WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — If you ask Wallingford residents about the town’s top challenge, you may be surprised.  

It’s not taxes, education, or crime. It’s Wallingford’s access to the world wide web. 

“Town hall is not automated,” said Beth Shutts of Wallingford. “I mean, you can’t look things up online. You can’t get bills paid online. I don’t even know if the paychecks can go and be direct deposited.”  

Republican Vinny Cervoni is taking on the challenge. He secured 53 percent of Tuesday’s vote and defeated Democrat Riley O’Connell by more than 1,000 votes. 

“It will save the town of Wallingford a ton of money if people, especially employees of the town of Wallingford, got their money direct deposited into their accounts,” said Bob Cassello of Wallingford. 

Cervoni is a lawyer with nearly three decades of experience. The mayor-elect has served on the town council since 2009 and as the council chairman since 2014. 

“You don’t take something like this on if you don’t want it,” Cervoni said. 

He says updating technology will come within his first few days in office. Maintaining fiscal stability is also a top priority. 

“We have a very competitive mill rate and making sure that we continue to be an affordable town,” Cervoni said.  

Cerevoni’s predecessor, William Dickinson, is stepping down after 40 years as town mayor. 

The Republican says he couldn’t commit to two more years.  

“It’s not easy to turn that off,” Dickinson said. “It’s going to take a little adjustment to get used to it.” 

But he says he’s confident that the town is in good hands. 

“[Cervoni] is very well-suited to handling the work involved, and people can feel confident that he has their best interest in mind,” Dickinson said. 

Cervoni will be sworn in as Wallingford’s next mayor on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.