Our New Town Manager – James McKenna will start his job during an exciting and important time in Winthrop’s history

Thursday, May 28, 2009
By Cary Shuman

A new era in Winthrop town government is about to begin. Town Council President Thomas Reilly will announce at Tuesday’s council meeting that James McKenna, who is an attorney, is his recommendation for the position of Winthrop town manager.

Mr. McKenna is a former administrator in the city of Gloucester. After being  named as one of the three finalists for the position by the town manager  selection committee, McKenna was interviewed by the Winthrop Town Council in an open session at the Senior Center.

 McKenna, as were the other finalists, was impressive in his presentation and displayed a clear familiarity with the issues facing the town and a precise vision for the future.

 McKenna, pending the expected approval of Reilly’s recommendation by the council, will likely take over the reins of the office by the start of  the new fiscal year on July 1. He assumes the top administrative position at a time when the town is facing financial constraints, some of which were addressed by the passage of eight of the 10 questions on the Proposition 2 1/2 override ballot.

 There are many challenges ahead for the town, but McKenna showed a lot of enthusiasm in his remarks at the council’s interview. He comes to Winthrop with a new outlook and will be ready to work with the council and town department heads and school officials.

 Tom Reilly has made one of the most important decisions in the history of the town. Most would say that the naming of a town manager is the biggest decision that he can make as the president of the Town Council.

 This is an exciting time Winthrop. Our voters just passed a watershed Proposition 21/2 override referendum and now we are about to have a new man running the day-to-day operations for our 18,000 residents. We know that the town will welcome Mr. McKenna to its heart, and we trust everyone will work with him to continue to make Winthrop the great town it always has been.

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