William Roche (l.) resigned on December 13, 2012 after 17 years as Alderman for Somerville’s Ward 1. At his suggestion, the Board of Alderman has unanimously named Maureen Bastardi (r.) to succeed Roche.  Bastardi resigned her post as Ward 1 School Committee Member to take her up her new post. The School Committee will meet next week to discuss the naming of her replacement.

William Roche (L)resigned on December 13, 2012 after 17 years as Alderman for Somerville’s Ward 1. At his suggestion, the Board of Alderman has unanimously named Maureen Bastardi (R)to succeed Roche.

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced today that recently retired Ward One Alderman William Roche has agreed to use his extensive background as a human resources professional to assist the city in the role of interim, part-time Personnel Director.

“Bill has an outstanding professional résumé, and few people have a better understanding of Somerville city government,” said Curtatone.  “Honestly, I wish he were available to serve as Personnel Director on a full-time basis; I’d offer him the job in a second. But he isn’t and, with so much happening on the personnel front – including contract negotiations, the filling of key vacancies and the ongoing modernization of systems and procedures – Bill’s assistance even on a part-time basis will be invaluable. As soon as he told me about his plans to retire as alderman, I jumped at the chance to get his help.”

Outgoing Ward 1 Alderman William Roche (L)submits his letter of resignation to City Clerk John Long

Outgoing Ward 1 Alderman William Roche (L)submits his letter of resignation to City Clerk John Long

Roche announced his resignation from the Board of Aldermen at the Board’s December 13th meeting, and handed in his resignation with immediate effect.  He noted in an emotional statement that it had become increasingly difficult to balance his family, work and political obligations. “I am now making decisions between attending a family event such as a sports youth game, or school or extracurricular event, spending more time with my father – or attending an alderman related meeting. These are decisions I do not want to make,” Roche said.  “When I first ran for Alderman in 1996, I publicly stated that if and when the responsibilities of the job interfered with my personal and social life, it would be time for me to step down. I guess now is that time.”

Roche, who holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Boston University, has worked at NSTAR since 1971. After rising in the ranks of NSTAR’s Operations Division, he moved in 1999 to its Human Resources Organization, where he has held a series of increasingly senior positions and currently serves as Safety and Compliance Manager.
“Being an effective alderman was taking a tremendous toll on my evening and weekend schedules, but I’m not as worried about juggling tasks as the Mayor is allowing me flexibility in my hours,” said Roche. “I’ll have to make adjustments as I go, but I want to be as helpful as possible to the Mayor and his administration consistent with my other professional responsibilities.”

Sarah Kloos, the city’s previous Personnel Director, resigned effective November 30 as she prepared for the arrival of her second child. The city has already begun a search for a permanent replacement, and one of Roche’s tasks will be to assist in that process.  Roche said he would give the city as many hours as he could on a part-time basis.  His salary as interim Personnel Director will be prorated to reflect the hours he actually works. As he did during his service as Ward 1 Alderman, Roche will continue to voluntarily forgo health insurance benefits from the city.

“I’ve had to do plenty of hiring, training and compliance work over the years, and I’ve been through plenty of collective bargaining negotiations, so I’m confident I can help the Personnel Department during this interim period. And I’ll still be able to spend more time connecting to my family – which is hard to do with all the after hours work an alderman has to accept as part of the job.”

First elected in 1996, Roche briefly served as Acting Mayor in 1999 when then-Mayor Michael Capuano resigned to take his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before tendering his own resignation, he asked the Board of Aldermen to support Ward 1 School Committee Member Maureen Bastardi as a candidate to serve out the remainder of his term as Ward 1 Alderman. The Board adopted his recommendation on a unanimous vote, and Bastardi immediately resigned from her seat on the School Committee to be sworn in.

aving submitted her resignation as Ward 1 School Committee Member and been unanimously elected by the Board of Alderman to finish the unexpired term of Ward 1 Alderman William Roche, Maureen Bastardi, takes the oath of office administered by City Clerk John Long.

aving submitted her resignation as Ward 1 School Committee Member and been unanimously elected by the Board of Alderman to finish the unexpired term of Ward 1 Alderman William Roche, Maureen Bastardi, takes the oath of office administered by City Clerk John Long.

“It’s been a huge honor to serve as Ward 1’s School Committee member since 2004, and I am well aware of the even greater responsibilities I’m assuming as I take Bill’s seat on the Board of Aldermen,” said Bastardi. “Of course, no one can actually replace Bill.  He’s been an amazing alderman who has done great things for Ward 1 and for the city as a whole.  I hope that working closely with him over the past nine years has given me a solid understanding of the agenda he’s pursued and will give me a chance to hit the ground running for the residents of our ward and the people of our city.

“It’s both an exciting and very sobering prospect,” Bastardi said.  “To the Mayor and to my new colleagues on the Board, but above all to the people of Ward 1, I offer my solemn promise to do my very best to uphold the high standard of integrity, compassion and public service that Bill has brought to his municipal service.”

The School Committee meets next Monday to discuss the appointment of an interim successor for Bastardi.


12 Responses to “Mayor asks retiring Alderman Bill Roche to assist as part-time interim Personnel Director”

  1. Mr. Ward Four says:

    Bag job! Part-time work, full-time salary

  2. mememe says:

    17 years on the job? Needs three more to max out the pension. Only new thing here is its not a part time library job

  3. Bill says:

    I’ve lived in ward one my entire life. Through the good and bad. Bill is possibly the best alderman we have ever had. I will truly miss him. Unfortunately, ms. Bastardi will not make a good replacement. I know her and I like her. She is not qualified to be an alderman. At the very least she will be a “rubber stamp” for the Mayor. She doesn’t have the experience, knowledge or intelligence for the job. I know that sounds extremely insulting but I do not mean it that way. I am referring to the intelligence to be alderman. I hope that someone will step up and run when the seat opens. I am thinking of it myself but don’t have time in my life, like Bill.

  4. j. connelly says:

    Let the politicians wake up and get the priorities in proper order. A horrible incident occurred with the loss of many children in CT.

    I think that the #1 priority right now is for the mayor & BOA and any other elected officials or Dept. heads to have their raises rescinded and that money be used to install cameras both inside and outside at all schools and those cameras connected directly to the Police Station to be monitored and bring back part time some retired officers to handle the monitoring and not worry about creating a position for another politician.

  5. Dicky Bird says:

    I can only concur wholeheartedly with what J. Connelly says.

  6. Sorry, Bill. I have to disagree with you on this one. I reached out to Maureen regarding an issue I had with four Somerville High School students and found her response to be professional and intelligent.

  7. bill says:

    Excellent, Courtney. Then I have faith.

  8. j. connelly says:

    Yes, they really “care” ???? about the children or so they say when they campaign and run for school committee.

    Care so much that they dont serve their full term, they jump ship to a higher public office for more bucks as soon as they can. They really do not care about anyone, just care about getting big bucks and living off of the Taxpayers. Time to bring elected officials salaries down to the real world like the rest of us.

  9. The Alderman position is one thing, but I don’t think parents would tolerate a School Committee person that was not responsive and attentive. Also, many members of the current Committee have been serving lengthy terms.

    Politics, similar to other jobs, allows movement up to higher offices for the ones that have the ability. I don’t understand why there’s a reluctance to understand this. If we didn’t have School Committees and Aldermen, we wouldn’t have Mayor Curtatone, Congressman Capuano, Senator Jehlen or Representative Provost. Say what you will about them, but VERY FEW have run against them.

    I don’t think you become a moving target by pulling papers…I’ve never pulled papers and I have loony activists plotting my death everyday. I also know others who ran and are still respected.

  10. Best of luck Bill. You should be proud of all your accomplishments. You will be missed. See you at the beach

  11. j. connelly says:

    Well Courtney
    They all have people like developers etc. kicking big $$$ in for their campaigns as the politicians all have served the “outside interests” for years very well. It is next to impossible for the average person to have the finances to run for office.

    Look at the U.S. Congress, for years violating the laws and having secret Weekly meetings to get “insider trading tips” for stocks and realty purchases. A lot of them becoming millionaires at our expense. That is why after the bank/credit/mortgage scams, none of those CEOs were indicted, prosecuted. Instead they were bailed out while the average Americans lost jobs, pensions, etc.
    This is why their has to be campaign reform laws/term limits made so that everyone has an “equal” chance to run for political office.

    Elective office was not made to create dynasties and unfortunately that is what has happened in MA, especially Somerville. When you have dynasties…you end up having corruption. If it is not their brother or son, then it it one of the other relatives or ‘kissing cousins’ that is recommended and financed to guarantee they win the desired political office.

  12. Paula LeBlanc says:

    Congratulations Maureen….Bill you did an AWESOME job….

Leave a Reply