Does Worcester, Mass. need a new city manager?

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September 17, 2013, 6:30 pm
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(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) – Worcester, Mass. Police Chief Gary Gemme spent Tuesday morning fielding questions about his future in the department. According to Gemme, a statement made by City Councilor Rick Rushton to the media set it off.

Rushton is quoted saying positions will be opening in departments, including public works and law enforcement.

“I manage one of the largest organizations in the city of Worcester and it's important we maintain stability and leadership so that type of statement has no place in local government,” Gemme said.

Tuesday, Gemme sent an e-mail to the department saying he is unaware of any pending changes at the police department.

“It's not based on fact; it’s based on innuendo and wishful thinking but clearly I have no intention of leaving Worcester.”

Meanwhile, Councilor Rushton tells Worcester News Tonight that the chief overreacted and says he was talking about change at city hall in general, saying in part, “the article was about Mike O'Brien and my comments were intended to be about having a steady hand at city hall amidst a sea of change.”

Monday, City Manager Mike O'Brien sent a letter to councilors saying he has spoken to Winn companies about a potential position.

O’Brien is required to disclose this information under state law because Winn does business with the city.

“I think he's done a great job and I hope he stays being the city manager but that being said no one person, myself included, is un-replaceable,” said Councilor George Russel.

He says O'Brien’s letter doesn't mean he plans to leave his position.

As for Worcester's police chief, he has also made it very clear he's not going anywhere.

Tags: Katelyn Tivnan, Mike O'Brien, city manager, gary gemme, worcester massachusetts, rick rushton
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