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2024 Power 100: Eric Batista

A man with salt-and-pepper hair and beard wears a blue suit with a purple-striped tie. Photo | Courtesy of the City of Worcester Eric Batista, city manager for the City of Worcester
Eric Batista Title City manager Organization City of Worcester Employees 1,963 Residence Worcester Colleges University of Massachusetts Amherst, Assumption University Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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Eric Batista says managing the second-largest city in New England and its $848 million budget is like managing a busy household. It’s impossible to please everyone with a population of 206,000 from diverse backgrounds; it’s all about balance and compromise.

Though he’s still relatively new to the job, having taken office initially on an acting basis in June 2022 before getting the role officially in December 2022, Batista is well acquainted with the inner workings of the City of Worcester. He advanced through various City Hall roles beginning in 2012. The opportunities and challenges have been constant during those years with key development projects for Worcester and pressing needs Batista urgently needs to address each day.

A top priority in Batista’s administration is increasing housing across income brackets. The City is directing about $20 million in grants from the American Recovery Plan Act toward inclusionary zoning, rental, and homeownership initiatives. Housing is just one of several fronts covered by the newly completed Worcester Now | Next Master Plan, a two-year project slated to be adopted this spring addressing development and infrastructure across Worcester.

Inside City Hall, diversity has been a major focus with the creation of the Executive Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, with Batista increasing funding for those efforts by 67% in fiscal 2024. Hiring practices and employee benefits have been overhauled, and Batista oversaw a racial equity audit completed in March of the Worcester Police Department, although a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the WPD practices still looms over the City. With the City Council’s backing, Batista requested the state Legislature remove the police chief and deputy police chief positions from Civil Service after allegations of misconduct swirled around former Chief Steven Sargent.

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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