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Monday, July 17, 2017

New Ops Manager Harris: ‘What Better Place’ Than Westport

By James Lomuscio

Perhaps the biggest question for Sara A. Harris, 37, the town’s new operations manager, is, “Why Westport?

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Sara Harris: ‘honored and humbled’ to be in new position. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

She has held top posts with New York City’s Bloomberg administration from 2004 to 2013. She served in the Big Apple’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) managing more than $2 billion in city revenue.

In 2014, she became chief of staff for the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation’s Capital Division. There she oversaw a staff of about 400 responsible for the design and construction of all parkland projects.

In 2015, she returned the OMB, focusing on financial efficiencies and whether money was being well spent in different governmental areas.

And now the New Britain native and current Monroe resident, a graduate of Fordham University and the New School, says she has come full circle back to Connecticut and a town she says she has always wanted to be part of — Westport.

On Wednesday, First Selectman Jim Marpe appointed Harris as his new operations director. The position has been vacant since November when Dewey Loselle, operations director for two-and-a-half years, resigned from his $90,000 salaried post.

“I love this town; I’ve always admired it,” said Harris. “Going from New Britain back to college (in the Bronx), I always stopped here. I would go shopping here with my mother.”

She said she was also wooed by the town’s cultural offerings, its natural assets as a coastal town and its overall community involvement due to a passion for issues.

“So when I saw the posting,” Harris said, she knew she had to apply.

She also said that working for task master like former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has prepared her for her new role in town.

“That was a really busy time, and a lot of his management style trickled down,” Harris said. “He was tough, but in a good way. You do your best, ask the right questions.

“It was always about having the best information to make the right decisions,” she added.

As Harris settles into her new role at Town Hall, she said her immediate priorities “will be looking at how the town is run, being a second set of eyes, and how things can be done.”

Fiscal prudence, grant writing and town and school consolidations will be all part of the picture.

“It’s a long term vision of keeping this a desirable community,” Harris said.

“I feel honored and humbled to be in this position,” she added. “I just want to do good work. What better place should I be in this step of my career?”

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Posted 07/17/17 at 07:57 AM  Permalink



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