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Letter: Dugatto Is A True Public Servant

by Kara Rochelle | GUEST COLUMN | Sep 9, 2017 1:07 pm

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Posted to: Derby, Derby Election 2017, Letters To The Editor

When considering who is best to lead Derby, as a professional I first want to see how sharp, committed, strategic, and caring that person is.  I also want to see results.  

In Mayor Anita Dugatto we are lucky to have someone who understands that managing a city, particularly one with a large redevelopment project in the works, is a serious task that requires serious skill and dedication. Since Anita Dugatto took over as mayor, here is what I see:

Economic Development

These businesses have opened under Anita’s leadership, building our tax base and ensuring money is spent in our community:
The Hops Company, Bad Sons Brewery, Tipsy Tomato, H’que Barbecue, Aldi’s, Planet Fitness, Tallison and Cauldron, Razorshop, Estop Vape Shop, Isaac’s Tire, Owl Prime Services, Philly Cheesesteak Co., Buck-Rite, Popeye’s, Med Express, Urgent Care, Jersey Mike’s, AT&T, Team Mobil, Sprint, Wayback Burgers, Sherwin Williams, Panera Bread, Pet Value, Danz Magic Dance Studio, and New England Auto World


Since Mayor Dugatto’s tenure unemployment has dropped 3%, this number coming from the CT Department of Labor.  This means more of our neighbors are doing well.  In part, this can be attributed to the slew of new businesses and job opportunities in town.


Our stagnant redevelopment zone was addressed head-on, strategically, and thoughtfully so that we all could feel included in our future downtown.  Steps taken include:

  • Securing a grant in order to hire a nationally respected redevelopment firm to draft a proper, professional redevelopment plan at no cost to tax payers

  • Including the public in the planning process through the Downtown Now series of public planning sessions

  • Securing an attorney for the town who specializes in redevelopment projects and Planning and Zoning to efficiently and expertly ensure that our town’s ordinances and zoning align with the project ahead.  This required systematic review of our records, requesting modifications from P&Z, and acting as liaison between the development team and the state to ensure all puzzle pieces line up.  

  • Because of the professional development plan, the town being primed for development, and her efforts to build credibility with the state, CT awarded Derby a $5m grant toward our downtown development.  This is money wholly separate from the Rt. 34 project, though that money is also firmly in place and the project is marching forward.

  • The same developer who did portions of Shelton’s waterfront has purchased the first parcel of land for the Derby redevelopment:  the former Lifetouch building.  I shook this man’s hand and thanked him for believing in Derby.  I am also certain that had it not been for the efforts of our Mayor to get Derby’s house in order, this would not have been possible.  

What I see is a woman who understands the details of what Derby needs to move forward, has vision, and executes well without cutting corners.  More personally, Anita is incredibly heartfelt.  She works late, comes in early, has spent her own money at times when the city needs things, and has created weekly open hours with the public, all because she loves our town and is a true public servant.  

I hope you join me in proudly voting for Mayor Anita Dugatto on Tuesday.  

The writer is a Derby resident and the President of Naugatuck Valley Young Democrats.

Views expressed in guest columns (aka ‘letters to the editor’) and press releases do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley Indy has a 550-word limit on guest columns.

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