Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito Explains Recent Staff Shakeup and Whether He Aspires to Higher Office
Newly elected Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito joined our sister station Thursday (12/16/21).
We wanted to find out how Esposito is settling into his new role, address a staff change he made and ask about a potential future beyond City Hall. First, we asked how he's finding the new job, Esposito replied:
"Oh my goodness, it's awesome, I have to tell you, it's everything I expected and more. You know actually being up here the last few years, knowing what the job entails but once you put that official top hat on, it's all speed ahead. It's very good, it's going very well."
Soon after taking office, Esposito made a staff change, moving away from Public Relations expert Taylor O'Brien in favor of John Kleinhans, a Republican from Niantic. Kleinhans has some history with Danbury, he used to worked as a strategist for former Mayor Mark Boughton. I asked Esposito to talk about the change and he responded by saying:
"Yeah, that was a big decision. Taylor is an outstanding employee here and as you know she helped Mayor Mark with the radio and all kinds of communications. She was very good, I thought that it was time for her to advance her career and she agreed and she moved on to the public sector. It was a big loss for us but she's young and very intelligent, a really good worker and I think she'll move up the ladder pretty quickly."
Taylor O'Brien - pictured above
We wanted to know more about John Kleinhans and this is what Esposito had to say of his new hire:
"John is a, John I met years ago, he worked on Mayor Mark's campaigns for Governor and Lieutenant Governor and that is how I got to know him. He's originally from Eastern Connecticut, very loyal young man, he's got an outstanding resume with a lot of substance to it. So I think he's going to be a true asset here, as far as communications in the office and really dealing directly with the state issues and has a lot of connections to state Reps and state Senators. So, he's going to be a true asset."
John Kleinhans - pictured above
Kleinhans heard our interview and wanted to clear up how I was categorizing the staff changes. He told me that his role is a hybrid of Taylor O'Brien's former job and Marc Dillon's old position, he said Dillon also moved on. Kleinhans' official title is Government Affairs and Communications Advisor.
Later, I asked Esposito about the optics of the move and if it had anything to do with aspiring to a higher office, like Governor, he said:
"No, that's not my plan Lou. I gotta tell you, my goal is to continue to represent the people here in Danbury where I was born and raised, as you guys know, you heard it many time throughout the campaign. And, I'm just honored to be sitting in this chair right now in the Mayor's office and hopefully doing the service of the people of Danbury and that's my goal."
You can hear the entire interview with Dean Esposito in the Youtube video at the top of the page. Below is a video from Esposito's inauguration.
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