Town Manager Paul Bockelman announced the appointment of Mary Beth Ogulewicz as the new Director of Senior Services. The appointment is subject to review by the Town Council. Mary Beth Ogulewicz, J.D., LCSW, 500-RYT will assume the role of Director of Senior Services and will succeed Nancy Pagano, who retired on June 28th after an amazing 47 years of service to the Town. The appointment of Ms. Ogulewicz was referred to the Town Council on July 9th and the referral is expected to be acted on by the Town Council on July 22nd.
Ms. Ogulewicz is currently a mental health attorney with Morrison Mahoney, LLP in Springfield. Prior to joining private practice, Mary Beth worked in the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office for 18 years as a criminal prosecutor trying hundreds of cases including homicide, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse. She began her legal career as a law clerk to the justices of the Superior Court.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, a law degree from Western New England University, and Masters in Social Work from Westfield State University. Ms. Ogulewicz also serves on the Hampden County Commission on the Status of Women, Behavioral Health Network Human Rights Commission, and has served as an elected member of the Westfield School Committee.
The Director of Senior Services screening committee was chaired by Health Director Julie Federman and included Human Resources Director Evelyn Rivera-Riffenburg, Council on Aging chair Rosemary Kofler, Health Director Julie Federman, LSSE Director Barb Bilz, and Kathy Bowler who is the Director of Member Services for the Massachusetts Councils on Aging – a nonprofit association of 350 councils on aging and senior centers. The Committee received 28 applications and forwarded two finalists to the Town Manager.
Town Manager Bockelman said, “Mary Beth has a unique combination of legal skills honed through years of practice combined with a social work understanding of the interconnectedness of the medical, mental health, and legal systems. She impressed the interview team and me with her passion for service developed through her legal work and through direct personal experience advocating for her aging parents. Mary Beth will be a strong addition to the Town’s management team.”
Bockelman added, “Nancy Pagano was a giant influence in developing the services offered by the Town to seniors over the past five decades. She has left a lasting legacy…but also very big shoes to fill. Mary Beth is ready, willing, and capable to take on this challenge and continue to move senior services in the Town of Amherst to the next level. I’m confident she will excel.”
He concluded, “I thank all who applied and went through the process. I especially want to thank the screening committee who worked quickly and efficiently in completing their assignment. They offered invaluable insights, observations, and guidance to support my decision.”
July 9, 2019 | Contact: Paul Bockelman, Town Manager
Background Information on Town Council’s Role: Below are relevant sections of the Charter for review.
Section 3.3(a) of the Amherst Home Rule Charter (“Charter”) states:
(a) Town Staff: Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, the Town Manager shall appoint, based upon merit alone, all department heads. All appointments of department heads shall be subject to the provisions of Section 2.11. The Town Manager shall provide for the use and composition of search committees for department heads.
Section 2.11(a) of the Charter states:
(a) Department Heads: The Town Manager shall refer to the Town Council and simultaneously file with the Town Clerk, the name of each person the Town Manager desires to appoint as a Town department head. Appointment of a department head made by the Town Manager shall become effective on the 14th day after the date on which notice of the proposed appointment was filed with the Town Clerk unless approved or rejected by a majority of the full Town Council within the 14 days.