In a letter sent to the members of the Democratic Town Committee, all eight Democrats on the Common Council called for Dan Russo to be replaced as chair of the Democratic Town Committee by Lisa Santangelo. The Council Democrats said that Santangelo was responsible for the largest fundraiser in their most recent campaign, and is known throughout the city for her role in the Harbor Park restoration and in the Community Conversations.
The Democrats expressed their concern about the future of Middletown if Mayor Giuliano continues as mayor beyond this term, "If the Mayor wins a fourth term, he will surely have the opportunity to rule - and ruin - our City that will be unprecedented. In fact, he will become the longest serving Republican Mayor in Middletown history."
They pointed to Giuliano's three electoral victories and Governor Rell's victory in Middletown in 2006, and said that Russo must be held accountable for these failures. They also assailed Russo's approach to leadership and his support for Joe Lieberman, "We believe we need a Town Chair who will be more involved in the entire Town Committee and not take controversial positions on issues, such as supporting an independent candidate for U.S. Senate and nominating himself as Chair of Planning & Zoning, without Town Committee support."
The Council members called for a Town Chair who could "work effectively with the Democratic Common Council majority."
The letter (full text here) was signed by all eight Democrats: Thomas Serra, Ronald Klattenberg, Gerald Daley, Grady Faulkner, Hope Kasper, Vincent Loffredo, Robert Santangelo (husband of Lisa), and James Streeto.
Election of the leadership of the Town Committee for the coming two years will occur at their March meeting.