Chelsea city manager Jay Ash is Governor-elect Charlie Baker’s first cabinet appointment. Ash, a Democrat, will now lead the state’s housing and economic development agency. The popular city manager has led the City of Chelsea since 2001, bringing 14 years of stability to the city. El Mundo Boston asked several Latinos in the area who know Jay and his work for their reactions to the news:
I think Governor-elect Baker made a great choice. All of us here in Chelsea know what a great job Jay Ash did over the last 16 years working for the City of Chelsea in attracting economic development and housing. He has led the charge for the city to apply and win many of the grants that have spurred local development projects. The landscape here is vastly different and much improved because of it. His work had been finally noticed, respected and I dare say, envied, by other municipal leaders the last couple of years.
-Roy Avellaneda, former Chelsea City Council President
“What a great decision! Mr. Ash’s knowledge of community economic development will be a great asset for the new administration. His understanding of the creation of jobs and his flexibility to work with surrounding cities to empower the city of Chelsea has given him much deserved recognition and respect. Through his willingness to work with other leaders in the region, such as Mayor Dan Rizzo of Revere, he was able to work hand in hand with many new housing developments and projects to generate jobs as the basis for a strong regional economy. I am confident he will do a great job”.
-Claudia Correa, Diversity Outreach Director of The Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs
“While this is definitely a big loss for Chelsea, it is huge gain for the Commonwealth. Jay has certainly demonstrated great knowledge and skills in the community development space. But more importantly he has the ability to work with different (including opposing) stakeholders and facilitate coalitions to get projects done.”
– Juan Vega, CEO of Centro Latino and former Chelsea City Councilor.