HAMDEN - Curt Balzano Leng, who won a special election for mayor on Thursday, was sworn in at a ceremony at Government Center in Hamden Friday morning at 10 a.m.
He becomes Hamden's third mayor in less than two months. Former mayor Scott Jackson left his post in April to join governor Dannel P. Malloy's administration.
James Pascarella, the town's Legislative Council President, had been the interim mayor. Balzano Leng joked this morning that he has saved his yard signs since the towns biennial mayoral election takes place in November.
The soon to be 41-year-old, who had been serving as the town's Chief Administrative Officer, says he caught the political bug in high school and has been dreaming of this day ever since.
He said he uses his mother's maiden name because his maternal grandfather, a former Hamden police sergeant, was a real mentor to him, including politically.
Balzano Leng says two of the primary issues he will be dealing with during his short five months term will include continuing to improve the towns dicey employee pension situation, which he points out is at roughly 40% presently. Then, there is the ongoing tug-of-war with the always expanding Quinnipiac University. The town says the university has not complied with A 2006 planning and zoning commission approval says the university must have enough housing to accommodate all students, not simply all students who want housing. The University says it has several hundred open beds and doesn't see the need to construct more on-campus housing.
This is been an ongoing debate because there are residential communities scattered throughout Hamden that house students, who have been said, by residents of those neighborhoods, to be disruptive in various ways.