Shelton Board of Aldermen Ward 4 candidate: Lorenzo Durante

Lorenzo Durante

Lorenzo Durante

Contributed photo

Party: Republican

Incumbent?: No

Current Job: District Sales Manager for Grande Cheese Company, Wisc. Past Employment: Sales operations for Durante’s Pasta, West Haven owner and manager, La Sala Catering Hall, Derby.

Volunteering: Shelton's Parks & Recreation Commission (last six years); Shelton and Derby Youth Soccer coach; Order of Sons of Italy Valley Regional Lodge (past president); "Valley Angels for Families" co-founder.

Education: Derby and Ansonia elementary schools; Notre Dame High School, West Haven; Eastern Connecticut State College, Willimantic (B.S., business administration)

What prompted you to run for office? As a resident of Shelton since 2008, I have witnessed first-hand the positive residential and business growth of our City and would like to help it continue on a long-term basis.

What are the major issues/changes you are focused on if elected? Due to Covid, many programs sponsored by Shelton Parks and Recreation had to be suspended. Now that people have regained their confidence in participating in group activities, it is critical that the BOA continue to support that City department by any means possible. It is also vital that our City’s emergency personnel and first responders are supplied with the necessary tools to perform their duties.

After the current Republican members of the BOE were elected in 2019, the BOE and the BOA were able to establish a better working relationship. This new relationship has led to each Board acquiring a better understanding of the other Board’s needs and goals. An example of that is the recent undertaking of our BOE and new school superintendent to improve our school system by introducing new curriculum in our classrooms. That is the type of program — that as an Alderman and a school parent I can support.

How can you make any proposed improvements yet keep taxes at the stable level they are at present? By a system of continuous checks and balances, requiring all city departments to be accountable for their expenditures, proper planning of city projects and being open to new ideas and approaches to meet the needs of residents and businesses.

Thoughts on BOE spending, city-run bus company? Do you agree with the spending levels set forth in the past for the BOE, and is running a bus company (and the costs associated) worth it to the city? The decision to bring the school transportation operation in house was not only a wise decision, but a cost-saving one. Who can argue with our City saving $1.6 million a year during FY’s 2019-20, 2020-21 and the current year from the rate contracted with the previous vendor? The bottom line is that the City was able to pass that savings along to City taxpayers.

The beginning of the school year always brings challenges to everyone involved with the operation of our school system. While Shelton Student Transportation Service has had more than their fair share, schools have never closed due to the nationwide lack of school bus drivers. I feel the people managing Shelton’s Student Transportation Service understand the responsibility they have to efficiently and safely transport our children, to stay in communication with parents, and to be adaptable to address the changing needs of residents.