CHESHIRE — The town has a new economic development coordinator, and it’s a face that will likely be familiar to most.
Earlier this month, the Town Council welcomed Andrew Martelli as the new coordinator and grant writer, to replace longtime Economic Development Coordinator Jerry Sitko, who retired earlier in the summer.
Sitko had spent nearly 30 years in town service.
Martelli, who currently serves on the Board of Education and has had an active role in the School Modernization project, will remain in his elected role. He has a degree in Urban and Community Studies from the University of Connecticut and over 15 years of municipal development experience for Charter Oak Environmental Services and the Waterbury Development Corporation.
“I have known Andrew for a long time, and I can confidently say there is no one better for the job (now) that Jerry is leaving … than him,” Town Council Chairman Rob Oris said during the Aug. 10 meeting. “Andrew lives and breathes Cheshire. He will no doubt be a valuable asset to Cheshire.
Martelli explained how accepting his new role is special.
“I have lived in Cheshire my whole life and it certainly is a dream job for me to be standing here and accepting this position,” Martelli said.
Martelli went on to explain that Sitko “passed the torch” with a bit of advice — to listen to residents and business owners, but to not forget why he is doing this work.
“(Jerry) explained to me the importance of putting my own stamp on this town, to not only continue the work he has done, but to explore different areas and avenues which will only make our town better,” he said.
During the meeting, the council also took some time to praise his predecessor. Oris thanked Sitko for his service, and presented Sitko with a proclamation to commemorate his time working for the town.
“As a business owner and citizen of this town, Jerry has shown me the utmost respect and he has a skill in retaining and recruiting people to come to our town,” Oris said. “In many ways, Sitko is the face of our community and has helped improve the quality of our town, as well as our grand list, and for that we are very thankful.”
Martelli officially took over his position on Aug. 9.