"Meet the Candidates" is a new feature on Southington Patch designed to help you get to know your local candidates before you take to the polls this November. Each profile was submitted directly by the candidate.
Take a moment to review each profile so you can be informed and prepared when you go to the polls on Nov. 8.
Name: Christopher Palmieri
Party, Position Seeking: Democrat, Southington Town Council
Family information: I was born, raised and educated in Southington. My parents are Jim and Joanne Palmieri who also lived in Southington all their lives. My grandparents were also life long Southington residents.
Occupation: I am currently the Assistant Principal at DePaolo Middle School in Southington. Previously, I was an eighth grade science teacher at Kennedy Middle School in Plantsville where I was actively involved in my teaching as well as extra-curricular activities. After leaving Kennedy, I continued my commitment to the students by creating a town-wide middle school drama program for students at both Kennedy and DePaolo.
Political Experience: While away at college in Rhode Island, I got my first experience in politics as I served as an intern in the Mayor's office in Providence, Rhode Island. While serving in this capacity, I received a citizen's citation from the Mayor in recognition of my service to the city. I am currently a member of the Southington Democratic Town Committee and have been for eleven years. I was elected as a member of the Southington Library Board of Directors and served for four years. I was also elected to Southington's Board of Water Commissioners and served for two years. I was first elected to the Southington Town Council in 2003 and have been serving in this capacity since then.
Other Experience: I am currently serving on the sewer infrastructure committee, the Public Works committee, and am a member of the Board of Directors to Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (S.T.E.P.S.). I am actively involved with Southington’s annual Apple Harvest Festival serving as the chairman of the festival supervisory committee.
I am the Treasurer and an active member in the Southington Community Theater. I volunteer for several community activities including projects for Southington Community Services, the Ms. Southington Pageant and the Southington High School All Night Graduation Party. I am a parishioner at St. Aloysius Church where I also serve as an usher. I served on the Southington Enterprise Zone & Economic Development (S.E.E.D.) Committee for four years. Last year I served on the Southington Public Library long-range committee. I also served on the senior citizen property tax relief committee.
Why did you run for office?
As a lifelong Southington resident, I grew up in a family committed to volunteering. My commitment to our town is a sincere one and I believe that by being involved I am able to give something back to my own community. As mentioned above, I have served on various boards in town. I am honored to have served the Town on these boards and am very excited about the opportunity to run for re-election to the Town Council. I believe the Town can benefit from my enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience.
If elected, what would be your primary areas of focus?
Maintaining quality town services and continuing to make certain that Southington schools are among the best in the state, despite budget limitations, would continue to be my primary areas of focus. It is critical to balance the needs of all of Southington’s citizens by ensuring appropriate financial support for the town while controlling taxes. We must continue to adhere to our comprehensive fiscal policy and continue to focus on economic development while exploring additional sources of revenue. In order to control spending, I would also utilize the newly improved town-wide Capital Improvement Plan.
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Southington today?
Again, maintaining quality town services despite budget limitations. Economic development, as well as securing additional sources of revenue, helps to ease the burden on taxpayers. Southington has always been a great community to live in which is substantiated by our population growth over the years. This adds cost for infrastructure and education. One of the benefits of bringing in businesses or industries into town is the growth to the grand list. Southington has been very fortunate to have a good foundation with a balance of commercial, industrial, and office space in town. As a current member of the Town Council, I worked with my colleagues along with the Economic Development Coordinator to make some town-wide infrastructure improvements and improve the tax incentives offered to new businesses that may decide to make Southington their home.
What skills do you have that you could bring to the community?
I have a thorough knowledge of issues facing Southington. I am invested in and dedicated to our community. I am thorough, fair, and rational when it comes to making decisions. I always put the town’s best interest first. This, in addition to my experience serving on two town boards as well as the Town Council, makes me a good candidate. The Council has accomplished much in the past several years. Some of the accomplishments that I am proud to have taken part in include revising our town charter, participating in the senior property tax relief committee, establishing blight and nuisance ordinances, purchasing open space, improving town infrastructure, and reorganizing the Community Service Department in order to help those in need in Southington. Despite all these achievements, we still have a lot more to accomplish.
Anything else you would like to share?
A graduate of Southington High School, I went on to the University of Rhode Island where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a double major in marketing and management. I then returned to school to pursue a career in education where I earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Sixth Year Professional Certificate in School Administration, both attained from Sacred Heart University.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to scheduling conflicts, we are unable to feature a Republican today. We will, however, feature each candidate as their profiles become available.