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2024 Power 100: Sam Squailia

A blond woman wears a pink turtleneck and a gray jacket. Photo | Courtesy of City of Fitchburg Sam Squailia, mayor for the City of Fitchburg
Sam Squailia Title Mayor Organization City of Fitchburg Employees 1,275 Residence Fitchburg College New England Institute of Technology Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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Sam Squailia was elected as Fitchburg’s 46th mayor in 2023, the third female to hold the position in the North Central city of about 42,000. Previously city councilor, Squailia beat incumbent Stephen DiNatale, vowing to improve transparency, inclusiveness, and communication within city government.

The change in leadership comes at a crucial moment in Fitchburg’s economic development.

While Squailia recognizes the importance of downtown revitalization – a focus of DiNatale and leaders from places like Fitchburg State University and the Fitchburg Art Museum – she believes the focus on those efforts may have come at the expense of roadway repairs. She’s made it a priority to address the state of the city’s streets and is working with the engineering team at the Fitchburg Public Works Department on a pavement management program.

While infrastructure is a focus, Squailia is prioritizing making Fitchburg welcoming to businesses and streamlining the permitting process.

Fitchburg’s economic revitalization is a work in progress, but development projects are breaking through. On north Main Street, work is underway to convert three old school buildings into 68 mixed-income, artist-preference apartments. Off of Route 2, Great Wolf Lodge New England fuels the city’s tourism, drawing 700,000 visitors to its resort and water park in 2023 and employing 750.

With a state university, MBTA Commuter Rail, lower housing costs and access to key highways – include Route 2 directly into Greater Boston – Fitchburg has ingredients to become a thriving city. Squailia aims to bring them all together.

“I was convinced that the city and community desperately needed a change in leadership, and that I had the right temperament and understanding of both city government, the City of Fitchburg government specifically, and engineering and infrastructure knowledge to help make a real difference,” she said.

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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