Chelsea DPW Director Selected as Reading’s Third Town Manager
Reading, MA — With a unanimous 5-0 vote, the Select Board appointed Fidel Maltez as its choice for the third town manager in Reading’s history on Wednesday night. Born in Managua, Nicaragua, Maltez spent a career in the corporate world before becoming the Commissioner of Public Works in Chelsea five years ago. After being informed that finalist Jennifer Phillips had withdrawn from consideration, Select Board member Chris Haley stated that Maltez reminded him of new Superintendent of Schools Thomas Milachewski. “I see energy, passion, and determination with Fidel,” Haley commented. “He does not need this job; he wants it,” Haley concluded.
Select Board member Carlo Bacci agreed with Haley’s comments. He also shared that comments from town staff, as well as the public, drove his decision. “I want someone who will look out for the community long-term,” Bacci declared. “Fidel rose to the top [of the list]”.
Member Mark Dockser also agreed, stating, “I am impressed with his commitment . . . [If there’s a wall] he will go around it, over it, or through it to get to the other side.” Dockser also was impressed with Maltez’s desire to become a “face in the community.”
Select Board member Anne Landry followed, expressing appreciation for the community discussion the post has engendered. She commented on Maltez’s hands-on experience in Chelsea, his financial acumen, and his answers to questions about diversity and inclusion. “It’s a value he lives,” Landry shared. “He has vision, innovation, and the ability to bring people together.”
Chair Karen Herrick made the choice unanimous, commenting on what she referred to as Maltez’s “tremendous budgeting and staff management skills.” She continued, “I know he can come here and be successful.”
The Select Board also voted 5-0 to appoint Herrick to begin negotiations with Maltez, with Landry and Town Counsel Ivria Fried as resources. The board plans on an executive session to review the negotiations on December 21 at 7:30 pm.
The Select Board adjourned at 7:50 pm.