SOUTHINGTON – The Town Council signed Mark Sciota's town manager contract at Monday's meeting, making his planned succession of Garry Brumback in February official.
Sciota was elected for the position by a vote during the last council meeting. He currently serves as deputy town manager and town attorney. He will take over management of the town after Brumback retires and moves to Florida to live near his father.
In addition, the council also recognized April 14 as National Sikh Day, and several members of the local Sikh community attended the meeting. Council Chairman Mike Riccio read a proclamation and explained that the Sikhs are the fifth-largest world religion and 700,000 live in the U.S. They have a temple located at 1610 West St. which people of all faiths are welcome to visit. Riccio wished them a "joyous Valsakhi," referring to the faith's harvest festival.
Suman Sumra thanked the town for "always being warm, welcoming and inclusive."
Christina Simms later spoke of a collaboration between youth services, the local police department and the Board of Education about suicide prevention efforts and facts.
"From Jan. 1 2001 to Sept. 1 2017, 146 youths committed suicide in Connecticut," she said.
Simms said the calls to the town's mobile crisis center have been going up year to year. The collaboration has identified providing youths with life skills, social support from peers and adults and positive school experiences as important issues. She also discussed how schools are doing their part to help via "asset-building classrooms" and starting a mentoring and volunteering program.
Councilor John Barry said the presentation was a "wonderful testament" to the town and the fact that people are willing to reach out and help those struggling with suicidal feelings.
The town also voted to join a multi-municipality lawsuit spearheaded by Waterbury against pharmaceutical companies and physicians.
"It says that they doctored the facts and that these opioids were more dangerous than we were led to believe," said Sciota. "Southington as a block with 20 other municipalities or more will make a strong force on this."
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.