OPINION: Wallingford Town Councilor John Sullivan reflects on his departure

OPINION: Wallingford Town Councilor John Sullivan reflects on his departure

As the sun sets on my Town Council term, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the good people of Wallingford for allowing me to represent them on the Town Council the past eight years.

Throughout my tenure on the Council I always did my very best to make informed decisions on agenda items I knew would impact you, local taxes, our schools, and town services. I never made decisions based on party politics, but what I thought was right for the town of Wallingford.

There were times I returned home from a Council meeting frustrated over votes that I thought not to be in the best interest of our citizens. However, there were many more votes that reflected what good leaders working together can accomplish for the citizens they represent.

I’ve always had a tendency to support those with less, and I’m proud of that. I stood up for Housing Authority residents to ensure they had a voice at the table at Housing Authority meetings by championing an election process. When the Council bickered over a ten cent raise for cafeteria workers or the Board of Education considered outsourcing the food service program, I stood with and supported the Cafeteria Workers.

I openly supported our police, fire, and E911 services as well as the outstanding employees at our Public Works Department. I would be remiss if I did not state that I appreciate the relationship I built with our department heads and every town employee I met. These folks do great work!

I will miss attending as a Councilor the countless school functions, sporting events, award ceremonies, veteran’s events, town events, and parades throughout my eight year tenure on the Council. I never viewed these events as obligations, but activities everyone who loves our town should experience. My thanks to the many volunteers who give tirelessly to promote and participate in these events.

Many have questioned how a popular eight-year incumbent on the Council could lose the election. Well, if you read or listen to the political pundits, most will say it’s because I wasn’t on a party line. I believe there was more than one factor at work in my election loss.

However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was proud to forge ahead as an unaffiliated candidate in the 2017 election. In some respects, party politics is tearing this country apart. We no longer have representatives willing to work together for the common good of the people they represent. In my mind, today’s national leaders are fueled by three common elements, political agenda, money and re-election. I’m not sure where we as constituents fit in.

My message in the 2017 local election was that I worked directly for the people. All of my decisions reflected those I represented, not a party agenda. Well, we know how that turned out. (Smile) I’m not sure we have reached the point where the electorate is willing to look beyond the traditional party line, food for thought should I choose to run again in the municipal election.

I have been asked by many on what the future holds for me politically.

Well, at this point I’m not sure. My plan at this point is to just sit back and see what happens. My supporters are urging me to consider running in the 2019 election, others would like to see me challenge State Representative Mushinsky in 2018. But right now my immediate plan is to support my daughter’sLyman Hall girls basketball team, learn to play my new guitar, and continue my weekly radio program at WESU 88.1. I think I’ve earned a respite from political life, at least for a few months anyway.

In closing, I want to publicly thank Bill and Mary Fritz. I could not have a better role model than Mary Fritz and a bigger supporter than Bill. Huge thanks to my dear friends Larry Russo, Jonathan Chappell, Kevin Goodrich and Jimmy Zandri. You guys were the fuel that kept me running in the 2017 election. To my wife Suzanne and daughter Riley, thank you for sharing me with Wallingford the past eight years. It was at times a tremendous sacrifice. Finally, thank you Wallingford for allowing me to represent you that last eight years. It was an incredible experience.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Best wishes to all for a healthy and prosperous New Year.

John J. Sullivan is a Wallingford town councilor.


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