By Chris Camire
State Sen. Jennifer Flanagan's longtime aide is stepping down today to become the assistant to Ayer Town Administrator Robert Pontbriand.
Communications Director Carly Antonellis, who has worked for Flanagan for nearly nine years, starts her new job on June 2.
Antonellis, who has a master's degree in public administration from UMass Boston, is no stranger to municipal government. When she was 18, she was hired as an administrative assistant in the town manager's office of her hometown of Winchendon.
"I'm excited to go back to the municipal side of government," said Antonellis. "I've been with the senator for eight-and-a-half years. It was just something I always wanted to do."
Antonellis has been working for Flanagan since the senator was a state representative. She deals with the wide-ranging concerns of the media, constituents and local government officials.
Flanagan, a Leominster Democrat, said she will miss Antonellis, but that the move is right for her career.
"Carly has been a big part of this office, but she's been given a great opportunity in the town of Ayer," said Flanagan. "She's been working with cities and towns. She loves that work, and she's good at it."
Antonellis said she was offered the job to work with Pontbriand at the end of April. Her new boss did not return messages seeking comment.
Shannon Moore, Flanagan's legislative director, will handle press inquiries for the senator for the time being.
Follow Chris Camire on Twitter @chriscamire