SOUTHINGTON - The Town Council signed Mark Sciotaâ€™s town manager contract at Mondayâ€™s meeting, making his scheduled succession of Garry Brumback in February official.
Sciota, now the deputy town manager and town attorney, was elected to the townâ€™s top job at the councilâ€™s previous meeting. He will take over after Brumback retires and moves to Florida to live closer to his father.
Also Monday, the council recognized April 14 as National Sikh Day and several members of the local Sikh community were in attendance.
Council Chairman Mike Riccio read a proclamation and explained that Sikhism is the fifth-largest world religion and that 700,000 Sikhs live in the U.S. The local Sikh temple is at 1610 West St., and people of all faiths are welcome to visit.
Riccio wished the Sikhs a â€śjoyous Valsakhi,â€ť referring to the faithâ€™s harvest festival.
Suman Sumra thanked the town for â€śalways being warm, welcoming and inclusive.â€ť
Christina Simms later spoke of a collaboration among Youth Services, the local police department and the Board of Education on suicide prevention.
â€śFrom January 1, 2001, to September 1, 2017, 146 youths committed suicide in Connecticut,â€ť she said.
Simms said calls to the townâ€™s mobile crisis center have been going up year to year. The collaboration has provided youths with life skills, social support from peers and adults and positive school experiences.
She also discussed how schools are doing their part to help through â€śasset-building classroomsâ€ť and starting a mentoring and volunteering program.
Councilor John Barry said the presentation was a â€śwonderful testamentâ€ť to the town and the fact that people are willing to reach out and help those struggling with suicidal feelings.
The town also voted to join a multi-municipality lawsuit spearheaded by Waterbury against pharmaceutical companies and physicians.
â€śIt says that they doctored the facts and that these opioids were more dangerous than we were led to believe,â€ť said Sciota. â€śSouthington as a bloc with 20 other municipalities or more will make a strong force on this.â€ť
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.