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February 20, 2023 / 2023 Power 50

2023 Power 50: 35. Michael Walsh

Photo | East Hartford Mayor's Office East Hartford Mayor Mike Walsh

East Hartford planted some big seeds in 2022 under the leadership of business-friendly Mayor Michael Walsh, laying the groundwork for projects that will eventually add millions of dollars to the tax rolls, create thousands of jobs and change the trajectory of parts of town that had fallen to blight.

The biggest project pending by far is the development of two massive logistics centers near Rentschler Field. Massachusetts-based National Development paid $78.47 million for 300 acres on the site in early January. The town subsequently agreed to push off tax bills in 2024 by six months, giving the developer time to recruit paying tenants before taxes are due.

National Development’s plans call for two logistics warehouses of 1.3 million and 1.2 million square feet, followed at some point by two smaller research and development buildings.

Elected in November 2021, Walsh has been supportive of development and has marshaled public support and internal staff energy to further the town’s redevelopment prospects. Having served as East Hartford’s finance director from 1998 to 2019, Walsh came to leadership with an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of Town Hall and its finances.

Before that, Walsh spent 11 years in accounting at insurer Cigna. After leaving town employment, Walsh spent two years as undersecretary of strategic initiatives and accountability in the Office of Policy and Management under Gov. Ned Lamont.

Speaking to a Capital Region Development Authority committee on Jan. 14, Walsh said the town in 2022 worked to upgrade its image, paying more attention to customer service, cooperation and collaboration.

Find out who else is in the 2023 Power 50.

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