Norwood Has a New Town Manager - Tony Mazzucco

Donna Lane
Issue Date: 
February, 2018
Article Body: 

There’s always been a certain vibe at Town Hall, but it’s more electric than ever since 33-year-old Tony Mazzucco came to town. Sworn in on December 18, 2017 by retiring Town Manager, John Carroll, Mazzucco comes to Norwood after serving as Town Manager of Adams, MA from 2014 to 2017, where he has been credited by the town’s selectmen as having put Adams “back on track financially.” Prior to that, Mazzucco served as the Assistant City Manager in Caribou, Maine.
When asked what attracted him to the Norwood position, the Randolph native quickly answered.
“Two things: First, I’ve always wanted to work closer to home," Mazzucco said. "I absolutely loved working in Caribou, except for the extreme cold, that is. They were good people … very laid back … a bit like Mayberry … and close to the Canadian border. Adams was closer, but still more than an hour away from family and friends. Norwood is ideal.”
The second reason is the fact that Norwood has had what he calls 'management stability.' According to Mazzucco, the average tenure of a town manager is three to five years, so Carroll’s long tenure is enviable.
“I’m looking forward to having a similarly long term relationship with Norwood,” Muzzucco exclaimed. “I’m hoping for at least 20 years.”
Mazzucco’s passion for local government and community development can be traced back to his youth. At 18, he was elected as a Town Meeting member in Randolph. He studied political science at Bridgewater State University, earning a B.A., followed by earning a Master of Science degree in Public Administration, also from Bridgewater State. In addition to his work experience, Mazzucco is a credentialed manager in the International City Manager’s Association (ICMA-CM) and a member of the Massachusetts Managers Association.
Mazzucco said that reading and travel are his two greatest pleasures. He lists Spain and Italy as must-see destinations. When not working, he enjoys reading biographies... Harry Potter … pretty much everything, from the Dalai Lama to Stephen King.
In his short time here, he is most taken with the fact that the people of our town value community. It resonates with him. In fact, it might be appropriate to say that it is one of the things that excites him about the job, since he plans to engage the community in planning for the future.
Asked what advice John Carroll gave him about the job, he chuckled.
“Do you mean in addition to telling me I have to go out to lunch every day?” Mazzucco said. Then he answered seriously. “John Carroll pointed out that Norwood’s Municipal Light Department is unique and that I should make sure it continues. He also told me that he has left me with a great team of department heads.”
Mazzucco’s intent is to take things slowly and learn as much as he can about the community in order to determine what things we can do to make good things great. He considers his greatest strength to be fiscal and operations management and said he takes a conservative approach to budgeting and a long-term view when making decisions. He becomes very animated when he talks about finances.
“There is an opportunity cost for every decision we make,” Mazzucco said.“Rather than revisit the same issues every budget cycle, we need to ask the question: ‘Are we solving problems in the budget?’”.
One of his goals for Norwood is to get back to a AAA credit rating, and he already has several ideas as to how we can accomplish this. In addition, he wants to make the budget more clear to Norwood residents and convey the thinking behind town spending.
“We can do anything the taxpayers want, but we can’t do everything the taxpayers want," Mazzucco explained. "Finding balance is tough.”
Finding balance may be tough, but in his capable hands, with community involvement and an able staff, it is definitely possible.
Donna Lane is a Norwood-based writer, lecturer and designer. You can reach her at [email protected].