Incumbent Candidate, First Selectman
Ellen Scalettar is running for re-election as First Selectman of Woodbridge to continue the progress of her first term and honor her longstanding commitment to Woodbridge. Ellen brings extensive professional and public service experience to the varied and complex work of being First Selectman, including administering a $45 million budget and leading the Town’s 100 employees.
Prior to her election as First Selectman in 2013, Ellen was the Policy Director for the Connecticut Senate President Pro Tem, where she worked on the passage of such notable legislation as the strongest gun control laws in the country, creating the Small Business Express program (which benefits businesses here in Woodbridge) and expanding access to pre-K for children state-wide.
From 2000 to 2006, Ellen was a Senior Policy Fellow with Connecticut Voices for Children, where she focused on the state budget and its impact on the well-being of our children, including access to health care and to early childhood education.
From 1993 to 1998, Ellen was Woodbridge’s three-term State Representative to the Connecticut General Assembly, where she received accolades for taking on the tobacco lobby and passing the first ban on smoking in public buildings in our state; was recognized for leadership on open space issues (protecting West Rock Ridge State Park; preserving Regional Water Authority lands); and drove progress on women’s and children’s issues, including stronger protective orders for victims of domestic violence. Ellen also received the prestigious Bice Clemow award for strengthening our Freedom of Information laws.
Currently, in addition to her work as First Selectman, Ellen is a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. Ellen serves as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of Massaro Farm.
Ellen’s additional professional experience includes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Regional Counsel; Assistant CT State Treasurer for Governmental, Corporate and Community Relations; and private law practice, focusing on First Amendment and privacy litigation.
Ellen has previously served Woodbridge as a member of the Board of Selectmen, the Town Plan and Zoning Commission and Friends of the Library. She has served on the Boards of Directors of Griffin Hospital and the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League.
As First Selectman, Ellen has dedicated herself to preserving Woodbridge’s heritage and beauty, while creating a vibrant and innovative town for the future. She credits the hard work and dedication of the Town’s employees and resident volunteers with making possible her first-term accomplishments:
Maintaining the highest standards of fiscal stewardship. Ellen has worked cooperatively with the Town’s outstanding Finance Director and dedicated Board of Finance to maintain the Town’s Aaa bond rating and achieve clean audits and national awards for both audit and budget. Ellen and her team renegotiated the CCW contract to insulate the Town from golf operation losses in the near term, held nearly a dozen meetings to elicit residents’ views, and issued an RFP to gauge private sector interest in the property.
Maximizing state grant opportunities. Woodbridge has benefitted from $4.2M in State grants under Ellen’s watch (Microgrid $3M; Beecher Road School $500,000 for paving/sidewalks; former firehouse restoration $500,000; playground $200,000); more than $1M is in the works.
Supporting clean and reliable energy initiatives. Ellen has brought forward the Woodbridge Energy Challenge (solar and energy savings programs); managed the Microgrid project; aided Beecher Road School energy efficiency measures (bringing $315,000 in clean energy incentives); and has the Town exploring a solar farm on the Town’s capped landfill.
Providing for our children. In addition to supporting the Beecher Road School and Amity School District budgets (approximately 2/3 of the Town’s total budget), Ellen has brought to fruition the Beecher renovation project and the Pease Place Playground.
Promoting economic development. Ellen has worked with the Town’s Economic Development Commission to highlight new and expanding businesses and to support existing ones, including launching the Economic Development website, organizing business networking breakfasts, supporting the Scarecrow Festival and launching (in June) “Business After Hours’.
Building community. Ellen has worked to bring our community together and make our town center more vibrant; a first-time Facebook page and weekly e-newsletter; a record number of Town communications/informational meetings; Taste of Woodbridge at the summer concert series; the Long Wharf Theater/Woodbridge partnership; Woodbridge Farmers’ Market; and (coming this summer) One Town One Book.
Ellen, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the City College of New York, received her J.D., with Honor, from the University of Maryland School of Law.
Ellen and her husband, Bob, have lived in Woodbridge since 1990. They have two grown children and a granddaughter, Georgia.