Joe Barba: Former Cheshire Selectman, Town Councilor and chairman of the CDTC remembered after recently passing
The recent passing of Joe Barba, 83, an active Democrat in Cheshire for years who was elected to the first Town Council, brought back some fond memories for some members of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee.
For some he was a good listener and to others he was an honorable man who always kept his word and backed Democratic ideals and policies.
“I've known Joe Barba for most of my life,” said Ron Gagliardi, CDTC member and a former Cheshire Town Councilor. “He was 10 years older than I was, but I knew him because I was close friends with his younger brother, John, since elementary school. We lived in the same neighborhood in Hamden. As a Hamden teenager, I helped on one of Joe's Cheshire campaigns. I think he was running for Selectman.
“When we moved to Cheshire in 1972, I looked up Joe and his wife Agnes and got involved in Democratic politics. Joe was the Chairman of the (Cheshire) Democratic Town Committee. (Late CDTC chairman) Ernie DePietro and I were fledgling politicos at the time and we both looked up to Joe as our political mentor on the Committee. We earned our "wings" thanks to Joe Barba. I was always impressed with Joe's level of preparation and his keen understanding of the issues and with his leadership skills.”
Barba was a member of the Cheshire Board of Selectmen. When the Cheshire town government switched to the current Town Council form of government with a town manager, Barba was elected to the first Town Council in 1972.
Barba also served on the Cheshire Public Building Commission from 2008-2015 and was a member of the Cheshire High Addition Building Committee.
Barba was also active in church as a parishioner and Trustee of St. Thomas Becket Church.
“I knew Joe, but mostly through church and professional work, not via Cheshire Democrats and his public service,” said Pat McKinley, chairperson of the CDTC’s Finance Committee. “He was a good man, more of a listener than a talker.”
According to his obituary that ran in the New Haven Register, Barba was also an accomplished civil engineer and received his degree in Civil Engineering at Yale in 1958.He was also an investment advisor and served in the U.S. Army from 1958-1964.
“I kept in touch with Joe and Agnes over the years, even after he was no longer involved with Cheshire politics,” Gagliardi said. “I'm glad I was able to join his brother John, Joe and Agnes for breakfast at their Cheshire home earlier in April. Sadly, it would be the last time I would get to visit with him.
“I recently had the opportunity to talk about Joe Barba with a few of our current CDTC members who never got to meet him. I wish all of our members could have known him. He was an honorable man who always kept his word and who always backed Democratic ideals and policies with his votes and with his financial support. I will miss him.”
Here is a link to Barba's obituary that appeared in the New Haven Register - https://legcy.co/2DUH6Fo
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter for the New Haven Register for 34 years.