SOUTHINGTON — Town Council vice chair Dawn Miceli said Wednesday that she won’t be running for re-election in November.
Miceli, a Democrat, has served five terms on the council. With her son off to college this fall, she said it’s time for a change.
“For the past six months or so I’ve been talking with my husband. We have a huge change coming up,” she said. “It seems like that’s a big milestone in our lives right now… I think I’m ready for a change and to do something else.”
Democrats meet Friday to vote on a slate of candidates.
John Barry, a fellow council Democrat, has served with Miceli for her entire 10 years.
“It’s a tremendous loss to the people of Southington,” he said. “Dawn is a tireless advocate for taxpayers, she’s honest, hardworking and it’s a personal loss for me because I enjoy working with Dawn.”
Victoria Triano, a Republican councilor and minority leader, said she was sorry to hear Miceli wasn’t running.
“She’s done a lot for the town. She’s been very active and has always worked very hard,” Triano said. “I’m sure she’ll still be very active. She’s got to do what’s right for her.”
Miceli said she’ll remain Southington Chamber of Commerce board president. She’s also trustee emeritus with Southington Community Cultural Arts and is considering roles on appointed committees.
Miceli was an advocate for the Gura building’s reuse as an arts center after town offices moved out. She’s also worked on the Southington Drive-In, White Christmas in the Community and open space projects.
She described leaving the council as “bittersweet.”
“The highs were high, the lows were low, but overall I enjoyed it and felt like I made a difference,” Miceli said.
The intersection of her council work and involvement with numerous local groups has drawn criticism over the years. A former councilor objected to Miceli’s support for voting to give the Gura building to SOCCA, when she was a member of the group’s board. Earlier this month, an attorney for developer Frank Fragola said Miceli should abstain from voting on a sewer exemption request due to interactions between Fragola and Miceli through the chamber and the open space committee, which Miceli chairs.
“The longer you serve...the easier it is for people to say, ‘Oh she’s wearing too many hats,’” Miceli said. “The fact of the matter is you get called to serve in many different capacities and people come to see you as a doer.
“You do have to have cognizance that the longer you serve, the more people are able to nitpick and raise red flags that aren’t true,” she added.
Over the past few years, Miceli said the tenor of the council has grown sour, reflecting state and national trends.
“A lot just seems so negative,” she said. “That’s not something I want to be part of. I try to do positive things for our community.”
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