SOUTHINGTON - Victoria Triano has been appointed the chair of the Southington Town Council, with Tom Lombardi serving as vice chair.
The new council met for the first time following elections which saw Republicans take control of the council. Triano, who first began serving on the Town Council in 1991, drew the most votes on election night of the six elected Republicans at 5,754 and so was appointed chair.
“I am honored to represent the Town of Southington as council chair,” said Triano. “We all serve equally and we all have the greatest love for Southington. I look forward to working with all members of the council to continue to make Southington the great town it is.”
Lombardi, who won the second-largest number of votes at 5,484, was elected vice-chair. Other Republicans sworn in included Paul Chaplinsky, William Dziedzic, Mike DelSanto and Jim Morelli.
Of the three Democrats sworn in, Chris Palmieri was appointed the Town Council’s minority leader. The previous chair of the Town Council, Palmieri garnered the highest number of votes of the elected Democrats at 4,887. Val DePaolo and Christopher Poulos were also sworn in.
The Town Council also voted to appoint Alex Ricciardone as assistant town attorney. The council voted to table a decision to appoint the town attorney, deciding that they wanted to conduct a search.
“A town attorney search has never been done before,” said Triano. “We feel it is important to look at all the candidates. Any licensed attorney in the town can apply and we will have a committee that will review the candidates. We think that this will work out very well.”
Lombardi said that the committee consists of Town Manager Mark Sciota, who served as town attorney for 20 years, as well as Dziedzic, DePaolo and Triano.
“The committee will review their qualification and we should be making a decision during our first meeting in December,” said Lombardi. “Alex Ricciardone will serve as our legal counsel for the interim. I am very proud that we’re doing this. The town was spoiled to have someone like Mark Sciota as town attorney for 20 years. The town attorney is an important position and we hope that it will be one which has longevity and continuity. This is a step in the right direction.”
Lombardi said that the council plans to have the town attorney serve on the same hourly basis that they have in the past.
Lombardi also noted that he asked Sciota to review the language of the town charter, which he said had a lot of “male verbiage” and look into changing it to more neutral terms.
“We have a woman as Town Council chair; the charter should say something like chairperson or chair,” he said.
Additionally, Lombardi said that the purchase of the John Weichsel Municipal Center, as approved by residents on election night, will occur in fall of 2020.
The town is using $2.9 million from its unassigned fund balance to purchase the building, which is at the end of an eight-year-lease, instead of leasing it for 10 more years. To lease the building would have been more expensive, $3.6 million, and the town would not own the building at the end of the lease.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or .