Making the Transition
During his fifth term as Mayor of Milford, James Richetelli, Jr. knew that he wasn't going to run for re-election. He'd spent ten years on the Board of Aldermen, and now he'd spent ten years as Mayor. He didn't want to become a career politician.
Around this time, Richetelli's friend, Phil Russell, was also leaving his job as Deputy Superintendent of School Operations. Before Russell's retirement, Richetelli asked him one day, "Who will take your job?"
Russell looked at Richetelli and said, "You'd be really good in that position." Russell went on to explain that his responsibilities were very similar to a Mayor role.
This point could not have been more clear than in late November 2011 on Richetelli's first day working for the Board of Education (under the slightly modified title of Chief Operations Officer). Richetelli found himself thrown headlong into managing a budget due in January: This was exactly what he would have been doing if he were Mayor. Instead of the City of Milford, though, Richetelli was now dealing with the operational budget of Milford Public Schools.
His Time as Mayor
"I think we left the city in really good shape," Richetelli said, referring to his time in office. Describing his style of governance and what was important to him, Richetelli said, "As Mayor, the number one thing is the financial welfare of the city, and the quality of life of the citizens."
Some of the initiatives that Richetelli was most proud of from his time as Mayor include Milford's ranking as a top 100 community for youth for four years, the work done to utilize Milford Academy, improvements to East Shore Middle School and the vibrant Senior Center in Milford, among other achievements.
Richetelli described the transition of Ben Blake taking over the duties of Mayor as "great."
"Knowing that I was a lame duck, I started the transition while the campaign was going on," Richetelli said. He kept careful notes for Blake as the two men worked side-by-side during the two week transition.
"Politics is over," Richetelli said at the time, noting that he wished Blake success as Mayor.
One point that James Richetelli, Jr. makes clear is that his job couldn't be less of an honorarium position. His days are filled.
"This position has a lot of everything," Richetelli said. "Finances, budgets, fuel services, facilities, school buses."
Richetelli noted that he deals with "everything that supports teachers."
"I'm working equally hard here," Richetelli said adding that it's nice, though, that there is no political aspect to his relatively new position. "When I come to work everyday, there's a job to be done."