A former Bristol Eastern High School football coach who has been a Democrat for more than 30 years switched parties recently to seek a City Council seat on the Republican ticket.
Dave Mills, 66, said he doesn’t care about political affiliations.
“I’m not looking if people have a D or an R after their name,” he said, “I’m look for those with a B after their name for Bristol.”
Mills is one of two GOP contenders seeking election in the wide open 3rd District, where both incumbents, Democrats Craig Minor and Frank Nicastro, are stepping down rather than seek reelection in the November 3 general election.
Joining him on the Republican ballot is Derek Czenczelewski, another newcomer to the political scene. Two Democrats are also eyeing the seats, Kate Matthews and Terry Parker.
Mills said that running for office was “a big decision to make,” but with his retirement after 36 years as a teacher and coach, “I want to give something back to the city – again.”
He said that as a coach, his philosophy was “to make your players as good as they can be” and as a councilor he would aim to make the city as good as it can be.
Mills said he’s tired of the defeatist attitude of many who say the status quo is “good enough for Bristol.”
He said the city – and its residents – should seek what’s best for the community rather than settling for less.
One way to make improvements, he said, is to recognize the city’s biggest asset is its people. He said City Hall needs to do more to reach out and tap the wide pool of talent that exists in the community.
Mills said that a coach recognizes how crucial it is to build on the talents of those on the team. The city has to do the same.
Mills said he would like to see the city build on the success of Bristol Hospital, the Little Leaghe complex, Lake Compounce and others, “to get the rest of the city to do what they’re doing.”
Projecting a better image is part of the answer, he said.
He said that with the new Route 72 extension, officials need to make sure it looks good to people coming into the city. The new industrial park, too, needs to be attractive, he said.
“We’re projecting an image,” he said, and it better be a good one.
Mills is a city native who graduated with a master’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University. A physical education and health teacher, he coached Eastern’s football team for 26 years, including its only state championship season.
Though a newcomer to politics, Mills served on the Park Revitalization Committee that played a key role in setting the stage for the ongoing renovation of Rockwell Park.
Mills and his wife, JoAnn Mills, have four grown childen and eight grandchildren.
For more information, contact Mills at email@example.com or write to Mills For City Council at 185 Oakland St., Bristol, CT 06010.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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