By Lisa Capobianco
With Election Day just around the corner, four town councilors not seeking re-election said goodbye to their colleagues Monday night, thanking them for several years of teamwork and commitment to Southington.
Four of the six incumbent Republican councilors, Louis Martocchio, Peter Romano, Dr. Al Natelli and John Dobbins, decided not to seek reelection this year. With the exception of Martocchio, the Republicans have served multiple terms on the council.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you for four years,” said Dr. Al Natelli, who cited family and a bit of fatigue as reasons why he decided not to seek reelection this year. “We have given up time with our families…to make the community a better place for all of us.”
Council Chairman John Dobbins also thanked Town Clerk Leslie Cotton, a Republican, who has decided to retire after her term ends in January. Cotton served 20 years in Southington, and has backed Kathy Larkin as her replacement.
Romano, not only recognized his colleagues, but also thanked and recognized members of the Public Works Committee, giving an overview of the projects they have worked on including downtown maintenance, snow and leaf bids, and light reports.
“It is definitely a value to the town,” said Romano, who was appointed on the Board of Parks Commissioners at Monday’s meeting.
Martocchio, who serves on the Sewer Committee, also recognized and thanked committee members, highlighting issues they have worked on, such as the cleaning of the digesters and the phosphorus levels in municipal wastewater treatment plant discharges. He thanked Town Manager Gary Brumback’s effort to collaborate with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and other surrounding towns to address the phosphorus issue.
“They were and still are a spectacular group of people who worked in harmony to get an awful lot done,” Martocchio said. “The progress could not have been done without the town staff.”
During the meeting, running incumbents of the Democratic Party expressed their appreciation for the town councilors not seeking another term.
“On behalf of our caucus we want to thank you for your volunteer efforts for the town,” said Minority Leader Chris Palmieri. “We appreciate everything you have done, and we really wish you the best.”
As Dobbins invited the public to speak in front of the podium, Art Secondo, the president of the Southington Chamber of Commerce, presented certificates to the four Republicans, expressing his own appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the town.
Secondo also thanked the running incumbents for their commitment to Southington.
“The relationship between the town and the Chamber of Commerce has never been so strong and so cooperative,” said Secondo, a former Democratic Councilman. “We work together in economic development a lot more than people realize—we work together because we have a great town.”