As a new year and a new term begins, Mayor Curtatone starts off with a new board of alderman, a new police chief and the Assembly Square development ready to open its doors to the public sometime around Memorial Day.
Joseph A. Curtatone, First elected in November of 2003, began his sixth term as Mayor of Somerville on Monday January 6th, 2014.
He had previously served for eight years as an Alderman at Large.
Thirty-eight years old at the time of his first election, Curtatone is the second youngest Mayor in Somerville history. A 1984 graduate of Somerville High School, he earned
his B.A. from Boston College in 1990, a J.D. from New England School of Law in 1994, and a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2011. Prior to his election as Mayor, he served as an attorney in private practice and a volunteer assistant football coach at Somerville High School. As a member of the Board of Aldermen, Curtatone took the lead on a number of major legislative initiatives, including successful efforts to stem gang violence, eliminate graffiti, prevent drug abuse among teenagers, and promote clean and energy-efficient buildings.
As Mayor, he has successfully implemented a wide range of reforms and new programs that have earned Somerville many distinctions by regional and national organizations, including the designation by Boston Globe Magazine as “the best-run city in Massachusetts,” by America’s Promise Alliance as one of the “100 Best Communities for Youth,” and a winner of the 2009 “All America City” competition.
Mayor Curtatone established a policy advisory commission headed by former Attorney Scott Harshbarger to develop a comprehensive reform agenda for the Somerville Police, including the decision to remove the position of Police Chief from civil service. He created Neighborhood Impact Teams that combine fire, health and building inspectors – along with representatives of the Council on Aging and the city’s environmental office – in a coordinated effort to monitor and improve the health, safety and appearance of Somerville’s businesses and residential neighborhoods. After inheriting a government in fiscal crisis, he has stabilized city finances and begun a restoration of lost city services and personnel cuts that occurred before he took office – and he led a successful effort to end years of delay in the development of Assembly Square as a transit-oriented, mixed use, Smart Growth project on the banks of the Mystic River.
Delegations from other Massachusetts communities – and from cities as far away as Ireland and Korea – regularly visit Somerville for briefings on the city’s SomerStat program, a data-driven performance management system modeled on Baltimore’s CitiSTAT initiative. In 2006, Somerville became the first city in America to offer both a 311 constituent service center and Connect CTY mass notification technology. By calling 311 from any phone in the city, Somerville residents and businesses can now access information and services from any city department and can track progress on service requests through a publicly accessible work-order system. Under his leadership, Somerville has also earned national recognition for its successful joint effort with Tufts University to implement “Shape Up Somerville,” an effective program to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity among the city’s elementary school children, which was lauded by First Lady Michelle Obama during the launch of her “Let’s Move” initiative. His success in Somerville has earned him the presidency of the Massachusetts Mayor’s Association, a position on the Board of Directors for the National League of Cities, and as a member of the Metropolitan Mayors Association.
Mayor Curtatone lives with his wife Nancy and his sons Cosmo, Joseph, Patrick and James in the Ten Hills neighborhood.