Verga meets with transition team

Members of Gloucester Mayor-elect Greg Verga’s transition team pause for a photo at the City Hall Annex during a hybrid meeting earlier this week in which the rest of the group joined remotely. Pictured are, from left, team lead Harry Hoglander, former chairman of the federal National Mediation Board; Donna Leete, retired human resources director for the City of Gloucester; Verga, and Linda Vaughan, retired director of guidance for both Rockport and Gloucester high schools.

Gloucester’s mayor-elect is already knee deep in city business.

Greg Verga is working out of the City Hall Annex as he collaborates with a transition team in preparation of taking over as city leader from outgoing Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken.

“There’s a lot of energy and sense of purpose in our regular meetings and our daily communications,” said Verga. “The current city administration is cooperating in good faith and is responding to our requests for status reports and documentation regarding revenues, financial audits, budgets, staffing and legal dispositions, and major projects, purchases, or grants, either in the pipeline or on the horizon. It feels great to get to work and move toward delivering on my campaign priorities.”

To support the transition, Verga has selected a six-member team that brings a broad range of professional experience. The team members are Harry Hoglander, former chairman of the federal National Mediation Board; attorney Jim McKenna, who has served in the past as chief administrative officer of Gloucester, town administrator of Dover, and town manager of Winthrop; Donna Leete, who retired as Gloucester’s human resources director in 2020; Linda Vaughan, retired director of guidance for both Rockport and Gloucester high schools; Donna Crocker, president of Good Harbor Advisors Inc.; and Chad Konecky, a Gloucester-based journalist and communications specialist.

In its meetings, the team is exploring whether, when and how best to implement a variety of policy initiatives once Verga takes office. Some of those initiatives include forming a special mayoral committee on private roads, commissioning a city traffic-flow study, hiring a city sustainability director, conducting a comprehensive review of zoning ordinances, and supporting the School Committee as a voting member in efforts to expand public-private partnerships to advance science, technology, vocational, and marine-based biosciences training in the Gloucester Public Schools.

The transition team is also assisting in Verga’s review and interpretation of reports from city Chief Financial Officer John Dunn, along with various data relating to new growth estimates, plans and reports from city departments, withholdings and reconciliations, payroll, and Human Resources information shareable under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

The transition team will meet in person twice weekly and confer daily until the public swearing-in ceremony for the new mayor in January.

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