Mitchell Appoints First Chief Operating Officer for New Bedford
NEW BEDFORD - Mayor Jon Mitchell has appointed Assistant Chief of Staff Christina R. Connelly as the City’s first Chief Operating Officer. In her new role, Ms. Connelly will directly oversee nine key city departments to improve the delivery of services in important areas, and promote the efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
Departments under her immediate control will include: the Department of Facilities and Fleet Management, the Department of Public Infrastructure, the Department of Inspectional Services, the Department of Planning, Housing and Community Development, the Health Department, the Department of Resilience and Environmental Stewardship, the Traffic Commission, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Beaches, and the Licensing Department. The COO role is a realignment of existing positions; Ms. Connelly’s former position will not be filled.
Ms. Connelly brings a wealth of municipal experience to the new position. Until her appointment, she has served as Assistant Chief of Staff in the Office of the Mayor since 2012. In this capacity, she has served as a liaison to the departments she will now oversee, among others. She also served as Community Development Coordinator in the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development from 2007 to 2012, where she was responsible for implementation of the Office’s annual action plans, consolidated five-year plan, and management of the major federal grant known as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, as well as overseeing other grants and housing programs, including the City’s Continuum of Care funding for homelessness.
Prior to her time at the Office of Housing and Community Development, she held positions as Communications Director and Program Director for South Coast Learning Network. Ms. Connelly is a native of New Bedford. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Boston College, and is an alumna of Bishop Stang High School.
Since he took office in 2012, Mayor Mitchell has made the professionalization of the City workforce a central priority. The hiring of New Bedford’s first Chief Financial Officer brought stability and long-range planning to the City’s business operations and resource management, and the Chief Operating Officer will extend those initiatives to the City’s operating agencies. The Administration’s focus on recruiting the most qualified staff for key positions will provide long-term benefits through the delivery of effective and efficient services for the citizens of New Bedford.
“The establishment of a Chief Operating Officer will improve city government’s ability to execute a clear set of priorities to deliver core municipal services more effectively and efficiently,” said Mayor Mitchell. “Christina Connelly is a multi-talented and experienced public servant who has worked tirelessly over the course of her career to improve New Bedford. I am excited that she is willing to fulfill this important new role in city government, and I am confident that her work will lead to a higher functioning city government, which is exactly what our residents deserve.”
-City of New Bedford