Matteson Returning To City Hall

Paul Bass File PhotoMayor Toni Harp tapped one of her predecessor’s top aides to help steer city government again.

Harp has chosen Sean Matteson to serve as her acting chief administrative officer (CAO). Matteson replaces Mike Carter, who resigned from the position effective Sept. 7.

The CAO oversees city government’s nuts-and-bolts service departments like police, fire, public works, emergency management, and public works.

Matteson is no stranger to City Hall. He served as Mayor John DeStefano’s chief of staff for seven years, earning a reputation for effectively taking care of business behind the scenes with a self-effacing manner and without drama. He most recently worked for a charter school advocacy group called ConnCAN. Before joining the DeStefano administration, Matteson worked as a political lobbyist for the union now known as UNITE HERE. (In his subsequent jobs he sometimes found himself on the opposite side of labor on policy issues.)

Matteson begins the acting CAO position Sept. 24 at an annual salary of $125,000. He has six months to move into New Haven from Hamden, according to a letter the Harp administration filed with the Board of Alders about the appointment.

Melissa Bailey File PhotoHarp said in an interview Friday that she hopes to see Matteson assume the position permanently. She’ll need approval from the Board of Alders for that to happen.

She said Matteson’s city government experience was a major factor in her decision to hire him. She noted that the CAO Carter oversaw the rolling out of a new campaign of multi-agency code-enforcement and problem-solving sweeps of neighborhoods across the city.

“I didn’t want us to lose momentum,” Harp said. “I really needed somebody who could hit the ground running.”

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posted by: Statestreeter on September 14, 2018  7:57pm

And to manage her next reelection campaign on the City’s dime.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on September 14, 2018  8:31pm

Matteson is no stranger to City Hall. He served as Mayor John DeStefano’s chief of staff for seven years, earning a reputation for effectively taking care of business behind the scenes with a self-effacing manner and without drama. He most recently worked for a charter school advocacy group called ConnCAN. Before joining the DeStefano administration, Matteson worked as a political lobbyist for the union now known as UNITE HERE. (In his subsequent jobs he sometimes found himself on the opposite side of labor on policy issues.)

Here we go again.Bring back the old Fossil Dinosaur Politicians.

posted by: Gimp on September 14, 2018  11:44pm

So, the ASH TRAY is back. A much better choice than some of the other potential candidates that have recently been rumored. I wonder exactly where this is going, as it’s political schizophrenia. On the one hand he’s a union organizer for UNITE HERE, who will not be too popular with the Yale establishment, and totally incapable of getting a grip on the Police and Fire Dept’s budgets. On the other he’s a charter school lobbyist, which pretty much puts him in the DONALD TRUMP camp. All I can say is the old Chinese curse applies. MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES. That said, we all have wallets to look after, and we all have a vote come November. If things go as badly wrong as I think they will, we will only have one person to blame. The one we look at in the mirror in the morning when collectively cleaning our teeth. And particularly those who clean their teeth, but don’t bother to vote.

posted by: Noteworthy on September 15, 2018  1:36am

And why does Matteson have to move into the city? Budget Director Gormany hasn’t nor has Tax Assessor Alex Pullen - both of them have been “acting” status for years and years. Enforce the rules or end them - personally, I think key staff should all live in the city. But selective enforcement and reward, something Mayor Harp specializes in - is not right.

posted by: RobotShlomo on September 15, 2018  5:37pm

Harp is officially DeStefano 2.0. And we wonder why things never change. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.