NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 8, 2012

Mayor hires new chief of staff

Candidate's organization, polish impressed Kezer

(Continued)

As chief of staff, Gregoire will be primarily responsible for helping develop and implement city initiatives, advising on policy matters and supporting day-to-day municipal operations.

Gregoire will also work to make sure the city’s policies and procedures conform to the mayor’s goals, serve as a liaison to constituent groups, participate in the annual budget development process and function as a communication and media relations specialist for the mayor, according to the job description posted on the city’s website.

Gregoire said he was thrilled when Kezer offered him the job, and said he is excited for the opportunity to serve the city of Amesbury.

“(Amesbury) reminds me a lot of the place I grew up and the places I’ve spent a lot of time in,” Gregoire said. “Everyone’s been very welcoming and encouraging through the process, and it’s given me something to look forward to.”

Since Yim’s resignation, both Kezer and administrative assistant Allison Heartquist have seen their workloads increase substantially. Kezer once compared his office to a three-legged stool and said being without a chief of staff was like trying to balance the stool on two legs.

“We’ve had to focus on the essential activities of the office, and bringing Eric on board allows us to move forward on a number of projects and initiatives,” Kezer said.

Gregoire said he is looking forward to helping Amesbury work through many of the issues it faces, and cited his communication skills and willingness to tackle complex problems as two big strengths that he will bring to the role.

“My biggest strength is not being afraid to tackle different problems, to communicate what those issues will be and to get people together to solve those issues,” Gregoire said.

Gregoire is tentatively slated to start Tuesday, but Kezer said it could be longer depending on how long it takes Gregoire to find a place in the area to live.

“Ludlow is too far away to commute,” he said.

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