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Finizio Begins Transition To New London Mayor

Newly elected mayor starting appointment process prior to Dec. 5 oath of office

In a brief event held outside his Ocean Ave. home on Wednesday afternoon, Daryl Finizio named two men to assist him in New London’s transition to the strong form of mayor government.

Finizio, who was in Tuesday’s election, will be sworn in on Dec. 5, along with other newly elected candidates. He announced that Allyn de Vars and Zak Leavy will be assisting him in temporary roles during the transition period.

Leavy will serve as a personal executive assistant during the transition, while de Vars will be chairman of the transition team. Leavy is completing a degree at Eastern Connecticut State University, and de Vars is a right of way specialist for Universal Field Services.

Finizio said the City Charter allows the mayor to make administrative appointments without City Council approval, and that he may be ready to start naming appointments on Tuesday. He said he considered the mayor’s chief administrative assistant one of the most important positions to fill, and that he did not have a timeline on when an appointment would be ready. He said he would insist that administrative heads live in New London per the City Charter, and that he would abide by his campaign pledge to not appoint anyone who gave over $100 to his campaign.

Finizio said some of the administrative positions have changed with charter revisions. Each administrative head will be required to reapply for their job, and the positions will also be open for applications from other interested parties.

“There are no axes to grind. There are no favors owed,” said Finizio. “This is a completely merit-based process.”

During the campaign, Finizio expressed support for Chief Margaret Ackley of the . Ackley is set to retire in January, but this agreement includes an escape clause allowing her to stay on in the role. Finizio said he asked Ackley to remain in the position after he was elected, but that she will have to evaluate the offer. He has also requested that Chief Ron Samul of the stay in his role.

“I believe they’re both doing an excellent job,” said Finizio. “I believe they’re critical positions.”

Finizio received 2,185 votes, or about 46 percent of the 4,731 votes cast in the mayoral election. He was over 1,000 votes ahead of his nearest competitor, City Councilor Michael Buscetto III, who ran a write-in campaign and earned 1,153 votes.

“I think it’s a very strong mandate, and a very strong call for the city of New London,” said Finizio.

In a press release early on Wednesday, Finizio thanked William “Billie” Bourque, the treasurer and chairman of his campaign, for his service. He said Bourque will not hold a role in the transition process or Finizio’s administration, and that he will cease to be treasurer once his final campaign report is filed and accounts are dissolved. He said future political accounts will be handled by a certified public accountant.

“From his work on behalf of numerous charities, to his work to revitalize and save , to his work on this campaign, Billie Bourque has given selflessly to the betterment of our City” Finizio said in the statement. “He joined this campaign, as he has done so much other civic work; not to gain position or power, or to have influence over appointments or party operations. Billie’s work is always a labor of love.”

Kenneth R. Lewis November 10, 2011 at 11:29 AM
We will all be looking forward to seeing this change make New London better. Lots of work to be done and campaign pledges to be met. Good luck to the team and the new mayor.
--Robert November 11, 2011 at 12:30 AM
I wish the transition team the best of luck. It's a bit of a daunting task- no one has ever set up this office before in New London. The interaction between the Mayor, Council, admin staff, department heads, and outgoing City Manager is something that requires a lot of organization and skill to make sure it goes correctly.

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