Cambridge City Manager to Retire. Search to Begin for Successor.

City Manager Richard C. Rossi publicly announced that he is retiring during this morning’s Government Rules & Operations Committee hearing. He had shared his decision with his staff and councillors individually over the past few days, so there was a large crowd in the Sullivan Chamber to hear his remarks and to salute his dedication and hard work. The emotion in his voice conveyed how difficult the decision was for him to leave a job he has clearly loved and to end a 45-year career as a city employee. Though his contract ends at the end of this June, he said he is willing to stay on through the summer or beyond, as needed, to ensure a smooth transition.
Looking ahead, Cambridge now has the opportunity to conduct an open public search for a city manager — something that has never happened in the 75 years since we adopted the Plan E Charter form of government. Discussions about the search process and timeline will begin with a public hearing of the Govt. Rules & Ops. Comm. on Wed 3/23 an 10 AM. Chair David Maher said that will be the first of several public meetings and that the search will be “far reaching and extensive.” He assured us that there will be opportunities for public involvement throughout the process, while recognizing the need to balance transparency and confidentiality for the applicants.
The members of the Govt. Rules & Ops. Committee are David Maher (chair), Leland Cheung, Nadeem Mazen, Marc McGovern and Tim Toomey. While I am not a voting member of this committee, I plan to attend all the hearings and to participate fully in shaping the search process and criteria. The decision on a successor and his/her contract will ultimately come before the full council for a vote.
I welcome your thoughts on the experience, vision, and personal qualities you think are essential in our next city manager and suggestions for meaningful public involvement. Please comment below or email me at

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Jan Devereux
City Councillor
Cambridge, MA