Ward 5 City Council Candidates Discuss Making City Hall Work for the Community

Democrat Francisco Santiago. Frank Gerratana photo.

Democrat Francisco Santiago joins the Democratic City Council Leader Carlo Carlozzi Jr. as the Democratic candidates in the Ward 5 City Council election, with Republican Carmelo Rodriguez and Republican Miriam Geraci as their party’s candidates.

New Britain’s Ward 5 includes the northwest and northernmost parts of the city. Ward 5 includes the neighborhoods around Slater Road and Corbin Avenue, neighborhoods around Farmington Avenue, most of the Farmingdale neighborhood and the Brittany Farms neighborhood. Depending on where they live, Ward 5 residents vote at the Gaffney School, the DiLoreto School or the Pulaski School.

Democrat Carlo Carlozzi, Jr. Frank Gerratana photo.

Santiago has worked for 13 years as a Service Tech Supervisor, praised for his work at the pool company at which he is employed. He is a graduate of Hartford High school.

An active volunteer in the community, Santiago has served as board member of the Human Resources Agency (HRA) of New Britain, recently becoming its vice-chair, and he volunteers as a coach for youth football and basketball teams in the city. He was an active volunteer in the Democratic Party during the 2014 and 2016 re-election campaigns of 25th Assembly District Representative Robert Sanchez.

Santiago says that he is running for City Council because he wants to improve childrens’ programs supporting academic and athletic achievement, especially for children from lower-income families in Ward 5. He said that he wants to help all school children to stay actively involved in supervised programs and to increase the numbers of the city’s high school and vocational school graduates prepared to succeed in college, technical school, on the job, and in the community.

Santiago say that he believes that Democratic Mayoral candidate Merrill Gay, on whose slate he and Carlozzi are running, has the experience and skill to help the city forge partnerships with parents, neighborhood leaders, educators, and youth groups in improving schools and their educational outcomes.

Carlozzi has been representing Ward 5 on the City Council since 2009, rising to the role of Democratic Council Leader in 2015.

Republican Miriam Geraci. Frank Gerratana photo.

A graduate of the Washington and Lee University, Lexington VA school of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, Carlozzi is employed by Liberty Mutual as a Sales Representative.

Carlozzi has been an active volunteer in the New Britain community in many capacities over the years. He has served on a number of commissions, including the Civil Service Commission in 1988 and the City Plan Commission from 1988 to 1992. He has generously given his time and service to a variety of cultural groups in the area, such as the Italian Heritage Society and the CT order of the Sons of Italy of America.

Carlozzi says that he energetically pursues a platform of economic growth and development in New Britain’s city center and in its neighborhoods, while working to control the growth of the city budget and to reduce waste. He is known for being able to use his detailed knowledge of the city, state, and federal government to advocate on issues, while reaching across the aisle for approval of measures to benefit city residents.

Republican Carmelo Rodriquez. Frank Gerratana photo.

Carlozzi is widely considered among active Democrats to have been an effective Democratic leader, distinguishing himself on a number of key issues, such as in getting Republican Mayor Erin Stewart and the Republican-dominated Council to back down on the proposed sale of New Britain’s Patton Brook Well and in fighting to stop the changes to the City Charter that Democrats pointed out were not in the interests of city residents.

Ten of the fifteen members of the City Council are elected from five City Council “Wards”. Each Ward represents certain neighborhoods of the city. The voters in each Ward elect two Council members to represent them. In each Ward, each voter can vote for two candidates and the top two are elected.

Editor’s Note: City Republicans were asked for candidate profiles on their candidates and did not respond by the publication of this article.

Editor’s note 10/18/2017. The article was changed to add a photo of Republican Carmelo Rodriguez.