A New Voice With New Ideas
Hello fellow Woodbridge residents -
As a candidate for First Selectman, I have the pleasure of meeting many new people. It’s important to hear voter concerns and I have had a lot of conversations about what’s happening in our town. I’d like to share with you what I’m hearing.
On the education front, one hot issue is the Beecher Road School campus. The building is getting old and stretched for space. The student population is projected to continue growing for the next several years. More immediately, the roof is leaking and requires prompt repair. Yet the Democrat Selectmen leading our town have been slow to address even the immediate problem – the leaking roof – at Beecher. They have created multiple siloed committees to look separately at various town buildings while largely ignoring Beecher’s infrastructure needs. As a result of this failure, Beecher’s roof has worsened over the last several years.
If elected, I will reorganize the town’s disparate and disorganized capital planning into a laser focus on the school’s immediate and long-term needs. We will deliver an integrated capital plan that makes Beecher’s infrastructure our town’s first priority. My fellow candidates, Woodbridge Board of Education members Jeff Hughes and Lynn Piascyk, have made valiant efforts to get the town leadership’s attention on Beecher’s needs. They deserve another term to share their knowledge and commitment with a First Selectman who joins them in making Beecher a priority.
Many residents also express concern about the deterioration in ranking of Amity Regional High School. For a long time Amity enjoyed a spot among the top high schools in Connecticut. Unfortunately, over the last few years Amity has slipped consistently where today U.S. News and World Report lists Amity #39 among high schools in the state.
Our town has always valued top quality education. Amity’s downward trend raises serious questions about the current quality of education our children are receiving, for which all of us deserve answers. Further, the slide threatens an adverse impact on our home values. Potential buyers look at school rankings and reputations, and we have historically commanded a premium for our homes accordingly.
As your First Selectman I promise to make Amity a priority. I will encourage the First Selectmen in Orange and Bethany to join me in pressing the Amity Board of Education to reverse the downward trend – quickly. The candidates on my slate, Bruce Marien and Dan Del Prete, will be leaders in re-focusing the Amity Board on its #1 priority – academics. Bruce is a former Amity teacher and coach, while Dan is an Amity parent active in PTO.
Beyond these issues, residents I meet are frustrated with their inability to vote on the Town’s annual budget. They can’t understand why we hold an annual referendum on Amity’s budget but fail to hold a similar vote on our town’s budget. I share their frustration, and think it is high time we modernize our Town Charter (our local Constitution) to provide an annual referendum instead of the antiquated Town meeting process that fails to match modern lifestyles. Similarly, residents are surprised to learn that most Connecticut towns have an elected Board of Finance while ours is appointed. Given the Board of Finance’s preeminent role in crafting our town’s budget, residents are interested in changing the Board of Finance selection process. I commit to establish a Charter Revision Commission promptly to consider both issues.
We’re a small town with big challenges. The partisan approach of the local Democratic Town Committee has kept them in office for fifteen years but has failed to address our challenges. I am honored to be a member of a Republican-endorsed team which includes Unaffiliated (like me), Democrat and Republican candidates. We know that local – not national - issues are at stake here on November 7th, and we are united in our commitment to do a better job leading our town. We have the skills, energy, and new ideas to make a much-needed positive impact on Woodbridge. Please give us a chance to show you what we can do.
Marty Halprin (U)
Board of Selectmen
Andrea Urbano (U)
David Vogel (R)
Javier Aviles (R)
Woodbridge Board of Education
Lynn A. Piascyk (R)
Jeff Hughes (R)
Board of Assessment Appeals
Annitta L. Ingraham (R)
Zoning Board of Appeals
Clifford Lynch, Jr. (R)
Cynthia Gibbons (R)
Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate
Jamie Nichol (U)
Christopher Dickerson (R)
Amity Regional Board of Education
Bruce A. Marien (D)
Daniel Del Prete (R)
<span class="fineprint">This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.</span>
This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.