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Citizens for Limited Taxation

Town's CFO leaves for Arlington post Tuesday, September 9, 2003
Craig MacCormack Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- The town's financial guru is going back to school.

Rob Addelson, chief financial officer for three years, announced yesterday he has accepted a similar position with Arlington Public Schools and will leave for the new post Oct. 10.

Addelson, 52, came to Framingham in January 2001, replacing Mark Rees who became town manager in North Andover.  The new job gives Addelson more time to spend with his wife and two children, who live in Concord.

"From a personal standpoint, at this time in my life, the new position is a better fit with the demands of my family life," Addelson said in a statement released yesterday.

"While school finance is not new to me, managing the daily operations of a school system offers me a new challenge and is something that I look forward to," he wrote.

Addelson came to Framingham from a similar post in Needham.  He also worked for the Department of Revenue and earned high marks among his colleagues and Town Meeting members for his preparedness in presenting the annual budget.

"He's been a valuable asset to the position," said Assistant Town Manager Mark Purple.  "He brings a lot of experience, and I think he's going to be missed."

News of Addelson's resignation traveled quickly around the Memorial Building and to his friends and co-workers yesterday.  The decision caught many people by surprise, said Purple.

"I was unaware it was coming," he said.

Longtime town official John Kahn, who was a selectman when Addelson was hired, was sorry to hear the news.

"I thought it was a big gain when he decided to come here, and I think it's a big loss now that he's leaving," said Kahn.  "He's essentially unflappable.  I think we'll miss him."

Town Manager George King wasn't working yesterday, but he said in a press release that Addelson's departure "is clearly a significant change for the town.  I appreciate the job Rob has done for us.  We're sorry to see him go.

"At the same time, I appreciate the opportunities this offers him both personally and professionally and respect his decision."

Addelson's predecessor in Arlington, David Kale, made $89,500 before leaving for a similar job in Cambridge. Addelson's salary in Framingham is $98,970, but the pay for his new post wasn't available yesterday.

Recruitment of Addelson's replacement will begin immediately, said King.  He is confident someone will be in place to prepare the fiscal 2005 budget.  That work usually begins in late October or early November, said Purple.

Addelson will stay through the end of the special Town Meeting, which starts Oct. 7.  He said "it's tough to predict" what the budget will look like next year.

"It depends in large part on what the state is going to do in FY05," he said, saying state aid will continue to play a significant role in preparation of the town's numbers.

Finance Committee Chairman John Zucchi sees the selection of Addelson's successor as critical.

"I think it's a tremendous loss to lose him at this time," said Zucchi.  "He's developed a familiarity with the personnel, departments and the budget.  That's something that's very valuable and will not be quickly replaced."

Kahn agreed.

"There's always something new to be learned about Framingham," he said.

Addelson isn't sure what his legacy will be, but he hopes he is remembered for the new software system the town is implementing and using.  He feels proud of the job he's done during his tenure.

"I certainly hope I've left (the town) in a good position, but that's for other people to decide," he said.

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