After leading the municipal advocacy organization for 18 years Barton Russell, Executive Director of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) retired on Sept. 30. COST represents 115 suburban and rural and small cities throughout Connecticut.
Prior to taking the helm at COST, Russell served for 18 years as the founding Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT) and as President of the organization’s education arm – The National Center for Small Communities. NATaT represents more than 12,000 municipalities across the country. Upon his return to Connecticut, Russell was a long-time resident of West Hartford, where he raised his family and his children attended West Hartford public schools.
Russell’s dedication to as Connecticut’s “voice for small towns” was celebrated recently during a COST-sponsored reception at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell. Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Senate Finance Chair Eileen Daily and other state and municipal leaders statewide gathered to praise COST’s outgoing CEO for his leadership and effectiveness as a champion for Connecticut’s smaller towns and cities.
Leaders of the General Assembly presented Mr. Russell with a proclamation, which stated in part “You have been a strong voice in ensuring that the needs and priorities of town leaders have been heard – and responded to – at the State Capitol.
Congressman Joe Courtney (D-2nd) told Russell, “Your impact on towns in Connecticut and across the Country cannot be underestimated…You have been such a prominent advocate for municipalities that President Ronald Reagan once praised you as ‘the voice of small town America’.
COST will be announcing Mr. Russell’s successor as Executive Director soon.
- submitted by COST