By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Mayor Nancy R. Rossi has reestablished the Economic Development Commission by appointing a handful of new members who bring a trove of experience in development, education, health care and the arts.
The recently appointed commission, which has not met since November 2016, has agreed to work with Rossi to improve the quality of life and economic viability of West Haven.
The members are Stefano Coletta, the owner of Paramount Construction & Development LLC; Christine Sullivan Gallo, a retired high school Spanish teacher; Lalani Perry, the assistant vice president of internal communications at Yale University; Ed Voss, the owner and operator of York Business Center LLC; and Scotti Williams, the gift club coordinator at Yale New Haven Hospital. The alternate member is Elinor Slomba, the founder of Verge Arts Group.
“I am very excited about the energy and work ethic of this group,” Rossi said.
Sullivan Gallo, Perry and Williams were elected chair, vice chair and secretary, respectively, during the commission’s organizational meeting at City Hall on Jan. 15.
“I am very happy to be working with people who have so many ideas and are excited about getting things done and willing to work to change West Haven for the better,” said Gallo, a commission member since the late 1990s. “I have stayed on this commission all these years because I could never abandon the idea that the city has so much potential that it only needed the right people to get things going. Now that we can control our own destiny, the time has come.”
The commission’s first order of business is setting economic development goals and other items for consideration at its inaugural meeting, which is set for 5:15 p.m. Jan. 29 in the City Council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.
Objectives of the commission include tackling vacant properties across the city, downtown retail opportunities and the Transit-Oriented Development District around the train station.
Rossi said the commission will work closely with the Department of Planning and Development, including Commissioner Fred A. Messore, the city’s economic development official.