New Albert Lea assistant city manager is getting settled in

Published 10:15 am Friday, August 14, 2015

Jerry Gabrielatos is the new assistant city manager in Albert Lea. -Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Jerry Gabrielatos is the new assistant city manager in Albert Lea. -Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

A new assistant city manager is in place in Albert Lea.

Evanston, Illinois, native Jerry Gabrielatos began work Monday.

In his position, Gabrielatos will supervise the city clerk, public information coordinator and information technology services. He will also oversee project management.

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Gabrielatos will make sure that cross training continues in different city departments to make sure that continuity within city departments can continue.

Gabrielatos’ salary is $71,379.

The move was also made to try to balance Albert Lea city manager Chad Adams’ workload. Gabrielatos and Adams will work together on economic development in the city. Adams said Gabrielatos has the ability to work with a lot of departments and knows how to set goals for a community.

Gabrielatos is excited to work for Albert Lea.

Gabrielatos studied political science and history at Tulane University in New Orleans and received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science in 2004. Gabrielatos served in internships at the local, state and federal level during summers while in college.

During the summer of 2003 he served as an intern under then-Illinois congressman and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

After college he worked for his family’s printer company and volunteered on political campaigns. He worked for Chicago aldermen Manny Flores and Joe Moreno in between 2007 and 2011.

Gabrielatos has also served as the the chief of staff for Chicago alderman John Arena. After serving for Arena he traveled extensively, then came back to the Chicago City Council and worked for Moreno as his senior advisor.

Gabrielatos graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston in March 2015 with a master’s degree in public policy and administration. He worked for political campaigns during graduate school.

In his spare time, Gabrielatos enjoys spending time with family, trying different restaurants, writing, reading, playing and watching sports and hanging out with friends.

Sack Thongvanh, the last assistant city manager, resigned in March 2015 to become the new city administrator for Falcon Heights. He was in Albert Lea a little less than two years.

“I love the community and I’m ready for the challenge,” he said. “I want to utilize my education and experience to benefit the city. I think there’s a lot of potential here. I wouldn’t have moved here if I didn’t see it. I am proud to make it my home.”

Gabrielatos, who moved to Albert Lea on Sunday, said the community leaders’ commitment to the city was an important part in him choosing to work in Albert Lea.

“I wanted to be at a place where people were passionate about the city they worked,” he said. “Albert Lea fit the bill.

“I have a passion for community relations,” he continued. “Communities do best when they are strong. When communities are strong it galvanizes economic opportunity and development.”

Adams said he is pleased Gabrielatos was hired.

“His communication abilities and strengths and working with the big picture with what cities do will help us,” Adams said. “He’s going to provide a lot of help on the citizens’ survey. He’s going to try to use that to show us how we can improve our community. “

The assistant city manager position was created a couple of years ago when the community and economic development director retired.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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