Mayor Makes Staffing Changes in Effort to Strengthen Key Hamden Programs and Government Operations
Leng Appoints Adam Sendroff Acting Chief of Staff, David Garretson Acting Director of Arts, Culture & Special Projects
and Julie Smith Acting Community Development Manager
HAMDEN – Mayor Curt Balzano Leng, on the heels of key personnel changes involving the positions of Acting Finance Director & Acting Economic Development Director, announces additional key senior-level staffing changes. These changes are designed to strengthen Hamden’s governmental operations, the delivery of programs and services, and to best address the needs of our residents, taxpayers and families, while continuing Hamden’s path toward financial security.
Leng is pleased to announce that, effective Tuesday, February 17th, Mr. Adam Sendroff will transition to the role of Acting Chief of Staff for the Town of Hamden. Mrs. Julie Smith will transition to the role of Acting Community Development Manager at the Keefe Community Center and Mr. David Garretson will transition to the role of Acting Director of Arts & Special Projects.
Mr. Sendroff grew up in Hamden, holds a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is also currently a Master of Public Health student. He worked for over 20 years in the private sector, for a college-level academic publishing company, prior to becoming Hamden’s Community Development Manager in 2017. Sendroff holds a wide range of experience, including effective management, communications, budget development, civic engagement, marketing and project coordination.
Mr. Sendroff served as a member of the Hamden Board of Education (BOE) from 2007 to 2017, serving in Board leadership for 7 of those years. On the BOE, Mr. Sendroff was instrumental in facilitating impactful projects and programs, including efforts to expand preschool opportunities, to add a School-Based Health Clinic, and partnership with the non-profit CfAL (Concepts for Adaptive Learning) to help address the digital divide. He currently serves as a member of the Hamden School Based Health Clinics Advisory Board, as Chair of the New Haven County Emergency Food and Shelter Program and has served in multiple community roles, including the Hamden PTA Council and the Connecticut Advisory Council for Teacher Professional Standards.
As Community Development Manager, Sendroff oversaw operations of the Keefe Community Center, which provides an array of essential services that benefit Hamden residents, including Community Services, Youth Services, Community Development, and more, as well as developing relationships with community partner agencies. Partnerships have resulted in expanded and enhanced services, including food security efforts, expanded services to support those experiencing homelessness and focusing a public health frame around many Keefe services and activities. During the pandemic he organized the community pop-up COVID-19 testing in Hamden. He also managed Hamden’s annual Community Development Block Grant.
Mayor Leng commented, “Adam has spent a significant portion of his professional and personal life serving and caring for our community. His experience and demonstrated leadership at both the Board of Education and especially at the Keefe Community Center, give him a unique perspective and understanding to serve our Town well in this pivotal role, at a time when providing essential social and health services during a global pandemic couldn’t be more important. I am taking actions that will put Hamden in the best position possible to be successful and always prepared to address the complex needs our community faces in unprecedented times.”
Upon Mr. Sendroff’s transition to Acting Chief of Staff, Ms. Julie Smith, one of Hamden’s most experienced and versatile Directors, will assume the role of Acting Community Development Manager. Mrs. Smith has served the Town of Hamden since 2008, starting as the Town’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and Grants Coordinator, serving as Chief of Staff to Mayor Leng from 2015-2017 and most recently as the Director of Arts, Culture and Special Projects from 2017 to present. Prior to serving the Town of Hamden, Smith worked extensively on productions for the New York Shakespeare Festival and Joseph Papp Public Theater.
Mayor Leng also commented on Smith’s appointment, “Julie has brought a wide range of talents to each position she has served in and I know her ability to effectively manage a diverse range of programs and projects will be of great benefit to the Keefe Community Center, and the essential programs and services the Center provides. I know that our Keefe Community Center will build upon recent successful program expansion to address even more needs and provide for all of our residents.”
Upon the transition of Mrs. Smith to Acting Community Development Manager, Mr. Garretson will transition to the role of Acting Director of Arts & Special Projects. Garretson, during his tenure as Chief of Staff, brought a myriad of significant improvements to Hamden’s local government and internal operations. Garretson oversaw the launch of the SeeClickFix constituent engagement platform, worked to secure funding for numerous large-scale grant programs and projects, assisted Mayor Leng in guiding Hamden through serious natural disasters and recovery efforts and was centrally involved in the planning and launch of Hamden’s Covid-19 response and virtual-workforce mobilization. Garretson’s critical thinking skills, talents as a communicator, knowledge of budgetary principals and understanding of all aspects of Town government operations make him well suited to tackle key work in the Special Projects role. His initial focus will be on ensuring multiple Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) grant projects, totaling in the millions of dollars, are completed successfully, and bringing some important capital improvement and infrastructure projects across the finish line. In addition, he will work to expand Hamden’s funding opportunities by seeking out and coordinating additional grant opportunities for our Town to support programs and projects.
Mayor Leng offered his remarks, “Mr. Garretson’s service as Chief of Staff has been deeply appreciated. Thanks to his service, Hamden has become more customer-service focused, and transparent, always ensuring that the core mission of serving all our residents was front and center. David is a compassionate professional, a keenly insightful advisor and someone who is always striving to improve the delivery of services to our residents. In his new role, he will undoubtedly bolster the Administration by helping to deliver much-needed funding at such an essential time.”