“I try to do positive things for our community.”
That’s how longtime Southington Town Councilor Dawn Miceli summed up her five terms on the Town Council — after recently announcing that she will not be seeking re-election in November.
Indeed, that makes this a good time to recognize her many contributions to Southington, not just as an elected official but also as an all-around community activist.
Miceli plans to remain board president of the Southington Chamber of Commerce — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her contributions to the community, which have included involvement with, or membership of, the Southington Library, the town-operated Southington Drive-In, the annual Italian-American Festival, Unico, Southington Community Cultural Arts, the Southington Education Foundation, White Christmas in the Community, the town’s Open Space Committee, YMCA Camp Sloper, and more.
As a councilor, in 2017 Miceli tried to work things out between a group home on Birchcrest Drive and a number of unhappy neighbors. In 2016 she encouraged the town to enter a new era of technology by installing two electric-vehicle charging stations.
All those local connections could at times lead to controversy — as, for example, when the town transferred the old Gura building to the arts group, of which she serves as trustee emeritus. But Miceli dismissed such considerations.
“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 told a reporter.
John Barry, a fellow council Democrat, called Miceli “honest,” “hardworking” and “a tireless advocate for taxpayers.”
Victoria Triano, a Republican councilor and minority leader, said, “She's done a lot for the town. She’s been very active and has always worked very hard.”
In an era when across-the-aisle relationships seem so fraught at the national and state levels, that’s not a bad valedictory comment on a local public servant.