School CFO Mason appointed deputy town manager

Michael MasonMichael Mason

UPDATED Sept. 2: The Town of Arlington has hired Michael Mason as deputy town manager, effective in November, and he has responded to YourArlington's request for comment, saying he wants to "contribute to the town of Arlington at a greater capacity."

Mason is currently chief financial officer for the town School Department, also known as Arlington Public Schools. His starting salary there, nearly four years ago, was $132,000, and his current salary is $156,000. Mason's contract for his new post at Town Hall, starting in fall, has not yet been finalized.

“I am excited to have Michael join the town manager’s office,” Town Manager Sandy Pooler said in an Aug. 18 news release . “In the time I have worked with him, I have seen his strong financial abilities and his excellent judgment.”

“Mike Mason has been a key member of the School Department’s senior leadership team. He brought innovation and enhanced accountability to our finances,” said Schools Superintendent Liz Homan in the same statement. “The School Committee, staff and I will miss him and wish him luck in his new position.” 

Mason joined the School Department in January 2019.

CFO responds

Following a request from YourArlington, Mason conveyed this statement via email on Friday, Aug. 19:

"I did not take the deputy town manager position for money but rather to contribute to the town of Arlington at a greater capacity. I made the decision in hopes to serve with the goal of making a great town better. This opportunity will also give me the ability to learn and grow professionally in order for me to serve at higher capacities in the future. 

ACMi interviews Mason:

"Earning an master's degree in business administration [starting this month] had been a goal for me personally prior to this opportunity coming to fruition.By earning an MBA at Boston University, I hope to be able to increase my leadership abilities and apply the skills I gain from BU in my work for Arlington.

"There has not been a successor [a new chief financial officer at Arlington Public Schools] selected at this time. APS is about to initiate a recruitment process to select my successor, and I am confident that they will find someone who can pick up where I will have left off.

"Like the previous deputy town manager [current Town Manager Sandy Pooler], I will continue to convene the financial team and work with my successor. In addition, I will mentor the successor as needed to ensure a successful transition."

According to the Aug. 18 news release, Mason at Town Hall will oversee the financial departments including the assessor, comptroller and treasurer/collector; he also will lead the information technology department. Mason and Human Resources Director Caryn Malloy will head the town’s collective bargaining efforts. Mason will also work with Town Budget Director Julie Wayman to produce the annual town budget and the annual capital plan.

Before working in Arlington, Mason was business manager for the Chelsea Public Schools, and he holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting and finance from Salem State University, according to his LinkedIn profile online

Other Town Hall changes

This change at Town Hall comes among others this year.

In late June, Ali Carter, the economic-development director since 2016, left for a similar position in Lowell.

On June 18, Sandy Pooler moved up to town manager after a reception was held for Adam Chapdelaine the day before, on his last day after a decade as town manager.

On June 3, Jenny Raitt, the planning director since 2016, left for a regional position in Lowell. 

On April 4, Dana Mann began as the new director of assessments for the Town of Arlington, filling the position after Paul Tierney left Dec. 31 for a similar position in Burlington. Tierney had held that job since 2014. Mann had been interim director of assessments since January. Read more here >> 

Dec. 1, 2018: Committee OKs new CFO, finds Bodie proficient overall

This article was first published Aug. 18, 2022 based on a town news release, updated later that day with details of Mason's career, updated Aug. 19 to add a statement YA received directly from Mason, and updated Aug. 23 to provide details of Mason's salary with the schools. Freelance editor Judith Pfeffer prepared the copy. Bob Sprague contributed with context about other recent personnel changes. Updated Sept. 2, to add ACMi video.

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