LETTERS: Candidate endorsements from our readers

Time for change


Wallingford used to be a go-to town for people looking to relocate.  But really what does Wallingford have to offer?  An inadequate recreation center for the size of our town; the Vietnam soccer and baseball fields are soggy, mosquito breeding grounds; unmowed little league fields at Harrison and Doolittle; antiquated town government; schools in need of renovation; and dog park, animal shelter, community pool issues. Other towns have impressive facilities, but Wallingford is still living in the 1980’s. It’s time for a change.  It’s way past time. Vote for Riley O’Connell for mayor and help bring Wallingford into the 21st century.

Susan Economopoulos, Wallingford

Support Democrats


Screaming into a microphone during Meriden City Council public comment sessions, spewing anger and baseless accusations, doesn’t qualify anyone for public office. In fact, voters should reject that person because we already know what we would be getting if such an individual were elected. Please support the level-headed, highly competent Democratic candidates for council at-large, Bruce Fontanella and Chad Cardillo. Mr. Fontanella is a respected attorney with a 37-year practice in Meriden. Mr. Cardillo is a dedicated history teacher at Maloney High School. Please also vote for local area candidates Yvette Cortez, Larue Graham, Vanessa Hutchins and Ken Morgan.

Craig Hanson, Meriden

Lasting impact


I am a lifelong library patron who grew up in Southington and am now raising children here. I believe public libraries are barometers for community investment and involvement. Our library— while full of heart — needs a new building to accommodate the community needs that have been growing and shifting for decades. Our current building has been insufficient for years. For those arguing against the price or doubting the need, I strongly recommend watching the library's online presentation to dispel misconceptions and misinformation. Voting “yes” not only benefits the community now, but will have a lasting impact for generations to come.

Julie Barnofski Portfolio, Southington

We can collaborate


The country is more divided than ever. We hear cries for unity from both parties, but in reality it has become impossible as people on both ends of the political spectrum have become entrenched.

The opposite of division is not unity; it is collaboration. We can collaborate. We can work together towards a common goal. It is my belief that both parties’ candidates mean well, but we need to remind ourselves of our objective: a vibrant and thriving community.

My experience isn’t just building structures, it’s building teams. Building consensus.

In November vote for Bruce Conroy for Town Council.

Bruce Conroy, Wallingford

Source of pride


My nephew, Charlie Johnson, is a source of great pride to me. He has grown into an achieving professional and a wonderful family man. He is now running to serve on the Meriden Board of Education.

Even though I’m a senior citizen, I care about our schools. I want every child to get the best possible education. It’s in my self-interest too; property values depend upon the quality of our schools.

That’s why I’m voting for Charlie Johnson and his fellow Democratic candidates for school board. They are the ones committed to the wise, necessary investments in education.

Dennis Johnson, Meriden

No specifics


After the catastrophic embarrassment two years ago, the Democrats should vet their mayoral candidate better. Riley O’Connell had the perfect opportunity to tell the voters about his platform, but instead chose to waste the space rebutting Steve Knight’s editorial. O’Connell’s web page lists issues, but no specifics. For example, he mentions “technology,” but has zero detail. Another issue is not being able to pay bills online, but on the Wallingford web site there is a link to pay your bills online! Does this guy do any research? O’Connell should run for town council first to learn how municipal government works.

Chris Lucht, Wallingford

A chance


I remember when Mayor Dickinson first ran. I met him at a gathering held by a neighbor. He was a young candidate, without political savvy, in fact, no political background at all. He was a lawyer who dabbled in real estate.

Name recognition alone got him elected.

We have an opposing candidate, though young and not a “seasoned” politician, he has more political background and experience than Mayor Dickinson had at his first candidacy.

Give Riley O’Connell a chance, like you gave mayor Dickinson as an “inexperienced candidate.”

You might be surprised what he might accomplish.

J.R. Valenti, Wallingford

Vote Hutchins


I am writing this letter in support of Vanessa Dill Hutchins. I have been lucky to serve with her on the Human Rights Advisory Board. She is community orientated and would be a big asset to our city as a City Councilor.   She would bring her compassion and integrity to the council.  A Vote for Vanessa would be a big win for her area  and the city .  I encourage residents in Area 3 to vote for Vanessa 

Susan Niemczyk, Meriden

Strong leadership


Being in office the amount of time Mayor Dickinson has been, no doubt there are some decisions even his most ardent supporters may disagree with while I suspect his most ardent critics would disagree with almost all his decisions. However, only a fool would question his character or his integrity. Mayor Dickinson has demonstrated strong leadership during his time in office, especially during the ongoing pandemic under very difficult conditions, which has allowed Wallingford to continue to prosper. Given that, promoting someone from Single A to the Major Leagues is fraught with danger and a risk not worth considering.

Jim Seichter, Wallingford



In Meriden’s upcoming election, there are qualified candidates from both parties. Some give positive messages, some, not so much. With similarities between the candidates, I look for stances on national issues, as that surely impacts us as well. Have they promoted what’s accurately called the big lie? How about who’s responsible for January 6? Shouting down others at public forums with specious claims of tyranny? It comes down to principles, to judgment, even truth. Qualified and eager to serve, yet there are differences that should be contemplated and that should reflect your own principles.

Charles Chapman, Southington

Vote Ouellet


I heard of shoppers being afraid of confronting shoplifters. I recount being solicited for money in a dark parking lot while leaving a store here in Meriden. Fearing for my safety, I said no. It’s time to vote for Republicans like Ray Ouellet for City Council.  Ray Ouellet, born and raised in Meriden, and experienced as a Meriden police officer for 25 years. He is a father of two children and two grandchildren. Active in Meriden organizations, like the Police Benevolent Association. He wants public safety, believes in giving Meriden back, common sense. Ray Ouellet has my vote.

Jim Farrell, Meriden 

Vote O’Connell


As a disabled senior and longtime resident, I’m excited to vote Riley O’Connell as Wallingford mayor. He’ll ensure air conditioning for the animal shelter where dogs and cats suffer brutal negligence by the incumbent. He’ll save our pool! It’s been a joy coming to know Riley, a personable, successful DC Dept. of Justice veteran. He’s placed a focus on the less privileged and will ensure the advancement especially of we seniors, disabled, kids and our Spanish-speaking population. Vote Democratic Nov. 2, 2021!

Steve Alexander, Wallingford

Vote Cariati


Elain Cariati is my choice for Mayor of Meriden! Elain has a great head on her shoulders and takes nothing for granted. She's bright and as a business woman, Elain does the research before making decisions. Elain’s conservative by nature and supports our Police and all first responders. She’s frugal and will direct the City accordingly. Time to change for honest leadership. Vote for Elain Cariati.

Angelena Bazinet, Meriden

Support the library


I'm writing in support of the referendum for a new library. The SPL has been a valued resource for me throughout my 30 years as a Southington resident —in my work as an editor, as a parent, and as a lifelong learner. I appreciate the access to reference materials, classes, speakers, and of course, the countless books I've borrowed over the years. The services and programs of the SPL, and the people who provide them, are first rate. They deserve a decent building worthy of them. I encourage votes to say YES on November 2.

Cathy Torrisi, Southington

Vote for Cortez


I urge residents and voters of Meriden's Council District Number 1 to cast their votes for Yvette Cortez in the election early in November. Articles in the Record-Journal show that she is a person who cares about social justice and will work toward that goal. This, to me, is the most important issue for the future of this city. Join me, please, in voting for Ms. Cortez.

Allan Church, Meriden



I am proud to be running with an incredible group of people for the Meriden Board of Education. I am flattered that we have been called the “Dream Team” to serve our school kids. The Democratic slate for school board this year consists of incumbents Sheri Amechi and Steve O’Donnell, joined by newcomers Nickimmy Hayes, Charlie Johnson and me, Eni Lopez-Riddle.

While some of us are new to running, we all have been passionate advocates for Meriden schools and our students. We are also committed to the parents and their essential role in their children’s education. Thank you for your support.

Enileika Lopez-Riddle, Meriden



People are angry and rightly so. Most of the factories with good-paying jobs have closed. We have seen our standard of living stagnate (except for the very rich, whose wealth continues to grow). We face controversies about the pandemic response, racial justice and climate change. The Republican strategy is to inflame that anger and sow division. But they fail to offer credible solutions.

In contrast, Meriden Democrats are committed to improving the lives of struggling families. They are rebuilding our city and bringing Meriden back. That’s why we should vote for the Democratic ticket in November.

Bianca Ferguson, Meriden

Worthy of your vote


Meriden’s Democratic candidates for mayor, City Council and Board of Education offer voters the best choices. Mayor Scarpati has been a tireless champion for our city and has earned another term. City Councilors Cardillo, Fontanella, Graham and Cortez have each brought life experiences to the council and should be re-elected. Candidates Ken Morgan and Vanessa Hutchins bring fresh perspectives and are worthy of your vote. BOE members O’Donnell and Amechi are proven advocates for our children and candidates Charles Johnson, Eni Lopez-Riddle and Nickimmy Hayes will be great additions to the board. Please join in me in supporting these great candidates!

Michael D. Quinn, Meriden

Vote Zaborowski


Dan Zaborowski is my husband and he is a retired and a  veteran. Living in Meriden over 70 years he sees the many things that need to be addressed such as increase  to police, fire, and education without a tax increase. Economic growth a MUST. Infrastructure, water and sewer and roads and other upgrades. A new home for our seniors.  He has no reason to recuse himself from  any voting on any agenda items that is presented to the council. Revaluation is here and you do know that will be a property tax increase. Vote with your wallet. Vote Dan Zaborowski.

Donna Zaborowski, Meriden



The Biden Administration needs to act to protect wolves in the Northern Rockies before it's too late. In Idaho and Montana, hunters and trappers could kill as many as 90% of the gray wolves. This is unacceptable. It took our country decades to recover this species, that is both ecologically and economically beneficial.

Montana and Idaho cannot be permitted to destroy this conservation success. The former Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under President Obama published an oped in the Washington Post calling on the Administration to issue emergency protections for gray wolves. In the oped, Dan Ashe detailed the authority that Secretary Haaland has to do so and provided ample reasons for this action. Biden and Haaland must act. The best solution is for them to protect this species under the Endangered Species Act immediately — without a year-long delay.

Please join me in writing to the Department of Interior at DOI.gov and ask that they finally act to protect wolves in the Northern Rockies before it is too late.

Kimberly Bouchard-Shapiro, Durham 



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