Deputy Town Manager Megan Zammuto says she believes local government should be approachable and inclusive. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

Deputy town manager: Local government ‘makes the biggest difference’ 

November 6, 2023

Deputy Town Manager Megan Zammuto started work in Concord in April, but she’s not new to local government, having served with Lexington, Maynard and the Massachusetts Municipal Association. She sat down with The Concord Bridge to discuss her expanding role in government, which now includes director of Land Planning and Management. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  

Q: How did you get here? 

A: I worked for the town of Maynard prior to coming here, where I live. I was very happy there, but saw this position and it completely aligned with the types of things I was interested in. I feel like Concord’s the first at a lot of things. I was the assistant town administrator in Maynard and I also was the executive director of the Office of Municipal Services. Before that, I worked in Lexington, [where] I was the economic development coordinator. Before that, I worked for the Mass. Municipal Association. 

Q: What made you decide to go into this line of work? 

A: I studied political science in college. I graduated in 2008, when there were no jobs, so I had an opportunity to go to China for a year and teach English. I was in this little city called Tongliao in Inner Mongolia. After that [I] worked for my brother’s real estate law firm for a while and then the Mass. Municipal Association. I went to Suffolk for my master’s in public administration, nights, while I was at the MMA.  

Q: You could have chosen [any] form of government. Something you like about local? 

A: I think it makes the biggest difference to people in day-to-day life. It’s not partisan and it helps people. There’s a real tangible impact.  

Q. Talk a little bit about what you do now and will be doing in your expanded role. 

A: Marcia Rasmussen had been the director of planning and land management for the past 37 years. She retired in May. For April and May, I really worked with her to understand her department and the folks and the work they’re doing. I also oversee tourism and economic vitality and sustainability. With all of that combined, we’re going to need another planner and another administrative professional to backfill that. 

Q: For people not familiar with the Land Planning Department, what does it entail? 

A: We have the Planning Department, which supports the Planning Board and the Zoning Board and many other committees and commissions: Historic Districts Commission, Transportation Advisory Committee, [Community Preservation Committee]. Then we have Natural Resources, and they manage all of our conservation lands. Then we have the Building Department and the Division of Public Health, and then tourism.   

Q: Tourism is going to be big coming up to the [250th anniversary of the Revolution]. You’re going to be involved in that? 

A: Yes, we’re looking at transportation, at how people can get in here and how we can make sure that they have a great impression of Concord. There’ll be a lot to do. 

Q: What else, if you’re talking about your next six months? 

A: We have a Warner’s Pond community meeting on the eighth. We’re hoping we get a great turnout to explain some of the problems facing the pond and some proposed solutions. I’m working with our Natural Resources director on that. We have a 2229 Main Street public forum coming up on the ninth of November. We also are doing a comprehensive transportation and mobility study with Stantec. We have MBTA Community Zoning [and] our big 40B project, NOVO Riverside Commons.   

Q: What are your thoughts on how people should view or interact with their town government? 

A: We want to be approachable, we want to be inclusive, and complaints are fine. We need to hear from people about how they’re experiencing our approach to government here. I think all feedback is important to make sure we’re on the right track to providing the service that the folks are interested in receiving. 

Q: Anything that you’re concerned about with how things are working in Concord? Anything you’d like to see change? 

A: Every town’s different. Every form of government has its own little quirks. I am still learning and figuring out how things are done [here] and trying to support everyone and move our collective goals forward. 

Q:  Anything you want people to know about you or your work?  

A: I would just say I’m thrilled to be here. This is an amazing community. I am blown away when I meet residents that are just so thoughtful and dedicated and there’s just an amazing group of volunteers that help make this place run. I hope people can reach out to me if they have any questions, and I will try to be as responsive as possible.