Michael V. O'Brien
Michael V. O'Brien was appointed City Manager in 2004. In a few short years, he has worked successfully to improve public safety and the delivery of core services, to bolster economic development and to address the long-term financial stability of New England's second-largest City. Under his leadership, Worcester is rated one of the safest communities in the country (compared to cities with a population of 100,000 or more) and is experiencing more than $1.3 billion in planned or current economic development activity City-wide.
The overarching theme of his administration has been to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life for all residents and resident businesses. Mr. O'Brien credits the Worcester City Council as well as the Patrick-Murray Administration for their strong support and backing of initiatives important to the City of Worcester, as well as State and Federal legislative delegations for their assistance, leadership and financial support.
City Manager O'Brien has made significant strides to reorganize and reform government to address the community's most immediate and critical needs and has worked tirelessly to rein in the skyrocketing cost of employee health care, saving millions of dollars for the City's taxpayers. He has introduced new technology to enhance customer service and initiated business-modeled financial forecasting to improve the City's bond ratings.
Most recently, City Manager O'Brien initiated "Buy Worcester Now," a new private/public partnership between the City, banks/lending institutions, local companies, non-profit agencies, realtors and the Commonwealth to generate new market demand for all available housing options in Worcester and to assist qualified, responsible buyers in purchasing a home. Simultaneously, he initiated a comprehensive and proactive plan to stabilize neighborhoods affected by national and regional market trends, in particular mortgage foreclosures. He also established five Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Areas, each focused specifically on issues relative to housing, code enforcement, commercial storefront improvement and job training.
Under his leadership, economic development continues to be a top priority, including the $563 million CitySquare project in the downtown. This effort compliments a series of recently completed projects in the downtown area, including a $50 million campus for the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, a new Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to the DCU Arena and Convention Center, the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, the Regional Justice Center, a 500-space parking garage at the historic Union Station and the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park. Union Station continues to serve as the region's inter-modal transportation center with MBTA commuter rail service to Boston and daily Amtrak service to Albany, Chicago, New York and Washington, DC. The City Manager and his Administration are working closely with Federal and State officials to expand rail service region-wide. Plans are also underway to revitalize the North Main Street area to include new activity at the Worcester Memorial Auditorium and the sites of the former Worcester Vocational High School.
Mr. O'Brien has worked for the City of Worcester since 1994. He was named Commissioner of the Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Department in 1997, where he stimulated an unprecedented amount of community participation in the implementation of master plans for parks and pools at a time when City resources for such efforts were dwindling due to budgetary pressures.
Mr. O'Brien received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus in September of 1988. He and his wife, Beata, reside in Worcester with their two daughters, Katherine and Michaela.
You may contact City Manager O'Brien at City Hall by calling (508) 799-1175 or via email CityManager@worcesterma.gov.