DeFronzo Is Malloy Choice For DAS; Special Election Looms
A winter special election looms in the wake of Gov-elect Dan Malloy’s selection of State Senator Don DeFronzo to lead the state Department of Administrative Services this week.
DeFronzo has been tasked with helping the new administration revamp state government toward more efficiency — steps that may include merging the separate departments of Information Technology and Public Works into DAS. Such a move would require approval by the Legislature.
Although DeFronzo is best known in the state for his leadership in the state Senate and as Transportation Co-Chair, his years as a public administrator easily trump service in the legislative branch of government. DeFronzo, once an analyst at the state Office of Policy Management (OPM), ran the city’s Human Resources Agency and was New Britain Mayor from 1989 to 1993. During his two terms as Mayor DeFronzo’s chief priority was to stabilize city finances during a recession and to overcome problems such as an inherited unfunded pension problem. He enters the DAS facing similar problems in a state budget with deficits and a continuing economic downturn.
The DAS is a low-profile agency with lots of things to do according to its website. The agency has “administrative authority in the areas of personnel recruitment, selection and workforce planning; fleet operations; state workers’ compensation administration; procurement of goods and services; collection of monies due the state; surplus property distribution; contractor prequalification and supplier diversity; consolidated human resources, payroll, fiscal and equal employment opportunity services for small agencies; as well as printing, mail and courier services for state government.”
In a municipal election year geared toward local elections the political clock will now turn quickly with a winter special election to fill the state Senate vacancy in a district that covers Berlin, part of Farmington and New Britain. State Senate delegates are expected to convene by mid-January to select a Democratic nominee.
Related story on DeFronzo’s appointment in the Herald
Terry Gerratana Is Urged To Run For State Senate
Former State Rep. Terry Bielinski Gerratana has emerged as a possible candidate for State Senate with the departure of Don DeFronzo for the Malloy administration, according to published reports and statements made this week, including the following issued on Monday ahead of the appointment from Democratic Town Chair John McNamara:
“Senator DeFronzo’s elevation to play a major role in the administration of Governor Malloy is not a surprise to New Britain Democrats given Senator DeFronzo’s experience as the city’s mayor (1989-1993), his work at the state Office for Policy and Management (OPM) and his solid representation of the Sixth district since 2003. His experience as both a legislator and administrator would bring needed skills to a state government that needs to get its fiscal house in order, while preserving the services that taxpayers deserve and expect.
“If Governor Malloy taps Don DeFronzo, Democrats in the 6th State Senate district are prepared to identify the strongest possible candidate to fill the seat that represents Berlin, New Britain and a portion of Farmington. I can confirm that members of the Democratic Town Committee and a number of 2010 state senate convention delegates have already contacted me to urge support for former State Rep. Terry Gerratana to seek the senate seat should a vacancy occur. In my view Former Rep. Gerratana is a reflection that Democrats have a deep bench of capable candidates to select from to carry the Democratic banner into a special election.
“Her 10-year legislative career representing New Britain and part of Berlin was marked by responsive constituent service and effective leadership as Chair of the Human Services Committee.”
New Britain Inaugural Party Is January 7th; Dems Seek Support For 2011
New Britain Democrats will hold an Inaugural Week celebration on Friday, January 7th from 7 to 11 p.m. at the historic Trinity-on-Main Center for culture and performing arts in downtown New Britain.
The Inaugural Party will be an occasion to celebrate victories in 2010 and “to move our city and state forward in 2011 based upon Democratic values of fairness, economic and educational opportunity.”
“We are proud to have re-elected one of the most effective and progressive state legislative delegations, and for the landslide victories of Dan Malloy/Nancy Wyman, Chris Murphy, Dick Blumenthal and the entire Democratic slate on November 2nd,” a Town Committee statement said.
The event will include ethnic dishes from local restaurants, musical entertainment and special recognition of campaign volunteers and elected officials. Support will help maintain strong voter support of Democrats and maximize citizen participation in an important 2011 municipal election year. Reservations ($35 pp) call Pat McNamara 860-827-9469 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Program advertising call Carlo Carlozzi, Jr. 860-805-3855. E-mail email@example.com. A New Britain Democratic Town Committee event.