Michael Rosen: New Assistant Town Manager Settling In

By Ginni Spencer

Michael Rosen, Bedford's new Assistant Town Manage - Image (c) JMcCT, 2015 all rights reserved
Michael Rosen, Bedford’s new Assistant Town Manage – Image (c) JMcCT, 2015 all rights reserved

You know the old saw about steep learning curves in new situations where the information feels as if it’s coming at you through a fire hose?  New Assistant Town Manager Michael Rosen, who started on December 14, is smack in the middle of that experience…and remains cheerful and enthusiastic about his decision to come to Bedford.

“I felt good about Bedford right from the start,” Rosen said in a recent interview.  He saw the position advertised on the website of the International City/County Management Association and started researching both the town and the opportunity.  He described being convinced to apply by the strong evidence of “an active and engaged citizenry”, and the increased responsibility that comes with supporting a well-managed town’s chief executive officer.

Rosen spent the last 3 ½ years working as the Executive Assistant to the First Selectman in Greenwich, Connecticut. (First Selectman is a full-time, paid, elected position with a term of two years.)  Eleven town departments reported to the First Selectman.  “I never knew what was going to come in the door on a given day,” Rosen said.  He was involved with the budget process, emergency management, collective bargaining agreements, policy development, grants, neighborhood associations and a wide array of constituent services.

Prior to his work in Greenwich Rosen, who grew up in Queens, New York, worked in corporate human resources for three years after graduating from SUNY Binghamton with a BA degree in philosophy, politics, and law.  After his time in the private sector, he decided to attend graduate school at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University of Albany as a full-time student.  His graduate program included an internship in the Schenectady County Manager’s office.  After completing his studies and earning a Master of Public Administration in 2012 he applied for the Greenwich position and was selected for the job from a field of approximately 80 candidates.

Rosen is newly certified in Emergency Management by FEMA and is now trained to handle “incident command” responsibilities as part of a municipality’s strike team preparedness.  While working in Greenwich, he acted as the Public Information Officer for the town during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Throughout the storm and its immediate aftermath he wrote and distributed daily press releases, and collected and coordinated data on downed trees, blocked roads and utility outages, working with public safety officials from his desk at the town’s emergency operations center.

Although currently Rosen is immersed in a general orientation getting to know colleagues,  staff members and becoming familiar with town projects and processes (the fire hose bit!), he has begun to identify a few things he would like to work on.  One is the possible revival of the Bedford Byline as a communications tool between town departments and residents.   Another is researching the effectiveness of the current customer relationship management tool (CRM) Bedford uses as a mechanism for reporting potholes and other problems to the appropriate department.  This tool (See-Click-Fix) is available through the town website or mobile application.

Rosen, who just moved to Billerica, is hoping to be able to find a place in Bedford over the next year.  But for now he is looking to get settled in, explore Boston a bit, and perhaps find some time for the outdoor activities he enjoys.

There remained only one last question of importance to this interviewer.  Rosen smiled in response. “I’m a big baseball fan – but not a Yankees fan.  I’m a diehard Mets guy.”  It’ll have to do for now.

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