NORTH HAVEN — With Election Day approaching, this voter guide profiles candidates running for town office. A previous guide introduced candidates for Board of Selectman, and this guide features candidates for Board of Education and several municipal offices. Contact the Registrar of Voters for information on polling places.
The Republican and Democratic town committees, the office of the town clerk and the office of the registrar provided the information.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
The nine members of the Board of Education members are elected to six-year terms. The Board of Education maintains a five-to-four ratio. Once there are five members of one party elected to the board, the minority party must fill the remaining four seats.
Members Jennifer Caldwell (D) and Matthew Kerzner (R) are not seeking re-election. Incumbent Goldie Adele (R) is running to maintain his seat. There are two Republicans and two Democrats running for three seats. Voters can vote for any two candidates. The top three candidates win, while maintaining the five-to-four ratio.
Adele is a member of the North Haven Middle School Building Committee. He’s the director of the Disability Resource Center at Southern Connecticut State University. He’s also a former chair of the National Bar Association’s Legislative Division and former president of LBLA.
Kari Swanson (D) works as a technical services librarian at Southern Connecticut State University’s Hilton C. Buley Library, where her primary responsibilities include managing the library’s serials subscriptions and related $700,000 budget. Prior to her position at Southern, Swanson spent 13 years working in the Yale University Library system. She serves as the president of the New England Technical Services Librarians section of the New England Library Association.
Joseph Solimene (R) is an attorney and on the board of directors of the Quinnipiack Valley Health District and North Haven Education Foundation. He is also seeking election to the Planning and Zoning Commission Alternates.
Amanda Gabriele (D) works as a subject matter expert on IT projects and implementations for a Fortune 500 company. Formerly, she was vice president at a New England regional bank, a board member of a nonprofit dedicated to building EdTech opportunities in Africa and owner of her own marketing and design firm in Philadelphia.
TAX COLLECTOR/TOWN CLERK
The tax collector/town clerk is elected to a four-year term. The town clerk maintains and provides copies of property and other records, issues licenses and permits and, with the Registrar of Voters, prepares and supervises elections. The tax collector collects real estate, personal property and motor vehicle taxes and sewer assessment fees.
J. Stacey Yarbrough (R) is the incumbent candidate, serving since 2009. A licensed attorney in the Connecticut Superior Court and U.S. District Court, Yarbrough practiced as a civil trial/litigation associate from 2001 to 2009. She’s a member of the Friends of the North Haven Library and North Haven Historical Society, and is a volunteer with Clintonville Elementary School.
Kathy Spinato-Grant (D) currently serves on the Board of Assessment Appeals. She is co-vice chair for the North Haven Democratic Town Committee, and is treasurer for the League of Women Voters Hamden/North Haven. She is secretary for CT Transit New Haven Claims Division.
The treasurer is elected to a four-year term and is responsible for receiving and disbursing all town funds.
Laurie-Jean Hannon (R) is the incumbent candidate, serving since 2009. She’s vice-president of Sports and Competition at Special Olympics Connecticut, and locally a past chairman of the Community Services Commission, member of Friends of the North Haven Library and member of the board of directors and past president of Arc of New Haven.
Stephen Gifford (D), a corporate manager and combat veteran, serves on the North Haven Economic Development Commission and is a member of the North Haven Rotary. Gifford is a member of American Legion Post 76 and is treasurer of the North Haven Democratic Town Committee.
BOARD OF FINANCE
The Board of Finance members are elected to a four-year term. The board oversees the town budget.
James Lianos (R) is an incumbent candidate, serving on the board since 2009. The Navy veteran is the owner of the Tick Tock Clock Shop. He’s also a former member of the open space committee and new fire house committee.
Danielle Morfi (D) a former advertising executive who develops national marketing content and material for the family community site, Hulafrog. For more than a decade, Morfi dedicated her career to the development and execution of national and international strategic marketing plans. She’s managed multi-million dollar budgets and projects for clients within the life sciences, aerospace and defense, insurance, healthcare and security software industries.
Dyann Vissicchio (R) is an incumbent candidate, serving on the board since 2009. She’s a supervisor, of IT Finance at Sikorsky Aircraft, and has worked a senior financial analyst, system analyst, relationship manager and project manager at Bayer Heathcare. Locally, she’s a member of new middle school committee.
Michael T. Hallahan (D) is an incumbent candidate, serving as board secretary for 12 years. He’s a past president of the Rotary Club of North Haven; Democratic Town Committee Member; UConn Alumni Association; North Haven Education Foundation Contributor; Friends of North Haven Library Supporter and Peter’s Rock Association Supporter.
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
Planning and Zoning Commission members are elected to a four-year term. The commission has five members and three alternates, responsible for regulating land use, approving land development and amending zoning regulations.
Vern E. Carlson (R) is an incumbent candidate, serving as commission chairman. He’s a member the Open Space Committee and former member of South Central Regional Planning Commission. He’s the owner of Carlson and Son Hardwood Flooring.
Theresa Ranciato-Viele (D) is an incumbent candidate and town meeting moderator. She’s also former vice chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals and former chairman of the Blight Commission. She owns GIRLTOWER, a zoning and wireless consulting company and co-owns Techmate, Blue Lotus, a disaster preparedness and recovery firm.
There are two candidates running for a two-year term to fill a vacancy.
E. Richard Wilson (R) is a former member of Parks and Recreation Commission, Board of Ethics and Inland Wetland Commission. He’s president of Wilson Furniture and Upholstery, and serves as chair of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce’s networking committee.
Roderick Williams (D) moved to North Haven in 2008. He works as an assistant corporation counsel at the City of New Haven as a litigation attorney. Since February 2014, Williams has served as counsel for New Haven’s City Plan Department, City Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals. He has also defended appeals of land use decisions by the New Haven Boards and Commissions in Connecticut superior and appellate courts.
PLANNING AND ZONING ALTERNATES
Planning and Zoning Alternates are elected to a four-year term.
Ed Homa (D) is an incumbent candidate.
Lewis Borrelli (R) is a third-generation farmer and business man, and a member of the Farm Bureau. He served on Water Pollution Control Authority, and is a longstanding member of the North Haven Republican Town Committee.
Joseph Solimene (R) is an attorney and on the board of directors of the Quinnipiack Valley Health District and North Haven Education Foundation. He is also seeking election to the Board of Education.
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Zoning Board of Appeals members are elected to a four-year term. The commission has five members and three alternates, responsible for hearing applications on variances, exceptions and appeals of town zoning decisions.
Joseph P. Villano (D) is an incumbent candidate and the owner of J. Villano Sign Company in New Haven.
Caren Genovese (R) is an incumbent candidate, serving as board vice chairman. She’s former director of Parks and Recreation, and a graduate medical education consultant at Yale-New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital.
Robert F. Hannon (R) is an incumbent candidate, serving as board chairman. He’s the owner of Non-Tox Pest Management.
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS ALTERNATES
Zoning Board of Appeals Alternates are elected to a four-year term.
Andrew P. Gorry (R) is a current member of the board. He’s the CT Business New England regional sales manager.
Kenneth Quick (D) works at the technology firm Presidio, assisting companies with digital transformation using secure infrastructure in multi-cloud environments in the financial services, media entertainment and energy utility industries.
Carolyn A. Yaccarino (R) is a Yale-New Haven Health System supply chain analyst and treasurer of the North Haven Republican Town Committee.
Lori Mansur (D) also is running.
BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS
Zoning Board of Assessment Appeals members are elected to a four-year term.
Norman J. Juniewic Sr. (D) is an incumbent candidate, serving as board chairman.
Ralph Ricciardelli (R) is an incumbent candidate, serving as board secretary. He is a CPA and partner at Burzenski and Company, PC. He’s a member of the Connecticut Society of CPAs and treasurer of the North Haven Education Foundation.