Elderly Services Chief Quietly Quits

HELP WANTED: Two people to run budget-battered departments of a demoralized city government. Salary: Mid-to-high five figures.

Well, that wasn’t the real wording. The DeStefano Administration has begun advertising for two top positions now that its elderly services chief has left City Hall.

Darcey Cobbs (pictured) quietly handed in her resignation as head of the Elderly Services Department last month. The city has hired Dom Dimenstein, a retired longtime employee of the department, to run it for up to six month while a search proceeds for a permanent successor.

The city began advertising for the $59,178-a-year post in Sunday’s Register. Right below that ad was a notice for a new head of the Livable City Initiative , CIty Hall’s anti-blight agency. Andy Rizzo is expected to leave that job by the end of the year and stick with his other city job, chief building official. (Read about that here.) The LCI job’s salary ranges from $72,268 to $118,326, according to mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga.

Mayorga said the help-wanted ads are being placed with the following outlets and organizations, besides the Register and its affiliates: the Courant and its CareerBuilder.com; the American Planning Association of New York City and Connecticut; Craigslist; The New York Times plus its website and associated classifieds sites (like Monster); AfterCollege; Govtjobs.com; the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities; www.theleagueonline.org; and The Black Ivy Alumni League.

Wrestled With Controversy

Darcey Cobbs left her elderly services job weeks after the controversial firing and then death of a longtime elderly service worker, Sharyn Bishop. Cobbs came under fire for seeking to dismiss Bishop not just because of legitimate personnel issues, but because she violated the city’s new press policy by speaking to a reporter after hours.

Cobbs also oversaw a DeStefano administration effort to close the West River Senior Center; lobbying by seniors stopped that idea.

The decision to leave the city was Cobbs’, not her bosses’, said city Community Services Administrator Kica Matos.

“She left on very good terms,” Matos said Monday. “We were sorry to see her go.”

Matos said Cobbs told her she was pregnant with her third child and had lined up a part-time job in gerontology at Yale-New Haven Hospital. The hospital has Cobbs listed as a “research manager for core-funded projects.” Cobbs herself did not return a phone call for comment left at her home number.

The next elderly services chief will have two big challenges, Matos said.

“The new person who comes in will have to do more with less” because of tight budget times, she said. Also, the new person will be coming in at a time of shifts in the field of gerontology. “As the baby boom generation retires, their needs are very different from before,” Matos observed, and the programs that serve them will change accordingly.

Cobbs became elderly services chief in April of 2006 at the age of 32. She previously oversaw the New Haven Asthma Coalition. Click here to read a biographical release issued by the city when she was named.

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posted by: cat2000 on September 29, 2008  3:43pm

Seems like a great move for Darcey. Paul’s really angling for a back story here.

posted by: The Funky Chicken on September 29, 2008  4:15pm


One can infer from your writing that Ms. Cobbs was somehow responcible for the death of Ms. Bishop. In fact as reported here Ms. Bishop died after a long battle with cancer. You are doing a disservice to both ladies in infering this.


posted by: john doe on September 30, 2008  5:01am

Brian McGrath will make a great new chief for LCI. It will only cost the city $118,000. Wow.

posted by: Deuce on September 30, 2008  8:55am

Cobbs fired Bishop and oversaw a DeStefano administration effort to close the West River Senior Center.

Good riddance!

posted by: sandy on September 30, 2008  9:49am

Sharon Bishop was agood friend to every senior,and helped them thoughout her illness. Her life touched many hearts and families. It is such a shame that Darcey Cobbs was such a good ball player,she even quoted an email the Mayor sent telling her to get Sharon to stop talking any politics. Sharon was a believer she beleived in freedom. Darcey Cobbs never had control of her department,and her main goal was to get Sharon fired. When Sharon worked the last election for Alderman Lee and I could not talk her out of it not because I beleived she was doing anything wrong but it was not the mayors person. I knew this would be her demise. Icannot bame Darcey Cobbs for Sharons death, but I can very clearly remember Sharon saying why does she hate me so much. Sharon lost her will to live after her firing even though she got her job back she new Darcey was like a dog after a piece of meat. Sharon I only wish you were here. What kind of good recomendatons did Darcey get. My friend got a pass to heaven.

posted by: cedarhillresident on September 30, 2008  7:42pm

hmmm Sandy I am sorry for your lose. I belive that the cancer was what killed her. But as a peanut gallery person in this I can only state why the frick would you screw with a dieing person. One twisted chick! Sandi remember if Darcey was on the up and up with her treatment of Sharon and she was doing her job their is not much we can judge her for. But if she screwed with her knowing that she was causing stress in a person battling cancer, well I do believe that she gets to live with the truth. And life will bring her what she reaps. And despite she may have a good job and a home does not mean she has peace of mind or happiness. And those truly are the most valuable things in life!

posted by: citizen on October 1, 2008  6:54am

Well let us see who will be her next target over at Yale she hurt,and pushed Sharon but as you all know Sharon was a strong person and helped everyone who crossed her path the seniors were her first priority and she fought to the end to help keep West River open and she is now looking down with a smile on her face she was here for a purpose and God knew she was done with her work here on earth and now she is working for God.  She is now an angel.