As published in the Record Journal on Friday March 15, 2013
By Andrew Ragali
WALLINGFORD – Veteran Town Councilor Rosemary Rascati will not seek reelection this fall. The announcement came during Wednesday night’s Republican Town Committee meeting. Rascati has served four consecutive terms on the Town Council, beginning in 2006, and has been a member of the town committee for 54 years.
Rascati said Thursday that she would serve out her term, which runs through the end of the year, but would not seek reelection in November because “a couple of my children have illnesses” and she wants to spend more time concentrating on her family.
“I’m just afraid that I have a little much on my plate that I have not been able to give all the attention that’s needed,” Rascati said. “I take my council duties very seriously. I just feel that I won’t be able to give the time that I have in the past.”
Rascati, 86, has lived in town for 56 years, and has always been heavily involved in civic activities.
“And I want it to stay that way,” she said.
She said she is also in the process of selling her home and purchasing a new one in town.
Rascati said she’s “going to miss the campaigning,” but plans to stay involved because she doesn’t want to feel like she’s “short-changing citizens” who have voted for her and the Republican Party, which she said has supported her for decades.
Rascati served as Town Clerk on two separate occasions for a total of 12 years, and served on the Planning and Zoning Commission. She is on the boards of directors of both Wallingford Center Inc. and the Wallingford Community Theatre.
“She’s been a great addition,” Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said on Thursday. “She will be missed. Rosemary has been a wonderful person and a person with experience on the council. She has an understanding of the aspects of doing business.”
Town Council Chairman Bob Parisi has sat next to Rascati for all of her time on the Town Council. He called her “a good lady, good woman, and a dear friend.”
“She’ll be missed, certainly,” Parisi said. “You can always count on her to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s.”
Town Councilor John Le-Tourneau said the presence of someone who has “been here for so long” will be missed.
Republican Town Chairman Bob Prentice said that after Rascati made the announcement Wednesday night, the estimated 50 people in attendance gave her a standing ovation for about three minutes.
“I couldn’t help but cry a little,” Rascati said. “I noticed a lot of my friends shedding a tear, and it made me feel bad that I’m doing this.”
Prentice called Rascati a “real asset to the town of Wallingford.”
During Rascati’s address at the meeting Wednesday night, Prentice said, she thanked everyone and said she’s “not going away” and “still wants to help out the town.”
Democratic Town Councilor Jason Zandri, who has served alongside Rascati since 2012, said he was sad to hear that she’s leaving the council. He said he understood that it’s difficult to do your job when family issues arise.
“It’s always a delicate balance of having enough free time to do a job that you need a lot of time to do,” he said. “It’s unfortunate. She really enjoys doing the work.”
The process of finding a replacement for Rascati on the council is already under way, Prentice said. He’ll be sending out an email to all members of the Republican Party in Wallingford to gauge interest in the position.
“We’re just getting the process moving,” he said, adding that he likes to be prepared, especially since the caucus in July isn’t that far off.
“It’s not something you want to go about overnight,” he said.
Prentice said it will be hard to replace Rascati. “She’s so fair and so honest and hardworking,” he said.
Rascati said members of the Republican Town Committee are “like a second family.”