By Adam Swift
Outgoing City Manager Thomas Ambrosino took part in his last City Council meeting as head of the municipal government Monday night.
Council President Leo Robinson and all the members of the council introduced a resolution thanking Ambrosino for his more than seven years of service to Chelsea. Ambrosino’s last day as city manager is Friday, Jan. 13, and he begins his new position as the Court Administrator of the Trial Court in Massachusetts at the end of the month.
Ambrosino was honored for his leadership, dedication to the city, and humility by the council.
“I’ve had the honor of working with Mr. Ambrosino my entire tenure here on the City Council,” said Councilor-at-Large Damali Vidot. “It’s night and day if we look at where we were before he started. We didn’t have any holiday decorations downtown, there weren’t any murals, there weren’t any arts and the community just wasn’t as vibrant as it is under Tom’s administration.”
Vidot said Ambrosino played an important role in helping councilors understand the workings of municipal government that the councilors could then convey back to the public.
“His ability to break things down in layman’s terms really made it so that we as new councilors were able to participate,” she said.
As a city manager, Ambrosino had an open-door policy and looked at municipal government through a lens of equity.
“Tom, it was an honor and a privilege working with you,” said Precinct 8 Councilor Calvin Brown. “We did a lot of great things here and your leadership here was A number one. Not only did you have an open-door policy for elected officials, but you had an open-door policy for the whole city.”
District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero said Ambrosino’s greatest quality is that he was always working for the people of Chelsea.
“He was a great leader because he is not a selfish person,” said Recupero. “He doesn’t have any ambition for himself, his greatest ambition is to help the people he works for.”
District 3 Councilor Norieliz DeJesus said she worked with Ambrosino before she was on the City Council and when Ambrosino was new as a city manager, and was impressed in how he responded to a room full of tenants working for better living conditions.
“He said, if you have bad conditions and the landlord is not fixing them, and the landlord is not obeying the laws for code violations, lawyer up and rent strike,” said DeJesus. “I was in shock, for our city manager to just take off his city manager hat and say, I used to be an attorney and I’m going to tell you right now you have the right to hold your rent if you are not living in decent housing, I felt it was so good for a city manager to be able to guide our tenants and be so transparent.”
District 5 Councilor Judith Garcia said what she has taken the most from Ambrosino’s leadership style is his humility.
“Not only are you humble, but you have a very strong moral compass in every decision you make, and we have seen that for the past seven years,” said Garcia.
District 1 Councilor Todd Taylor thanked Ambrosino for his financial oversight of the city, and his responsiveness to concerns raised by councilors and constituents alike.