“It doesn’t all rest on one person,” Rooney said. “Certainly we need leadership on these projects. But certainly we have expertise.”
As part of the reshuffling of the building department, the city also plans to move the sustainability project manager from public buildings to the mayor’s office, and expand the duties associated with the position, Rooney said.
The employee in that job will not automatically move to the executive office with the position, but he is free to apply for it, Rooney said.
Lennon said he supports Warren and the personnel changes he has made. The administration wants the staff in place to ensure that its goals will be met, Lennon said.
“I think there’s an expectation, the mayor has laid out his plan, and he’s holding people to expectations,” Lennon said. “You want to make sure you have the right person.”
Several former employees reached by the Globe declined to comment.
Ryan Ferrara, a former administrative services director in Newton’s public works department, said he left the city in November for a better position in Middleton as the community’s assistant administrator.
“It was more responsibility,” Ferrara said of his new job, adding that he enjoyed his work in Newton.
When asked about morale among Newton’s employees when he worked with the city, Ferrara declined to comment.
Lennon and Rooney said they have not heard any complaints about declining morale among city workers.
“I think people are doing a great job,” Rooney said. “We’re continuing to break new ground to make government more efficient and effective.”
But Alderwoman Deb Crossley said that as Newton tries to manage upcoming projects, the city needs to have the resources and staff in place.
“Not only the bodies, the skills, but we need continuity among competent staff people,” Crossley said. “And we need teamwork.”