Thank you so much to all my Southington neighbors who voted and supported me seeking re-election to the Southington Board of Education. I am grateful to all who allowed me to place my sign in your yards, made calls on my behalf, wrote editorials, distributed flyers/emails, invited me into your homes and, especially, to all who took the time to vote in our local election. It is an honor and privilege to give back to Southington where my husband, Bill, and I raised our sons, Tony and Tom. I commit to work hard, listen to all voices and make informed decisions that actively support excellent education in a fiscally responsible manner. My platform of safety, technology, small class sizes and professional development will be my guiding principles. Together with a wonderful team of BOE colleagues and staff, I am confident Southington will continue to excel in student achievement and prepare our children for the 21st century.
I am overwhelmed with appreciation to the voters for the Election Day results. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever aspire to, nor did I ever think that I may be the recipient of, the most votes as a candidate for Town Council. From the very beginning, I have told everyone that I am different; that I am not a politician (although I must admit that Webster’s Dictionary would rebut that assertion); that I would remain true to my principles of seeking smaller government, lower taxes and less interference in the day-to-day affairs of our law-abiding citizens. I believe that I have remained true to those fundamental principles, even against the strong winds of adversity. It has never been about “me,” but rather, about good government. And, now, I also believe that the voters realize this.
I have been chastised, ridiculed and even punished as a result of my never-ending pursuit of these fundamental principles. It is not always easy to take the hard road to the right decision, but all too often it is the most rewarding. The awesome, breathtaking, fantastic, magnanimous, stupendous and wonderful reward for those efforts is being recognized by the voters. My overwhelming joy and sincere appreciation for their support has attained a level that I could never completely explain. It has been a pleasure to serve on the Wallingford Town Council, and I look forward to my next term. This is most especially true due to the team of individuals (on both sides of the aisle) that the voters have selected to work along with me to help run our town. I look forward to working with each and every one of them in the next term. Thank you for your votes of confidence, and for selecting this fantastic team. Thank You.
Craig Fishbein, Wallingford
I would like to publicly thank everyone who contributed to my successful campaign for Wallingford Town Council. I am humbled by the support and vote of confidence extended to me by this community. I appreciate all those who came out to vote, gave guidance and advice, put signs in their yards, wrote letters of support and helped spread the word of my mission. As a first time politician, it was a learning experience as to the extensive process that is required when running for public office. I am, however, not a novice to the work and dedication that is required for community service. I promise to listen attentively, work diligently and be your representative in our local government. I look forward to working with and learning from my fellow councilors to provide you, the Wallingford community, with the voice and responsibility you have entrusted in me.
Larry Russo Jr., Wallingford
I am appalled at society’s actions in this day. I had to bury my mother recently. At the meeting with the funeral director, someone was texting. At the meeting with the priest to prepare the Mass, someone’s phone rang. At the meeting with the man to design the gravestone, someone’s phone rang, and was answered. At the viewing in the funeral home, someone’s phone rang while the deacon was speaking of her. People were talking at the Mass.
I am absolutely ashamed at the actions of some people for the lack of respect shown. It is not the first time I have seen this, it is the way things are done now. When I go to an event, a meeting, dinner, movie or any type of contact with people, I show respect and manners by leaving the cell phone off or in the car. You are showing the people you are with that they are more important than a cell phone game or text.
Carolyn Rowan, New Britain
Regarding the article “Council leadership position likely to change” (Page C1, Record-Journal, Nov. 8):
I don’t believe that I, as chairman, “clashed” with Councilor Fishbein, as the article stated. I have, and still have, the deepest respect for Councilor Fishbein, his work ethics and his thoroughness in his presentations. In my opinion, the article conveys a different perception of this, which is fine. I feel it is necessary to publicly state my opinion of Councilor Fishbein to keep the record straight, from my point of view.
Bob Parisi, Wallingford
I enjoy Sunday’s R-J Perspective pages and both local columnists on the cover page. I disagree with Eric Cotton’s idea that the election results were not because of the “projects” underway. I opine that is the main reason why Manny Santos has been elected as Meriden’s mayor. You know, you don’t have to look too far to see what works well politically in the area. Just one town south of Meriden is Wallingford — a non-flashy, frugal-to-a-fault and sensible to a thinking population; and no matter how much you out-spend him, Mayor Dickinson is going to win.
Meriden spends big money: School renovations, to the extent we’ve committed, and an exorbitant cost for a flood control plan that is going to bring a possible hazard to the center of town and will not, under certain weather conditions, avoid a flood or flood damage. I’m coming from some point of knowledge based on when I was a co-emergency operations director, an assistant fire chief and a merchant damaged twice by such flooding.
Times are miserable for many folks now, and many people are afraid of the future. The rich kids run Washington D. C. and they don’t care about anybody but themselves. This part is referred to by Cotton. Having mentioned that, I don’t see his logic that expensive local projects and taxpayer costs would not be on voters’ minds.
John Francis, Meriden
With the election behind us, I would like to thank all of the supporters who worked so hard over the past year. No one wants to engage in a contest and not finish first, but when you do engage in the effort you need to have multiple goals. To have a singular goal and then not reach it brings total disappointment.
My decision a year ago to engage in the effort to run for mayor of Wallingford was multifaceted. The effort paid out on most of the things we wished to accomplish. We wanted to more tightly draw together the local Democrats and unaffiliated supporters. For the most part, we were successful with this through the campaign. We gathered a huge base of people to work on the overall campaign. No recent local fundraising effort by a mayoral candidate has recorded the numbers of donators and dollars we raised. Those supporters put skin in the game on a level we haven’t seen before in money, time and effort. We wanted to engage the electorate and reverse the downward trend of voter participation for local elections.
With 25,100 voters registered and 11,152 cast for mayor (and this is not necessarily the total turnout numbers — those are still to come) we had a 44.4 percent turnout — and that is a marked increase from recent past elections. I have been saying “it’s your town: get informed and get involved” (adding “and vote” near election time) for the better part of a decade, well prior to making a decision to try to run for office. I made that a large part of my campaign, and I will continue to press that message going forward. We have our 13 leaders for the next two years; I wish them the very best for all of us.
Jason Zandri, Wallingford
On Aug. 9, 2011, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein and Veterans Affairs Commissioner Dr. Linda Schwartz advised retail stores to check registrations before allowing charitable organizations to solicit money outside stores (due to complaints received regarding collection of monies for veterans’ charities never received).
Connecticut law requires organizations to register with the Department of Consumer Protection prior to soliciting. Connecticut’s Legislature passed Public Act 12-195, An Act Concerning Fundraising by Veterans’ Organization. This act criminalizes the creation and maintenance of fake veterans’ charities that seek to defraud the donors. To find out if a charity is reputable, the first step is to see if the charity is listed with the Department of Consumer Protection at www.ct.gov/dcp. If the charity is not listed, you may contact DCP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also go to the Department of Consumer Protection’s website and you may verify a license by clicking on “look up a license,” and under “license type” select charity and enter all or part of the charity name.
Recently, I approached a solicitor outside a supermarket who was collecting for a veterans’ charity in Southbury. He was wearing apparel that indicated military affiliation which he readily stated he was not affiliated with any branch of the government at any time. I asked if the store manager knew he was there, and he stated “no.” The only documentation available was a small piece of paper with military logos and the name of his organization. A search of his organization revealed the domain name of the organization was for sale and there was no further information. Thereafter, the manager had him removed, but he had already collected a substantial amount of money.
Support veterans through legitimate charities. Don’t give money until it’s checked for legitimacy.
John J. Anzidei, Wallingford
The Sisters’ Project commends Wallingford’s Lyman Hall High School football team, cheerleading squad and band for their very generous support to our organization through their fundraising efforts. The Sisters’ Project is committed to raising funds to support cancer patients and their families in our community.
We were humbled by the presentation of a significant donation by the captains of the football team, cheerleading squad and drum majors. The young adults of this community proved they’re “paying it forward” philosophy and know that this donation has made a major impact on the families battling with cancer in our area. Keep up the good work; we are so proud of the Lyman Hall family!
Denise Baker, Wallingford
The results of Meriden’s election mean that outgoing Mayor Mike Rohde will not be in office when Harbor Brook is finally exposed to the sunshine and a park and flood storage landscape replaces the former downtown Meriden Hub. But Mayor Rohde deserves thanks for doggedly planning and piecing together the funding for this project so it could finally happen. Improvements to Meriden’s Harbor Brook and the replacement of asphalt with green vegetation will send cleaner water to the Quinnipiac River and benefit everyone downstream, including us in Wallingford. I hope that Mayor-elect Manny Santos will continue this important project which will improve water quality and benefit restoration of the whole river system.
Mary Mushinsky, Wallingford
The Southington Drive-In Committee’s second annual Halloween Festival was beyond successful, with more than 400 carloads and 1,200 walk-ins enjoying all of the hauntingly awesome family activities. For one carload admission price, festival-goers were treated to haunted hayrides, pony rides, touch-a-truck, trunk or treating, apple launching, pumpkin painting, face painting and apple pie-eating contests. Not to mention a double-feature movie showing once the sun set.
And just like the drive-in is operated during the summer season, the Halloween Festival was operated by volunteers. A sincere thank-you to STEPS and its many volunteers, especially STEPS Youth Prevention Coordinator Kelly Leppard and STEPS Board member Heather Bartley. Our hayride was haunted as a result of the many local students who volunteer with the STEPS organization. A special thank-you to STEPS student volunteers Trever Rogers and Becca Reinhard. Touch a truck was made possible because of Company 2 volunteer firefighters, the Southington Police Department and local businesses. Pumpkin painting was supported by Southington Community Cultural Arts Board member Diann Thomson and Ruth Riccio. Thanks to the clown and area businesses. A hearty thanks to a local farm and Mark Ramsay who made so many of the activities possible. Finally, thank you to the Fasulo, Miceli, Newman and Riccio families and projectionist Vinny Morelli.
A community is perhaps best judged by its spirit of volunteerism and generosity. Southington has a wealth of both and the drive-in truly represents that altruistic and cooperative spirit. Members of the Southington Drive-In Committee are often queried about the fact that the drive-in is operated solely by volunteers; in fact, the non-profit business plan that the drive-in adheres to is quickly becoming a model for state-wide community ventures.
Dawn A. Miceli, Southington
I would like to thank the people of Cheshire for the opportunity to serve on the Town Council. I was humbled by the trust that you placed in me and I am proud of what we accomplished together. I would like to thank the town staff, everyone that I served with and especially Michael Milone for the help, support and counsel they gave me over the years. Cheshire is truly blessed to have these outstanding leaders who work hard and always have the town’s best at heart.
I would also like to wish the next Town Council good luck as it starts the new term and take on the challenges that lie ahead. I am sure they will work together to find solutions that will make our community stronger. Again, thank you for the opportunity, I hope that I gave as much to community as I have received. It was an enriching experience that I will always treasure. Cheshire is a great community I am proud to have been a small part of it.
Michael Ecke, Cheshire
Best of the best
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the citizens of Wallingford for their support in Tuesday’s municipal election. I am deeply touched by number of votes I received and your warm smiles outside the polling places. I would like to congratulate all the incumbents on their re-election and welcome newcomers Larry Russo Jr. and Christine Mansfield to the Town Council. I welcome back my partner Vin Testa and salute council candidates Debbie Reynolds, Dana Camp, Nick Economopoulas and Ray Ruys for fighting the good fight. I thank Chairman Vincent Avallone and the Democratic Town Committee for their nomination and support throughout the 2013 election season.
My re-election committee is, without a doubt, the best of the best. My team includes Chairman Bill Fritz, Treasurer Kevin Goodrich, Iris Papale, John Rosen, Dick Rizzo, Tom McKeon, Ed Loughlan, Jim and Bette Torre, Ed and Maureen McCarver, Kaitlyn Romania, Nick and Debbie Kern, Sam Carmody and State Representative Mary Fritz. Your many years of political experience have been my guiding light throughout the last three election cycles. Special thanks to my buddy Jim Zandri and his business team. Finally, I would like to thank my best friend and wife Suzanne, my daughter Riley and my in-laws Bob and Ann DeMarchi for their love and support throughout this campaign.
I have always stated Wallingford is a town of values and traditions. My aim the next two years is keep it that way. I will continue to support a stable tax base, challenging school system and outstanding police, fire and 911 emergency services. I promise to work collectively with my council colleagues and make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the town and its residents, because you deserve nothing less!