Skwierawski Appointed New Chief of Planning and Community Development

The City Council unanimously approved the mayoral appointment of Tom Skwierawski as the city’s chief of planning and community development at its meeting Monday night.

Chief of Staff Kim Hanton appeared on behalf of Mayor Brian Arrigo and introduced Skwierawski to the Council.

Skwierawski, who resides in Melrose, has served for the past five years as the executive director of the community development and planning department for the city of Fitchburg.

Skwierawski holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies and Political Science from the College of Charleston and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University.

Skiwierawski told the Council before its unanimous vote that “I think this would be an incredible city to be a part of the growth that is taking place here, and I’d love to be a part of it.”

Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino asked Skiwierawski to highlight some of his accomplishments during his tenure in Fitchburg.

“A lot of the development that’s taken place in Fitchburg falls into two categories – it’s either downtown development which we’ve seen a real revitalization take place in recent years centered around the arts and culture, bringing together our university (Fitchburg State), our downtown business groups, all focused on seeing that vision through and that’s where a lot of my energy and time has been put,” said Skwierawski.

He added that one of the biggest projects in the last year that he managed from start to finish was a downtown two-way conversion project “where basically the entire spine of our downtown was very car-oriented, not friendly for pedestrians.”

“We talked about getting it done for 30 years, and in my five years in the city, we worked to make that happen,” he said.

Skwierawski said that Fitchburg State University has invested in the community’s theater “to develop a performing arts center right across from City Hall.”

“I also worked with a local non-profit in our art museum to create artist-live-work housing, all focused on a general theme of arts and culture,” said Skwierawski, who oversaw efforts to turn a 100-acre parcel of land into an outdoor-indoor recreation space called “Game On Fitchburg.”

Skwierawski will begin in his new position in Revere on October 13.

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