By Patti Shaffer
When thirty-eight year old Randy Rossi, the Town of Smithfield’s Finance Director, learned that the position of Town Manager was soon to be available, he viewed it as an exciting opportunity. He could not only implement and oversee the day-to-day operations and manage town affairs, but help grow the town and bring the community together as one.
Already serving in the Town as Finance Director for the last nine and one half years, the Smithfield Town Council appointed Rossi to take over the helm for Dennis Finlay who retired on August 19th.
Rossi was chosen for the position from among eighty-seven applicants from around the country. He officially began his position on Monday, August 21st and his goals are many.
“A major initiative and long-term goal I have is to help market the town by meeting with residents, business owners, leaders around the state, and potential developers,” says Rossi. “Smithfield is a great community, we just need to let everyone know that as well.”
Rossi believes his experience as Finance Director will help make him a good Town Manager. Some of his responsibilities as finance director were development of the annual budget and the town capital improvement plan. He also worked on the negotiating team for all union contracts and handled centralized purchasing for the Town as well as the School Department. He worked directly with residents in his role as Finance Director/Tax Collector. Additionally, Rossi also worked closely with department directors and became their ‘go to guy’ in the town. Rossi says, “I had good working relationships with all sides of town government including the School Department.”
He adds, “I brought to the table the combination of a strong financial backbone, long term planning, and solid relationships with the other directors, the libraries, the School Department and of course with the Town Council.
Rossi’s Short-term goals are:
Develop a Strategic Plan to layout the blueprint for the future of the town
Work to improve the town’s police and fire pension funds
Review the infrastructure needs of the Town to allow for responsible growth, especially in the Economic Growth Overlay District
Increase outreach and visibility in the community
Work closely with the Town Council and School Committee in developing the Elementary Reconfiguration Plan
Continue to improve the partnership between the Town and School Department
Departments that fall under the Town Manager:
Ice Rink, Library, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Building, Zoning and Engineering, Police
and Fire Department, Public Works, School Department,
Senior Center, Sewer Authority
Rossi graduated from Bryant College and also received his Master’s Degree in Finance from Strayer University. He and his wife Brooke reside in Smithfield. They have two children, Reese, age 9 and Rori, age 6. Both attend school in town. Previously, Rossi also served as the Finance Director/Treasurer for the Town of Foster.