It was Maria E. Capriola’s experience as an 18-year-old college student working as an administrative assistant at the town offices in her hometown of Bennington, Vt., that solidified her resolve to pursue work in local government.
“I was so fascinated by all the services that local government provided because it’s the services that tend to touch our daily lives,” Capriola said. “From roads, to schools, to water that comes out of our sinks, it’s really everything that touches our daily lives and I fell in love with that form of government and it really stuck.”
Capriola said she looks forward to bringing that passion to Simsbury as its first town manager.
“I believe in the form of government,” Capriola said. “Promoting a culture of ethics and integrity and professionalism, merit-based decision-making, providing quality services to our residents, being good stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars — all those things are so important to the form of government. I thought, ‘Wow, what a special opportunity to help a community through that transition,’ and [to] be a part of that historic moment in time just really excited me.”
Capriola, 38, was hired by the board of selectmen late last year. Prior to arriving in Simsbury, she was interim town manager in Mansfield. She recently moved to Simsbury with her husband and 3-year-old daughter Charlotte.
In November 2015, Simsbury voters approved the change in the town’s form of government from a first selectman-board of selectmen to a town manager-council, with the town manager becoming chief executive officer of the town. Under this form, the town manager is appointed by, and reports directly to the board of selectmen.
While the selectmen will continue to drive policy in town, Capriola will handle the town’s administrative matters.
Capriola holds a master’s degree in public administration from UConn. With 15 years of municipal government experience, she has previously worked for the city of Savannah, Ga., in its budget department, as well as the city of Newburyport, Mass. Capriola also has experience in human resources, operating budgets and labor negotiations.
She will earn an annual salary of $152,500, with an increase of $2,500 after one year if she meets certain goals.
Capriola said her first impression of Simsbury has been “how much the community cares about the town and the folks who live in it.”
“People appear to be very engaged and involved and they love living here, they’re passionate about living here and they want this to be a great community,” Capriola said. “I think that’s wonderful, to see folks who are so engaged and so committed to their community and their fellow citizens, and committed to the community being a really special place to live.”
Capriola arrives just in time to help craft the town’s 2018-19 recommended budget. She will also bear the responsibility of hiring three…