As Mayor Richard Irvin begins his second week in office, he is announcing key staff changes in the Mayor’s Office, with more announcements planned in the upcoming weeks.
“My goal is to always surround myself with proven leaders who are dedicated to their area of endeavor and committed to the betterment of Aurora,” said Irvin. “The Mayor’s Office is just our first step in aligning positions at City Hall for the best maximum outcomes across the board.”
Mayor Irvin has appointed longtime City executive Alex Alexandrou as Aurora’s next Chief Management Officer. Bringing nearly three decades of municipal leadership to the Mayor’s Office, Alexandrou will be responsible for the daily operations of the City. He has 17 years of leadership with the City of Aurora serving under former Mayors Stover, Weisner and O’Connor, most recently serving as Chief Administrative Services Officer. Previously, he served as the City’s Risk Manager, Human Resources Director and Chief Labor Negotiator with the City’s labor unions. Prior to Aurora, Alexandrou was with the Village of Oak Park for a decade. In April, he was elected to serve as Fox Valley Park District Commissioner - at- Large.
“As we move Aurora forward and I spend time building relationships throughout the city, region and nation, it is important to know that the daily operations of City Hall and our 1,000+ employees are in capable hands,” said Mayor Irvin. “Alex Alexandrou is a seasoned leader who will handle the position of Chief Management Officer in a progressive and professional manner. He and others on the Mayor’s leadership team bring years of experience to the decision-making table as we continue to build Aurora together.”
Returning to the Mayor’s office after a yearlong stint as the City’s Director of Neighborhood Standards is longtime City executive and former alderman Chuck Nelson. Nelson will fill the current vacant Assistant Chief of Staff position with a new title and duties as the City’s first-ever Deputy Mayor. As Deputy Mayor, Nelson will assist the mayor in political endeavors, business outreach, community collaborations and educational initiatives, including leading the charge to establish the City’s new education commission.
“Chuck Nelson is synonymous with Aurora,” said Mayor Irvin. “He’s a stalwart leader who is respected in all circles. As Deputy Mayor, he will represent the City on my behalf and help us to successfully implement our action plan for this administration.”
Nelson will also serve as the mayor’s liaison to the Aurora City Council, on which he served as the 4th Ward Alderman from 1993 to 2005. He will also handle veterans’ initiatives and serve as the liaison of the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council. Nelson served as Mayor Tom Weisner’s Assistant Chief of Staff from 2006 to 2015 when he was asked to head the City’s Neighborhood Standards Department.
New to the Mayor’s Office but not new to Mayor Irvin’s team is the new Mayor’s Office Coordinator, Maria Lindsay. The longtime executive assistant to Irvin at the Law Offices of Richard C. Irvin and Associates brings nearly a decade of leadership and knowledge to her new role. She will handle the Mayor’s day-to-day schedule and coordinate special initiatives for Mayor Irvin and the leadership team.
Two experienced Mayor’s Office staffers will remain in place, but with expanded roles in the new administration.
Alex Voigt will continue in her role as Assistant Chief of Staff, a position that she has held since 2015. During her nearly seven years with the City, she has served as Executive Assistant to the Mayor, Management Analyst, Interim EMA Manager and Interim City Clerk. She’ll continue to manage the Mayor’s Boards and Commissions and represent the Mayor’s Office at City Council committee meetings.
The City’s Director of Communications Clayton Muhammad will also continue as part of the Mayor’s team, a position he has held since 2013. As part of Mayor Irvin’s goal to expand visibility and publicity for the City, Muhammad and his team will publicize the many ongoing initiatives and initiatives of all City departments and auxiliaries, and enhance the City’s community relations and social media initiatives, including regular live updates from Mayor Irvin and City Council members. Previously, Muhammad served as Director of Community Relations at East Aurora School District 131 for nearly a decade.
Initial staff changes began last week during Irvin’s first days in office and will continue through this week. Additional key staff changes will be announced over the next couple of weeks.
“We are hitting the ground running with a strong leadership team in the Mayor’s Office led by Mayor Irvin. I’m honored the mayor has the confidence in me as the Chief Management Officer as we start to implement Mayor Irvin’s vision for Aurora,” said Alexandrou. “This is just the beginning and our entire team is looking forward to continued progress and excellence.”