In Hamden management shake-up, previous mayor usually takes in excess of as finance director

George T. Taft

HAMDEN — Hamden’s former mayor is coming property.

Present-day Mayor Curt Balzano Leng announced in a release Thursday that he had appointed his predecessor, Scott B. Jackson, as Hamden’s new finance director.

Jackson, who was born and raised in Hamden and served as the town’s top rated formal from 2009-15, explained Thursday he only lately observed out he would sign up for the workforce.

“I went and got some paperwork these days, and driving back again residence I took form of a collection of detours, and acquiring a story on every single block that I drove, I could not assistance but smile,” he mentioned. “It transpired to be that half an hour when the sunlight is out, and it was nice to be house.”

Jackson most just lately served as New Haven’s main administrative officer, but left the publish previously this thirty day period following resigning because of to “personal explanations,” according to Mayor Justin Elicker.

Jackson experienced been appointed CAO by Elicker soon after serving as commissioner of the state Department of Revenue Providers under Gov. Ned Lamont. He previously was undersecretary of intergovernmental plan for the Place of work of Coverage and Management, commissioner of the Labor Section and chairman of the Sandy Hook Advisory Fee in the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

As finance director, Jackson will change Curtis Eatman, who held the publish for about a yr.

It is not the 1st leadership shakeup Hamden’s finance staff has noticed in new a long time.

The town final calendar year rehired Rick Galarza as deputy finance director. Galarza turned Hamden’s acting finance director after Salvatore DeCola retired in July 2018, serving in both roles until finally Leng appointed Myron Hul as interim finance director.

With Jackson’s arrival, Eatman “will transfer his concentrate to serve” as performing financial progress director, “as well as providing for a mutually helpful transition for these cornerstone” town roles, Leng claimed in a statement.

Dale Kroop, who previously headed economic advancement for the town, retired in November.

“Overall, I’m enthusiastic about the new possibility,” Eatman said. “Though I preferred to remain in finance due to the fact I assume which is my sturdy fit, I do fully grasp the mayor needed some support in financial enhancement.”

Eatman is the former deputy commissioner of finance for Schenectady, N.Y., and a previous senior fiscal analyst for the New York point out Senate. He said he also directed financial growth for a time even though working for Schenectady.

“This rather exclusive senior staffing alter allows Hamden the option to set the correct chess pieces in the very best spots on the board for good results,” Leng stated in the launch, which also mentioned mayoral appointments ought to be submitted to the Hamden Legislative Council for overview and acceptance.

Eatman stated Jackson’s availability gave the city an chance it couldn’t go up, making it possible for Hamden to convey on another person with precious expertise at the point out amount.

“The mayor questioned me,” Eatman stated of his position improve. “It’s a mayoral appointment. I provide at the satisfaction of the mayor.”

As acting director of economic improvement, Eatman will look for to establish up the department, which he said has just one part-time staffer. His priorities will contain building up the grand checklist and “to really encourage and marketplace the town of Hamden to the point out and to a broader viewers,” he reported.

Eatman also ideas to understand anything he can about what Kroop labored on so he can pick up where Kroop remaining off, he said.

He was proud of the progress he has created due to the fact coming to get the job done for the town.

“We have performed a large amount of great issues listed here in finance,” he reported. “The town of Hamden is blessed to have some great community servants performing in finance who genuinely treatment about this town,” he claimed.

Leng’s assertion claimed Eatman served as finance director “during unprecedented times, with significant challenges posed by the pandemic and spending budget, with professionalism and commitment. In addition to his initiatives as Performing Financial Enhancement Director, he will be in a position to help in the completion of assignments as essential and ensure a appropriate changeover, something always valuable and which demonstrates steadiness for area governments.”

The mayor said Jackson brings “an tremendous amount of money of knowledge interacting, negotiating, and cooperating with regional, Federal, and Condition financial, non-gain and services agencies” to the position.

Eatman also praised his succesor’s qualifications.

“I know Scott’s obtained what it usually takes to do the career, and to occur in and strike the ground functioning,” Eatman mentioned.

Jackson leading priority is “working with the point out to improve the revenue options for the town” like the Payment in Lieu of House Taxes system, he mentioned. PILOT presents reimbursement to municipalities for tax-exempt houses.

He also wishes to focus on “team-making efforts” to break down any silos, he reported.

“I want to make sure that we know that we’re all on the very same crew … and that we can all be valuable to just about every other, and even even though authorities heart is shut to the general public we’re not shut to the people today,” he stated.

Just after leaving New Haven, Jackson wanted to expend the summertime sitting down in the backyard, he reported.

But “Mayor Leng gave me the precise speech I essential to hear,” Jackson ongoing, “and I stated certainly.”

Supplied the town’s financial disaster — Hamden’s liabilities exceeded $1 billion in 2019 — Jackson is familiar with there are worries ahead.

But “my children are young teenagers now, and I want them to be right here,” Jackson mentioned, noting that his two small children show up at Hamden General public Educational facilities. “If I can do a little something to get them to remain listed here, that’s specifically what I want to do.”

When asked why he left his New Haven submit, he mentioned the pandemic hit him “a minor hard” — specially due to the fact of the remote function design.

“To me governing administration is a dance,” Jackson said — if you really don’t apply with just about every other, it won’t operate.

“It wasn’t performing for me, due to the fact I consider I did not know sufficient folks in New Haven, or I didn’t know them properly plenty of,” he explained “I just didn’t experience like I was getting successful, or as productive as I could be.”

By now familiar with several of the players in Hamden, Jackson thinks he’ll have a superior prospect of currently being productive there.

But he acknowledged COVID will even now pose a obstacle, specifically as the finance group will be new to him.

“This is gonna be a hard a single, due to the fact the finance workforce, I have not worked with. The men and women that I have labored with have remaining,” he mentioned. “Getting individuals on the identical website page in the pandemic is not necessarily the easiest detail in the world.”

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