- Front Porch
SOUTHINGTON — Incumbents and former town councilors are returning after Tuesday’s elections, which Republicans say is a validation of their approach over the past few years.
Republicans maintained their majority on the nine-member council along with the three existing council Democrats keeping their seats.
The new council will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Center.
Five incumbents, two Republicans and three Democrats, were voted in on Tuesday. Two other Republicans elected have served on the council before and two others come from the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Republican Victoria Triano returns to the council after serving four years ago. Since then, she said the council has led the town well on a number of issues such as the use of committees to get things done.
“What’s happened over the last four years is that there’s a sense that we’re heading in the right direction,” Triano said.
She also praised the Democrats who’d won, saying they were active in the community.
“We’ve got good people on the Democratic side,” Triano said.
Dawn Miceli, one of the three Democrats reelected, said work on town projects could continue without interruption with the return of incumbents. Voters appreciated the work done by the council over the past few years and specifically the contributions made by the three Democratic members.
“The voters acknowledge all the hard work the three of us have done,” Miceli said.
Brian Callahan, Republican Town Committee Chairman, said the Republican-led municipal government has improved access to Town Hall with the opening of the Municipal Center, avoided major tax increases and improved roads. Residents have also approved of personnel shake-ups in Town Hall, according to Callahan.
“There were no major issues. The voters, taxpayers, are happy with the way the town is being run,” he said. “We took every seat in town. We had 21 candidates and all 21 got elected.”
Republicans hold a majority on every board and could not have won any more seats due to minority representation portion of the Town Charter.
In addition to boards and commissions working well with the Town Council, Callahan said Democrats and Republicans also work well together. Democrats vote with the Republican majority on most issues, he said.
“The politics go out the window for the most part,” Callahan said.
Callahan was also pleased that Republicans were able to elect Tom Lombardi, a 28-year old Zoning Board of Appeals alternate. It’s difficult to get young people to run for office and Lombardi not only won but was able to gather younger supporters as well.
The attitude among youth that voting and civic participation doesn’t matter is “going away,” according to Lombardi.
“They’re really getting involved,” he said.
He’s looking forward to working with experienced councilors of both parties and offering different perspectives on town issues. Lombardi also hopes to stay in touch with the concerns of people his age and voice those views on the council.
While he may have a window on the younger generation’s perspective, Lombardi said he’s representing all ages.
“I’m out there serving everyone now,” he said.
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