Mayor DeStefano sits down with News 8

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) --  After 20 years serving as the Mayor of New Haven, John DeStefano says it's time to step aside.

The Elm City's longest serving mayor has announcing that he won't seek re-election.

"It's time to take on a new challenge and a new opportunity to do something else and I want to do it while I'm young enough to," said DeStefano.

The 57-year-old DeStefano was in an upbeat mood when he sat down with News 8's Keith Kountz at his City Hall office Tuesday afternoon.

He isn't talking specifics about his plans for the future, but he believes 30 years with the city, 20 of them as Mayor, is enough.

He says he wants to step away at a time when he feels positive about his job performance.

"You know what, I've done a good job I feel good about it," DeStefano said. "Cities always have issues and challenges. Good record in what we're doing in our schools, terrific things happening we're dealing better with public safety issues. It's time for me to move on to another challenge and make a difference in what we do."

DeStefano says much has changed since his first day on the job in January of 1994.

As for the future, DeStefano says it won't be in elected office, beyond that he's not offering specifics.

When News 8 asked him what he wanted to change but could not, he was quick to say tax structure reform in Connecticut.

"Connecticut is the most dependent of the 50 states on property taxes, I think it holds back Connecticut, not just New Haven's economy," said DeStefano, "and I think it takes money from people irregardless of their ability to pay."

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