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In Email To Department Heads, New Chief Administrative Officer Sets Inclusive Tone

December 21st, 2016 · 5 Comments · Analysis and Comment, News and Events

Kimberly Staley

Kimberly Staley

In a management shakeup of his administration last week, Mayor Joe Ganim appointed Kimberly Staley to serve as acting Chief Administrative Officer, replacing John Gomes who’ll now report to Staley in a role reversal. Staley is not a pol. She comes out of the corporate world.

Gomes was demoted after Ganim learned he had placed two relatives on the payroll without the mayor’s sign-off. A number of Ganim appointees also complained that Gomes strutted heavy-handedly in dealing with personnel issues. Why “acting” in front of Staley’s title? Ganim also started Gomes in an “acting” capacity. Sometimes Ganim likes to give himself some wiggle room as he assesses job performance. But make no mistake, Staley is chief of department heads who will report to her.

In an email to department heads on Tuesday, Staley writes “As I step into my new role, I am focused on getting to know you better so that we can create an environment that will be conducive to achieving our mutual objectives.”

Full letter:

Good afternoon colleagues,

It is extremely humbling and a true honor for me to have the opportunity to lead and serve as the “Acting” Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Bridgeport. I realize that this is a critical time for the administration and the city as we commit to supporting Mayor Ganim’s efforts to turn Bridgeport into a clean and vibrant place to live and work.

During the last six months, I have been fortunate to work with John Gomes as the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer. John Gomes’ talent, hard work and commitment over the past year led to many outstanding accomplishments and built a foundation from which we can forge ahead with continued success. I am pleased to say that John will partner with me and continue to address the day to day operational issues of our city.

As I step into my new role, I am focused on getting to know you better so that we can create an environment that will be conducive to achieving our mutual objectives. In particular, I would like to ensure that we have clear and open lines of communication, and that you have access to the resources you need to succeed. In the end, we will work together to strengthen interdepartmental relationships and cooperation.

We need to be results oriented. To that end, I want to promote your strengths and talents, encourage creativity, and execute strategies that will help us achieve great results. To achieve this goal, I would like to encourage each of you to share your ideas with me and your colleagues. Together we can find ways to leverage resources and improve our department’s ability fulfill their operational and administrative goals.

Officially, I will begin my new responsibilities in early January, but I will be scheduling individual meetings to connect with you immediately. Until then, I am looking forward to working with each of you!

Respectfully,

Kimberly Staley

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • John Marshall Lee

    “We need to be results oriented.”
    That is good to know but what “results” are genuinely important. Are the Departmental operational and administrative goals the items covered under “service indicator” and Departmental goals in each annual budget exercise? Are they conditioned upon a higher level of simple targets identified by the Mayor (though not in his first year of Ganim2)? Else what is the standard for raising the City from its current financial status, school performance deficiencies and budget problems, and unimpressive staffing patterns and accountability of public volunteers operating on Boards and Commissions to carry out public representation?

    I have observed Ms. Staley standing in for Mayor Ganim on two occasions in the past couple months and have complimented her on her intelligent and gracious approach to her task. It is important to pay attention to her management of people, results and detail. The citizen taxpayers of Bridgeport are important customers and consumers of the City and should be treated as such. Customer-oriented attention can be tracked and appreciated. Time will tell.

  • Frank Gyure

    It would certainly be nice if the taxpaying “shareholders” of The City of Bridgeport are treated with respect when dealing with City Hall Employees. We pay their salaries but it seems to be easily forgotten. It gets even worse when you ask to speak to the politically appointed head of the Department.

  • Maria Pereira

    There are those who seem to be thrilled there are three black women in high-level administrative positions, however is anyone upset none of the three live in Bridgeport? The Deputy Director of Labor Relations has out-of-state plates on her vehicle which means she is not paying a dime in car taxes.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Frank, could you please be specific? I have never had a disrespectful city employee wait on me. Ever! They are fully aware they serve the city. I think if anybody had an attitude problem, they would be gone. Is this just my perception?

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