Shelton called ‘an oasis in Connecticut’

Mayor Mark Lauretti gives his inaugural address after being sworn in to a 12th term.
Mayor Mark Lauretti gives his inaugural address after being sworn in to a 12th term.

Mayor Mark Lauretti said he’s beginning to think of Shelton as “an oasis in Connecticut,” during his remarks at Tuesday evening’s inauguration ceremony.

Lauretti said Shelton offers people an excellent quality of life with affordability, public safety, recreational opportunities, and good schools and infrastructure.

“We’re creating real value in a place where people want to be,” he said. Despite the economic downtown of recent years, “we have held our own and continued to grow,” he said.

First elected in 1991

Lauretti, a Republican, was sworn into a 12th term by state Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis during the ceremony at the Shelton Senior Center. About 100 people attended the event, followed by a reception with food and refreshments.

Lauretti was first elected in 1991, and won re-election this year in a landslide.

Also taking the oath of office were city Treasurer Raymond M. O’Leary and newly-elected members of Board of Aldermen, Board of Taxation and Apportionment, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, and Library Board.

While taking the oath, Lauretti was joined by his wife Anndee, who held the Bible for her husband.

He said he remembers his first inauguration 22 years ago, when his wife and children were all present. Now, only one of his children was in attendance, but he noted all of them are working.

“Do they need the money or are they just tired of these things?” the mayor joked.

‘A team effort’ is getting things done

Lauretti thanked voters for “the confidence” they showed again in Shelton’s elected leaders. He commended board and commission members for their efforts on behalf of the city.

“It all comes back to the people making these decisions,” he said.

In contrast to what people see in Washington, Lauretti said Shelton is moving forward due to “a team effort.” While everyone doesn’t always get what they want, the end result is “a balanced community,” he said.

Lauretti often refers to Shelton as “a balanced community” because of its large corporate sector, strong residential neighborhoods and ample open space.

Role in democracy

Thomas J. Welch, an attorney who was the event’s master of ceremonies, said everyone who serves in elected office is giving back to their community.

“Democracy can only succeed with people like you,” said Welch, who is Shelton’s corporation counsel (city attorney).

“The decisions you make will effect us for years to come,” he told the gathering.

Welch also said the elected officials’ families and friends should be recognized for their support.

The ceremony included an invocation and benediction by the Rev. John Strynkowski of St. Margaret Mary Church in Shelton; and the singing of the National Anthem and “God Bless America” by Francesca Scarpa.