Benton Leaving City Hall

Thomas MacMillan File PhotoMayor John DeStefano is looking for his 12th press spokesperson in 19 years.

The city has posted a notice seeking a replacement for Elizabeth Benton, who is leaving City Hall for a job with U.S. Sen. Dick Blumenthal’s Hartford office.

Benton has held the mayor spokesperson’s job for the the past year.

That makes her tenure slightly shorter than the average person to speak for the mayor since DeStefano took office in 1994. Eleven separate people have held the position; one of them left and came back (meaning, depending on how you count, this will be the 11th or 12th changing of the guard.)

The job currently pays $68,000 a year.

“I have enjoyed my time with the city immensely,” Benton said in a text message sent from a meeting Thursday. “I have always respected the work of Richard Blumenthal, from his time as attorney general to his role as senator. I am looking forward to new challenges and opportunities as his Connecticut communications director.”

Benton said she plans to continue to live in New Haven and be civically active.

The city notice advertising the job seeks “an exemplary communications professional to lead the visioning, planning, and implementation of ongoing strategic communications in support of the Administration’s policy priorities. This is a government communications position within a fast-paced work environment requiring experience with online and traditional media, policy advocacy and the creation of digital media including microsites, with high potential to go viral and other storytelling forms. The applicant should have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment and to be flexible working with City staff, the public, elected officials and partner organizations.”

Read the city notice here.

Benton originally came to City Hall in 2010 to work as a $53,000-a-year policy aide, one of a stream of New Haven Register reporters leaving journalism to work for the city over the years. Before working for DeStefano, Benton covered his City Hall and school system for the Register.

As city spokeswoman, Benton increased the mayor’s office’s use of social media.


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posted by: Edward Francis on November 8, 2012  6:59pm

Elizabeth has been most professional in carrying out her many duties in the Mayor’s Office.  She knows the ins and outs of the city government and is just moving on to bigger and better challenges.  I never met her but her work speaks for itself.

posted by: HhE on November 10, 2012  10:11am

So what is the record for longest serving, shortest?