Photo: Mary El O’Leary / Hearst Connecticut Media
City Hall’s ‘go-to lady’ Pattie Lawlor backward afterwards 59 years
NEW HAVEN — Pattie Lawlor had been in her appointment aback 7 a.m.
The bagels and chrism cheese, baby egg sandwiches, bake-apple basin and assorted containers of coffee had been ordered and would anon be delivered to the appointment room.
The newspapers requested by administration active were accessible for pickup.
The 77-year-old agent arch of agents was at the alpha of what can be 12-hour canicule as she greets visitors and agents at her additional attic appointment at Burghal Hall alfresco Arch of Agents Tomas Reyes’ office.
The aliment was for administration assembly who were due to appearance up for an aboriginal affair to apprehend a angle for United Way contributions.
Not abounding came and now she would acquisition a abode for the assortment and accomplish abiding those who skipped the presentation got the actual and alternate the sign-up cards to her.
“The Blaze Administration is consistently the best,” Lawlor said of its members, who are consistently acceptable aback asked annually to accord to the United Way.
Lawlor, who aboriginal came to assignment for the burghal answering celerity calls for badge and blaze casework in 1959, was backward Wednesday afterwards 59 years.
She met her backward bedmate while alive for the city.
Edward “Squeegee” Lawlor was a captain in the Blaze Administration afore he retired afterwards accepting a affection attack. She said he was the aboriginal “Mr. Mom,” who backward home with their son aback she went to work.
Lawlor captivated a array of positions in burghal government afore alive anon with a alternation of mayors starting with Biagio DiLieto.
“I would accept admired to accomplish 60, but I can’t. My bloom won’t let me,” Lawlor said of her continued tenure. “It is time for me to go.”
She was out for three months afresh with an abscessed anguish on her leg which kept her immobile. Still, she approved to accumulate up, accomplishing some assignment by buzz and computer.
Word had gotten out that this time she actually meant it aback she said she was backward and there were a beck of well-wishers attractive for a hug.
Dressed as consistently in a accommodating accouterments with analogous jewelry, Lawlor is accepted for her accessible beam and compassionate ear.
“I never blab,” she said of the confidences she would apprehend as allotment of the inner-workings of government, as able-bodied as in claimed discussions, decidedly with the adolescent agents attractive for advice.
Lawlor, starting in 1967, formed in the annihilation appointment of the New Haven Redevelopment Agency, which gave her a front-row bench to the broad abatement of several burghal neighborhoods.
She got to apperceive what goes on in the mayor’s appointment starting with DiLieto in 1980 aback she became one of his receptionists.
Lawlor said, clashing today, anybody had over-sized ash trays abounding with cigarette s on their desk, including her boss, a acclaimed chain-smoker.
It was beneath DiLieto that she took on the albatross of award and vetting citizens absorbed in confined on boards and commissions, and seeing them through the process.
“Oh my God, we accept so abounding boards and commssions. We accept aing to 400 commissioners. Keeping clue of aback their agreement are up — aggravating to acquisition bodies to ample them. I still do it,” Lawlor said.
Give her some time and she will name them all. “I got anybody in my head,” Lawlor said.
In 1989 she was asked to break on by Ambassador John Daniels, who was followed for two decades by Ambassador John DeStefano Jr. and now by Ambassador Toni Harp. A non-civil account job that serves at the amusement of the mayor, Lawlor was loyal to all of them and they to her.
Before actuality interviewed, she had fabricated coffee for Harp as she captivated her own affairs and fabricated abiding that the appropriate flags were on the Green or on the bluff of Burghal Hall.
She is the additional attestant on all the burghal affairs active by the mayor, which are again beatific aback to association counsel.
Lawlor organizes belief seminars with burghal advocate Kathleen Foster for the new commissioners already a year.
Harp’s communication with the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, Lawlor affairs for the Memorial Day concert and Veterans Day. She has organized swearing-in ceremonies for blaze and badge chiefs and abiding DiLieto’s wake, which was captivated on the additional attic of Burghal Hall.
One disappointment in her administration at Burghal Hall, are the accuse adjoin Bianca Bowles, 41, who was arrested afresh and answerable with burglary in affiliation with crooked accuse on a burghal acclaim agenda that was in Lawlor’s name and acclimated while she was on ailing leave.
The accreditation said there were 24 affairs for abode at the Village Suites, as able-bodied as others for aliment for a absolute of $13,294. Bowles has pleaded not guilty. Lawlor would use the agenda mainly for aliment purchases for events.
She said her abrogation has annihilation to do with Bowles, who consistently helped her with her duties.
“Everybody knows I accept been adage I was activity for a year now,” Lawlor said
“It is time for me to break home,” Lawlor said, although she doesn’t apperceive actually what she will do, never accepting chock-full working.
“I appetite to apperceive what it is like not to work. I appetite to get up aback I appetite to get up. It is adamantine accepting up at 5 a.m. every day.
“I accept no plans. I accept actually no plans, which is good,” she said, added than visiting her son and her 16-month old granddaughter, Peyton Elizabeth, in upstate New York.
How does she explain her job?
“I’m the go-to lady. Anyobody who doesn’t apperceive how to do article they appear to me. I accept mentored so abounding adolescent kids who appear actuality — a lot of them in the badge administration and blaze administration — all over,” Lawlor said.
Young bodies who booty advantage of the Youth Casework programs bench from her appointment consistently assume to acquisition her. It’s not an official funnel, “they approach against me. Afore you apperceive it we are talking. I got a few of them on the appropriate track,” she said.
There will be a affair for Lawlor at Burghal Hall Wednesday, apparently the aboriginal one in decades that she didn’t plan. She’s accessible to be the guest.
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