spicer administration announced Wong was not coming back to the City of Framingham. (Wong eventually took a job with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.)

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Former mayor Yvonne Spicer’s first pick for health director failed to get the necessary votes from the City Council during the confirmation process. Only four of the 11 Councilors supported the choice.

Councilors approved DePalo as Health Director in September 2021.

Throughout 2021, the department had just one leader instead of the two leaders it had in 2020 – director and assistant director.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.