After making numerous pledges, including to keep taxes stable, make city government more transparent and improve education, Gioiello launched into a criticism of the mayor. He made his statements outside of City Hall along with several Democrats running for various offices.
Gioiello said he would restore managerial power to department heads rather than stick with the current system. Lauretti insists on approving everything himself, and does not take criticism well, the democrat said.
"The mayor takes everything personally," he said, adding that Lauretti does not listen to suggestions.
Gioiello urged voters to return democrats to the Board of Alderman, on which the lone democrat is 28-year veteran John "Jack" Finn.
Anyone who seconds Finn's motions or disagrees with the mayor is punished, Gioiello said.
And, according to the candidate, for the first time in many years, Lauretti has not reimbursed the city's volunteer fire departments for liability insurance covering them when they drive their personal vehicles on fire calls. The insurance costs about $40,000 in total for all four departments.
Gioiello also accused Lauretti's administration of failing to try to recover at least $1 million stolen from the city over the last 10 years.
Former Assistant Finance Director Sharon Scanlon was arrested for the crime and the city has sued her and placed a lien on her home. But the city has not acted on the lien, he added.
Her case is pending in Milford Superior Court. She resigned in August 2012 and was arrested in January 2013.
Scanlon may not have been bonded, which would make the money harder to recover, the democrat said.
In other money matters:
- Candidate Judson Crawford asked why the Board of Aldermen entered executive session to discuss whom to hire for propane fuel for the city's new school buses.
- The city has been bonding items that should be in the operating budget.
- Implementing all day kindergarten could cost $1 million and require more teachers, requiring budget increases.
Finally, Gioiello said he "would be happy to debate the mayor."
Standing with Gioiello were Crawford, Finn and Joe Knapick.
"I think we've got a good team," Gioiello said of the Democratic slate. He was also endorsed by U.S. Rep. Jim Himes.