First Congregational Church is hosting its annual Christmas Fest on the Green on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 to 2:30. The festival will have exciting craft and candy vendors, lunch, bake sale, and a kids’ activity table and surprise tree. Our Book Sale, Clothes Closet, and White Elephant sale will all be open as well. We’ll have decorated trees, wreaths, and other items being raffled off. Have your picture taken with Santa between 11:30 and 2. There is a collection of food for WHEAT. Questions? Contact First Congregational Church at (203) 933-6291.
The West Haven Italian-American Civic Association is sponsoring a Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 15 from 10-1 at the Cielo Banquet Hall, 85 Chase Lane. Cost is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. Children 10 and under eat free. All Children must be registered with name, age and sex. RSVP by Dec. 11. Contact: Rich Frey, (203) 215-8698 or Lisa Aguzzi, (203) 927-6467. The buffet-style breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice.
The First and Wesley United Methodist Church parish is sponsoring two holiday events the weekend of Dec. 7-8. A Living Nativity (an outdoor re-creation of the Christmas story), is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, from 2-4. This is a Christmas gift to the community. Experience the story of Christ’s birth by seeing the manger scene with costumed characters. During the event, parishioners will distribute free gifts (hats/mittens) to children, provide hot chocolate, and host a children’s craft area.
The next day, the 2nd annual Praise & Worship Concert “Light of Hope, is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The concert is free and includes a wide variety of sacred music. *Your generous freewill offering will be used for the many ministries of the church. There’ll also be 17 handmade light-up snowman couples (approx. 7”x6”x6” each) available to purchase to benefit the church.
Breakfast with Santa
First Lutheran Church is sponsoring Breakfast with Santa at the church, 52 George St, on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9-12.There will be activities and photos with Santa. Tickets available at door For more info, call Kyla (203) 859-2088
New Life Church located at 255 Jones Hill Road. invite you and your children (ages 5-10) to its first Christmas Celebration on Dec. 14, from 10-1:15.The Christmas Celebration will include: Decorating of gingerbread houses, 10:15-10:55; Reading of Christmas story, 11-11:15; Candy Cane Craft, 11:20-11:40; Snack time of Christmas cookies and juice, 11:45-12:10; Story of the Birth of Jesus & a gift for the Children, 12:15-1:15.Please RSVP, (203) 934-3022. Please leave your name, phone, and the number of children. A confirmation reply will be made. An adult must be present with the child during the festivities. An adult area with coffee, tea and cookies will be available during the activities, but adults are welcome to stay with the children.
Atlantic City trip
F. Seniors and Friends are running a trip to Atlantic City on Jan. 6-8, at Resorts Casino. Cost of the trip is doubles, $235; triples, $229, single, $319. Four meals, two shows and slot play included. Reservation must be with a deposit is $50 person with final payment due Nov. 29. Call Fred Morgillo, (203) 389-5808, or (203) 927-4249.
The West Haven Italian-American Civic Association Senior Center is seeking new members to join its Tuesday senior gathering. Join a group of friendly seniors in an afternoon of good company, with Bingo, cards, trips to casinos and conversations with like-minded people and more. We meet at the club, 85 Chase Lane, each Tuesday from noon to 3. The cost is just $3 per week to cover expenses. We offer refreshments at no additional cost. Call Sherri Torre, (203) 932-2893 for further information.
Senior Center trips
Join the West Haven Seniors on the following scheduled trip: All trips leave from Savin Rock Conference Center:
Monday, Dec. 9 — The Westchester Broadway Theatre – “The Edwards Twins” New Holiday Themed Show! Direct from Las Vegas identical twins Anthony and Edward make musical legends come alive for this holiday performance. Sonny & Cher, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis and Barbara Streisand just to name a few of the acts re-created by the talented twins. Enjoy lunch at the theatre before the show. Cost $90 due by Nov. 1. Bus leaves Savin Rock Conference Center 9:30. Departs Westchester approximately at 3:45.
A flyer with further details is available at the office at the West Haven Senior Center 201 Noble St. or you can call the Senior Center (203) 937-3507.
The Liberty Coin Club of West Haven, organized in1962, will host a Coin Show on Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Elks Club, 265 Main St., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. Anyone with an interest in buying, selling or collecting coins, or with questions about coins, is welcome to attend. Expert dealers and collectors will be on hand.
An Al-Anon meeting group invites new members to attend its weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the First Lutheran Church, 52 George St. For information and details, call (203) 506-1464.
The Seth Haley Memorial Loan Fund of West Haven provides eligible college students with loans of up to $2500 to help students finish their post high school education.
Applicants must be West Haven residents who have completed two or more years of college or post-secondary work or be in their final two years of advanced work. Any West Haven resident attending college or a post high school professional, technical or trade school can be eligible for a loan. Repayments do not begin, and no interest will be charged until one year after graduation. If you are interested in making an application for a loan, please call Ralph Lawson, (203) 934-6442.
The Notre Dame football team used a big second half, a strong defensive effort, and five turnovers to win the Green Bowl for the 14th year in a row in their 42-7 win over Hamden.
Leading 14-7 at halftime, the Green Knights scored four unanswered touchdowns, two in each quarter of the second half, to pull away for the win.
Jackson Zalinsky threw two of his four touchdown passes within 90 seconds of each other as Notre Dame scored twice late in the third quarter to break the game open.
Zalinsky, who was 9-16 for 142 yards, found Tommy Candelora on the far sideline for a 23-yard scoring strike with 2:21 left in the third quarter. For Candelora, it was his 10th touchdown reception of the season, and allowed him to record a touchdown in every game.
Hamden did not catch the ensuing kickoff, allowing Notre Dame to recover it at the Green Dragon 30-yard line. Three plays later, Zalinsky proceeded to hit Aiden Stankiewicz on a 16-yard touchdown connection and the Green Knights lead grew to 28-7 in a 74-second span.
Zalinsky punctuated his final game as a Green Knight with a two-yard touchdown run on the Green Knights next possession and Notre Dame led 35-7 with 9:27 left in the game.
The Green Knights defense, which was stout all game long, added to the final score when Robbie Oliverio returned an Isaiah Riley overthrown pass 47 yards for the game’s final score with 8:22 left in the game.
Notre Dame’s defense held a high-scoring and potent Hamden offense in check for the majority of the game, while also forcing five turnovers. Notre Dame recovered three Hamden fumbles while Michael Consorte added a second interception for the Green Knights.
“We knew we would need to play well defensively to win today and we did,” said Notre Dame head coach Joe DeCaprio. “The key to it was tackling and we tackled well. We knew we had to stop the run and that’s what we did.”
For the game, Notre Dame held Hamden to 228 total yards and nine first downs. They held the powerful Hamden ground attack to only 132 yards rushing. Chris Pigatt had five catches for 89 yards, and four carries for 16 yards. Tymell Haynes had nine carries for 59 yards to pace Hamden’s rushing attack.
After Notre Dame took a 7-0 lead on a Zalinsky to Austin Pieck touchdown pass on its first possession, Hamden tied the game with 20 seconds left in the first quarter when the electrifying and elusive Pigatt snared a Riley pass with one-hand and outraced three Green Knight defenders for an 83-yard score.
For Notre Dame, Damian Blount ran 29 times for 142 yards as the Green Knights maintained the ball for almost 30 minutes. Candelora added his 10th and 11th touchdown receptions and also scored via a fumble return against Hand, an interception return against St. Joseph’s and a kickoff return against Fairfield Prep. With his four touchdown passes, Zalinsky wound up with 23 for the season.
“I am proud of our seniors,” said Notre Dame head coach Joe DeCaprio. “We fought and we fought and battled through so many injuries and stuck together and were able to come out on top and end the season on a positive note.”
With the win, Notre Dame finishes with a 6-4 record for the second straight season. It was also the Green Knights 14th win in a row in the 69-year series. Notre Dame now holds a 46-21-2 all-time record heading into the 70th Green Bowl next year.
Each year, the Holidays have their familiar routines for families and friends, and most of us can recall at least one annual routine with a smile. The Boys of Autumn can certainly think of one: they call it The Turkey Bowl.
It all began in 1994: Two teenaged brothers and a brother-in-law rounded up a group of friends and began holding an informal football game every Thanksgiving morning, as a means of fellowship and as a way to work up a good appetite for the Thanksgiving feast that would follow.
They were all Westies: a group of classmates who had mostly known each other since childhood. Together they would gather on an open field, sometimes Brennan Field, sometimes behind Bailey Middle School, and a game of tackle football would ensue. But often, the football game would lead to trips to the hospital for one or two of the contenders, who had zigged when they ought to have zagged.
As the years went by, the Thanksgiving routine gathered a reputation and attracted additional players. By now, the core group were 30-ish and had discovered that falling down wasn’t as much fun as it used to be. Thus, tackle football was replaced by two-handed touch football, and finally flag football, complete with a time clock and official linemen.
The group was divided into the “over thirties” and the “under 30s” who played against each other while their wives and children—and dogs–watched. For now, some of the Boys of Autumn were fathers and family men.
And their children grew up. And today, some of them are participating in the Turkey Bowl, alongside their fathers, many of whom are now in their forties. This Thanksgiving marks the 26th playing of the event, which in past years has been played in freezing cold, falling snow, and torrential rain. We wish them luck—and many more years of playing The Turkey Bowl.
Our thanks to Mike Hawes for contributing this story.
West Haven Girls Basketball kicked off its junior division schedule with the Bruins and Panthers jumping out with two wins to start the season.
The Chuck’s Garage Panthers outlasted the TBNG Eagles, 13-3, as Jaecianna Mitchell hit for 6 points in the win. Kylie Gibbons, Jaearrah Mitchell, Aleya Lachance and Jocelyn Silber also scored for the Panthers. The Eagles were led by the play of Perez Rosario and Asihan Tuzco.
The Panthers used the scoring of Tiranka Keita, Hayden Holm, Jaecianna Mitchell and Jaearrah Mitchell to upend the Oyster River Energy Cardinals. The Cardinals were led on the defensive end by Cristel Miguel and Danavia Pittman.
The Emmett’s Auto Bruins, using the scoring of Sarah Went, Amare Bennett and Jada Turner, downed the Oster River Cardinals 15-6 to open the season. Cristel Miguel accounting for all the Cardinal scoring and Parish Rutledge played well for the Cardinals.
Samantha Boyd, Yeganeh Mohammadkhani, Jada Turner and Sarah Went led the offensive attack as the Bruins downed the Gunning Law Huskies, 19-8. The Huskies were led by scoring of Taryn Walker, Lehanna Philogene and Ella McDonnell.
The Huskies opened the season with a 20-7 win over the Prospect Fish and Game Blue Devils. Finley Gunning and Taryn Walker combined for 16 points in the win. Sophia Empric also scored for the Huskies. Terrianna Rodgers and Kylee McCort accounted for the Blue Devil scoring.
Perez Rosario and Justice Butler combined for 8 points as the TBNG Eagles held off the Prospect Fish and Game Blue Devils, 8-5. The Blue Devil attack was led by Timyra Rodgers, Talia Decresenzo and Isabella Vanbrederode.
The West Haven Squirt A travel hockey team beat Wonderland, 7-3, at Bennett Rink on Saturday to notch its 10th win of the season.
The Blue Devils shut down the Wizards of Bridgeport behind Cameren Lipford’s five goals and one assist, and goaltender Alex Werle’s 24 saves. The dynamic duo was supported by center Tyler Silva (1 goal, 2 assists), forward Ryan Walsh (1 goal) and defenseman Kyle Guarino (2 assists), who also made several poke checks in key situations.
Walsh put the Westies on the scoreboard first, crashing the net and rebounding a shot by Silva at 5:04 of the first period. Lipford made it 2-0 just over two minutes later, catching a pass from Silva in the West Haven zone, deking his way up to the net, and backhanding a shot high to the glove side. The Wizards answered nine seconds later to make it a one-shot game. At 1:01 of the first, Lipford fired a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot to put the Blue Devils up 3-1. Kyle Guarino assisted on the play.
At 6:59 of the second, Silva rebounded a shot by Lipford and backhanded the puck into the upper corner to make it 4-1. Lipford then scored a short-handed goal to put the Westies up by four late in the period.
Less than two minutes into the third, Lipford one-timed a laser pass from forward Michael D’Aiuto to make it 6-1. After the Wizards cut it to 6-2, Lipford scored on a pass from Kyle Guarino and forward David D’Aiuto at 7:30 of the period to give the Blue Devils a five-goal lead. The Wizards scored once more at 5:27 of the third to pull within four.
On Sunday, West Haven fell 6-4 to Darien A1 in a hard-fought game at the Darien Ice House.
The Blue Devils came out strong, opening the contest with three straight goals. Lipford scored first on a rebound from forward Aedan Guarino. Michael D’Aiuto made it 2-0, crashing the net and scoring on a rebound set up by Walsh and Kyle Guarino. Lipford gave the Westies a three-goal lead at 6:59 of the first, going coast-to-coast before slipping a shot between the Darien goaltender’s legs.
Darien answered with three successive goals of its own, however, and tied the contest at 10:56 of the second. Lipford put the Blue Devils up 4-3 at 5:31 of the period after Westies defenseman Andrew Grillo made one of the defensive plays of the game. With Darien pressuring in the West Haven zone and tying Werle up on the left side of the net, Grillo dived across the ice to block a shot and stop a surefire goal. Lipford then picked up the loose puck, deked his way into the Darien zone, and wristed a shot from inside the box high to the blocker side.
Darien tied it at 10:57 of the third and netted the game-winner at 1:24 of the period. The team added a final goal 17 seconds later.
Werle tallied 23 saves for the Blue Devils.
The West Haven Peewee A travel hockey team used solid goaltending, tough defense and balanced scoring to post two wins over the weekend. The Blue Devils defeated Darien A, 3-1, and Western Minor, 6-1. West Haven is now 13-13-1 overall and 12-9-0 in CHC league play.
On Saturday night at Stamford Twin Rinks, the Westies faced Darien which had beaten West Haven, 8-0, earlier in the season. After a scoreless first period, Darien took a 1-0 lead off a scramble in front of the West Haven goal midway through the second.
Alex Bowery tied the game for the Westies six minutes later when he stole the puck from a defenseman and slid it through the five-hole.
Early in the third period, Ryan Pniewski hustled to keep the puck in the Darien zone. Bowery took it off the boards and centered to Ronnie Mastroni for a one-timer and a 2-1 lead. Jacob Silva (17 total saves) made a couple of clutch saves during a Darien power play late in the third. Mastroni then iced the game when Sean Studley won a face off to him and he snapped a wrist shot bar down for the 3-1 win.
On Sunday morning at Edward L. Bennett Rink, the Westies hosted Western Minor and posted the 6-1 win. Mastroni picked up right where he left off when he gathered the opening face off and fired a laser over the goalie’s shoulder seven seconds into the game.
The Colonials tied the contest in the opening minute of the second period and went on a power play looking for more. Bowery denied them when he took Jonathan Charbonneau’s pass and slid a shot inside the far post for a short-handed score.
West Haven then took over the game from there.Brady Price took the puck to the net and Chris Consorte cleaned it up with six seconds left in the second. Zach Melchiore made it 4-1 in the third with helpers from Price and Consorte. Mastroni fed Bowery for a long wrist shot and Dylan Bosworth finished the scoring with a breakaway goal with Matt Kelly assisting. Greg Galasso was clutch with his glove and finished with 18 saves.
The West Haven Bantam A travel hockey team won its only game of the week, defeating the Ramapo Saints, 8-0, Saturday afternoon at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
Cade Simone led the way with two goals and an assist, Michael Madera added a goal and an assist, while Dante Hardt and Gabe Mongelli each had two assists.
West Haven took control of the game with three goals in a span of 41 seconds in the opening period. Cam Delvecchio got the ball rolling with a goal off an assist from Sean Bosworth, before Mickey Dowd scored off an assist from Jayden Spreyer 31 seconds later. Just 10 seconds later. Madera took a pass from Simone and scored for a 3-0 advantage.
The Westies increased the lead to 4-0 with 1:10 remaining in the second as Dave Brown scored off assists from Mongelli and Hardt.
West Haven put the game away with four goals in the third period. Will Giaquinto scored off assists from Matt Stevens and Jason Alling, 4:16 in, Simone scored an unassisted goal with 6:06 remaining, then added another tally off assists from Kyle Droney and Madera. Chris Adkins rounded out the scoring, assisted by Hardt and Mongelli.
Bryan Hong and Brendan Smith each played well in goal, combining for the shutout. West Haven’s defense of Bosworth, Brown, Alling, Haygen Axelrod, Josh Gyolai and Matt Wezenski each played very well to aid in the shutout.
The West Haven Bantam A travel hockey team won three games this weekend.
On Saturday, the Blue Devils traveled to South Kent to play Northwestern and came away with a 6-4 victory. Northwestern jumped out to an early lead, but the Westies took the lead by the end of the first with unassisted goals from Yousaf Ullah and Matt Wright.
In the second period, Javed Ullah connected on a pass from Zack Fonda to take a 3-2 lead into the third. After falling behind 4-3 halfway through the third, the Westies tied the game on a goal from Wright off an assist from Alex Kurowski. The Westies took the lead on a goal from Yousaf Ullah off an assist from Ashley Welch. An empty net goal from Wright, for his hat trick, and 24 saves from Austin Fruin sealed the win.
On Sunday morning, the Westies started December in Pawling, New York against Trinity-Pawling and posted a 7-2 victory. Trailing 1-0, Cody Rocchio answered back 30 seconds later with assists to Danny Johnson and Carson Lee.
The Westies added goals from Fonda (Javed Ullah assisted), Yousaf Ullah (unassisted and short-handed) and Nate Chiappetta (Kurowski assisted) to end the first period up, 4-1.
In the second period, the Westies got goals from Yousaf Ullah (unassisted), Jamie Kerzner, his first of the season off an assist from Kurowski, and a short-handed goal from Wright off an assist from Fruin.
Both teams were held scoreless in the third as West Haven won 7-2. Fruin had 22 saves.
In their third game of the weekend, the Westies faced off against the Southern Stars and once again fell behind in the first period before posting the victory. The Westies were unable to get a puck past the Stars goalie until the third period when Fonda scored off assist from Welch and TJ Levenduski to tie the game.
With four minutes left on the clock, Yousaf Ullah found a seam to get around the Stars defense and tucked a puck around an outstretched Stars goalie. Despite a valiant effort from the Stars, Fruin and the rest of the Westies shut the door and win the game, 2-1.
By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Santa and Mrs. Claus joined Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and very special guest Gabriella “Gabby” Murillo to light the Christmas tree on the Green during the annual holiday kickoff Saturday.
After arriving to the Main Street side of the Green on the West Haven Fire Department’s 1935 Mack pump firetruck, Santa and Mrs. Claus were escorted to the nearby stage by the West Haven High School and Seahawks cheerleading teams to the sound of applause and shouts of glee from several hundred merrymakers who braved the bitter cold.
Before the lighting of the tree, which is encircled by five smaller evergreen trees adorned with fluorescent-colored lights, Rossi recognized Murillo, who strolled in on a motorized wheelchair to enthusiastic applause from the all-ages crowd.
Beside the stage, Murillo was surrounded by her parents, Eric and Amanda Murillo, and her sister Jennifer Maurutis, 32. Sisters Amanda Murillo, 34, and Cassie Murillo, 25, were unable to attend.
Gabby Murillo is back home in West Haven — the first time the Murillos have all been together since she was paralyzed from the neck down in a June car crash while embarking on her dream internship at Disney World.
On June 16, Murillo was struck by a truck while driving in Orlando, Florida, causing spinal damage beyond repair. She had reportedly been hit at full speed by a drunk driver while she was stopped at a red light with a friend.
Murillo’s hometown immediately rallied around the 22-year-old, holding multiple “Gabby Strong” fundraisers large and small to help her family pay for the incalculable medical and other expenses that have accompanied her recovery, including a specialized wheelchair, an addition to the family’s Hickory Street home and a handicapped-accessible vehicle.
Rossi, who was accompanied onstage by her 9-year-old grandson, Arthur Rossi, said Murillo’s strength, determination and fighting spirit is a source of inspiration for her close-knit family, the community and her legion of friends, who have all pledged their unwavering support for her continued progress.
The holiday festival opened at 2 p.m. with Christmas music, food trucks, face painting, train rides and wreath decorating, as well as craft and artisan vendors.
It was presented by the city, the First Congregational Church of West Haven and West Haven United, an organization aimed at bringing the city’s volunteer groups together.
Lou Esposito, Rossi’s executive assistant, served as the master of ceremonies for the six-hour event, which featured a cast of costumed Christmas characters that roamed the Green.
The festivities continued into the afternoon with the opening of Santa’s village and eight craft stations, where children decorated wooden ornaments, wrote letters to Santa, and made cards for U.S. troops overseas and those at the Veterans Affairs Hospital on Campbell Avenue.
West Haven High junior Nora E. Mullins sang the national anthem, and the school’s Drama Club performed a holiday play.
The ceremony continued with performances by the West Haven High dance team, holiday carols sung by the St. Lawrence School chorus and performances by the Top Hat Dance Academy.
Cheerleaders of the West Haven High varsity and junior varsity teams and Seahawks JV team performed a medley of game day cheers, followed by Yuletide classics sung by the Bailey Middle School chorus and a singalong led by Victorian carolers.
Before their long sleigh ride back to the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus posed for snapshots in their workshop. Organizers offered the photos with Santa as a free digital download online.
People can view and download their photos on the city’s Flickr page at https://goo.gl/EkLxZz. The internet address is case sensitive.
Just steps from Santa’s workshop, boys and girls dropped off their wish lists at St. Nick’s official U.S. Postal Service mailbox.
Huge electric snowflakes decorated The John C. Ireland Bandstand, and Victorian streetlamps bedecked with angels blowing on trumpets illuminated the walkways.
The decorated Green also included an inflatable snow globe that kids went in and had their pictures taken.
Along with hayrides, youngsters rode on a vintage firetruck from the West Shore Fire Department. They also rode on the Roaming Railroad, a trackless train sponsored by the West Haven PTA Council.
People brought nonperishable items for the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force, which provides food for residents in need.
Volunteers from the West Haven Chamber of Commerce handed out free hot chocolate, and vendors sold food and novelties.
The vendors included the First Congregational Church and Franco’s Fried Dough-Licious and Ted’s Steam Machine food trucks.
Also, volunteers from West Haven United sold hot apple cider, coffee and hot chocolate.
After the lighting, the sounds of the holiday season filled the air with rock ’n’ roll renditions of Christmas favorites by bands from The Rock House School of Music, followed by a holiday-themed concert by Off the Hook, “Connecticut’s premier party band.”
The West Haven Seahawks 8U football team (13-0) finished a perfect season and earned the New England Pop Warner Championship with a hard-earned 26-18 win over a very talented Dorchester Eagle team (12-1).
Dorchester who represented Massachusetts marched down the field on their first possession for an early 6-0 lead. The Seahawks responded on the next series capped off by a Tristian Crawford touchdown run to take a 7-6 lead after one quarter of play.
The teams traded scores in the second quarter for a Seahawk half-time lead of 13-12. Seahawk Quarterback Majesty Whitaker executed a spectacular 38-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to put the Seahawks up 19-18 after three quarters.
Crawford scored his third touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter to seal the Seahawk championship 26-18.
The Hawk’ offensive line opened holes for the running back all game and was led by CJ Schlauder, Joshua Johnson, Skyler Sanford, Mohammed Turay and Kayden Loyola. Great tackling on defense was William Pastore, Jacari Harris, Mason Booker, Jayden Spell, Kahlil Tomlinson and Chace Stanley.
The 8U (7- and 8-year-olds) only play through the regional championship and finish the 2019 campaign with an impressive win, undefeated season and regional championship.
The Board of Education and City Council voted members into leadership positions in back-to-back organizational meetings on Monday night. The start of the new term led to changes in the board while the council remained largely the same.
In the Board of Education, Rosemary Russo was replaced as chairman by newly elected member Cebi Waterfield. Waterfield has previously served on the board for six years.
The board voted 6-3 in support of picking Waterfield as chairman. The three votes for Russo were cast by Russo herself, Robert Guthrie and Jim Morrissey. Morrissey took umbrage to the change in leadership.
“Why try to fix something that definitely isn’t broken?” asked Morrissey, who added that Russo was an effective chairperson during her tenure in the role. He said that while he and Russo disagreed on a number of issues, she had always done a good job at leading the body. He said Assistant Superintendent Anne Druzolowski had told him that the board, under Russo, was the best she had ever worked with.
The votes for vice-chairman and secretary treasurer fell along the exact same lines. Rosa Richardson was voted in as the former while Patricia Libero was picked for the latter. The newly minted Waterfield thanked Russo and Guthrie, the former vicechair, for their leadership in the last term. She said she hoped they would be of assistance as she took on the new role.
“Lastly, I am really looking forward to the next two years of working together with all of you to utilize everyone’s talents in a collaborative effort for all the students and staff and taxpayers of the city of West Haven,” Waterfield said.
On the City Council side, Ron Quagliani was unanimously voted to remain in the position of chairman. Robin Hamilton was chosen to retain her position as majority leader while Republicans Barry Lee Cohen and Colleen O’Connor will split the duties of minority leader.
Quagliani said that over the next week he would work with the council to pick chairmen for each committee. He said there are 13 committees on the council and every member would chair one. Quagliani noted that the council will most likely be forming a committee on charter revision to see through the process started in the last term. He also said the committees on recycling and the environment may be rolled into one committee on sustainability.
Quagliani said he was happy to get started with the new council. He said the fact that eight of the members of the council are newly elected was exciting.
“It brings fresh ideas, a fresh perspective, advocacy,” said Quagliani. “I’m really excited to see what lies ahead in this term.”
By Josh LaBella
In her inaugural address, Mayor Nancy Rossi said she was looking forward to working with the slate of elected officials sworn in alongside her. The mayor, now sworn in for a second two-year term, campaigned on “staying the course” and getting the city back on the financial straight and narrow.
The event, which saw the mayor, 13 City Council members, five Board of Education members, the City Clerk, Treasurer, and Tax Collector take their oaths of office, was held in the auditorium of the new wing of West Haven High School. The keynote speakers were Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Bysiewicz described the group of elected officials being sworn in as diverse and said “our diverse team can’t wait to work with your diverse team.” Speaking of Mayor Rossi, she said Rossi was a committed to making this city even better.
“One thing I know from having the honor of being the secretary of the state for twelve years is that West Haven politics a rough and tumble kind of thing and it’s not for the faint of heart,” said Bysiewicz. “Nancy has embraced that vibrant city and that public spirit endeavor in a very gracious way. She is a person of grace. She is a person of humanity and compassion.”
Sen. Blumenthal said local politics was the brick and mortar of the country’s democracy, calling it “where the rubber meets the road.” Speaking of the mayor’s responsibility to the city, he said “the buck stops here.”
Mayor Rossi started off her address by thanking her family, friends and supporters. She said she started her time as mayor two years ago looking to instill a culture of financial responsibility.
“Although I did not anticipate being called to Hartford on my second day in office and being told the city was being placed under the oversight of the Municipal Accountability Review Board, called also the MARB, I am proud to report that we have made great progress with two balanced budgets and a grand list growth of $30 million,” said Rossi. “All of which went to a bond rating upgrade from Moody’s (Corporation).”
Rossi said the road had not been easy, adding many unpopular decisions had to be made. She said the city was in the process of recovery and is positioned well for future success.
“We have strategically and successfully moved stalled economic projects forward,” said Rossi. “New businesses have opened and existing businesses have expanded. The next two years, we will need to focus on completing these economic development projects and continuing our aggressive marketing campaign for new investors and businesses.”
Rossi said her administration had proven their financial responsibility and serious positions on growing the local economy and grand list to the business community. She also spoke to continuing a good relationship with the board of education to ensure a “first class education” for West Haven students.
The mayor also said her administration will continue to improve and repair the infrastructure of the city.
“I look forward to working with our newly elected officials and the city council to continue this important work,” said Rossi. “Thank you, again, for your trust and continued support and congratulations to all of our elected officials. I am looking forward to working with you all as we continue on the path of success and complete the work we were likely to do.”