A look back at John DeStefano's years as mayor of New Haven, …
Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 12:01 AM EST
Published : Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013, 11:26 PM EST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Mayor DeStefano's announcement has the political world in New Haven and the state of Connecticut buzzing.
Mayor DeStefano said after 20 years in office, people will have their opinions of him, good or bad. Today, those who worked with him focused on his services and wished him well.
In front of a large crowd, including family, friends and longtime colleagues, New Haven's longest serving mayor, John DeStefano Jr. announced he will not seek an 11th term.
"A little bit shocked but after 20 years you kind of understand. A little disappointed and I want to wish him the best," said West Haven Mayor John Picard.
"I've been privelaged to be his partner. So many chages here in New Haven and he really deserves a lot of praise and appreciation for all that he's done," said former Yale University president Richard Levin.
Levin worked with DeStefano for nearly 2 decades to improve town grown relations and create "The New Haven Promise Program," that helps city students pay for college.
DeStefano says education regorm was one of his proudest accomplishments. Colleagues say there were many making it difficult to pick one, just one issue to call his legacy.
"The jury is still out whether it's school reform, his leadershop on immigration issues, whether it's him trying to bring back community based policing," said New Haven city president Jorge Perez.
Supporters say he was good to work with and no one knows that better than his secretary.
"He's been absolutely fantastic, totally devoted to the city," said Rosemarie Lenlin.
"You've got to tell us what it was like to work for him," said News 8's Nneka Nwosu.
"It was great. He was an inspiration every day because he was so passionate about the work," said Lenlin.
And they are hoping for the same from the next mayor.
"Let's elect a new mayor who has the same forward looking, progressive attitude toward making New Haven a stronger city as Mayor DeStefano. He's done a great job," said Levin.