Mayoral candidate James Marocchini focuses on economic development

Published on Friday, 1 November 2019 13:17
Written by Erica Drzewiecki

@drzewieckinbh

NEWINGTON - Moving the town forward is at the top of James Marocchini’s priority list, if elected mayor on Tuesday.

A project manager with Pioneer Builders, Marocchini is just completing his third term on the Town Council. He served previously on the town’s Economic Development Commission.

Speaking of economic development, it’s really at the forefront of the Democratic candidate’s mayoral agenda. He is a big proponent for a future Transit Village Design District (TVDD) on Route 175, alongside a Hartford line train station being planned by the Department of Transportation. The TVDD concept envisioned by town officials mirrors Hartford’s Blue Back Square with more of a “small town, New England feel” with shops, restaurants and community gathering spaces.

“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,” Marocchini told the New Britain Herald staff when he announced his candidacy earlier this year.

He was endorsed by the Newington Democratic Town Committee, along with fellow Council incumbents Carol Anest, Diana Serra and Chris Miner. Rounding out the slate are Sharon Braverman, a current Board of Education member; and Timothy Zapatka, a political newcomer and longtime town volunteer.

“You always have to work together with whoever is sitting at that table to come up with what’s best for Newington,” Marocchini pointed out. “Moving the town forward is the most important thing and that’s why I’m running for mayor. I think I’m the best candidate for the job because I have the vision of what Newington should be moving towards for our future.”

That vision equates to updating infrastructure, starting with the Town Hall/Community Center project that broke ground earlier this year. Democrats supported a $2.8 million increase to the project’s budget, now being challenged by a group of residents in Connecticut Superior Court. A ruling in their favor could force the town to halt construction and return to a referendum to ask voters for the extra funding.

“Time is money,” said Marocchini, who is confident the project will continue uninterrupted.

“We’ve kicked the can down the road way too long,” he added. “We’ve fallen behind the gamut on a lot of our projects and I think that’s hurting us in the long run. Without good things to offer it’s hard to draw new residents. We have to reinvest in ourselves.”

Marocchini and his wife are both Newington natives and have a 13-year-old daughter. Family drives his desire to make Newington a better place - a sentiment shared by others he encountered along the campaign trail this fall.

“Things people want align with things I want,” he said. “We have to make sure we’re coming up with new ideas for Newington’s future to keep young families wanting to live here and keep our real estate values up.”

How can these goals be accomplished while keeping taxpayer dollars in check? Improvements to parks, schools and infrastructure can be wrapped into the Capital Improvements program, according to Marocchini.

“If done properly we can accomplish them over several years without one project necessarily affecting taxes,” he said. He also plans to work with state officials to ensure educational cost sharing funds are retained this budget cycle and the town’s tax credit programs for seniors and veterans stay in place.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or edrzewiecki@centralctcommunications.com.



Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Friday, 1 November 2019 13:17. Updated: Friday, 1 November 2019 13:19.