East Haven State Representative Joe Zullo (R, 99) announced today that he has been selected by the “Connecticut Council of Small Towns” (COST) as a “2022 Town Crier Award Recipient” and will be recognized at COST’s annual “Town Meeting” in January of 2023.
Zullo, expressing gratitude to COST, explained, “I am honored to have earned COST’S trust and recognition. The COST organization is truly a champion for our small towns across the State and it has been a privilege to work with advocates at COST in our State capitol to fight for policies that help small towns get ahead.”
According to the “Connecticut Council of Small Towns,” it is “a member-driven organization committed to giving Connecticut’s smaller communities a strong voice in the legislative process.” The organization, among many things, focuses on providing “resources to help municipal leaders meet the challenges they face as chief executives of the state’s 142 smaller communities.”
In its announcement of Rep. Zullo as a recipient of a 2022 “Town Crier Award,” Elizabeth “Betsy” Gara, COST’s Executive Director, explained, “Rep. Zullo has been very responsive in working with COST to address concerns facing small towns throughout Connecticut. In his role as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Planning & Development Committee, Rep. Zullo has proven to be a thoughtful and insightful legislator, recognizing how proposed legislation may impact the state’s smaller communities.”
Zullo explained, “I came to our legislature with a strong understanding of the challenges that small municipalities encounter each day. In my role as ranking member on the ‘Planning and Development’ committee, I’ve fought for common sense solutions that preserve and expand municipal autonomy and that help build stronger and more vibrant communities. Strong communities are vital to ensuring small businesses and working families can get ahead and its reassuring to have advocates at COST that share that perspective.”
In announcing Rep. Zullo as a 2022 award recipient, COST cited several considerations including Zullo’s “balanced approach to housing and development issues” and “efforts… defeating proposals that would have imposed rigid land use mandates on municipalities without consideration of local concerns.” COST’s announcement also pointed to Zullo’s support for legislation “promoting homeownership and supporting economic development initiatives” as factors contributing to his selection.
Zullo added, “Homeownership is the gateway to building wealth for working families and we don’t do enough here in Connecticut to help working families when it comes to homeownership. I have proposed and co-sponsored a myriad of legislation incentivizing homeownership and workforce housing for first-time homebuyers, first responders, and those in the trades because homeownership is not only a gateway for building wealth, but it promotes financial stability and independence. I am a believer in empowering working families and that housing is a key mechanism for achieving that aim.”
Minority Leader Vin Candelora (R, 86), and who now represents a portion of East Haven along with Rep. Zullo, congratulated Zullo and added, “Rep. Zullo is passionate in his role as ‘ranking member’ on the “P&D” Committee where he has earned the respect of his colleagues and other professionals. When he speaks, our colleagues listen because they know that his viewpoints bring both positive and insightful discourse to any debate. He is deserving of COST’s recognition for his strong advocacy on behalf of small communities across the State.”
Zullo concluded, “Once again, I’d like to thank COST for this wonderful honor. I look forward to continuing to work with COST and other stakeholders across our State to help communities across our state of all sizes to prosper.”