From left, Mayor Weinberger, Jen Kaulius, Mike Kanarick and Brian Lowe
It's rare to encounter Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger without his energetic chief of staff, Mike Kanarick, by his side. But the mayor announced Tuesday morning that his right-hand man is departing city hall to work at the Burlington Electric Department as its director of customer engagement and communications.
Kanarick has worked for the mayor ever since serving as his spokesman during the 2012 campaign. His responsibilities will be split between the two other staffers in the mayor's office. Weinberger is appointing projects coordinator Brian Lowe as the new chief of staff. His administrative assistant, Jen Kaulius, will take over Kanarick's press duties and Lowe's old role under the new title "communications and projects coordinator."
Kaulius, who interned with Weinberger's 2012 campaign as an undergrad at the University of Vermont, has worked in the office for three years. Last spring, she managed the mayor's reelection campaign. Lowe, previously a policy advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, has been working in the mayor's office for roughly two years.
When he came into office, Weinberger expanded the mayoral staff from two positions to three, saying that it was understaffed. He plans to hire a new assistant to replace Kaulius. The reshuffling will result in $8,000 to $10,000 of savings during the fiscal year 2016 budget, according to Kanarick.
“I have loved my job,” said Kanarick, a father of three. “But everybody knows you can’t stay in a job like that forever.” He cited his efforts to “create a more transparent and open city hall” as his proudest accomplishment and said he was “genuinely thrilled” to continue working for the city. Before coming to city hall, he had served, among other roles, as executive director of two synagogues and as spokesman for former Alabama governor Don Siegelman.
In a statement, the mayor said, “I have known this day was coming for some time, but that does not make Mike’s departure any easier. For more than three years, Mike has served with dedication, loyalty, compassion, and good humor for the city and the administration. His work was crucial to all the mayor’s office successes over the last three years, in particular our efforts to rebuild trust in city hall by increasing the transparency and awareness of our local government’s operations."