NEWINGTON â€“ A new set of hands has joined the team of players orchestrating the townâ€™s future.
New Town Planner Renata Bertotti was hired to replace the recently-retired Craig Minor, who served as Town Planner since 2012.
Town Manager Keith Chapman introduced Bertotti to the Town Council this week, also giving her an opportunity to share her vision with elected officials.
â€śRenata comes here with good background and good credentials,â€ť Chapman said.
As a fellow Newington resident, he added, she has a personal as well as professional stake in the townâ€™s future.
Bertotti brings to the table 15-plus years of experience in the planning profession, most recently as former director of planning, development and enforcement in Meriden. She also served as senior planner for the city of Manchester and prior to that was a zoning officer in Coventry.
â€śThank you for giving me this really exciting and amazing opportunity,â€ť Bertotti told councilors.
When Deputy Mayor Gail Budrejko asked her about her planning strategy, she was diplomatic in response.
â€śThe position of a community planner entails understanding what it is the community wants,â€ť Bertotti said. â€śThe vision for the community has to come from the community. Iâ€™m just the vehicle for it.â€ť
Councilors were receptive to this open approach and offered their welcome.
â€śItâ€™s fantastic to have somebody in your capacity be a resident who is living what we envision for our town to become,â€ť Chris Miner said. â€śI look forward to many years of prosperous redevelopment and expansion.â€ť
â€śWhat you accomplish is going to impact you and your family,â€ť Budrejko pointed out. â€śIâ€™m sure you have a real vested interest in making sure that this town grows and develops in a very responsible way.â€ť
Minor, who retired Oct. 30, told the Herald and Town Crier that he values his time spent in Newington.
â€śI enjoyed it a great deal and I learned a lot,â€ť he said.
Minor, who lives in Bristol, worked closely with the Town Plan & Zoning Commission to provide guidance on decisions regarding land use, development, the town charter and building projects. He was involved in several different initiatives over the years, from revising the townâ€™s blight and signage ordinances to crafting the 2020 Plan of Conservation and Development. During his eight-year tenure, Minor oversaw streetscape improvements in the downtown area, helped draft transit-oriented development regulations, and assisted in the planning and construction of the new Newington Town Hall and Community Center.
An affordable housing plan he drafted is expected to be adopted by elected officials soon.
â€śNewington is a great town,â€ť Minor said. â€śItâ€™s definitely poised to become a better place for people to live and work. Iâ€™m leaving it in good hands.â€ť
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.