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Edward M. Augustus Jr. Announces Departure from City Government following an 8-year tenure as City Manager

For Immediate Release: 3/22/2022 4:44 pm

WORCESTER — City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. today announced his plan to step down after more than eight years of service to the City of Worcester.

Augustus was appointed city manager in January 2014. During his tenure, he has focused on the continued revitalization of Worcester through generating economic growth, development, and stabilization; supporting education and youth; leading during times of crisis; and working daily to make city government more innovative and inclusive for all residents of New England’s second-largest city.

“Today I informed the Mayor and City Council of my plan to step down as city manager, effective May, 31, 2022,” Augustus said. “Serving the people of Worcester as its sixth city manager has been the honor of my life. I am forever grateful for the support I have received from the City Council, the city family, and the residents of Worcester. I take great pride in the accomplishments we have achieved together — united in a common purpose: to improve the quality of life of our residents.”

Under his leadership, in cooperation with Mayor Joseph M. Petty and the Worcester City Council, as well as countless community partners, there have been many successful projects that have anchored Worcester as one of the best cities to live, work and play in. From new development to historic preservation, Augustus led an effort to attract the Worcester Red Sox and build a modern-age urban ballpark in Polar Park, while adding mixed affordable and luxury housing and retail developments to the existing landscape. Along with his administrative cabinet, he secured a favorable bond rating annually, created and expanded upon Recreation Worcester and made millions of capital investments in public park infrastructures and blue spaces. Among the many upgrades to municipal facilities, he sanctioned the improvements made to the Worcester Public Library, making it a 21st -century resource for the community, and oversaw the construction of a new elementary school and two new high schools. A high priority for Augustus was to modernize city government which he did through the creation of the Chief Information Officer position, the Office of Urban Innovation, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Sustainability and Resilience, the Department of Public Facilities and a soon to be new Transportation Department. Finally, Worcester saw historic population growth to more than 200,000 residents with the 2020 national census, proving that people are voting with their feet.

Despite many accomplishments, Worcester has also faced several hardships and endured more loss than any community should ever have to bear.

“I am most proud that in time of great crisis, the city came together to overcome tremendous obstacles,” said Augustus.

From inspectors and DPW employees to police, fire, and teachers, the steadfast commitment and selflessness of the city workforce helped carry our community through several surges of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating and epitomizing the true spirit of public service.

As they have done time and again, the Worcester community came together in great acts of charity and emotional support in the days and months following the line of duty deaths of Fire Lt.  Jason Menard, Firefighter Christopher Roy, and Officer Manny Familia.

“My thoughts will forever be with the families of more than 500 Worcester residents whose lives were lost from COVID-19 as well as with the families of Lt. Menard, Firefighter Roy and Officer Familia who paid the ultimate sacrifice trying to save the lives of others,” Augustus said.

Augustus acknowledged more work needs to be done as a community to fulfill his 2021 executive order to dismantle structural racism.

“I will remember confronting the anger, frustration and emotion faced in the fight for social justice following the death of George Floyd,” he said. “Institutional racism is real, and it exists at all levels. We are not where I want us to be, but I am committed, and I know my successor will be as well, to ensuring a city that truly embraces all people.  

Augustus said his time in City Hall has been a continuation of the distinguished service of those before him, trying to leave the city a better place for the next person to hold the office.

“I view this job as a relay race started by the mayors and city managers before me,” the city manager said. “Each of us has grabbed the baton from our predecessor and run our leg with determination to make Worcester the best possible city it can be. I have proudly carried that baton for more than eight years. Now I am ready to hand it off to the next person who will guide this city forward. I do so with the sincere belief that Worcester’s future is brighter than ever.

“In 2014, I took on the responsibility to lead this city with a sense of optimism and excitement that I remain committed to in the months ahead. I am profoundly grateful for the trust and faith of the City Council, the city family, and the residents of Worcester. As I turn over the responsibilities of this role to the next person, I do so with the strongly held belief that Worcester’s future is strong and bright.”

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