The office Mayor Eddie A. Perez created to help steer the city's growth is going through some growing pains of its own, as three of its five divisions will soon be leaderless and the department itself is in search of a chief.
This is the last week of work for Development Services Director John F. Palmieri, who is leaving the 80-person department to be the next head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Mark K. McGovern, the city's Economic Development Director, will serve as acting director while Perez conducts a national search for Palmieri's successor.
"We're going through a transitional period, no doubt," said Palmieri, who has made his recommendations to Perez for moving forward. "I think Mark's burden will be to deal with some of these organizational issues.
"There may be a restructuring that occurs."
Perez created the department of development services to combine and oversee five subordinate divisions: economic development, housing and property management, grants management services, licenses and inspections, and planning.
The grants management division has been without a head since the departure earlier this year of Karen Winey, Palmieri said. Two other division heads - the housing division's Bruno Mazzulla and the licenses and inspections division's Dinesh Patel - have submitted letters of resignation, Palmieri said.
Perez has said the search to replace Palmieri could take several months. Palmieri said that division head decisions will likely be made before the new director is named. He also said that some of the five departments could be combined.
In a written statement provided by Perez's spokeswoman, Sarah Barr, Perez said he is proud of the department and said "the city will not skip a beat."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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