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Letters: Readers write in support of candidates



The Democratic Party of Meriden has put forth an excellent slate of candidates for this year’s election and all are worthy of our votes, but I want to specially endorse Mike Rohde for city council. I have known Mike for over 12 years, and I can honestly say that he is dedicated to making Meriden a better place to live. He has served Meriden in numerous capacities, including Mayor, and is all about community engagement. I have always been impressed with his ability to get things done, and the vision he has for the city. Vote for Mike Rohde.

Mark Kosnoff, Meriden

Former educator


We endorse Michael Votto, a Democratic candidate for the Wallingford Board of Education.  As a former educator and longtime resident, we believe Michael has the qualifications, passion, and experience needed for the position he has held on the Board for the past 22 years. 

Michael’s record proves he possesses the knowledge necessary to make educationally sound decisions regarding Wallingford public schools. His priority lies in what is best for the town and its responsibility toward providing a solid education for its youngest citizens.

Joseph Gaetano, Patricia Gambardella, Wallingford



Riley O’Connell has exactly what Wallingford needs: a detailed plan to keep taxes low, increase grants, fix our failing infrastructure, bring our town into the 21st century, and most importantly an articulated vision for the future. Unfortunately, all his opponent brings is his “experience” in being silent and unremarkable for 14 years. Town Hall, historic train station, pool, and sidewalks crumbling, lack of grants, understaffing at Electric Division, antiquated technology? Not a peep. Yet continually supports mayoral tax increases. We need a bright, creative, energetic full-time mayor, not a full-time attorney who goes along to get along.

Ray Palermo, Wallingford 

 Effective leader 


I am pleased that Councilor Sam Carmody is seeking re-election. During his first term on the Town Council, Sam proved himself to be a sensible and effective leader. He works in a bipartisan way, voting for what he believes is best for Wallingford and its residents. 

Sam's intelligence, principles, and hard work shine through in his rational decision-making. His professional background, local involvement, and statewide connections benefit the Wallingford community. 

Sam has an unwavering commitment to our town. Wallingford is fortunate to have him in a leadership position. Please support my dear friend Sam for Council.

Elizabeth Verna, Wallingford 

Democratic values


I support Meriden’s Democratic candidates (including Mike Rohde, Chad Cardillo, and Kirsten Misner) and the rest of the Democratic party: local, state, and national. Democratic values embrace community and compassion, education and gun sense. But you, I, and America’s democracy are put at risk by agents of extremism, violence, and shrinking liberties; it’s easy to feel helpless in the face of shootings, war, and an egomaniacal indicted criminal running for president. Your one superpower, and mine, is the vote. For the sake of your children and grandchildren, your friends, yourself, and the planet, please: vote Democratic!

Lois Lake Church, Meriden

New low


For the last 2.5-years Riley O’Connell has been portraying himself as the one individual able to save Wallingford from imminent demise. Yet during this time he has made no meaningful contributions to our community.  He has been successful in embellishing his paper-thin resume and spouting misinformation as if it were fact. However, his greatest achievement has been to bring Wallingford politics to a new low with his disgraceful accusation that his opponent, and a respected Wallingford business, traded campaign contributions for a tax break.

As he becomes more desperate to become Wallingford’s mayor, who knows who his next targets are.

Noma Beaumont, Wallingford



Dan Zaborowski is "the Man who Can" and will better represent North Meriden District 2. Dan does his homework and shows up to give his straight-and-to-the-point suggestions, criticisms when warranted, and congratulations-for-a-job-well-done when deserved at council, committee and commission meetings each month. In the city's northend, Dan is a fixture at our monthly Neighborhood Association meetings, recognizing the diverse needs of our city's population and particularly our northend district's working class, seniors, children and teens and their families and area small business owners. Vote for Dan for better District 2 representation.

 Walt Micowski, Meriden 

Basic training 


Mr. O'Connell is serving in the Army Reserves and has done his basic training as a service member.  First step in the military Mr. O'Connell is basic training, first, Not a jump into being a company commander first in the military, basic training, learn, listen, perform and then, down the road go after your career. Basic training, and as we in the military call it after basic training, OJT ( On the Job Training ).  Vote for Vincent Cervoni, he has done his civilian basic training and OJT for mayor... 

Robert  Jacques Sr., 1SG Army Retired, Wallingford 

Smart choice


One primary job of government is to collect revenue and use it to support its people. A reasonable interpretation of conservatism is that governments should collect no more money than what is necessary.

Wallingford’s local government acts too frequently as a barrier to business. Additionally, population decline, driven by our town’s policies, hurts Wallingford’s businesses.

Riley O’Connell is the only smart choice for Wallingford. His opponent, a so-called “small government conservative,” voted against a bipartisan town budget and instead voted to raise taxes on Wallingford residents without a clear plan to effectively and efficiently use this money to improve our town.

Rebecca Hyland, Wallingford

Bipartisan leader 


Riley O’Connell is a reasonable, bipartisan leader. He publicly supported a bipartisan alternative budget that had backing from half of the Republicans on the Town Council. It failed to override the mayor's veto by one vote. Riley's opponent voted against this alternative budget. If it had passed, Wallingford residents would have enjoyed a tax break. In an already inflationary environment, they suffered a tax increase.

Irene Kowerko, Wallingford

Relationship remains


I strongly recommend Michael Votto for re-election to the BOE. I was a student of Mr. Votto nearly 28 years ago and while my classroom experience with him has long past, my relationship remains today. He was hands down my “favorite” teacher which speaks volumes since history was definitely not my favorite subject. 

It was his passion that inspired and interested so many students and his values that connect us long after. Mr. Votto has remained someone that I respect and appreciate. Children and faculty would be lucky to have such an influential and passionate professional dedicated to leading them. 

Daniel Russo, Dix Hills, NY 

Grant writer 


Certain people keep complaining that Wallingford needs a grant writer. Truth is, Wallingford has a grant writer, me, and has continuously had one for almost 40 years. Town of Wallingford departments have gotten millions of dollars in numerous grants and reimbursements over the years, yet these same people refuse to accept the truth, and refuse to call or email (Yes, ALL Town departments have email) my office to find out the truth. People, please stop believing the lies spread by people who refuse to check the facts or acknowledge truth. Stop saying that I don't exist. Stop lying.

 Susan Schott, grant technician,
Town of Wallingford



I am writing to endorse Michael Votto for another term on the Wallingford Board of Education.  Mike has proven over that last two decades his interest in the students of our town through thoughtful decision making and speaking out on the behalf of all students. These decisions are based on his many years of experience in education. He is always prepared to discuss current issues facing the board with a keen interest in curriculum and policy. Our children continuously benefit from his dedication and knowledge in all he contributes to the Board of Education.

Gina DeFilio, Wallingford 



My vote for Meriden City Councilor for Area 3 is clear: Krystle Blake. She understands all aspects of our city and knows how to advocate for what we need. I have seen for myself the work she has done and how dedicated she is to youth services and public safety. She has made it her life’s work to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community. She is the type of person we need to keep Meriden moving in the right direction. I am excited to vote for Krystle Blake for City Council on Nov. 7th.

Susan Lewis, Meriden

Real progress


Throughout history and today, at the U.S. Capitol and in Meriden City Hall, Democrats forged initiatives to better our lives. Republicans stood in the way. Nationally, we have Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage, and more recently, an effective pandemic response and the America Rescue Plan, because Democrats overcame Republican obstruction.

Here in Meriden, Democrats accomplished renovated high schools, a glorious new Green, a transit center, a state-of-the-art library, flood control, new economic and residential development, and perhaps most importantly, offer forward-looking plans. Republican politicians offer blind nay-saying. Vote Democrat for real progress.

Madeline Gallagher, Meriden

Outstanding ability


I am writing this letter to wholeheartedly endorse Kirsten Misner for City Council. She is a resourceful, professional leader. She is an individual with integrity and trustworthiness. Anyone who meets her is immediately struck by her outstanding ability to listen as well as her genuine concern for others. Kirsten is a strong proponent of working across party lines for the betterment of all. Change is long overdue in Area 4. We need someone who will attend meetings and will do their homework to make a positive, lasting difference in our community.  Vote Misner, Democrat for City Council, Area 4.

Catherine R. Battista, Meriden

Active listener


I’m  writing in support of Chad Cardillo for City Council. Knowing Chad personally and professionally, I know he will go above and beyond for the betterment of our citizens and the growth of our city.  

Chad  has impeccable work ethic, taking initiative on projects both big and small. While he is an accomplished leader, he also backs up his goals with action, willing to do the tedious tasks to ensure success. He also knows teamwork is often a more productive means of achievement. He is respectful, open-minded and an active listener. With Chad, you know your voice will be heard. 

Kate DuBois, Meriden

Exciting future


Meriden boasts a glorious history, a vibrant present, and an exciting future. Democratic officials are charting this course through positive vision, skillful planning, and roll-up-your-sleeves hard work. Republican leaders offer instead negativity and obstruction. They want to turn back the clock, which is impossible and not a plan to move forward.

A Meriden Republican candidate had described Democrats as “Marxist.” Republican politicians are Trump wannabees, choosing name-calling over thoughtful debate. Their worldview is paranoid: Democrats are socialists; vaccinations are a plot to harm us; climate change is a hoax to control us. We must reject this dangerous insanity. Vote Democrat!

Jeffrey Freiser, Meriden

Important position


As a title searcher, I’ve used the Meriden City Clerk's office on almost a daily basis since 1977.  One of the most critical aspects of service by the clerk's office is continuity. This important position is not one that should be turned over every few years. Denise Grandy, our current city clerk, is both knowledgeable and personable, efficient and accurate, has all her costly trainings and certifications already in hand, and has a great staff besides!  Please vote to re-elect Denise Grandy as Meriden's City Clerk on November 7.

Laura Benarro Uhrig, Meriden

Solid records


So many people feel cynical about politics. Fortunately, this year’s Democratic candidates inspire hope and confidence. They are responsible, forward-looking, problem-solvers. We cannot support politicians who offer only anger and negativity.

The Democratic ticket includes public officials with solid records of accomplishment: Kevin Scarpati, Mike Cardona, Mike Rohde, Chad Cardillo, Sonya Jelks, and Krystle Blake. They will be joined by energetic newcomers: Joe Scaramuzzo, Kirsten Misner, Nickimmy Hayes, Diadette Hernandez, Eni Lopez-Riddle, and Maria Scarlett.

If you need an antidote to cynicism, these candidates will deliver competence, strength of character, work ethic, and plain old common sense.

Diane Kubeck, Meriden

Slinging mud 


Riley O’Connell knows nothing about being mayor, but he’s become an expert in slinging mud. In August, he mischaracterized an event held by Vinny Cervoni’s campaign in an attempt to cause outrage. (https://www.instagram.com/p/CwDVjfYsyiY/). Now he has sent an email to supporters alleging various improprieties by Vinny, including doing “favors” for campaign contributions. Anyone who knows Vinny knows those allegations are false. Wallingford deserves better than someone who resorts to such tactics. Vinny Cervoni has served Wallingford with honor, integrity and dedication for over a dozen years. With those qualities, extensive experience and sound policies, he’s the mayor Wallingford needs.

Alexandria Johnson, Wallingford

Seeking your vote


My name is Michael Votto, an incumbent of the Wallingford Board of Education. I am seeking your vote to continue my 22-year tenure on the Board of Education. I have used my 50 years as an educator to make important decisions affecting all children in our district. I have held all leadership roles of the Board and have been part of the many committees such as policy, facilities, school calendar, teacher evaluation, negotiator for the nine unions of the Board, etc.

I have made it my objective to closely follow the achievement of our students with their educational growth. The Board must make an effort to work in collaboration with families in order for our children to progress in all areas academically and socially.

The Board will continue to review throughout the year individual schools' improvement plans that address reading and math scores. While we have seen growth in scores, the Board needs to continue its efforts in determining why there is a disconnect between the growth recognized and the actual scores on the standardized tests. I feel a committee of the Board, Central Office, and teachers needs to be created as a beginning in investigating present instructional strategies and techniques and their alignment with state standards. I am a keen proponent of appropriate professional development to assist our professionals with various teaching strategies and methodologies but also with identifying and finding productive solutions for all the social issues that arise within our student population.

I am especially interested in overseeing all new and revised curriculum, teacher and administration evaluation, district climate, updating our strategic plan and continue to advocate for our children with special needs and their parents.

I look forward to continuing my commitment to the children of Wallingford and hope for your vote on November 7th.

Michael Votto, Wallingford


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