BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — BEVERLY — Three of Bill Scanlon’s key department heads will not be back at City Hall in January.
Mayor-elect Mike Cahill said yesterday that he will replace Planning Director Tina Cassidy, Finance Director John Dunn and City Solicitor Roy Gelineau as part of the transition to his administration.
Cahill said the other 18 department heads will all return, but he wants to bring in new people to those three key positions.
“Any new mayor coming in needs to bring in their own team,” he said. “It’s no reflection on the people who are there. I have great respect for the people who are there and the work they have done and the service they have given to the city.”
Cahill said he met with all of the department heads last week to let them know about their future. He said the three positions that will be open will be advertised, as is required by the city charter. He declined to say who he has in mind for the jobs.
“Some people have expressed interest, and that’s great,” he said. “But we’ve got to see who else might show themselves through the process.”
New department heads must be approved by the City Council.
Cassidy, Dunn and Gelineau have been among Scanlon’s closest advisers. Cassidy and Dunn have served for all 18 years of his administration. Gelineau was Scanlon’s campaign manager in 2003 and has been city solicitor for the last 10 years.
Cassidy’s tenure as planning director even pre-dates Scanlon. She was first appointed as the assistant planning director by Mayor Jack Monahan in 1988.
“I love working for the city, and I always have,” Cassidy said. “To be honest, I would’ve loved to continue, but it’s obvious that Mr. Cahill has different plans. I’m disappointed but, frankly, can’t do anything about it other than get the word out that I’m a free agent and available come January.”
Dunn was hired by Scanlon as treasurer/collector in 1995 and was appointed finance director in 1997. Like Cassidy, his tenure was interrupted by the two years when Scanlon was knocked out of office by Tom Crean.
Gelineau served as Scanlon’s campaign manager when he came back to beat Crean in 2003, then was appointed city solicitor.
“I’ve very much appreciated the opportunity to serve as the city’s lawyer for 10 years,” Gelineau said. “It’s been a tremendous opportunity. Working with Bill Scanlon has been probably the most rewarding work experience I’ve had in my lifetime.”
Gelineau said he will return to his private law practice full time.
Cahill won election on Nov. 5 and will replace Scanlon, who did not run for re-election after 18 years in office. Cahill said he met with Scanlon two weeks ago as part of the transition and was scheduled to meet with him again today.
Last week, Cahill attended a seminar for new mayors run by the Massachusetts Municipal Association. He will be sworn into office on Jan. 6.
“It’s an ongoing process,” he said of the transition. “All the mayors I’ve talked with say the same thing: The days run out quickly. I’d love it to be Jan. 6, but there’s a lot of work to do be done between now and then.”
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.