As we approach Election Day Monday, May 3rd, I urge voters to consider where the candidates stand on Woodbridge issues. The candidates running on the Republican slate – a diverse group of your neighbors who are registered Unaffiliated, Democrat and Republican – offer clear, concise positions on the important local issues of the day. While these positions are spelled out in greater detail on our WoodbridgeGOP.com website, let me summarize.
Board of Selectmen candidates David Vogel, David A. Lober and Stephen B. Francis are opposed to the controversial zoning application still being considered by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission. They reject not just the change that would allow a 4-family home to be built at 2 Orchard Road, but also the proposal to wipe out our 1.5-acre single family housing regulations. Further, our Selectmen candidates have been steadfast in defending Woodbridge’s reputation against the applicants’ accusations of racism. The Democrat candidates for Board of Selectmen have been inexplicably silent on this issue.
Similarly, our Selectmen candidates have been crystal clear on what to do about the golf course property. First, clean it up. It’s a Town treasure left to spoil. Second, enlist a professional company expert in golf course repurposing to present options to the Town – within the constraints of current zoning and other considerations important to the town. More than a year ago money was set aside to hire a consultant, but the current Town leaders have failed to move forward. On another important issue, their position on a better way to bond is to have each proposed project voted on separately, giving the voters the opportunity to prioritize projects. This procedure gives more power over our mill rate to the voters.
Woodbridge Board of Education candidates Daniel Cowan, Brooke Hopkins, Sarah Beth Del Prete and Jeffrey Luck are all parents with ten Beecher students among them. Daniel is an incumbent and was integral to the Republican-led Board’s commitment to reopen the school safely by following the science. All four candidates are committed to keeping the Beecher education standard outstanding, the students and staff safe and the budget under control.
Our town faces a particular challenge with the Amity school system now. Student populations in Woodbridge are increasing while the Orange and Bethany counts are flat or decreasing. As the portion of the Amity budget allotted to each town is based on the student population, Woodbridge is headed for additional financial pressure. It is imperative Woodbridge have strong, knowledgeable and reasonable voices on the Amity Board of Education to fight the over-taxing practices of the past and ensure every dollar is spent wisely. Roy M. Ivins, and Sanjay Gupta are the candidates best able to deliver the representation we need on that board. Their knowledge of and connection to Amity are diverse – Roy’s children and grandchildren span 29 school years at Amity. Sanjay has one in the middle school and one coming up through Beecher. It’s a great mix of experience with Amity quality and a new perspective from the next generation.
Our Zoning Board of Appeals candidates Barbara Hagan-Smith, Muffy German and Robert Wiznia are all long-time residents of Woodbridge who have been involved in a wide variety of volunteer organizations in town for decades. They do bring a wealth of knowledge about our town and are smart, fair minded people who will serve honorably. Our candidate for the Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate is Lin Yang, a resident of Woodbridge for many years and a naturalized citizen in 2018, who values the opportunity for public service.
Janet Barillari, our candidate for the Board of Assessment Appeals has served on the BAA before, including as Chair. Separately, for several years she served on Woodbridge Board of Finance. Both a CPA and the managing partner of her Shelton-based firm, Janet, is highly qualified for the position she again seeks.
In our over-charged national political climate, it is all too easy to “run to our corner” and support candidates based on their party. That would be a loss for our town. Ours is a slate that is far from “all Republican.” We vetted each individual based on qualifications, vision for the town and willingness to serve – regardless of affiliation. That’s how we believe all candidates should be evaluated and we hope you will look at our candidates in that same light. Consider Woodbridge has been under Democrat leadership for 14 straight years. By voting Row B for Balance on May 3, you will elect highly qualified candidates who offer better ideas and a more even-handed approach to move our town forward in the face of serious challenges ahead.