To the Editor,
I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt thanks to the residents and voters of New Milford for the opportunity to serve them for the last two years. And to explain them whey they will not see my name on the ballot for Town Council this election.
I didn’t want to cost the New Milford taxpayers $13,000.
This election, the Democratic Town Committee filled all nine Town Council positions with names. What that means is that should I have chosen to petition, I would have forced a primary to get on the ballot. As we know from our repeated budget votes, every time we have a primary or official vote, it costs the taxpayers about $13,000. I have been very active on the tough budget discussions we have had during the last two years. I know more than anyone every dollar counts and represents giving something else up. I am not going to do that to our taxpayers.
This is a tactic by the DTC. After the window of opportunity to petition closed, they dropped one of their candidates. Perhaps so that they could say they didn’t block me? If you aren’t paying attention to the details of the filing dates you might believe that. But as the taxpayers and residents of New Milford know by now, I am all about the details.
Savvy voters will also notice other names missing. Longstanding Democrats on important boards and commisssions whose expertise and willingness to serve will be hard to replace. While I do not know explicitly know the reason for this, I can tell you they were Democrats that signed my first petition. Perhaps this is retribution by the DTC for those putting Town before Party?
New Milford Democrats I ask you: Do you want people in office who are more interested in their party and perhaps personal agenda over your wishes? Do you want people leading your party who fabricate outrage rather than selecting qualified candidates who will listen to you?
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
To the Editor:
A year before Connecticut passed legislation to ban indoor smoking in 2003, a local restaurant adopted a no smoking policy for customers and employees. This policy change was in response to the growing knowledge about the effects of second-hand smoke and in response to an employee being diagnosed with mouth cancer.
The business owner with the foresight and moral compass, grounded enough to go against public opinion at the time, to do what she knew to be in the best interest of all concerned, was Denise Raap.
Denise Raap has my vote for First Selectmen of Litchfield because over the past 21 years I’ve witnessed firsthand how this community minded, considerate, fiscally prudent and forward-thinking woman has time and again put her talents to use support her community and neighbors.
More recently Denise asked how she could support the Food Pantry at St. Michael’s. Based on the feedback she was given, she now donates one case of butter each month. Seeing neighbors organizing to help neighbors,
Denise Raap first asked how she could help, then listened. Denise Raap’s vision for Litchfield is fluid, always growing and changing as she listens and reacts to the needs of our community.
To The Editor:
I am writing to heartily recommend Sarah Gager to voters as she runs for the Washington Board of Selectmen. I have known Sarah through her extensive volunteer work in our community.
I also served on the Washington Planning Commission which Sarah chaired for many years. Sarah brought a high level of professionalism and expertise, with a remarkable sense of openness and fairness to all. She has a rare ability to facilitate productive discussions and build consensus. She also brings a keen business and financial savvy to the table.
Sarah is currently Dean of Students at Naugatuck Valley Community College, where she has introduced a number of novel and successful programs to benefit students. In this role she has dealt extensively with the state legislature and state administrative agencies, and has developed a deep understanding of Connecticut state politics and processes.
This knowledge will be important to Washington as it faces many challenges with respect to both our Region 12 school system and our town operating budget, which relies on state assistance for important infrastructure and other projects. The state’s precarious financial condition will invariably present problems to small towns like Washington, and Sarah is well-positioned to help guide us through these difficulties that lie ahead.
In short, Washington is fortunate to have such a talented person eager to serve on the Board of Selectmen. She has many friends and fans in Washington and I am honored to count myself among them.
To the Editor:
The purpose of this letter is to both express and explain — as a businessman and fiscal conservative — my support for Democrat Denise Raap in the race for First Selectman in the Town of Litchfield. Quite honestly, I don’t vote for many Democrats and yet don’t find too many Republicans these days who consistently win my admiration. Though the current leaders of Litchfield deserve recognition for their hard work and success in maintaining Litchfield’s solid balance sheet over the years, I firmly believe Denise is a rare commodity and her candidacy presents a unique opportunity for Litchfield going forward.
Like many, I much prefer business, the markets and history to politics these days. This is primarily driven by the simply indefensible fiscal mismanagement at the State of Connecticut level, along with the entirely unproductive partisanship seemingly firmly embedded at the federal level — all of which has produced nothing but a divisiveness and level of unmanageable debt never before seen in our history. Accordingly, I generally shut politics out altogether.
Why then my support for Denise Raap, a Democrat no less? Simply put, Denise has the wisdom, independence, compassion and, importantly, business experience to succeed in this role. Her promises to maintain the Town’s prudent fiscal policies, to govern in a nonpartisan manner and to consider new policies and initiatives designed to benefit the Town are both real and refreshing. In my view, Denise possesses many of the same qualities of past political leaders I admired who successfully utilized their intelligence, independence, business acumen and compassion to govern wisely and effectively. Finally, I admire Denise’s premise for running: she has plenty of other things to do, she has two businesses to run, she has no ego or agenda to service; rather, she simply wishes to utilize her skills and experience for the benefit of Litchfield and its citizenship. Again, a rare commodity and a unique opportunity for Litchfield.
In business a key element for continued success is measured, thoughtful and sensible change: a new look at old problems and fresh ideas that can lead to beneficial growth and opportunities. The same concepts apply to the public sector — though politics often get in the way of beneficial change. I firmly believe the rare and unique candidacy of Denise Raap represents measured, thoughtful and sensible change for Litchfield.
To the Editor:
We support Michelle Gorra’s candidacy for First Selectman of Washington.
Since 2003 when Mrs. Gorra established Washington as the community where she would raise her family, she has consistently and extraordinarily demonstrated the qualities that embody this position: character, leadership, achievement and service.
These qualities are evident in the 82 “man years” of community service Mrs. Gorra has selflessly and tirelessly committed to more than 10 different public and non-profit organizations. These include serving on the Region 12 School Board for 15 years and founding and leading the Washington After/Before School Program for the last four years.
As Walter Reuther said, “There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.”
Mrs. Gorra relentlessly serves Washington with her time, her wisdom and her good nature. For these, we are humbled to support her candidacy for First Selectman.
To the Editor:
Republican slogans, “accountable leadership” and “fresh perspectives” are imaginative inventions as confirmed by Republican first selectman candidate Jon Torrant in his comment, “I don’t have a problem discussing a policy if it would help us not to have to listen to [the complaints] (Rep-Am 10/3/2019). This same old condescending perspective is not fresh; it’s what many of us have been subjected to for years — in my case for decades, during which my letters and in-person statements to the Boards of Selectmen and Finance were rarely if ever acknowledged, answered or discussed. It’s unwise to expect “fresh” from the same Republicans who’ve governed this way in the majority for 28 years.
The complaints Mr. Torrant doesn’t want to hear concern First Selectman Leo Paul’s welcoming an Eversource subsidiary to park heavy vehicles at the Bantam Annex without Planning and Zoning approval. This free commercial parking in a residential zone not only flouts regulations but is also a loss for taxpayers, who must fix the resulting potholes with no money from those causing the damage. After a year and a half of taxpayer comments, BOS finally addressed the issue by agreeing to formulate a forthcoming policy, even though there already is one: Bantam zoning regulations. So much for “accountable leadership.”
Proposals for a Courthouse Town Hall and giveaway of the Bantam Annex and its open space, appraised at $1.1 million, were featured in a bungled referendum last December that highlighted the inability of Republican leaders to gain consensus. Before the vote, Mr. Paul, Mr. Torrant and some BOF Republicans didn’t even favor the $7.6 million Courthouse they petitioned for in referendum, advocating instead for a brand new TH estimated at $2 million more. The BOF majority ultimately rejected that option. In contrast to this flailing, failed process, Democrats pledge the “5 C’s” — communication, collaboration, conservation of financial resources and consensus of the community — before going to any referendum in future.
Residents recognize the importance of a clean Bantam Lake and River for their contributions to our quality of life and economic and environmental wellbeing, yet Republican leaders have never been held accountable for doing zero about these waters’ deteriorating state. The interconnected waterways are beset by unrelenting invasive weeds and increasing algae growth for decades. In recent years, algal blooms containing harmful bacteria caused late summer beach closures, and a mysterious fish die-off occurred in June featuring 300 dead fish. These shocking events still did not move Republicans to even discuss the problems, much less work to fix them. Democrats, on the other hand, consider Bantam Lake and River top conservation, economic and recreational priorities and are keen to implement a watershed-wide plan to improve water quality.
Relatedly, the Bantam Lake Level Control System is an outlet dam for adjusting lake levels that are dropping due to natural succession accelerated by climate change and infilling from decayed organic matter, such as the enormous weed biomass. The current dam consists of wooden boards that are manually adjusted. How do Republicans account for the several years-long delay in improving the dam to an automated hydraulic system, for which state STEAP grants, at least $405K in total, are already set aside? The first such funding was granted in 2010. Under Control System Project Chair Jon Torrant there is no visible progress; the project is over budget and behind schedule; and he has not provided an update to BOS for over a year. What’s more,
Litchfield may lose the funding because the state won’t wait forever for the town to act. Democrats identify the updated Control System as a priority and will get it done.
Republican members of BOF under Chairman Bill Burgess voted in spring to limit the Board of Education budget to a 0 percent increase. While Democrats stand for fiscal responsibility, cost increases for employees’ health care, salaries and maintenance of school buildings led many to conclude 0 percent was irrational. An outcry from BOE, concerned parents and Democrats resulted in BOF conceding to a small, reasonable increase.
Republicans should also be held accountable for the town’s mostly bonded debt of $30 million; it was $1 million 20 years ago. Clearly, leaders with such abysmal records over 28 years will not provide the “fresh perspectives” and accountability Litchfield needs. These will come from Democrats Denise Raap for first selectwoman & the Democratic team. Vote the Democratic slate on Row A, Election Day November 5. Together we make a difference.
To the Editor:
The only choice for Kent is obvious- Ed Matson for 1st Selectman and Jeff Parkin, (Incumbent) for Selectman. They each have 4 years experience serving Kent as YOUR Selectmen.
Ed knows Kent, he’s a 60 year lifelong and 3rd generation resident. Ed has worked for the Connecticut DOT for 21 years, 38-year member and President of the KVFD, 20-year member and President of the Kent Lions Club, and last but not least an Eagle Scout. Jeff is a 38-year resident of Kent, was an Attorney for Kero-Sun in Kent, a Mechanical Engineer in the Nuclear Power Industry and an Airline Pilot. Jeff’s wide management and engineering experience has been an asset to addressing the issues facing Kent. Both have raised families in Kent and their children have graduated from Kent Center School. Ed’s and Jeff’s longtime personal knowledge of and devotion to Kent will continue to serve us very well. Both have made it their goal of “doing the right thing” for the residents of Kent, as your elected officials. Their total of 8 years experience as Selectmen and years as residents in Kent is second to none.
The other GOP candidates running for Board and Commission offices are proud they have over 152 years cumulative experience and service in the offices they are seeking. Many of them have served on several at a time and as Chairs of their respective Boards and Commissions. Some candidates have multi-generational roots in Kent and all have been residents for a cumulative total of 470 years.
The Kent RTC is working very hard and takes our responsibility very seriously, of selecting experienced and knowledgeable candidates for elections, who will serve Kent. They won’t let us down, so on Tuesday November 5, VOTE ROW “B.” There are too many important issues facing Kent to not elect this experienced team of problem solvers. Ed & Jeff and the entire GOP Team will hit the ground running on November 6th.