New town manager takes the helm

Print More

First Selectman Mark Fiorentino congratulates Town Manager Michael Walsh at his swearing in at the March 4 Granby Board of Selectmen meeting. Introducing the new town manager, Fiorentino noted that, “Pairing Walsh with our wonderful town staff will be great for the Town of Granby.” Walsh replied that “Granby is a lovely town. It was a hard place to say ‘no’ to. It is hard not to love what the community has done; volunteers are the heart of the town.” Photo by Shirley Murtha

Mike Walsh may be new to town, but it isn’t taking him long to get to know the staff at town hall and the leaders of the boards and commissions that make up our government. This interview will help all Granby residents to learn a little bit about him.

Now living in East Hartford, Walsh was raised in Wethersfield. He attended Central Connecticut State College, receiving his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Charter Oak State College in New Britain.

Why accounting? During his senior year in high school, he took a class called Cooperative Work Experience, in which students were allowed to be dismissed at noon to work. The firm that hired Walsh was a public accounting firm. The managing partner took Walsh under his wing, allowing him to work with clients preparing payroll, completing tax returns, creating financial statements and auditing municipalities.

That finance was a natural fit for Walsh is evident in the jobs he has had in his 40-year career: accountant/auditor in the manufacturing company Homecraft Industries; assistant director of health plan accounting at CIGNA; municipal finance director for the town of East Hartford; Undersecretary of Strategic Initiative and Accountability at the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management; and the elected mayor of East Hartford. In East Hartford, the mayor is the town’s CEO.

When asked what was perhaps the one particular thing that made him see Granby as a good place to land, Walsh replied, “Compared to Connecticut’s other 168 towns, what jumped out at me as a finance guy was the extraordinary care over many years that the elected officials have taken to strengthen the town’s finances.

While he enjoys working, Walsh says his most important titles are husband and dad. His wife Janice is a medical technologist at Hartford Hospital. Daughter Erin is an occupational therapist in West Hartford, and daughter Sharon is a social worker in Enfield. Five years ago, the family adopted Luna, a rescue dog, “who seems to have rescued the family with her unbridled affection,” notes Walsh. They also have two cats, Dak and Zek.

When he’s not working, Walsh enjoys golf, and especially bowling, a skill he learned from his dad, a league bowler at Pratt & Whitney for 70 years.

For more about Walsh, see this article.