Malden is getting a new city clerk, but it will be a familiar face.
The City Council convened a special summer meeting on July 23 to conduct final interviews and select a new clerk. After a thorough interview process of the two final candidates, the council selected former City Councilor and former School Committee Member Greg Lucey in a 6-2 vote.
“I know he can bring this office together,” said Councilor Paul Condon, of Lucey.
In addition to his time as an elected official, Lucey owns and operates Lucey Insurance on Eastern Avenue, where he has worked for almost 30 years. This management experience, combined with his legislative experience from his time on the council and the School Committee tipped the scales in Lucey’s favor. “Managing the office is most imperative,” said Councilor Debbie DeMaria.
Lucey explained he was not looking for a career change, but, when the positing came up, he felt it was a job at which he would be good at and enjoy. He described his management style as hands on without micromanaging, and would do his best to learn each of the varied positions within the department quickly. “The idea is to get that department running as efficient and as clean as possible,” he said. Lucey will be taking over for current City Clerk Thomas Brennan. Brennan, who was an assistant city solicitor in Malden prior to accepting the clerk’s position, is currently serving in an interim capacity, as his term expired at the end of June. He will stay on board to help Lucey transition into the role.
The other candidate interviewed by the council is actually one of the staff members Lucey will now be tasked with managing: current assistant registrar of voters Carol Ann Desiderio. Desiderio has been employed by the city for nine years, serving as both a veterans services assistant and the executive assistant to the mayor before taking her current position in 2013. Prior to Brennan, Desiderio served under city clerk Karen Anderson, whose over 30 years of institutional knowledge was highly valued throughout city government and has been missed since her retirement.
The idea of hiring someone who trained under Anderson and who understands the position and the department was very attractive to some councilors. “She ‘grew up’ under Karen Anderson and was mentored by her,” said Councilor Barbara Murphy, of Desiderio. “She has the skill set, excitement, integrity and knowledge for the position.” Though just Murphy and Councilor Stephen Winslow voted for Desiderio, the matter was a lot closer than the actual vote, as each councilor expressed just how difficult this decision was. “These are two candidates who, over their lifetime, have been very dedicated to the City of Malden,” Winslow said. All the applicants were initially vetted by Human Resources Director Anthony Chiccuarelli, who submitted six candidates to the councils Personnel Committee. From there, three were selected for a final interview by the City Council. The third candidate, attorney Timothy Phelan, withdrew his application the day of the council’s meeting.