SOUTHINGTON - Now that town Democrats have claimed a 5-to-4 majority in the council, it is likely that Chris Palmieri will be selected as chairman of the council.
Democratic Councilor Dawn Miceli explained that the candidate who receives the most votes is typically appointed as the chairman. Palmieri also has “seniority”, she said. After John Barry, who served on the council for 16 years, Palmieri is the senior Democrat, having served for 14 years.
“I will be supporting Chris (Palmieri) as the new chair,” said Barry on Wednesday.
Palmieri declined to comment before the next Town Council meeting about whether or not he would take the position, but said that the chair, vice chair and minority leader of the council would likely be appointed next meeting.
Barry said that he believes that the newly Democrat-controlled council will prioritize accountability and transparency.
Miceli spent Wednesday morning writing out a list of objectives for the town council. She shared four of them:
“I want to see a zero percent mill rate increase for 2018 to 2019,” said Miceli. “This will be challenging given what is going on in the state but I don’t think we should increase it. I would like to see the council working more with the Board of Education. I feel sometimes like the Board of Education is working in a vacuum. We need better communication with them. ”
Miceli suggested that other goals for the council could be creating an online forum for those who are unable to attend council meetings.
“I would also like to see us renew and re-energize our commitment to open space,” said Miceli. “We heard over and over again during the campaign that the town is over-developed and that people want to see that staved off. In order to do that, the council needs to go to a referendum to put money aside in our open space coffers so that we have it available when a parcel becomes available.”
“First and foremost we need to take to heart the input we received from the public throughout the campaign,” said Palmieri. “We have received invaluable feedback and we want to take the council in a direction where it is transparent, open and honest. We want to be thoughtful and don’t want to make any rushed or rash decisions.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.