Who is Al Lotto, Hamden’s written candidate for mayor? Find out here.


HAMDEN – Social media has helped spark Albert “Al” Lotto’s desire to run for mayor.

A year ago, he helped found a Facebook group called Hamden Crime Watchers, where residents can share information and concerns about local crime.

Through his experience with the page, Lotto heard “the concerns, creative solutions and calls for change” from residents, which ultimately prompted him to run for mayor, he said in a response. written to a New Haven Register candidate survey.

The independent writing candidate for mayor of Hamden is currently co-moderating the group, which has more than 5,000 members.

Apart from its Internet functions, Lotto has three jobs. He is a school bus driver, owner of the Branford-based Exile on Main Street record store and personal care assistant for the state, he said, adding that he cares for a child with autism in this area. last role.

Lotto is hoping his next job will take him to the mayor’s office.

The path to his candidacy was strewn with pitfalls. Having successfully requested a place on the ballot, his name had to appear on it.

At the end of last month, however, Lotto announced that it was giving up. He claimed to have received “poisonous” messages regarding his candidacy and said he felt it would be best for his family to cancel it, according to his public statement.

But he changed his mind, filling out paperwork earlier this month to run as a candidate in writing. He told the fans he was back – and it was because of them.

Indicating that “popular demand” had inspired his return, Lotto presented his candidacy as a choice between “the far left or the far right”.

“No one has given a voice to independents and unaffiliated previously with Hamden,” he wrote in a Facebook ad. “Show the ‘experts’ that they have greatly underestimated you. They are afraid of having a third party. If you really want to see the change, come vote! “

On Election Day, Lotto will face Republican candidate Ron Gambardella and Democrat Lauren Garrett. Learn more about them here and here.

Outgoing mayor Curt Balzano Leng also registered as a written candidate after losing a Democratic primary, but said he was not actively seeking re-election.

Asked about the main issues facing the city, Lotto named taxes, crime and economic development.

Rising tax rates associated with property revaluations have placed a “huge burden” on residents, he said in his response to the New Haven Register’s investigation.

Hamden must “rethink social negotiations” in a way that is “in the best interest of our city,” he wrote, adding that these negotiations should avoid harming employees if possible. One idea, Lotto suggested, is to forge a new deal for new hires.

He also said the city must “find cost cutting measures” and “stabilize taxes in the future”.

Regarding the crime, Lotto wants to make sure Hamden fills his vacancies in the police department, he said in his response to the investigation. A recent municipal agreement requires Hamden to have a 105-member police force, but Police Chief John Sullivan said the department is still working to fill 14 vacancies.

In addition to hiring new agents, Lotto said: “We also need to look at new ways other cities are working to reduce crime, cut costs and develop new ideas to tackle (homelessness), mental illness and juvenile delinquency. “

To promote economic development, Hamden should strive to attract business, according to Lotto’s written response to the survey. The city must also “think outside the box” in order to grow its economy, Lotto said, suggesting that a cannabis dispensary could be a way to bring money to the city.

When asked what makes him best suited for the top job in town, Lotto said he has the integrity to be a good leader.

“I come without a personal agenda. I will be completely transparent with the people of the city, which they have been waiting for a long time, ”he said. “I will work very hard to include all residents and allow their voices to be heard. “

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