Quick turn around for new Mayor of Middletown

Politics

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– It’s a very short turn around for one of the newest and youngest Connecticut mayors.

At noon on Tuesday, Ben Florsheim officially becomes mayor of Middletown, just one week after his election.

Florsheim, who’s just 27, grew up in the Midwest and first stepped foot in Middletown nine years ago to attend Wesleyan and on Tuesday he becomes the mayor of the city of 50,000.

He was elected with 53% of the vote last Tuesday, beating former Republican mayor Seb Giuliano by 800 votes.

Among his first official events as mayor-elect was Monday’s Veteran’s Day ceremony on the edge of the Wesleyan campus. Unlike other cities, the new mayor does not get to hire a lot of new people to run things because most all of the administrators in town are in tenured positions.

Florsheim saying, “The good news is we really don’t need to clean house. We have a lot of really outstanding career civil servants working for the city.”

He has spent time over the past week consulting with outgoing Mayor Dan Drew who is leaving to take a job in the private sector. Over the past eight years, Drew has replaced most of the department heads as they have retired.

“I’ll do whatever I can to assist when he needs me but other than that I’ll be out of the way and it’ll be in his hands as of tomorrow,” said Drew.

Florsheim will be inheriting a lot of what Dan Drew managed to change over the past eight years. He agrees with many of Drew’s positions and actually worked on Drew’s campaigns as a Wesleyan student but says there is room for improvement.

“Making government more accessible, making city hall a more friendly place for residents to come and get their business done, so those are some of the things we’re going to be prioritizing in the first few weeks,” said Florsheim.

He gets the keys to a city car and on the city payroll at $90,000 a year starting Tuesday. Although he technically becomes mayor at 12 noon on Tuesday, there will be an official swearing in Tuesday night at 7 at city hall.

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