WINDSOR, ONT. -- For the first time in 16 years, the mayor’s office in the City of Windsor will have a new chief of staff.

Andrew Teliszewsky kicked off his career at city hall this week after spending the previous decade splitting his time between Queen’s Park and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.

“A number of staff, as I’ve gone through the introductions, have taken to calling me ‘the new Norma.’ What I would say is I seek not to replace anyone but just be a successor,” Teliszewsky said, referring to Norma Coleman, the outgoing chief.

Coleman was a mainstay in the mayor’s office, serving through multiple administrations spanning a handful of elections. The longtime staffer served under previous mayor Eddie Francis starting in 2004 and then maintained the top job at the mayor’s office when Drew Dilkens was first elected in 2014.

“Sixteen years in the role of chief of staff is almost unheard of and it’s a testament to the work and effort that she put in to help two mayors,” Dilkens said.

“Change is always hard but I had a conversation with Norma Coleman prior to the last election about what her intentions are,” said Dilkens. “After 16 years we decided jointly it was time to make a change for the office.”

Teliszewsky’s experience includes serving as chief of staff to multiple ministers at the provincial level for the Liberal Party, including Glenn Thibeault and Bob Chiarelli. Teliszewsky served in the energy, infrastructure and transportation ministries during the Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne governments.

His most recent job was as senior advisor with the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.

“That experience made me sensitive to the concerns of the municipal order of government and their importance in service delivery,” said Teliszewsky.

Dilkens said a chief of staff if crucial to fulfilling the mandate and objectives of his office, which Teliszewsky is contracted to do through this council term, which ends in 2022.

“There are always at least 30 important things happening at the same time and it’s impossible for one person to manage every one of those things himself,” Dilkens said. “So the mayor needs help from a good chief of staff who can keep all the balls in the air, keep them moving forward and at the end of the day it’s about improving our city and making it better.”

During his first week on the job, Teliszewsky tells CTV Windsor he has hit the ground running and is already discussing the mayor’s top priorities, which includes economic development and diversification.

“I’m proud to be part of this team that’s helping to deliver on the mayor’s vision and his mandate and the will of council, ultimately,” Teliszewsky said.