CHRISTOPHER G. SENIOR – CANDIDATE FOR COHASSET TOWN MANAGER
Having managed complex municipal finances which won an Aa1 rating from Moody‟s, maintained even in the current economic climate; led the team which created a 311 constituent service operation and an award-winning performance management system called TownStat; and recruited and developed a professional management team that created a model aging-in-place program and put into action a wide variety of cost-reducing and service-improving projects which has made government work both harder and smarter; I am eager to discuss what I can bring to Cohasset as its next Town Manager.
As North Hempstead‟s Deputy Town Supervisor I serve as COO and Deputy CEO/CFO of a municipality with more than 226,000 residents living in 31 villages, some three dozen hamlets, 11 school districts, and 47 component special districts providing everything from library services to sewers.
To help citizens maneuver this multitude of governments I led the team that created a Town-wide 311 system with a centralized call center, cutting the dozens of department contact numbers to “one call to Town Hall.” To ensure that residents receive quality service delivery after that contact, I oversee TownStat, a performance management system much like programs now found throughout Massachusetts. For three years running TownStat has been recognized by the ICMA with Certificates of Distinction. For the past two years my staff and I have been active participants in New England StatNet, sharing performance benchmarks and best practices across local and regional lines.
311 helped make possible “Project Independence,” North Hempstead‟s nationally-recognized program which makes aging-in-place possible for thousands of older residents. The call center serves as a gateway to joining the program, a connector to a wide variety of available services, and the place to schedule rides to the doctor and the grocery store. The program has more than 2,000 enrolled members, and has helped thousands more.
Years of technology upgrades and improved management practices like 311 and TownStat have helped significantly as I lead the preparation of annual Town budgets. While the challenging economy, coupled with a
2% property tax cap imposed by New York State, have impacted revenue, ongoing analysis of how we conduct business and a willingness to adopt new, more efficient practices have allowed departments to provide consistently high quality services to our residents.
While North Hempstead is governed by one elected Town Board with broad authority, the multiple levels of government within our borders have placed a premium on inter-municipal cooperation on topics as varied as service delivery and employee benefits. The Town‟s extensive lobbying and grants program has brought millions of dollars for new equipment, capital projects, environmental restoration, and even the creation of the 311 Call Center itself. And while less visible to the public, ensuring that our staff has the right training and tools to do their jobs, and an open door and welcoming ear from management, has gone a long way to helping us provide better quality services to our residents and a better workplace for our staff.
Throughout my career, my successes have been built on an ability to manage complex tasks and build teams, to call on my background in journalism to communicate clearly and effectively, and to build and implement policy goals and objectives with elected officials and decision makers at all levels.
|Profile andHighlights||Team-oriented leader with extensive administrative, budget, planning, project management, and legal experience in both the public and private sectors|
|· Direct day-to-day operations of a diverse Long Island Township with 226,000 residents, a combined $140 million budget, 420FT/350 PT employees, 47 component special districts, 11 school districts and 31 villages· Lead the financial team which achieved the highest bond rating in Town history (Aa1
Moody‟s) and first ever GFOA CAFR awards for 2010 and 2011 financial statements
· Oversee a 3-1-1 constituent service system and „TownStat‟ performance management
program, which won 2011, 2012 & 2013 ICMA Certificates of Distinction
· Collaborate with other local leaders to develop and share best practices by actively participating in groups like New England StatNet and the GFOA
· Work in partnership on legislation, grants, and inter-municipal issues across a wide variety of topics with community and business leaders, residents, and local, state and federal officials
|Education||J.D., with distinction, Hofstra University School of Law, 1992B.A., Economics, magna cum laude, Boston University, 1988
B.S., Journalism, magna cum laude, Boston University, 1988
|Employment||Deputy Town Supervisor 2004 to presentTown of North Hempstead, Manhasset, NY
· Deputy CEO, CFO, and COO of Long Island Township
· Manage preparation of all Town operating and capital budgets, including general fund, highway, special districts, and five-year Town Capital Plan
· Direct hiring of senior management team and provide oversight of general staff hiring, promotions, civil service regulations and employee discipline
· Work actively with union officials to manage implementation of contract, including grievances, compensation issues, and general work rules
· Oversee „TownStat‟, including regular interaction with Town Departments on their progress toward meeting established performance measures
· Develop and implement long and short term planning and policy initiatives with elected Town Supervisor and Town Board
· Build partnerships with local municipalities on a wide variety of cost saving initiatives, including shared services, purchasing, and planning
|Counsel/Deputy County Attorney 2002-2004Nassau County Planning Commission, Mineola, NY
· Chief legal counsel to appointed 9-member Commission with county-wide subdivision control and broad development oversight
· Rewrote 30-year old Commission rules of procedure
· Worked on extensive revision of County subdivision regulations
· Provided legal guidance on subdivision, site plan, economic development, and general land use law and policy, as well as legal issues involving open meetings, general municipal, and civil service law
Director of Legal Services 2000-2002
Staff Counsel 1998-2000
National Association of Home Builders, Washington, DC
· Attorney with one of the nation‟s largest and most influential trade
associations, with 235,000 members and 800 affiliate chapters in all 50 states
· Supervised „amicus curiae‟ program, which filed briefs on property rights, environmental regulation, and related matters with the U.S. Supreme Court, various Federal appellate courts, and state courts across America
· Ran annual legal conference for national group of land use attorneys
· Traveled extensively and presented programs on land use, development, construction, product liability, and property rights issues to membership and the building industry
Deputy Town Attorney/Town Prosecutor 1996-1998
Assistant to Councilman 1994-1996
Town of North Hempstead, Manhasset, NY
· Prosecuted code and ordinance violations, including zoning, rental registration, property maintenance, illegal housing, and building safety, more than doubling fine collection
· Drafted new and revised codes involving zoning, rental registration, waterfront regulation, and other areas
· Prepared numerous motions and briefs, conducted 50-h hearings, and prepared legislative memos for Supervisor and Town Board
· Managed operations of active council office, including constituent service program, legislative and policy development, and representation of Councilman at events and meetings
Presbytery of Long Island – Board of Trustees, Committee on Preparation for the Ministry
Government Finance Officers – LI Region Council, NYS Committee on Technical Assistance
Hofstra University School of Law Alumni Association – Board of Directors (2003-2010)
Honors & Awards
Golden Key National Honor SocietyNYS Bar Association Legal Ethics Award
Hofstra Labor Law Journal – Managing Editor of Business
US Supreme Court
Federal Districts: Massachusetts, EDNY, SDNY