SPRINGFIELD – According to more than one speaker, Attorney Anthony Wilson had plenty of career options but elected to return to his hometown of Springfield.
Wilson is Mayor Domenic Sarno’s nominee to succeed the retiring City Clerk Wayman Lee. Sarno made the announcement on Nov. 10 at City Hall.
Wilson has been an associate city solicitor since 2012.
Sarno said Wilson has a “keen intellect” and is a “tremendous role model.”
City Solicitor Edward Pikula described him as “a lawyer’s lawyer.”
He added, Wilson is a “genuine people person” and noted he “certainly has large shoes to fill.”
Wilson is a Suffolk University Law School graduate and member of the Massachusetts Bar, United States District Court, District of Massachusetts Bar and the First Circuit Court of Appeals Bar.
His mother is well known attorney Cynthia Tucker and Wilson said with a smile, “All the good things people say about me are things she beat into me.”
Wilson praised Lee has having done “an amazing job” and noted that he will continue Lee’s efforts to modernize the city clerk’s office. He added he is sure he will be calling Lee for advice
The City Council will have to approve Wilson’s nomination and City Council President Michael Fenton said a vote would be forthcoming.
City Councilor Melvin Edwards said Wilson’s nomination is a “non-controversial appointment.”
Sarno said he is hoping for “a seamless transition.”
Wilson’s career track in the city parallels Lee’s. Lee began his career with the with the city government in 1988 as an associate city solicitor and was appointed to the position of city clerk in 2006.
Lee said his 28 years serving the city has been “a good ride.” He added, “It’s a great city regardless of what you hear.”
Lee is expected to leave his post by the end of the year.
Another change in the Sarno Administration was also announced by press release on Nov. 10. James Leydon, who serves currently as the mayor’s director of communications will leave that job on Nov. 13.
He started on Sarno’s staff in 2008 as constituent services director and was given his current position in 2012.
In a written statement, Sarno said, “This is bittersweet. Jimmy has been and continues to be a loyal and trusted member of my team. I know he will be successful in all of his future endeavors, he will be sorely missed by me and the entire staff.”
Leydon said, “As a lifelong resident of Springfield it has been an honor to be part of the Sarno Administration. Having served on the Mayor's staff since 2008 and witnessing Springfield's emergence from state control, to AA- bond ratings, then coming back from natural disaster after disaster and now standing at the commencement of its rebirth has been a privilege. Working in the mayor’s office is challenging but it is also very rewarding, you get to do a lot of nice things for people. What I will miss the most is the mayor and the staff they have been a second family to me.”
Leydon has not yet announced his immediate career plans.