July 14, 2007
By DANIEL E. GOREN, Courant Staff Writer
Paolo "Paul" Mozzicato, a Hartford businessman and lifelong city resident, announced his candidacy for city council Friday, saying his campaign was "born out of frustration with the status quo in city hall."
Mozzicato, co-owner of Mozzicato Bakery on Franklin Avenue, has become an outspoken advocate for Hartford's small-business community, whose members face dramatic increases in their tax bills because of an unexpected quirk in the city's recent revaluation. But the troubles do not stop there, Mozzicato said, adding that he believes the city is spending like "drunken sailors."
"As you look around Hartford, on virtually every front we are losing ground, losing neighborhoods, losing schools, losing youth to the streets and losing business - nothing seems to be getting done," he said in a prepared statement. "I am entering the race because I believe that we can do better - we must do better."
Mozzicato had been registered as an independent but recently changed his affiliation to Democratic in order to run for office.
He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Boston University and is nearly finished with a master's degree in finance at Trinity College.
For the past several months, Mozzicato has been seen at city council meetings and other political events, boning up on the issues facing Hartford. He was launched into a more prominent political role of late, becoming the de facto spokesman for a group of small businesses getting slammed with giant tax bills.
His interest does not end with overburdened small businesses, he said, though he hopes to be a voice for them if elected. He expressed concern about what he describes as the city's failures in "delivering services, educating our youth, policing our community and administering precious community resources."
Mozzicato also said he will try to build bridges to state officials instead of alienating them, and has hired as his campaign treasurer Robert Ficeto, a financial analyst and husband of Anna Ficeto, Gov. M. Jodi Rell's chief legal counsel.
"We have a large mechanical breakdown of the entire city," he said. "I don't want to preach doom and gloom, but we need to get our act together."
Mozzicato joins a large field of council candidates, with more than a dozen candidates having registered with the city clerk's office. The field includes several newcomers and at least five incumbents: Democrats James Boucher, Kenneth Kennedy Jr., Pedro Segarra, Calixto Torres and rJo Winch; and Republican Veronica Airey-Wilson.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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