Newcomer Michael Mauro fills vacant seat on Town Council
NEW CANAAN — Michael Mauro moved to New Canaan from Stamford in August 2016. About a month later, he walked into a Republican Town Committee meeting at the town hall, even though he didn’t know many people in town.
“I came from work wearing a suit and people were looking at me,” Mauro said. “I stood, gave my name and said that I wanted to get involved.”
Not even two years later, Mauro has filled the seat left vacant by former Town Council member Ken Campbell, who resigned in January.
Mauro has some big shoes to fill — Campbell, a fellow Republican, served on the Town Council for more than 10 years — and this is Mauro’s first position in local government.
The New Canaan resident had previously sought Republican backing at the caucus last July as a Town Council candidate, but did not obtain the sufficient votes.
“I fell short by a certain amount of votes, but I picked myself back up and kept at it,” the 43-year-old said. “I jumped in to help other Republican candidates get elected and was blessed when I was asked to put my hat in the ring for the (vacant) Town Council seat this year.”
A labor and employment lawyer, Mauro graduated from the State University of New York in Albany and received a law degree from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City. The Long Island native said his labor law background should help him contribute to the town and its negotiations with the unions. He is of counsel to Smith, Buss & Jacobs LLP at its Westchester, N.Y., office.
“There are so many budgetary factors that involve the union and the town and the state. It’s a perspective that is needed here to help understand those obligations and the financial implications,” Mauro said.
Mauro will fill the seat until the next election, but he said he has plans to officially run for the position this November. For now, he’s focused on the town and Board of Education budgets, which were approved, with modifications, by the Board of Finance last week.
“The financial atmosphere of the town and the state is a little bit more severe than in the past,” Mauro said. “It’s important for the town and all of its departments to be as fiscally responsible as possible with every penny allocated.”
Mauro, who has two children in the New Canaan public school system, said the Town Council will make sure to maintain the town’s “excellence in education,” while also being fiscally responsible as it reviews the Board of Education budget, which saw $900,000 in cuts imposed by the Board of Finance.
“Education is one of the reasons my family came to New Canaan,” Mauro said. “The schools here are fantastic and something we want to maintain.”
As the Town Council begins reviewing the town and Board of Education budgets in the coming days, Mauro recognizes he’ll be busy along with other town officials.
“It’s going to be a busy time, and rightfully so,” Mauro said.