Rather than hire a new economic development chief in the near future, Mayor Toni Harp is asking Michael Piscitelli to serve in the role on an “acting basis” for a year.
Piscitelli has been filling in on the job since Matthew Nemerson left it last Friday.
Piscitelli, who was Nemerson’s deputy, has also been assuming the duties of the City Plan Department director since Karyn Gilvarg retired from that post last November.
With many key projects in the pipeline — such as new apartment complexes on Chapel Street between Olive and downtown; several boutique hotels; Audubon Square; a new downtown garage; an 11.6-acre development in the Hill — Harp wanted continuity to see them through, she said during her latest appearance on WNHH FM’s “Mayor Monday” program.
“We’re really busy now with economic development,” Harp said. “There are a number of these projects that I want to see move forward … I think it’s going to require someone who has experience working with the city, working through our process. “
Harp also said the year would give her administration time to look more broadly at how to think about the position.
Piscitelli said he’s up for the year’s extra duties.
“We have a really committed team” at economic development and in City Plan, he said. He said the staff has been meeting about how to “step it up” a notch to handle more work with fewer people.
Click on the video to watch the full episode of WNHH FM’s “Mayor Monday” program, which includes discussion with mayoral assistant Mike Harris about efforts to train New Haveners for tech jobs and to connect neighborhoods though art.
This episode of “Mayor Monday” was made possible with the support of Gateway Community College and Berchem Moses P.C.