I have been a resident of Woodbridge for the past 38 years, moving here from Florida for a job opportunity. My four children attended the Woodbridge schools, a prime reason for choosing this town. My wife, Felicia, a Registered Nurse, is now a Systems Educator at Yale New Haven Hospital.
I am a product of the public school system, attending Stuyvesant HS, Brooklyn College, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center. I began post graduate training in Surgery but switched to Anesthesiology when I realized I would rather prevent pain than inflict it.
After training, I served as a Naval Medical Officer during the Vietnam Conflict, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. I moved to Connecticut to join the faculty at the Memorial Unit of Yale New Haven Hospital, eventually becoming Chief of Anesthesia there. There I created policies, supervised physicians and nurse anesthetists, interacted with hospital management and achieved the goals of the hospital while valuing the needs of my staff.
Moving to Woodbridge in 1984, I became involved in the community, coaching tee ball, soccer, Little League, volunteering as Assistant Scoutmaster of TROOP 907, working with Habitat for Humanity and participated in a complete rehabilitation project for a newly widowed Woodbridge household, sponsored by OLOA. I supervised and participated in two Eagle Scout projects at the Woodbridge Animal Shelter, a Hurricane Sandy Clean Up Project, and several Blue Trail restoration and cleanups. I served on the Board of Selectmen from 2017 to 2019.
My interests include sailing, golf, tennis, gardening, fishing, woodworking, playing the piano, and, of course, my grandchildren.
I first became involved in Woodbridge politics when I started a petition to save the Country Club of Woodbridge from shutting down, hoping to force a Town Meeting and vote on the issue. That petition, was, unfortunately, ignored. I was elected to the Board of Selectmen, believing that my leadership experience and policy making abilities, as well as a commitment to pragmatic solutions, would help move this town forward.
My first proposal was a multi-step program designed to ensure the physical and financial survival of the club, with grants, management contracts, free giant solar displays, rental space, and a small, planned development district along the undeveloped portion of Woodfield Road which would not violate our 1.5-acre zoning. This was dismissed by the First Selectman whose solution was to sell off the property for dense development.
During budget talks, I proposed cost saving measures including replacing aging police cars with hybrid vehicles to reduce gas consumption and pollution, adding proven start/stop technology to those existing vehicles to additionally extend their life – again rejected by the majority board. I was able to get the Library to freeze its budget, the only department to do so, and was able to obtain much needed funding to paint the Senior Center before it was sequestered into the general fund. I was also able to hold the mill rate to under forty.
I researched and informed myself of the facts concerning every town issue, asked probing questions, and offering actionable next steps for consideration. I pushed back hard against what I felt was bad policy, such as the restrictive leash law, and proposed a leash free zone on the Elderslie Tract.
Going forward, I believe spending can be curtailed without reducing services. Contracts need to be vigorously renegotiated when renewed, manpower needs continuously re-examined, and capital spending tailored to needs rather than wants. Bonding for capital projects should be voted up or down individually, and on their merit. Some capital funding should come from the overblown general fund, which now contains close to $7,000,000, 50% more than required for preferred bonding rates. The mill rate needs to be kept in check; my taxes, like yours, most likely, have almost doubled in the last twenty years.
We need expert consultation for repurposing the Country Club property; we have been proposing this for the last 7 years. Dense residential development has remained the only solution put forward by the other side, although roundly rejected by town vote.
We need to protect our 1.5-acre zoning to maintain the character and property values of Woodbridge, while finding suitable sites to build the affordable housing which is being dictated by State law, encouraging contractors with undeveloped land to do so, and we need the voters to decide where it should go.
Electing myself and our two other BOS candidates would make bipartisan solutions possible. I believe with our three strong voices we can make a difference.