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Mayor-elect announces members of transition team

Date: 11/22/2013

By G. Michael Dobbs

CHICOPEE – Mayor-elect Richard Kos introduced the members of his transition team to the press on Nov. 19 and charged them with “meeting with representatives from various city departments and ascertaining what is going on, what should be going on and what could be going on.”

Kos did say there weren’t any specific issues or departments that were concerning him, but added even if there were he would not name them for fear of “tainting” the process.

“This is a great opportunity to get input,” Kos added.

City Council President George Moreau is among the team members and he predicted a good working relationship between the new mayor and the council. “Expect to see some give and take,” Moreau said. “One of has to be [the] wrong guy once in a while.”

His education committee consists of John Mruk, former Chicopee School Committee member and Adjunct Professor at Elms College; Chester Szetela, Chicopee School Committee member and retired Chicopee educator; Erin Hurley, current Springfield educator and former mayoral administrative assistant; and Linda Balakier, former Chicopee school vice-principal and teacher.

Alan Blair, president and CEO of Economic Development Council; Ken Delude, president of WestMass; Gail Sherman, president of the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce; and William Phillips, former mayoral Chief of Staff and procurement official will take on economic development.

On financial issues, Kos will rely on the report from Chicopee City Treasurer Ernest Laflamme Jr.; Jim Lowe, Golf Commissioner and tax preparer; Carol Campbell president and CEO of Chicopee Industrial Contractors; and Jim Lynch, the former director of the Chicopee Housing Authority.

Moreau; Chris Golba, superintendent of the Agawam Department of Public Works; former Water Commissioner and retired educator Al Pinciak; and Andrew Crane, president of A. Crane Construction, will look at public works and infrastructure issues.

Advising Kos on legal issues, appointments and contracts will be City Clerk Keith Rattell, Attorney Susan Phillips, Westfield City Solicitor and former Chicopee City Solicitor; and Attorney Marshall Moriarty, who specializes in labor issues.

The teams will be reporting back to Kos with their findings by the second week of December.

Kos said he would announce appointments to his administration before he takes the oath of office in January 2014.