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Monday, May 19, 2008

Richetelli dedicates State of City to 4 teens

By Pamela McLoughlin
Register Staff
— Mayor James Richetelli Jr. dedicated his State of the City address Friday to the memories of four teens killed this year in two motor vehicle accidents, saying the tragedies “have broken the heart of the small city with a big heart.”
It was a while before Richetelli got to comments on the budget, but when he did, the news was encouraging locally despite national economic woes.
“It’s obvious that our national and state economies are not in great shape — foreclosures, skyrocketing energy costs, ever-growing state budget deficits — the news just keeps getting worse and worse. This, undoubtedly, has a great effect on the city, local businesses and our citizens,” Richetelli said.
But then he had good news about the city’s finances and referred to Milford as “the envy of Connecticut.”
“Fortunately, we have positioned ourselves to deal with these challenges, but it has not been easy and it comes at a cost. We need to continue to look for innovative ways to become more efficient, ... to provide the same services in a less costly way. We have worked hard at this and the result is good, prudent, responsible financial planning and management — management that is recognized by the bond rating agencies’ analysis of the city of Milford.”
But he warned that doesn’t mean there won’t be a tax increase.
Richetelli said he never made that promise at election time, because, “I could not make such a promise that I know could not be delivered without a dramatic cut in city services or an ostrich-like view of future needs.”
On Monday when the Board of Aldermen begins voting on the budget, he hopes members will look at the long-term because “falling into the trap of short-term fixes, which will make the budget look good this year, will even look politically correct, will eventually lead us to financial despair and ultimate disaster in the years to come.”
Richetelli delivered his address at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon where more than $25,000 in scholarships from various businesses and organizations was given to 26 high school seniors from the four public and private high schools in the city.
White Glove Awards from Milford Pride, given to businesses that significantly spruce up a public parcel were given to Pilgrim Furniture City, which just opened, and Bridge House Restaurant.Richetelli said that in Milford folks are blessed with beautiful natural resources, a rich colonial heritage and history, and an excellent mix of industrial, commercial and residential areas that compliment each other...”a breathtaking harbor, a vibrant, charming and rejuvenated downtown, wonderful, unique neighborhoods from Rivercliff to Woodmont, an excellent transportation infrastructure, outstanding schools, parks, recreation programs…the list goes on and on – we really have it all – but our greatest asset of all is our citizens.”
Then he raved about the city’s citizens, saying they’re “the best.”
“They are civic-minded, kind and compassionate people – who get involved because they care about their neighbors and want to make their hometown the best that it can be,” he said.


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