Asst. Town Manager says goodbye to Shrewsbury

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Asst. Town Manager says goodbye to Shrewsbury
Kristen Las smiles for a photo in front of the Shrewsbury town plaque in the Select Board’s room. (Photo/Caroline Gordon)

SHREWSBURY – After over a decade of serving Shrewsbury, Assistant Town Manager Kristen Las is stepping down. 

“I would just like to say thank you for the opportunities the employees and management has given me over the past 12 years. Thank you to the residents and business owners who trusted me with their thoughts and ideas,” Las said. “The experience that I have gained in Shrewsbury is invaluable for my career and my life.” 

Las will be joining Westford as its town manager and plans to begin her role later this month. 

Select Board Chair Moe DePalo, who worked alongside Las during her entire career, said that he was impressed with her professionalism and intelligence. 

“Her presentations to Town Meeting on zoning matters were always crisp and understandable. 

We could always count on Kristen to tackle complex problems and help the Select Board navigate complicated zoning, planning and economic development issues with sound advice,” DePalo said. 

Kristen Las: From Town Planner to Assistant Town Manager

Prior to working in Shrewsbury, Las worked for Beals and Thomas, a civil engineering and land planning firm, which is located in Southborough. In 2010, she began working for Shrewsbury as the town planner.

Las said she was drawn to Shrewsbury because it is “an extremely well-managed community.” 

She credits her passion for town management to a former Shrewsbury Town Manager Daniel Morgado, who appointed her as Assistant Town Manager in 2015. She said he taught her about municipal management and town projects that were outside the realm of planning. 

While working as the Assistant Town Manager, Las enjoyed collaborating with staff, helping resolve residents’ issues and assisting business owners in town. 

“I enjoy seeing a municipality that is growing and thriving,” she said. 

One of her most memorable moments while working for Shrewsbury was seeing the Lakeway Commons development open. 

“That was a proud moment in my work,” she said. 

Another memory she cherishes is when Town Manager Kevin Mizikar appointed her as the Assistant Town Manager with a specific focus on community development and human services. 

Las was also a member of the Police Station Building Committee, which is under construction behind the current station. 

Collaborating with residents and seeing the construction of the building is a “great moment to go out on,” she said. 

But, she will miss working with Shrewsbury residents. 

“It’s a very large town, but I have always felt a small town vibe because you always get to know residents and there is a merit of cultures to immerse yourself in. And, there is a huge amount of civic pride,” she said. 

While there were too many colleagues to name whom she said she will miss, Las said she would miss their “expertise, professionalism, their day-to-day guidance and their overall friendship as well.” 

Mizikar called Las a “trailblazer” in all of her contributions to the town. 

“Over this time she has guided a diverse portfolio of town operations that has no doubt improved the quality of life of residents of Shrewsbury. I will always be grateful for Kristen’s support since I have been the town manager,” he said. 

Principal Department Assistant Taylor Galusha said Las has served as a “major role model” for her. 

“She is and will continue to be an integral part of what makes Shrewsbury a great place to live and work. Her impact in Shrewsbury is positive and long lasting and she will be missed dearly in Town Hall,” Galusha said.