Middletown Patch is beginning a new meet-the-candidates series that allows voters to learn a little bit about the men and women running for public office this November.
James B. Streeto, 51, is running for Middletown Common Council on the Democratic ticket in November.
Education: Trinity College (bachelor of arts degree in history (intensive study), University of Connecticut School of Law (juris doctor)
Work: For the last 14 years, I have been an assistant public defender in the Appellate Unit of the Office of the Chief Public Defender. I defend indigent persons in the Appellate and Supreme Courts. Prior to that, I had my own firm for a brief stint, and spent 5 and 1/2 years associated with the firm of Weigand, Mahon & Adelman in Meriden.
Why do you want to hold public office in Middletown? I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve the community in the past, and have always found it rewarding and gratifying.
I'd like to think I bring some positive qualities to the table aside from experience, which you've asked about below. Specifically, I think I can offer some degree of legal acumen, common sense, and, above all, a sense of humor (which in turn brings a sense of proportion).
What experience do you bring to the table? I have served six terms on the common council. During my tenure on the council, I served on the Public Works Commission (including a stint as chair), Ordinance Study Commission, Contract Compliance Commission, and the Water and Sewer Authority. I have also served on the Middletown Board of Ethics, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and currently serve as a member of the Board of Assessment Appeals.
I have been a practicing attorney for over 25 years. In that capacity, I have handled numerous cases in state and federal courts, at all levels, including 19 cases before the Connecticut Supreme Court.
What do you think the town's most pressing issue is? The town's most pressing issue, like the nation's, is the degree of acrimony and inflexibility which have become such a common feature of ordinary interaction. The present administration has done a wonderful job in defusing a number of conflicts and settling a number of lawsuits.
But our community, like our country, continues to maintain a highly-charged atmosphere, in which accusation and angry rhetoric are the order of the day. We need to work together more smoothly, as friends and neighbors, and learn to disagree respectfully, here in our city, and in the nation as a whole.
What do you love most about Middletown? Its diversity. Middletown is such a wonderful microcosm of Connecticut as a whole — where else can you go from a street and a restaurant that feels exactly like downtown New Haven to a rural farm and wooded area that feels precisely like Litchfield County to a waterfront spot which reminds one of Branford or Mystic, all in the space of a few miles?
It's no accident we have some of the best and most diverse restaurants in Connecticut — there's a ready made market for any cuisine here.
What do you like to do for fun? Travel, exercise, karate, theater, hiking with my wife and grandchildren, computer gaming (World of Warcraft, among other games), reading.
How can residents keep up with you? Email is the best way at email@example.com.
Other Candidate Bios
- Meet Sal Micciulla, Democratic Candidate for Assessment Board
- Meet Brian Kaskel, Republican Candidate for Board of Education
- Meet Paul Turenne, Democratic Candidate for Planning and Zoning
- Meet Dan Russo, Democratic Candidate for Planning and Zoning
- Meet Stephen Devoto, Democratic Candidate for Zoning Board
- Meet Sandra Russo-Driska, Republican Common Council Hopeful