Mayor Martin J. Walsh announces cabinet reorganzation
January 29, 2014
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today unveiled his plans for a comprehensive reorganization of the cabinets and departments of the City of Boston.
“Our role as a government is to improve people’s lives, and the purpose of this reorganization is to better deliver services to the people of Boston,” Mayor Walsh said. “As a new administration serving a rapidly changing city, we’ve had an opportunity to take a good hard look at what worked, what could work better, and make changes to become more efficient and improve outcomes for the people we serve.”
The structure will include 12 cabinets: Arts & Culture; Chief of Staff; Economic Development; Education; Environment, Energy & Open Space; Finance & Budget; Health & Human Services; Housing & Neighborhood Development; Information & Technology; Operations & Administration; Public Safety; and Streets, Transportation & Sanitation. The leadership team will also include, ex officio, the Corporation Counsel, Chief of Policy, and Chief Communications Officer. With this reorganization, two cabinets have been consolidated: Advocacy & Strategic Investment, and Public Property. Departments previously under these cabinets have been realigned within the new structure.
Improving Delivery of Services
Many of the changes to the cabinet are intended to streamline services and improve collaboration among departments with common goals. The cabinet of Streets, Transportation & Sanitation, for example, will better align operations of the Department of Public Works, the Boston Transportation Department and Boston Water & Sewer, departments that frequently work together in different capacities.
Elevating the Arts
The Arts & Culture cabinet will be a partner in all creative, economic and tourism discussions and initiatives. The addition of this cabinet fulfills Mayor Walsh’s pledge to create a vehicle through which the City can work to increase diversity and inclusion, seek grants and sponsorship opportunities, and secure funding and support for Boston’s arts community.
The creation of the Economic Development cabinet is the first step in a broad effort to streamline and support the areas of focus that contribute to Boston’s economy, including tourism, jobs and employment, businesses development, and real estate development. Mayor Walsh has consistently emphasized the need for increased transparency and accessibility for all Bostonians – especially women- and minority-owned businesses, and local businesses – to share in and benefit from the economic boom in Boston.
The cabinet review and restructure began in the transition period, as Mayor Walsh worked closely with the transition committee co-chairs to seek input from transition committee members, Boston residents and businesses, and other stakeholders. Over the course of the transition and the early weeks of the administration, Mayor Walsh received input internally, through the web, phone calls and meetings, and a number of public hearings.
Looking ahead, there may be additional organizational changes and consolidation at the department level. The cabinet changes will be implemented over the coming months; some changes will be reflected in the upcoming fiscal year budget, but the timeframe for some changes will be influenced by current vacancies and the timing of audits and studies on the reform of an agency (e.g., the Boston Redevelopment Authority).