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University VP Eyeing Third Term on City Council

Glenn Rohrbacker, Editor in Chief

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University of New Haven’s Associate Vice President of Public Safety & Administrative Services Ronald Quagliani is running for a third term on the West Haven City Council this fall.

“Public service has been in my blood all my life,” he said in an interview.

Quagliani was elected to the council in 2015 when a sitting member resigned. He then won his seat again that fall and is about to finish his two-year term.
Quagliani is running on the Democratic ticket for the at-large seat on the council. At-large councilmen represent and are elected by the whole city. He sees this role as “bridging together multidistrict issues.”

Having a position at the University allows Quagliani to better address issues between the school and the rest of the city, he says. He also says that he abstains when there is University business on the council’s agenda to avoid conflicts of interest.

“I think I bring a perspective of the University community to the council,” he said.

A mission the councilman’s plans to continue pursuing is to mend the gap between students and residents in West Haven. He recognizes the common differences in lifestyle between the two groups, but hopes that there can be mutual respect and understanding on both sides.

One of Quagliani’s priorities is economic development throughout the city. He was recently involved in the vote to approve the construction site for the next phase of the Allingtown development across from the newly opened Atwood. He is also a supporter of the plan to renovate a large part of West Haven near the coast for a new outlet complex called “The Haven.”

The councilman believes that The Haven will be “a destination.” He said that the project will increase the tax base for the city due to the added businesses and will provide tax relief for residents.

Once those projects are done, Quagliani says the next step would be to revitalize the downtown area. He thinks the area should get a similar treatment as Allingtown and the Haven.

“We need a developer to take a chance on the [downtown] center,” he said.

Quagliani stressed the importance of balancing the city’s budget, which has run a deficit for decades. He voted against the mayor’s proposed budget (which passed by default) because he thought employees had a “bare-bones” contract and there were new positions created that would have been nice, but what he says are not necessary.

Being a former police officer and chief in West Haven, Quagliani points out that his another of his priorities is public safety. One of his goals that he says has come a long is matching the perception and reality of West Haven’s safety. Crime has been steadily decreasing since 2011, and Quagliani wants people to realize that. Still, he knows how important it continues to be.

“What I know is important to the citizens of this community is public safety and quality of life,” he said.

The mayor appears on the back of Quagliani’s campaign flyer, a situation of which he recognizes the irony. But he says the mayor knows that his Democratic colleagues aren’t going to be “yes-men.”

Quagliani will be running in the Democratic primary on Sept. 12, the winner of which will move on to the general election in November.

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University VP Eyeing Third Term on City Council