Know your neighbors, know your town, empower the community.

Think Local, Vote Local, Vote Change

July 5, 2024
Time to read:
An elephant statue with the flag of USA painted on it

We’re approaching the close of our local election cycle.  The focus should be on current and persistent Woodbridge issues.  However, last month in her WTN column, Ellen Scalettar tried to insert presidential politics from two cycles ago into the discussion, in a poor attempt to distract voters from our town’s many challenges that have festered while local Democrats have been in charge.

Let me address Ms. Scallettar’s disingenuous statement.  I have never been a registered Republican or Democrat; I have always been an Unaffiliated voter.  I am honored to be running for First Selectman of my hometown and am heartened by the support I am receiving from many Woodbridge residents of all parties.

Let’s get back to the important issue here:  addressing local problems.  Like many residents, I have seen the stagnation of vital issues during the 18 consecutive years of local Democrat control which has led to the lack of resolution to the former Country Club of Woodbridge (CCW), the sixth highest mill rate in Connecticut, a deteriorating Beecher Road School building, and an Amity education system that is sinking in public rankings.  Mica Cardozo served as Deputy First Selectman for four of these years and so bears some responsibility.  Given this history, what should we do now?  The surest way to get different results is to commit to a different path forward.  Our politically diverse slate offers that path – focused on local issues and offering real solutions.

The former CCW has been badly handled since its purchase in 2009.  The Democrat-controlled Board of Selectmen has been single minded in its plans for the property – develop the former CCW for housing.  Residents have strongly objected, but their input regarding alternatives has been repeatedly ignored.  The property, especially the clubhouse, has been left to deteriorate.  Impartial data exploring our options has never been produced.  In contrast, our Board of Selectmen (BOS) candidates Andrea Urbano, Javier Aviles, and David Vogel are committed to delivering data-driven decision making, transparency, and community engagement surrounding the property’s future, while focused on alternatives to housing.  With me they will lead a team that works hard to gather facts, engage residents, and finally achieve a fiscally responsible and environmentally responsible solution.

My fellow BOS candidates and I appreciate that many residents want a referendum vote on the annual Town budget.  Together we will empanel a Charter Revision Commission to bring our local government into the 21st century.  We will be laser-focused on minimizing taxes.  We will integrate the current piecemeal capital planning, and prioritize Beecher Road School’s campus needs.

Responsibility for the downward trend of Amity High School’s academics lies with the current Amity Board of Education (ABOE).  Our ABOE candidates, Bruce Marien and Dan Del Prete, promise to focus on supporting teachers to execute improved curriculum and teaching methodologies for the benefit all students, with resulting improvements in rankings.  Bruce is a former teacher at Amity – when its academic rankings were high – and Dan’s involvement in several local volunteer organizations along with his seven children in the school system demonstrate a tremendous commitment by both of these candidates to get Amity back on track.

We are fortunate to have incumbents Lynn Piascyk and Jeff Hughes running for the Woodbridge (Beecher) Board of Education.  They have been on top of many important issues at the school.  Lynn’s history is unmatched as a teacher and school board member while Jeff’s professional experience in building management benefits the effort to address Beecher’s campus challenges.

Our candidates for the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) offer an excellent mix of experience and fresh perspectives that the ZBA can certainly benefit from.  Cynthia Gibbons and Christopher Dickerson share more than 20+ years of experience on ZBA while Cliff Lynch, Jr. and Jamie Nichol are first time candidates eager to serve Woodbridge.  Both Cliff and Jamie are active volunteers in town and offer private-sector experience and common sense, as does our candidate for the Board of Assessment Appeals, Annitta Ingraham

Voters are welcome to read about additional town issues on the website. My running mates and I offer a fresh, open-minded, and collaborative approach as an alternative to what has become closed-door politics in Woodbridge. We must overcome the stagnant, exclusionary politics that leave our town’s many challenges unresolved year after year. We ask you to think local, vote local, and vote change. Our politically diverse candidates are well-prepared for the tasks at hand. We would be honored to receive your vote on Tuesday, November 7th.

<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.

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