Town Is Looking to Notable Election Season
The upcoming municipal election can be considered notable not only because this is the first time the town election will be held in November. More importantly, it looks like the election will involve a new crop of candidates.
First Selectman Beth Heller recently announced that she will step aside after six years in that position. At the same time, the Democratic Town Committee announced that former Selectman Mica Cardozo, who recently retired from his job as an AT&T executive, will step up and seek the nomination for the top of the ticket.
It seems that the Republican ticket as well will see a new generation of local leaders, although the party has not officially announced any candidates, pending the caucus vote on July 18.
Marty Halprin, unaffiliated, has filed with the Town Clerk’s office that he is seeking the first selectman post. Similarly, Andrea Urbano, also unaffiliated, and Javier Aviles, a Republican, have filed to run for the Board of Selectmen.
Selectman David Lober, an unaffiliated voter who ran on the Republican ticket, is not seeking re-election this year.
Mica Cardozo: Cardozo, a longtime Woodbridge resident, worked as a telecommunications executive and was highly regarded as an innovative and collaborative leader.
If elected, he will be the first person of color to lead the town. In addition to serving as Beth Heller’s Deputy First Selectman for two terms, he has served as chair of the Ordinance Committee. He also served on or worked with the Economic Development Commission, Fire, Agriculture, Government Access Television and Recreation commissions. He currently serves on the town’s Police Commission.
“My goal as First Selectman will be to continue to build on that legacy as we create new opportunities to enrich the lives of everyone in our Woodbridge community,” he said in a press release. He noted his intention to focus on continuing to grow the Town’s grand list which is the key to controlling taxes while providing the great services and outstanding schools that Woodbridge residents expect.
He said he is ready to “tackle head-on the Country Club of Woodbridge property and its future uses.” Cardozo noted that “our evolving community brings with it new and creative ideas and opportunities, including addressing the CCW issue with the urgency it demands.”
He said he is looking forward to meeting Woodbridge residents in neighborhood get-togethers over the summer. He also plans to attend the summer concerts and to go door-to-door the traditional way.
Heller said the decision not to run again was a difficult one, but it became easier after learning that her two-term Deputy First Selectman, Mica Cardozo, was ready to take on the top leadership role if elected. “Mica has the leadership experience and demonstrated commitment to our community that will make him the ideal person to serve as Woodbridge’s next First Selectman,” she said.
She is looking back on a truly impressive list of accomplishments. On her list is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, whose work has included the creation of the popular Woodbridge Like Me Day. Also, she picked up on the work of her predecessor, Ellen Scalettar, and helped shepherd the privately-funded Woodbridge Dog Park Cooperative. She notes that with the help of the town’s staff and the legislative delegation the town secured over $6 million dollars in grants for long-needed infrastructure projects.
“This position has been a wonderful journey, she wrote, “and the best way to give back to the town. I promise to remain active as a community volunteer.”