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Date: December 21, 2021
For Immediate Release
Town Council Appoints Acting Town Manager
Ellen Zoppo-Sassu,53, served as the City of Bristol's Mayor from 2017 through 2021. She was the first woman elected to serve as the City’s chief municipal officer. She became interested in local government while in elementary school when she would attend city meetings with her father, who served on the Board of Finance. After graduating from Providence College in 1990 with a degree in Political Science, Zoppo-Sassu went on to earn a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in local and urban government from the University of Connecticut in 1992. Previously she had worked for the Connecticut Pharmacists Association as the Director of Communications; as Development Director at the Boys & Girls Club and Family Center, and at the New Britain Chamber of Commerce. She also served as the part-time Director of Development & Grants for the Bristol Historical Society where she has worked to bring in over $1,000,000 in the last 18 years to restore and renovate the city’s first high school as a cultural hub.
Zoppo-Sassu also served for 8 years as an elected member of the City Council. In that period, the city’s code enforcement initiative was organized, where she served as the Chair. The Code Enforcement Committee aggressively coordinated a city policy response to the sub-standard housing issues and blight in the City. She also chaired the Task Force to develop a building and construction plan for the re-use of the historic Memorial Boulevard School and theater. The library was renovated on time and under budget, the City created the TEAM (Tourism, Arts Entertainment and Museums) Committee and 3 city parks were renovated.
During her terms as Mayor she has encouraged efficiencies and collaborations among city departments and creating new initiatives such as the Task Force on Opioid Prevention, the Arts & Culture Commission, the Diversity Council and the Senior Tax Relief Committee. In 2020, she also convened the City’s response team for the Covid-19 pandemic. She also worked to leverage the resources of the Health District, Police Department and health care agencies to create pathways for recovery with the creation of the City of Bristol Recovery Alliance (C.O.B.R.A.) which offers a diversionary program for the police to utilize when encountering citizens who are suffering from substance misuse.
Ellen is married to Peter Sassu who recently retired as the School Resource Police Officer at Bristol Eastern High School. They have three children, Michaela, 24, a graduate of CCSU working for the State of CT Probation; Zachary, 22, a 2017 graduate of BEHS who served in the U.S. Army and is currently using his G.I. Bill in Florida; and Carson, 20, a 2019 graduate of BEHS who is attending Tunxis Community College. Ellen has been active in various community groups including McCabe-Waters Little League, Bristol Girls Little League Softball, BEHS All-Sports Booster Club, Friends of the Library, St. Joseph Church and For Goodness Sake. For the last 5 years, she has also served as the Host Family Coordinator for the Bristol Blues Baseball, matching summer league college players with host families in the community.
She previously served as Chair of the City of the Bristol’s Cemetery Commission from its inception in 2008 until June 2013. During her tenure, the Commission secured almost $25,000 in private grant funds and in-kind donations to restore the ancient cemeteries, created a management agreement for the city-owned Lake Avenue Cemetery and garnered a national preservation award from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Others have recognized Ellen’s leadership ability as well. In May 2017 she received the Bristol Historical Society Volunteer of the Year award. She had previously received the McCabe-Waters Little League Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2015 Special Recognition Award from For Goodness Sake; as well as the Bristol Boys & Girls Club & Family Center “Positive Leadership Unselfish Service” P.L.U.S. Award; In 2018, she was one of two ACE Award recipients recognized by the New England Carousel Museum for supporting the arts. In 2020, she received the Health Care Hero Award from Bristol Hospital and a Certificate of Appreciation from St. Vincent DePaul for her hands-on efforts to assist the St. Vincent DePaul Shelter in keeping their operations running during the pandemic. And, in 2021, she received the CT Parks & Recreation Association Public Service Award for her role in elevating Bristol Parks and reorganizing the department.
The City of Bristol also received 2 prestigious Silver Telly Awards for its work creating a series of Public Service Announcements addressing the city’s opioid public health crisis and the City’s “Made in Bristol” business recruitment videos.
Mayor Bob Cressotti stated ‘I, along with my fellow councilors, am pleased and excited to welcome Ellen Zoppo-Sassu to the position of Enfield’s Acting Town Manager. Ellen comes to Enfield with credentials, experience, and enthusiasm to lead us in the right direction. We look forward to a good working relationship where we can learn from each other and do great things in Enfield.”