PROSPECT — A longtime Town Council member has thrown her hat in the ring for mayor.
Democrat Theresa Cocchiola Graveline, 56, announced last week that we will seek the Democratic Town Committee’s endorsement to run for mayor and filed paperwork with the Town Clerk’s office to establish her campaign.
“I feel really strongly it’s time to take Prospect to the next level, time to write the next chapter,” Graveline said.
Graveline has served on the Town Council for the last 22 years. During her time on the council, Graveline has served as the chair of the Land Use Subcommittee and the Ordinance Subcommittee, the council’s liaison to the Conservation Commission for the Open Space Subcommittee and the Open Space Purchase Advisory Committee. She has also served as the Region 16 negotiations representative for the council.
Graveline said she has always brought a passion for the town to her seat on the council and would do the same as mayor.
“I bring with me what I’ve always had: a deep love of this town. It’s a place where I grew up. I invested myself and my family here,” Graveline said.
Mayor Robert Chatfield, a Republican, has held the mayor’s seat since 1977. Chatfield announced Tuesday that he’s running for re-election.
Graveline said in a prepared statement she has had a mutually respectful working relationship with Chatfield during her two decades on the council.
“I fully recognize that Bob has been a conscientious steward of this town during his time as mayor. He often ‘runs on his record’, yet, that during my 22 years as a council member, I, too, have equally been an integral part of those initiatives and accomplishments — keeping our expenditures and mill rate low, acquiring the land and building the new firehouse, acquiring property along Center Street, building the Playscape at Hotchkiss Field, realizing the dream of Woodland Regional High School, acquiring open space, establishing an Anti-Blight Commission and much more,” Graveline said in the press release.
Graveline said in the press release that one area her administration will focus on, if elected, is economic development.
“This is an area that has been either neglected or driven by personal policy and allowed to develop ‘piece-meal’ over time. Prospect is approaching a population of 10,000. With a shifting demographic of those residents, we need to address and adjust to their needs and goals for life in our town. We all are comfortable with the status quo and fear fluctuations in it. Yet change, in and of itself, does not have to be frightening as long as we are proactive in channeling change for positive outcomes,” Graveline said in the release.
Graveline has worked as a nurse, a business woman, and currently works as a finance manager for a small finance company.
“I bring a business perspective to the position,” Graveline said.
Graveline will host a campaign kickoff at 6:30 p.m. June 29 at a location to be determined.