SOUTHINGTON - Mark Sciota, who will succeed Garry Brumback as Town Manager in February, aims to expand Southington’s economic growth and to fight to preserve services while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
Sciota was formerly a private attorney when, in 2005, he was approached by the Town Council and was asked to become the town attorney. He served as deputy town manager under John Weichsel and was one of the two finalists to succeed him after his retirement. After Garry Brunback was appointed, Sciota served under him and Brumback has praised their teamwork ever since.
“At the time they wanted me to work part time for the town and then later on they wanted me to work full time as we discussed the additional roles of town attorney and deputy town manager,” he said. “I was always very interested in municipal government. I live in Southington so what I’d like to do is to be able to say, after my career, that I worked as hard as I could and that Southington is in a better place for me being town manager.”
Sciota said that one of the most important things he learned under Weichsel and Brumback was to give the department heads and town staff the assets they need and then to let them do their job and be supportive.
“I also learned that you can correct issues that need to be corrected but that you do so in a professional manner,” said Sciota. “Both John and Garry held professionalism above all.”
Sciota said one of his biggest goals when he takes the reins as town manager will be to steer Southington through the “economic times of the next couple years.”
“Nobody thinks that it will be a smooth economic climate in the next few years,” he said. “I want to find a way to be able to keep the high standards of service we give our citizens who expect it from our government as best as we financially can.”
Sciota said he also wants to continue the town’s “smart economic development.”
“I want to continue to increase our grand list so that we don’t always need to rely on a mill rate increase,” he said. “We certainly have to re-look at our two downtowns. I work closely with Lou Perillo and he gives me recommendations on how to revitalize those areas. I feel we have done very well with municipal parking. We have to find ways to grow businesses that aren’t just places to go and eat but also niche businesses and boutiques that people can go to before and after eating.”
Sciota added that he also wants to continue to revitalize the Beaton & Corbin brownfield site and stay part of that process, to oversee the state-mandated $50 million water pollution control facility upgrades intended to reduce phosphorous levels, and other ongoing projects.
“I’m excited that we have the correct people in place to make this happen,” he said.
Sciota said he is meeting with Brumback and that it will be a smooth transition of power. He looks forward to working with the next Town Council elected in November and will discuss with them what will happen with the town attorney and deputy town manager positions.
He has declined to comment on his ideas for those positions until then.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.