John DeStefano, Jr. set a record Thursday just by walking into his office, which he has now held for 18 years and 279 days.
That number marks one larger than that of any other mayor in the city’s history, surpassing Elizur Goodrich, who served as mayor of New Haven for 18 years and 277 days, retiring on June 4, 1822.
DeStefano celebrated his milestone by tackling some paperwork in the morning and a scheduled meeting on the Fire Department — in other words, completing his every-day job.
“I don’t need a cake,” DeStefano told Isadora DiMartino, a six-year-old reporter from Cold Spring School in New Haven during an interview about his job as mayor.
During his tenure, DeStefano has cut crime in New Haven by a third and welcomed several new businesses to the downtown district. He has tackled contentious issues including union negotiations and the budget.
And, in recent years, the Elm City has been cited as a leader in new crime intervention strategies and education reform.
“It’s not about looking backward,” he told the New Haven Independent. “It really isn’t. It’s just so cool to be doing all these things now.”