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12/31/69

Sarno Hires New Constituent Services Director

James F. Leyden
Thomas Walsh

October 21, 2008 - Mayor Domenic J. Sarno today announced that James F. Leydon of Springfield has joined the mayor’s staff, serving as director of constituent services.

Leydon, a 2002 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, worked most recently as a senior loan officer with Ryan Mortgage Group in East Longmeadow. In 2005, he held the title of Chief of Staff in the office of State Representative Sean Curran. His experience also includes serving as grant manager in the City of Springfield Office of Emergency Preparedness for three years.

Leydon replaces Attorney Thomas Walsh who has been promoted to the position of Communications Director in the Office of the Mayor. Walsh replaces Azell Murphy Cavaan, who has accepted an offer to serve as Chief Communications Officer for Springfield Public Schools.

Sarno said the departure of Cavaan to the School Department is “bittersweet” but said his staff remains strong with the addition of Leydon and the promotion of Walsh.

“My office will continue to effectively direct constituent services,” said Sarno, whose Administration is the first in the city’s history to include a constituent services director on staff. “Jimmy brings a level of civic involvement and understanding that makes him the perfect candidate to take over for Tom, who has done an outstanding job in that position over the past nine months.”

Under Walsh’s leadership, the Office of the Mayor has instituted a Flex Squad, which addresses neighborhood concerns and a Quality of Life Ordinance Flex Squad, which consists of police, housing and law department officials.

In his role as constituent service director, Leydon is responsible for responding to all quality of life complaints lodged by citizens. Leydon will partner with appropriate city departments to investigate those complaints on a case specific basis and work toward a resolution. He will also represent the Mayor at public forums and work with neighborhood associations.

As communications director, Walsh will develop, execute and manage strategic internal and external communication strategies for the Office of the Mayor.

Leydon’s salary is $50,000 annually. As communications director, Walsh will earn an annual salary of $61,200.


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