NEWINGTON - Moving the town forward in a positive direction is what Democrats have in mind in presenting their slate for the November election.
The Newington Democratic Towna Committee recently endorsed Town Councilor James Marocchini for mayor. He’ll be joining fellow council incumbents Carol Anest, Diana Casasanta Serra and Chris Miner on the ticket. Longtime Board of Education member Sharon Braverman is also running for a council seat, along with newcomer Timothy Zapatka, a state employee and longtime volunteer with Newington Parks and Recreation.
On the BOE side are incumbents Michael Branda, Emily Guion and Cindy Stamm, along with newcomers Sam Sharma, a graduate student of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; and Jessica Weaver, a Newington native and recent University of Connecticut graduate. For Constable and Fire Commissioner, endorsements went to Fred Callahan and Brian Whalen.
“I think our slate certainly brings a great mix of experience and new candidates with our always-present commitment to our kids, their education and maintaining a high quality of life in Newington while always respecting the taxpayers,” committee chairman John Kelly said. “We as Democrats have a vision for improving the quality of life in Newington and making the best investments in our town for our citizens going forward.”
Marocchini, a project manager with Pioneer Builders in Newington, is just completing his third term on the council. He told the Town Crier that he’s been considering a run for mayor since Democrats lost the seat in 2015.
“I really have Newington in my heart and that’s what put me here,” he said.
He and his wife both grew up in town and are raising their family here.
“Our daughter is 13 now, so I really want to make sure we’re moving things forward for the young generation in terms of infrastructure, education, parks and recreation, the library and economic development,” he explained. “I just want to see Newington progress on all levels.”
That might mean new infrastructure that caters to the millennial way of life, Marocchini pointed out.
“It doesn’t seem like they’re interested in a car or a big house, they’re a pretty mobile generation,” he said. “If we can use our geographical location between two major cities as an advantage, maybe we can turn Newington into a hub for young professionals.”
In that realm, he is a big proponent of the Transit Village Design District and adjacent train station being planned for Cedar Street., to tie into the Hartford-New Haven rail line. Economic development and growing the town’s grand list are among his top priorities.
Before serving on the Town Council, Marocchini was a member of the town’s Economic Development Commission. He also wants to prioritize renovating the town’s aging infrastructure.
“Costs are going up and we can’t just keep raising taxes,” he said.
Keeping discussions and negotiations around the council table cordial is the most efficient way to get things done, according to this candidate. The body has worked well together over the last few years.
“Let’s talk it out,” he added. “The goal is to stay open and transparent, despite party affiliations.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.