WEST HAVEN, Dec. 7, 2023 — Mayor Dorinda Borer has announced a number of personnel changes at City Hall, including two key selections to her Cabinet.
Borer on Monday morning, Dec. 4, appointed attorney Paul J. Dorsi as the city’s corporation counsel and procurement specialist Rick Spreyer as her chief of staff.
“Paul and Rick are lifelong Westies with strong municipal government experience who will bring a high level of professionalism and expertise to our city,” Borer said. “I look forward to working with them and am grateful they have agreed to be a part of my new leadership team.”
As the city’s top lawyer, Dorsi, who served on Borer’s transition team, will provide daily legal advice to the mayor and other city employees on performing job duties.
The corporation counsel’s office is charged with defending lawsuits and other claims, collecting back taxes, and negotiating labor contracts.
“I’m honored to be chosen to work with Mayor Borer and all the talented and energetic individuals in her administration,” Dorsi said. “It will be a privilege to represent our great city as a page is turned toward positive change.”
Spreyer formerly served as the city’s procurement director for nearly two years and previously was Newtown’s procurement director for three years.
In West Haven, Spreyer significantly increased the city’s purchasing compliance by implementing a new purchase order system to ensure checks and balances.
He also worked as a supply chain manager for three years at Edible Arrangements’ world headquarters in Wallingford.
In his new role, Spreyer will direct the day-to-day operations of the mayor’s office and coordinate with department heads.
“I love working for the city alongside the passionate co-workers I’ve had the privilege to work with and being given the opportunity to affect positive change to the city I love,” Spreyer said.
Borer also announced this week that she has not renewed the appointments of several department heads from the Rossi administration, including Corporation Counsel Lee K. Tiernan, Public Works Commissioner Tom J. McCarthy, Personnel Director Pamela A. Alvino and Emergency Management Director Joseph Soto.
“I want to thank Lee, Tom, Pam and Joe for their service and for their hard work on behalf of the people of West Haven,” Borer said. “I wish each of them well.”
Borer said longtime Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, who has more than 46 years of service, and Building Official Frank Gladwin, who has more than 33 years of service, will step away from their current duties in early 2024.
Sabo originally retired in July 2021 but has stayed on part time as the commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, which oversees the departments of Health, Elderly Services, Parks and Recreation, and Youth and Family Services.
Borer said that while she values the work both directors bring to the table, the demands of the Human Resources and Building departments require full-time department heads on-site.
“Beth and Frank have incredible institutional knowledge and talent and have brought a great love of West Haven to their work,” Borer said. “Both have graciously agreed to stay on until we can find worthy replacements.”
Sabo’s last day is Feb. 1, and Gladwin will officially retire in April.
Borer said that Sabo, who had initiated and chaired many annual recognitions and veterans events, may continue to assist the city in the future with events coordination, and that Gladwin will be available to potentially help with future site plan analysis.
Soto has also agreed to stay on through Jan. 15 to allow for a seamless transition in emergency services.
Borer said she is working hard to recruit “the very best and brightest candidates” to fill all of the leadership positions. In addition to the building official, human resources commissioner and personnel director, she is recruiting for other essential positions, including finance director, economic development director, grant coordinator and risk manager, which were all vacant at the time of the election.
“Each of these positions is critical to the operations of the city, and completing the leadership team is my top priority,” Borer said. “We began an aggressive recruitment process on Day 1 with our first interviews beginning Monday. On a parallel track, we are evaluating all non-leadership positions and will be recruiting for those after that evaluation is completed.”
Borer said that until a new Department of Public Works commissioner is placed, Robert Sandella, the department’s deputy public works director, will serve as acting commissioner.
“Rob has been doing a great job in that department and will serve us well for the interim period,” she said.
Dorsi’s municipal experience includes litigating civil rights, tax assessment appeals, and general liability claims in state and federal courts, including trials before the court and jury. He has briefed and argued cases on appeal as well as negotiated and drafted contracts, municipal ordinances, charter revisions and City Council resolutions.
Since 2010, Dorsi has been the principal partner at Dorsi & Dorsi. From 2015 to 2020, he was an “of counsel,” a part-time practitioner of law, at Bloom & Witkin in Boston.
Previously, he was a partner at Donahue, Votto & DeGennaro PC in West Haven and was an associate at the Law Offices of Jerome Lacobelle LLC and at Mirto, Ketainek & Barrett PC, both in West Haven.
Dorsi served on the board of directors of the West Haven Community House Association Inc. from 2000 to 2007.
Spreyer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Southern Connecticut State University. He lives in West Shore with his wife, Lindsay, and two sons, Nathan, 14, and Cameron, 2.
Borer thanked residents for their patience while she realigns the City Hall structure.