Meriden mayor looks back and ahead in his State of the City address

Meriden mayor looks back and ahead in his State of the City address


FILE PHOTO -- Mayor Kevin Scarpati begins a City Council meeting shortly after inauguration ceremonies at Lincoln Middle School in Meriden, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. | Dave Zajac / Record-Journal

MERIDEN — Mayor Kevin Scarpati revived the State of the City address Monday night, reflecting on the public safety challenges of the previous year and giving an overview of economic development underway in Meriden.

“When asked ‘Where are you from,’ we reply ‘Meriden,’ ” Scarpati’s address began. “For too long many of us have answered that question with great hesitation or shame and embarrassment. We must answer that question with pride and confidence, however. For we are Meriden. And if we do not believe in our city, why would anyone else? ... We should be proud of Meriden, as I can report with confidence, that the state of our city is strong.”

About a hundred residents attended the event, held in the newly renovated auditorium at Maloney High School. Following choral performances from the Maloney Allegrettos, Scarpati jumped into his address, touching on the accomplishments of the last year, including the opening of the Meriden Green. He also covered the police department’s successful suppression of the uptick in violent crime last summer and the adoption of naxolone, an opioid overdose-reversing drug.

Scarpati provided updates on the status of development projects in the downtown area, including the expected May demolition of the former Record-Journal building at 11 Crown St. and the demolition of the Mills Memorial Apartments complex beginning in August. Both sites will be replaced by mixed-use housing and commercial developments.

Scarpati closed his speech praising Meriden’s diversity.

“Meriden has many strengths, but none greater than those who call Meriden their home. Our greatly diverse population is by far our greatest asset and I am honored to be the mayor of all 60,000 of our residents,” Scarpati said. “Residents who are all different. Different in color, in sound, in shape, in age, in religious beliefs. Those differences help make Meriden prosper.”

Democrat Brian Daniels, the City Council’s majority leader, called the address “accurate.”

“I think we’re headed in the right direction after years of hard work,” Daniels said.

Resident Barbara Fraser said it’s important for public officials to share the city’s accomplishments.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” Fraser said. 203-317-2231 Twitter: @LeighTaussRJ

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