Jay Ash seeking Cambridge job
Democrat wants to leave Baker post after 2 years
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER’S chief economic development advisor Jay Ash has applied to become the next city manager of Cambridge, potentially making him the first major exit from the senior leadership team assembled by the governor after his 2014 election.
Ash, a Democrat who ran his home city of Chelsea for 14 years before joining the Baker administration as secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, has been a prolific traveler on behalf of the administration, visiting cities and towns across the state and playing a role in helping to lure General Electric’s headquarters to Boston.
“Every time I go into a community, I hear what the community’s wants and needs are. I want to stay there and help them solve those wants and needs – and I have to get to my next appointment,” Ash told the Globe. “So the ability to focus more intensively on one place than a little bit of attention on a lot of places is something that is appealing to me.”
In March, Richard Rossi announced his intention to resign after three years as Cambridge’s city manager. The City Council posted for the job on July 12, and plans to fill the role in late September after a round of public interviews on Sept. 11 with three finalists, according to the city’s website. It’s not known how many people Ash might be competing against for the job.Ash, who is in his mid-50s, began his government career as an aide on Beacon Hill to former Democratic House Majority Leader Richard Voke before going to work for the city of Chelsea.
His selection by Baker to lead the economic development secretariat was part of a concerted effort by the newly elected Republican governor to fill his Cabinet with a mixture of Democrats and Republicans.