Letters of Endorsement
To the Editor:
My name is Nancy Marcucilli. I have lived in Newtown for 25 years. I am writing this letter asking for your support in voting for Ann LoBosco Benore for town clerk in the November 5 election. Newtown has gone through many changes in the recent past and now it’s also time for a change in the clerk’s office.
Ann has experience in this job as she was an assistant town clerk in Newtown for four years. She has gained her town clerk certification and during this time she personally trained the present staff, one on one. She is currently the clerk of the Borough of Newtown and working for the Newtown Social Services office. She is also a member of the Newtown Donation Committee and Newtown Prevention Council. Ann has lived in Newtown for over 20 years and raised her two sons through our educational system.
I know, first hand, that Ann has the knowledge and desire to sustain our community. We all have the responsibility to help each other as we help ourselves continue in this positive change.
Please support Ann LoBosco Benore for town clerk on November 5 and remember to cast your vote!
Farm Field Ridge Road, Sandy Hook October 28, 2013
To the Editor:
I hope you will join me in voting for Kathy Hamilton (aka Fetchick) for the Board of Education. Being a contributing member of the Board of Education means volunteering many hours during the day and in the evenings. It is not a position to be taken lightly. Kathy has the time, knowledge, and complete dedication to be an effective and contributing board member. Kathy Hamilton has my vote on November 5!
6 Buck Trail, Sandy Hook October 23, 2013
To the Editor:
It’s hard to find signs of a municipal election this fall. Reflecting the grateful support of an exhausted town, Pat Llodra and the entire Board of Selectmen are running unopposed. However, choices exist for other important elected positions — town clerk, the Board of Education, and Legislative Council. Eric Paradis, candidate for the council from District 2, is one of those.
In his day job as coordinator of nine different special education services, Eric has demonstrated important skills in bringing people together who think differently. As Newtown faces the challenges of how to deal with declining school enrollment and increasing taxes, I’m confident that Eric will work with all elected officials to create pragmatic solutions to difficult and potentially divisive issues. In Eric’s previous service to the town as a member of one of the Board of Education’s Strategic Planning Committees and the 2010 Charter Revision Commission, he worked collaboratively to generate thoughtful, fact-based solutions to complicated issues.
Eric cares deeply about Newtown, wants to serve, and has the skills to do so with distinction. I support him without reservation.
Jan Lee Brookes
38 Hundred Acres Road, Newtown October 23, 2013
To the Editor:
I believe that voters would have been better served to have had the town clerk candidates included in last Tuesday’s candidate forum sponsored by The Bee. The race between Ann LoBosco Benore and Debbie Aurelia is the one where voters will get to choose someone who will influence directly how one of our town offices functions.
If voters had gotten to see and hear as well as read in The Bee what Ann LoBosco Benore has to say, they would find her experience, her skills, and her personality perfectly suited for the role of town clerk. Ann has already served in the office and has been the borough clerk for the Borough of Newtown since 2010. She has exceptional computer skills and will modernize the town clerk’s office routines. She pays great attention to detail which will ensure that our records will be accurate and up-to-date. Ann has shown care and compassion for the people she supports in her current work in Newtown’s Social Services Department.
The Newtown Bee is the source for most people’s information about our candidates for local office. This is why I’m disappointed that Tuesday night’s candidate’s forum included only the candidates for the BOE. Due to the town Charter’s minority representation rules, Michelle Embree Ku and Laura Main, both Democrats, will find themselves serving on the board after the election. That race is really a contest between the three Republican candidates for two of the full-term positions open to them. Why would The Bee choose to spotlight only this race and not provide a forum for the town clerk election?
30 Still Hill Road, Sandy Hook October 24, 2013
To the Editor:
It is hard to know who to vote for these days. I am lucky to have at least one easy decision because I happen to know one of the candidates. I believe that Neil Chaudhary will make decisions that better Newtown. I also read other endorsements for Neil and concur with them that Neil is driven by facts — but he also has a heart. He cares for Newtown and volunteers his time with other community services (aside from his current position on the LC) such as the Newtown Community Emergency Response Team. On another note, he is sincerely a nice guy.
As a District 3 resident I am glad to have Neil as my representative and will vote for him in November. I encourage you to do the same.
193 Hattertown Road, Newtown October 24, 2013
To the Editor:
I am writing to endorse Bob Merola for reelection to the Legislative Council from the First District.
I have been a member of the Board of Finance for 12 years and have worked with many different council members. Bob is one of the few council members who has attended many finance board meetings to enhance his understanding of the financial situations the town encounters. Bob also attends numerous other town meetings. I believe this is a sign of someone who is interested and serious about fulfilling his responsibilities as a councilman.
Bob’s opinions and proposals are always developed with knowledge of the facts. Each elected or appointed town position comes with a steep learning curve and this gives most incumbents an added reason for reelection. Bob Merola should be reelected to the Legislative Council from the First District because of his dedication, knowledge, and experience. He truly cares about Newtown.
11 Chimney Swift Drive, Sandy Hook October 30, 2013
To the Editor:
My family and I moved to Newtown several years ago, and we really love the community — close to major centers, but with a rural feel; great restaurants, many community events, and good schools. I am looking forward to growing old and retiring here so I can continue to enjoy all Newtown has to offer. I make these plans for the future with full awareness that the decisions we make today will impact our future community. This is why I’m happy to be able to lend my support to Eric Paradis, candidate for the Newtown Legislative Council.
As a teacher in a neighboring community, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Eric, a special education instructor and administrator. I have seen how Eric has listened to different ideas and different constituencies and has thoughtfully worked to come to consensus with those parties. On our commutes to and from work, Eric and I would discuss issues occurring at school and in the world, and I would come out of those conversations with an expanded understanding of the issues due to the way Eric would explain his perspective. I have also seen his thoughts change on an issue as he listened to other perspectives.
These are precisely the qualities we need in our community at this time of transition. Eric is someone who listens and who is able to effectively communicate with others. This is why I’m encouraging residents to vote on November 5 for Eric Paradis.
65 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Sandy Hook October 25, 2013
To the Editor:
Time. Dedication. Commitment. These are three qualities that come to mind when I think of what is needed in a Board of Education representative. These qualities are exemplified in candidate Michelle Ku.
Time. A Board of Education representative gives a lot of their personal time to attending regularly scheduled meetings, special committee meetings, other town board meetings, visiting schools and supporting our schools from within and outside of our district. Michelle has already given her time by regularly attending Board of Education meetings, in addition to attending many Board of Finance and Board of Selectman meetings, so that she has an understanding of how the boards all work together. Michelle has also been an advocate for our schools by working with board members and parents to support the school budget.
Dedication. Michelle is a strong supporter of our schools. Michelle takes the time to research and learn about the topics that are discussed. She is dedicated to making our schools the best they can be.
Commitment. Michelle has shown her commitment already by working tirelessly to improve communication within our district and build support for our school initiatives. I don’t believe that you become committed to working hard for our schools just because you are elected to the board. This commitment to our school system needs to come before the election and in Michelle’s case this has already been shown by her dedication to understanding the needs of our schools and her attendance at meetings.
Michelle has these three qualities and many more that will enhance our Board of Education. She has my vote!
68 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook October 25, 2013
To the Editor:
Everyone please join me in reelecting Debbie A. Aurelia, our town clerk. We all know she takes great care for our historical records, but what wins me over is she is an animal lover. I have known Debbie for over ten years. She doesn’t have her own pets, but she has on many occasions watched my dog while I was out of town. Not many takers when you have a German shepherd; Kasey loves her!
I know she is not obligated to run a low-cost rabies clinic every year, but she does. Debbie knows how expensive it is to raise a pet and to offer this service with the help of Dr Vali from Mt Pleasant Animal Hospital is appreciated very much.
Reelect Debbie A. Aurelia your town clerk.
18 Pebble Road, Newtown October 29, 2013
To the Editor:
It is a pleasure to endorse Kathy Hamilton (Fetchick) for reelection on the Board of Education. I had the good fortune to meet Kathy when she was first considering running for office. She immediately impressed me with her sincerity regarding how she felt about Newtown. Kathy, having grown up in our beautiful town, understands first hand the escalating changes we have had in our educational system. This knowledge has served her well on the Board of Education, and when she served on the Legislative Council.
Kathy has brought an impressive resume that includes a solid body of work while serving as current secretary on the Board of Education, and previously as the Education Committee chairman while on the Legislative Council. Kathy has never been afraid to deal with the tough issues and voice her well-thought-out opinions on what is in the best interest for the entire town.
In conclusion I would like to say that Kathy balances her dedicated volunteerism with an impressive work-life balance as a mother and friend to Newtown.
8 Hattertown Road, Newtown October 27, 2013
To the Editor:
November 5 is fast approaching, and soon we will all be casting our votes for who we believe to be the best representatives to manage our town. When I cast my vote, I look for the candidate who exhibits honesty, integrity, ethics, experience, and a willingness to put the needs of the town first.
Ann LoBosco Benore exhibits all those qualifications and is highly dedicated to serving the residents of Newtown. Her hands-on experience includes not only years as an assistant town clerk and borough clerk, but more importantly experience performing town clerk tasks with a level of professionalism that goes beyond expectation. Ann is a Certified Town Clerk for the State of Connecticut, has trained the current assistant town clerks, is up to date on all current legislation, and has a complete understanding of the town’s Charter. In addition, Ann has the knowledge needed in computer and Internet technology to bring all the towns records up to date. Ann knows the town clerk position inside and out and has shown the necessary qualifications of being an outstanding leader in order to provide the best service in the town clerk’s office.
Ann has exhibited her love and sincere commitment for serving Newtown in both her professional and personal life. So many seniors and families in Newtown have benefited by her dedication and willingness to go above and beyond to help provide services for those in need. She continues to participate in a variety of community service activities and organizations over the years, including the Newtown Donation Coordination Team. As a resident of over 20 years, she has her finger on the pulse of Newtown raising both her boys, Charlie and Michael, here. Ann has shown her dedication to the people of Newtown time and time again utilizing her proven experience, intelligence, energy, and unmatchable ethics.
When it’s time to vote, I encourage you to vote for Ann LoBosco Benore for town clerk. Qualified, experienced, compassionate, professional, and effective management for the Town of Newtown.
3 Pomperaug Road, Sandy Hook October 28, 2013
To the Editor:
Tuesday, November 5, is election day. I want to share with you why Dan Wiedemann is the best choice in District 2 for Legislative Council. He is fiscally responsible — he will make sure money is not spent where it need not be spent. He very carefully scrutinizes both budgets and is not afraid to make changes where necessary. If you track his voting record, you will see he is not afraid to vote his conscience. There are many subcommittees on the Legislative Council; Dan is vice chair of the Education Committee and also serves on the Municipal Operations Committee.
Dan has always been involved in Newtown. When we moved here 26 years ago, he began by coaching various sports organizations. He believes that we need to provide safe outlets for all children to play and enjoy sports. Dan was active in leading youth groups at church when our children were younger and looks forward to the day he can coach his grandchildren.
He has sat on Legislative Council for the last three years. With the knowledge he has gained in that time, he is confident of being able to take a stand when necessary.
13 Clearview Drive, Sandy Hook October 28, 2013
To the Editor:
Kathy Hamilton’s unique experience, having served on both the Board of Education (BOE) and the Legislative Council (LC), qualifies her as a most valuable member of the BOE. While on the LC, Kathy served as the chairperson of the council’s Education Committee. As such, she interacted directly with the BOE during the budget process and made LC Education Committee recommendations to the full Legislative Council.
She is passionate, energetic, and exudes integrity. Her extensive research regarding any issue results in intelligent and knowledgeable discussion/dialog. She is responsive to constituents and colleagues. She seeks cooperation and collaboration in resolving problems.
I am voting for her and I strongly urge you to cast your ballot to reelect Kathy Hamilton to the BOE.
Debbie Leidlein, as chair of the Board of Education (BOE), has admirably led the Newtown school district through difficult recent times. She strives to work well with the superintendent, the Board of Finance, and the Legislative Council as evidenced by a more detailed education budget this past year. As a classroom teacher, she understands education requirements and articulates them well. Debbie is professional in her approach and realizes that in these difficult economic times, more cooperation and collaboration amongst and between the Board of Education, the Board of Finance, and the Legislative Council will enhance the budget process.
I support her reelection to the BOE and urge you to cast your ballot for Debbie Leidlein on November 5.
22 Ashford Lane, Newtown October 29, 2013
To the Editor:
I am proud to endorse Debbie A. Aurelia for reelection as Newtown’s town clerk.
For the past 8½ years she has dedicated herself to providing the best, most experienced service to our town.
She is a Certified Connecticut Town Clerk (CCTC) and a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC), and by year’s end she will also have earned the designation of Master Connecticut Town Clerk (MCTC) as well as Master Municipal Clerk (MMC).
These certifications are the result of many years of commitment to continuing her education and experience as our town clerk.
She volunteers a lot of her time to our community and is an active member of Newtown’s Citizen’s Emergency Response Team (CERT) as well as the Sandy Hook Volunteer Ladies Auxiliary.
Debbie A. Aurelia is clearly the most experienced choice for town clerk and as a bonus we have someone who is kind, trustworthy, and truly vested in our town.
Reelect Debbie A Aurelia on November 5.
3 Fir Tree Lane, Sandy Hook October 29, 2013
To the Editor:
I am writing to offer my enthusiastic full support and endorsement for Michelle Ku’s candidacy for a seat on the Board of Education.
Having worked directly with Michelle on the Middle Gate School PTA, I have seen firsthand her intelligence, level headedness, spirit of cooperation, and absolute commitment to our children.
She has been a consistent and tireless advocate for Newtown’s schools, showing a balanced communicative nature that is a necessity for the role she is seeking on the board. I am confident in her ability to keep an open mind while exploring new and innovative approaches that are fiscally responsible, while providing the best possible learning environment for all of our children.
Newtown could not ask for a more well-suited person for this position than Michelle. Her strong academic background and thoughtful nature will be a great asset as we work through the many tough decisions that are facing our town in the coming months. From the implementation of the Common Core Standards to the hiring of a new superintendent of schools, I know that Michelle will lead with courage and absolute integrity.
I hope you will join me in casting your vote for Michelle Ku for Board of Education on November 5.
6 Little Brook Lane, Newtown October 29, 2013
To the Editor:
I am endorsing Anne Benore for the office of town clerk.
I have known Anne for 12 years and have seen her work at the town clerk’s office and Social Services. She is highly organized, efficient, and always accessible. She is friendly, outgoing, and does much more than asked of her, all with a smile and willingness to work harder if it is necessary to get the job done. She has the experience and desire to do a fantastic job as Newtown’s town clerk.
I would urge everyone to get out and vote next Tuesday.
8 Spruce Drive, Sandy Hook October 29, 2013
To the Editor:
I will be voting for Debbie A. Aurelia our town clerk this Tuesday, November 5. Debbie always goes above and beyond her “mandated” duties.
Town hall is not required to be open the Saturday before our local referendum(s). The state doesn’t require it, but Debbie knows that it is difficult to get to town hall by 4:30 during the week and opens her office on a weekend to make sure we all get a chance to be involved. We are fortunate to have such a competent and dedicated town clerk.
Thank you Debbie for all your hard work. Four more years!
6 Old Gate Lane, Newtown October 29, 2013
To the Editor:
These past four years have been very challenging for Newtown; challenges that have tested us in ways unprecedented and unexpected. The economic downturn of 2008 that has barely eased, event after event of severe and damaging weather, and the horrific tragedy that was visited upon us in December of 2012, have left their mark on us in ways that persist throughout our community. It is in these tough times that one must turn to strong and effective leaders — leaders that know how to get the job done, who do not shy away from difficult issues, who are willing to engage those with differing perspectives to find common ground, who embrace new ways of thinking and doing if those changes will better serve the community, and, above all, leaders who are compassionate, caring, and wise.
Newtown has been served very well during these tough times. Our Board of Selectmen has implemented budgets over a five-year period that have increased a very modest 0.84 percent and we instituted a new Capital Improvement Plan process to ensure that both municipal and educational needs were represented and prioritized. Our Board of Finance had the courage to institute new policies that ensure Newtown would have greater financial strength. There is no doubt that these policies, faithfully implemented, have positioned Newtown to thrive and grow. Our Legislative Council took on difficult ordinance, Charter, and budget challenges — remaining focused throughout the long months of debate, and sometime discord, on outcomes which best serve the community. And our Board of Education representatives demonstrated a capacity to serve well and honorably under difficult circumstances, bringing forth more clarity and transparency in matters that deal with resources and decisionmaking.
I write this essay to encourage all voters to continue to support strong government — government that has been tried by circumstance and has proven itself to be effective, acting for the best interest of our community. You, the voters, have an opportunity to return to the Board of Finance, the Legislative Council, and the Board of Education folks who have served you so well these past years. The Republican incumbents on these boards, joined by new and capable candidates, have the skills, the knowledge, and the dispositions needed to help guide us through the challenges we face now — challenges that can be met and overcome only if we have decisionmakers that are courageous and smart. I am confident in my Republican colleagues. Their service has been exemplary and they hold the promise of a positive future for our community.
It is not just a slogan for the Republicans that we pledge to serve our community with special focus on four themes: a high quality of life for all residents; tax relief strategies that help to reduce the burden for property owners; excellence in K–12 education; and sound financial practices. These themes guide and inform our decisionmaking. We, your republican candidates, believe that these themes constitute what is right and best for Newtown.
First Selectman Pat Llodra
90 Riverside Road, Sandy Hook October 30, 2013
To the Editor:
Lisa Romano ran for state representative last year and lost by a very narrow margin. In the process many of you had the opportunity to meet her and speak with her briefly as she canvassed the town asking about the opinions and concerns of her potential constituents. Like me, many of you likely found her to be approachable, intelligent, independent-thinking, and engaged, even if you do not identify with her political party alignment.
In the over five years I’ve known Lisa Romano as a mom of similar-aged kids and as a friend, I’ve marveled at her energy and dedication to her family and community. I’ve had the opportunity for many in-depth conversations with her. Her background in journalism leads to valuable questions in the exploration of issues and careful analysis of the answers to them. She listens to the details and considers problems from multiple vantage points before approaching with possible solutions and, when she arrives at conclusions, she is confident in them and unafraid of criticism in taking her stand. I believe this is an approach too rarely seen in our political world these days and will serve to represent the best interests of all Newtowners if she is elected to a position on the Legislative Council to represent District 2 this coming Tuesday. She has my vote.
23 Bennetts Bridge Road, Sandy Hook October 30, 2013
To the Editor:
I am writing this letter to ask my fellow Newtown voters to support Michelle Embree Ku for the Board of Education. I believe that Michelle’s background and experience, as well as her enthusiasm for quality education. will bring a fresh perspective to our town’s Board of Education.
In working with Michelle at the Newtown Call Center and March for Change, I’ve found she is hardworking, open-minded, and has an ability to work cooperatively with others. She is a strong leader as well as a good listener. She relies on her research and analytical skills to come up with reasonable and intelligent approaches to problem solving. All are attributes which I believe are critical for someone serving on our Board of Education at this important time for our town and our children.
I believe that Michelle’s primary focus as a member of the board will be to determine how to provide the best education to all the children of Newtown, encouraging all of our students to learn and excel.
Michelle is a parent of three boys that attend Newtown Public Schools and a community volunteer both in our schools and our town. While I know she is reluctant to brag about her own achievements, Michelle holds a PhD in pathobiology from Brown University where she also served as a teaching assistant and adjunct lecturer. As an accomplished scientist and educator, she has seen firsthand how a great public education can expand opportunities for individuals while also driving an entire community’s success. I’m confident that Michelle will work to ensure that the very best educational opportunities are open for all of our students and that Newtown’s schools continue to be a source of pride for our community.
Please join me in voting for Michelle Embree Ku for the Board of Education on Tuesday, November 5.
13 Monitor Hill Road, Newtown October 30, 2013
To the Editor:
I am proud to write this letter of endorsement for Paul Lundquist who is running for a second term on the Legislative Council in District 1. Paul has proven his dedication to our town through his many years of service to us. For more than two years he served on the Legislative Council, showing courage and independent thinking as he stood alone, or with a small minority, for issues like funding education and maintaining the rural, neighborly character of Newtown. Paul chaired the Charter Revision Selection Committee and co-chaired the Education and Municipal Facilities Committee. By now we are all familiar with “The Way Things Are in Newtown,” a comprehensive nonpartisan survey of the residents of Newtown which Paul conducted among over 800 Newtown families. Paul also served on the Fairfield Hills Master Plan Review Committee and as Board of Education liaison to the Hawley School PTA’s executive committee.
Despite his record of dedication to Newtown, Paul remains low-key and humble about the tremendous skill set he offers. As his wife, however, I cannot let pass the opportunity to sing the praises of this wonderful man. What sets Paul apart are his personal qualities.
First and foremost, Paul is a good person. He is the kind of man you want not only as a leader, but as a friend. He is caring, trustworthy, loyal, and hardworking. He is a solid, devoted husband and father. Paul is intelligent, fair, open-minded, and genuinely concerned about the people of our town. Paul Lundquist is as honest and responsible a man as one could know. I know that he is passionate about Newtown, our home for 15 years. Please join me in supporting him in his candidacy for Legislative Council. Newtown needs a person as capable as he is and our town will only gain from Paul’s talents and experience.
Vote for Paul Lundquist, Legislative Council District 1.
148 Currituck Road, Newtown October 30, 2013
To the Editor:
During the ten years that I was first selectman, I had a very good working relationship with Republican elected officials. Most issues in Newtown are not partisan political problems and Democrats and Republicans acted accordingly to find nonpartisan solutions that voters of both parties as well as unaffiliated voters supported.
Both parties want good schools and municipal services provided in an efficient, cost-effective manner. There are members of both parties who want to spend more on schools, as well as members who want lower taxes.
The Republications were satisfied to maintain bare majorities on boards and commissions and even equal numbers on the Board of Finance. Recently that has been changing. In 2011, the Republicans successfully elected four members to the Board of Finance and took a 4 to 1 majority on the Planning & Zoning Commission rather than their traditional 3 to 2 majority.
Now, this year, their website and literature stress Republican accomplishments rather than Newtown successes achieved with bipartisan support and they want to have a 5 to 2 majority on the Board of Education, rather than the bare majority intended by the Charter Revision Commission when they recommended adding the seventh member.
Fortunately, the Democrats have two outstanding candidates for the Board of Education, Michelle Embree Ku and Laura Main. I hope that voters will join me in voting for them to uphold the spirit of the Charter Revision and help restore balance.
Voters can also restore some needed balance by electing Democratic candidates to the Legislative Council that has been dominated by Republications for 30 years, and by electing the very well qualified and competent Ann LoBosco Benore town clerk, which will end almost 50 years of Republican control of that office.
70 Main Street October 26, 2013