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PowerPlayer: Michael D’Amico

Monday, July 18, 2011

 

It’s been less than seven months since Michael D’Amico joined Mayor Angel Taveras’ administration, but Providence’s Director of Administration has already seen the highs and the lows of working in City Hall.

Tasked with helping the city overcome an unprecedented fiscal storm, D’Amico has lived up to the challenge. While not out of the water yet, Providence appears to be turning around and D’Amico deserves a lot of the credit.

D’Amico was kind enough to chat with GoLocalProv about his role in helping save the city over the past few months.

1) What's the biggest difference between the Rhode Island you left 20 years ago and the Rhode Island today?

The biggest difference is really in me. Rhode Island was all I knew 20 years ago – I had never lived anywhere else, this was the whole world to me. Coming back I’m really able to compare Rhode Island to other parts of the country, and my sense of Rhode Island is informed by two decades of professional and life experience.

2) Did you know the extent of the city’s fiscal situation before taking the job?

No, we didn’t.

3) Take us through a day in your life.

I get to work about 8:30 and have four or five meetings scheduled throughout the day. People typically will call to schedule more for that day, and meetings will go long. Most days I don’t leave the office before 7 o’clock, and a lot of nights I’ll have an offsite meeting or event with the Mayor and don’t get back to my apartment until 9 or 10.

4) Enough with the negative talk. What's the best part of being back in the city?

The best part of being back in Providence is being close to family and friends again, and doing so much to contribute to the city I grew up in.

5) What is the single most important factor in reviving the city?

The most important thing is to make good decisions one at a time, to make the right judgments every day with the resources you have, and not for the sake of ease or expediency. If you keep making the right choices you stand the best chance that everything will work out.

6) Tell us something nobody knows about you.

I love Frank Sinatra and saw him live in concert when I was only 8 years old.

Quick hitters

Role Model: I take a little bit from a lot of people.

Favorite Restaurants: Capriccio, Siena

Best Beach: I really like the beach so any beach will do.

Best Book You've Read This Year: Ford County, stories by John Grisham

Advice For The Next Michael D'Amico: Be open and honest with all your stakeholders, and ask everybody to give a little bit. That’s how you get out of a mess. Explain the situation as clearly as possible to everyone. There are consequences for everybody, and so everyone has to chip in and help out.

 

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