Election 2021 Letters to the Editor — Oct. 29, 2021

Every Friday until Election Day, GOOD Morning Wilton publishes Letters to the Editor that we’ve received about the candidates and/or election-related issues. Learn more about our election coverage guidelines and policies, including word count maximums and requirements for Letters to the Editor. Letters are printed in the order in which they are received. Today is the last collection of Letters to the Editor regarding the elections.

Jess Christ and Jared Martin will Work Tirelessly for Our Kids

To the Editor:

Jess Christ and Jared Martin have my full support for Board of Education. I’ve had the pleasure of spending an inordinate amount of time with them recently, and am wildly impressed with their motivations, ideas, and open-mindedness.

Jared has two children in Wilton schools. He has a science degree and a career in finance,  something desperately missing from our BOE. We need someone who understands budgeting, with the BOE accounting for almost 70% of Wilton’s budget. Jared’s focus is ensuring that Wilton’s struggling math curriculum is improved, something Wilton parents understand well.

Jess is parent to three children in Wilton schools and has been actively volunteering for years. The parent of a child with learning differences, Jess knows from experience where to focus, to ensure our kids get back on track after so much lost learning during COVID. She wants to see students excel and for earlier grades to be offered foreign languages.

I have seen many changes in Wilton’s schools since moving here. I want to see Wilton schools return to their previous stature. This will require dedicated people like Jared and Jess on the BOE, who will work tirelessly for our kids.

Vote Jess and Jared on Nov. 2.

Kim Healy

Democratic Candidates — Intelligent, Experienced, Skilled, Dedicated, Proactive and Level-Headed

To the Editor:

There are many important issues that Wilton’s local government must deal with in the next four years:  some known, many unknown. Our local Wilton Nov. 2 election is as important as last fall’s 2020 national election. We will need intelligent, experienced, skilled, dedicated, proactive, and level-headed elected officials to manage those challenges. The Democratic ticket does that. Bas Nabulsi, with his 10 years of experience on Planning and Zoning, and Keith Denning, with his life dedicated to service, will make fine selectmen. Sandy Arkell and Frank Bria are recognized as top-notch finance specialists for the Board of Finance. Deb Low, Pam Ely, and Nicola Davies form a triumvirate of experience, skill, level-headedness, and dedication for the Board of Education. Eric Fanwick and Ken Hoffman represent intelligence and level-headed thinking on Planning and Zoning. Jaclyn Coleman and Tom Gunther are experienced and skilled for Zoning Board of Appeals. Bo Mitchell, Ernie Ricco, and Dick Zeigler will bring dedication to the position of constable, as Bob Wallace will for Board of Assessment Appeals. They will all work hard for us. Get to meet or hear them, if you can. Vote Democratic. Vote Row A all the way.

Kathleen Kalamarides

Values Matter, Truth Matters, Civility Matters — Vote Row A

To the Editor:

Values, Truth and Civility matter. They all are on the ballot this year across the nation, in cities, and in towns, including Wilton.

Values: I read that one of the Republicans has likened Open Choice to the 1950’s mandatory busing of children to schools out of their home areas. Open Choice is, in fact, a program that allows students from Norwalk to attend school in Wilton if an empty space exists. Norwalk pays the entire price for the student’s education. Wilton gains diversity.

Truth: I learned about a lack of truth in a Republican’s campaign. Certain social media posts were removed because anti-mask rhetoric was espoused that could be unacceptable to most of Wilton’s parents. I strongly support the Board of Education’s decisions that safely steered us through the unknowns and uncertainties of the pandemic.

Civility: During a recent PTA Zoom call, a woman was heard calling a Democratic candidate “an expletive do-gooder.” She took responsibility and apologized, but it was sad and inexcusable and uncivil.

I will vote for community values, truth validated by facts, and civility in the face of differences. I will Vote Row A on Nov. 2!

Brian Sudano

Bas Nabulsi has Experience and Skills to Serve on Board of Selectmen​

To the Editor:

I am voting for Bas Nabulsi for the Board of Selectmen. Bas has the experience and skills that make him the right choice. Professionally, he has a law practice as an intellectual property attorney, but he also has an extensive background in public service. In Wilton, Bas has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for more than 10 years. From that vantage point, he gained vast, firsthand knowledge of how things work in town and has a vision for future growth. Currently, he volunteers for a housing justice program that has been addressing issues that have arisen from the pandemic.

Bas has extensive board experience and has demonstrated, that he knows how to handle and find solutions to complex issues; financial and otherwise. Bas has lived in Wilton since 1992 with his wife and two sons who are graduates from Wilton High School.

Join me and vote for experience and skill. Vote for Bas Nabulsi on Nov. 2.

Dan Troph

Tara Pagano is Amazing, Dedicated, Hard-Working, Life-Long Wiltonian

To the Editor:

I am writing to support Tara Pagano, who is running for Wilton’s Zoning Board of Appeals (Alternate).  

For those of you who may not know Tara, she is an amazing, dedicated, hard-working person who has lived in Wilton for almost her entire life. Tara attended Wilton Public Schools from 2nd grade, went away to college (earned an MBA), and returned to raise a family and grow a business in Wilton.  Having seen the changes and development of Wilton from the early days before Stop & Shop, before traffic lights, before Route 7 development, Tara is an active Wilton resident who is involved with many community organizations and has first hand experience with the zoning process and all the components of Zoning review.

Tara understands how to support Wilton residents’ interests as well as assist businesses’ to make solid logical decisions and lead Wilton into the future.  Tara will be a tremendous asset to the ZBA for her independent thinking: she is running unaffiliated to any party, and is not a person who will be swayed politically to vote one way or the other.   I hope you will join me in voting for Tara Pagano in this coming election

Janel Cassara

Pam Ely Has Unique and Invaluable Combo of Teaching Experience, Professional Expertise and Vision

To the Editor:

Pam Ely possesses a unique and invaluable combination of teaching experience, professional expertise, and vision as well as an abiding passion for improving the lives of children. This makes her an ideal candidate for the Board of Education.

I have known Pam for more than 30 years and have seen in action her deep understanding of children of all ages — not just what they need to learn effectively but what they need to flourish. This grows from her more than three decades as a local educator and longtime director of Children’s Day School of Wilton. Her experience has also given her great insight into the very real needs and challenges facing teachers and school administrators during these difficult times.

Time and again I have seen Pam commit to a volunteer endeavor and give it her all- generously sharing her time and her enormous talents. She is a person of integrity, commitment and experience who has both a broad and long-term view of our Wilton schools, and a vision for future possibilities that encompasses the needs and hopes of students, teachers, administrators, and families alike.

Vote for Pam Ely for BOE.

Becky Hudspeth

It’s Time for Democrats to Take Control of BOS — Vote for Bas Nabulsi and Keith Denning

To the Editor:

We need to elect Democratic candidates Bas Nabulsi and Keith Denning to the Board of Selectmen. It’s critical to elect selectmen with Planning and Zoning experience and the passion to create a growing and thriving Wilton. Bas has served on P&Z for 10 years. Keith serves on Zoning Board of Appeals.

At the League of Women Voters Forum, surprisingly both Democratic and Republican candidates for P&Z were in consensus regarding Wilton’s challenges. They bemoaned that Wilton is woefully behind neighboring towns in creating a Master Plan and modernizing zoning regulations. They concurred that this has hampered our ability to create a thriving town center and to develop the diverse mixed-use housing that, in turn, would drive the growth needed to attract new businesses and jobs, retain empty nesters and attract millennials.

The Board of Selectmen sets the agenda and controls what needs to be done for Wilton to grow and thrive. The Board has been under Republican control for the last century. It’s time that a Democratic majority takes control of the five-member board. Vote for Bas Nabulsi and Keith Denning. They have a vision for what Wilton can be and the skills and determination to get the job done.

Melissa Spohn

Students and Families will have an Advocate in Jared Martin on Board of Education

To the Editor:

My family and I have had the privilege of getting to know Jared Martin over the course of the last few months. Jared is running for the Wilton Board of Education alongside my wife, Jess.  It is an honor to recommend Jared for this important Board seat; he is a humble, empathetic, kind and dependable person.

When elected, the students and families of Wilton will have an advocate who believes that the Wilton school system should serve as “the model” for Connecticut. The curriculum must be securely built on a science, technology, engineering and math “STEM” foundation. Objective analytics must be embraced by all; numbers are an irrefutable source of truth and every person who can influence a child’s opportunity to excel in education must contribute.

A person with immense character, conviction and intelligence, who chooses volunteerism to share their talents for the benefit of others, is selfless. In ranking education as his highest parental priority, all Wiltonians will have a leader who will endeavor to make Wilton Public Schools a public education gold standard. Please join me, and vote for Jared on Nov. 2 for the Board of Education.

Colin W. Christ

Town is Fortunate for Opportunity of Bas Nabulsi on Board of Selectmen

To the Editor:

I write in strong support of Bas Nabulsi for Board of Selectmen.

I have had the privilege of working with Bas for the last eight years, as partners at the law firm of McCarter & English. He is not only an exemplary attorney, but a principled advocate, who is universally respected by his peers.

In a professional capacity I have observed him to be highly intelligent, prepared and informed, while never compromising his integrity. He has distinguished himself as both a leader and mentor.

From a personal standpoint, I consider him a friend for whom I have the utmost respect. He is an exceptional person, who through his advocacy has been impactful for the benefit of those within the community who have been disadvantaged.

Having discussed town-related issues with Bas over the years, I know he cares deeply about Wilton and approaches the issues with thoughtful consideration as well as seasoned expertise.

As a town, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to have Bas serve and improve our community. I urge Wilton residents to vote for Bas, as I will, with complete confidence in his leadership and stewardship of the Town of Wilton.

Sincerely,

Craig Bonnist

No Place for Misleading Republican Campaign Rhetoric or Candidates; Vote for Low, Ely and Davies

To the Editor:

In this final week of campaigning, local Republicans are using misleading rhetoric of a threat of regionalization in a last-ditch attempt to sway voters. There is no bill before any legislative committee in Hartford proposing regionalization. That died two years ago. One look at the anti-regionalization Facebook page, Hands Off Our Schools — originally started by a prominent Wilton Republican — and you can see it’s been co-opted by a right-wing agenda and dog whistle talking points.

Our Board of Education needs members who are collaborative and experienced. They need to be able to interpret data, evaluate test scores, and examine school budgets and staff contracts. There’s no place on a Board meant to make the best decisions for our students for anyone with a problematic social media history — screenshots are forever as we remind our children — or someone who incorrectly refers to the proposed Open Choice program as “bussing” and relies on “faux” medical groups that disseminate misinformation. As a voter and 15-year resident, I’d like to see BOE members with common goals, camaraderie and civility. This is why I encourage all of my fellow Wiltonians to vote for Deborah Low, Pam Ely and Nicola Davies on Nov. 2.

Hillary Springel Morrissy

Jess Christ — Devoted Parent and Education Advocate; Matt Raimondi — Remarkable Finance Professional, Notable Expertise

To the Editor:

I’m writing to share my full support for Jess Christ and Matthew Raimondi.

Jess Christ is an incredible mother of three children in our schools, an active member of our community who led successful grand projects over the years, and simply an exemplary woman.

Jess’ vibrant energy, experience, knowledge, inimitable views and passion will offer Wilton schools a much-needed balance, challenge, and agency.

Jess Christ is a devoted parent, a winner, and our education advocate, I can’t wait to vote for her!

When I met Matt Raimondi, a born and raised Wiltonian, a remarkable finance professional, and a pure gentleman who truly cares about our community, I know Wilton’s Board of Finance will be in excellent hands.

I also witnessed Matt in action during an Economic Development Commission session and I’m impressed with his notable skills and expertise, which will highly benefit Wilton. As an entrepreneur, it’s of the essence to me that our local economy is flourishing, and our families are raised in a safe, lucrative, and robust township.

Wilton is blessed to have Matt and I’m excited for his leadership in the BOF.

Marnelli Chavez Martin

Democratic Candidates Are Our Neighbors and Local

To the Editor:

An inference about Democratic candidates is that they are somehow not ‘our neighbors’ and not ‘local’ in perspective. As Nominating Chair for the DTC, let me reassure you. For the Board of Education, Deborah Low is very knowledgeable about student’s needs and is the current BOE chair. Pam Ely has cared about and supported Wilton children for 25 years. Nicola Davies is a longtime volunteer with the PTA, along with Minks to Sinks and ABC.

For Board of Selectmen, Bas Nabulsi, a 10-plus year volunteer on the Planning and Zoning Commission, helped set the direction on the Plan of Conservation and Development. Keith Denning has volunteered as an alternate on the Board of Assessment Appeals and is committed to finding solutions that support Wilton.

For Board of Finance, Frank Bria chose Wilton to raise his family. As a volunteer, his financial skills will be put to good use. Sandy Arkell was unanimously chosen last year by Republicans and Democrats to fill a seat on the BOF. The only woman on the BOF, and the only woman BOF candidate, she brings an important perspective.

The Democratic candidates are our neighbors and care deeply about local issues. Vote Row A on Nov. 2.

Ceci Maher

Pam Ely will Bring Experience and Commitment to Board of Education

To the Editor:

Wilton families are fortunate to have a candidate of Pam Ely’s experience and commitment on the ballot this year for its Board of Education. Pam knows first-hand from her 35 career in education in Wilton the challenges and opportunities facing today’s educators, students and administrators. She has taught at Miller-Driscoll and directed the Children’s Day School in Wilton for 20 years, only stepping down in the past year. I know Pam from serving with her on the vestry at St. Matthew’s Church, where she is currently Junior Warden. In that role, she has consistently acted in a dedicated, thoughtful, principled, caring, and effective manner. She will bring these same qualities and her deep knowledge of Wilton and education to the BOE.

Vote for continued excellence in our schools — vote for Pam Ely.

Paul Reis

Chris Gardner has History of Public Service and Contributions that Made Deep Impact in Wilton

To the Editor:

Chris Gardner, the RTC’s candidate to serve on the Board of Assessment Appeals, possesses a history of public service and critical returns to Wilton that readily warrants support predicated on both past performance and the values we live with and profit from today. An independent medical equipment businessman, he’s devoted volunteer hours to accomplish education in EMT skills and thereafter active deployment with the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps for 17 years, including crew chief, management, and president roles. Observing the lack of public CPR knowledge as a lifesaving practice he established training for residents. As a result, over 400 Wiltonians can now step in and provide life-extending help while awaiting ambulance response. Chris has been a perennially elected Town Constable. In 2003 when Wilton’s first selectman, in response to 9/11, visualized an emergency response preparedness need, he with other constables researched and recommended a program. In evidence today are volunteers in high-visibility apparel, regularly on our streets during traffic accidents, flooded roadways, search-and-rescue, downed trees and wires, etc. Wilton CERT, is the agency and Chris Gardner, plank owner, remains an active member today. His years of fine performance plus clear thinking, even fairness, and decision-making wisdom makes him a solid contender for BAA.

J.D.  Majesky

Stewart Koenigsberg’s Board of Finance Tenure Led to Lower Taxes and Higher-Rated Schools

To the Editor:

I strongly support Stewart Koenigsberg for re-election to Board of Finance. Stewart’s served tirelessly for four years, making a very significant impact to critically prioritize spending and actually cut the tax mill rate during his tenure. In those years where other BOF members pushed to support outsized increases in costs and taxes, Stewart actively analyzed, evaluated and prioritized targeted spending needs, and engaged with those who opposed budget pruning, resulting in lower taxes and higher-rated schools.

His actions speak louder than campaign promises. His vast experience as a GE Company Officer, CEO, CFO of large GE businesses, past leadership of GE Capital’s entire company-wide budgeting and planning process, as well as service on public, private, and not-for-profit Boards of Directors provide an extraordinary skillset to optimize tax dollars and drive for a thriving town with more amenities.  His insights, informed budgeting, and leadership skills provide a basis for continuous improvement, at conservative cost levels.

Stewart’s lived in Wilton for over 30 years. His children attended Wilton schools. He truly cares about our town and has the deep skillset, desire and ability to drive for tax efficiency,  improvements and growth in town schools and services.  I strongly endorse my neighbor, Stewart Koenigsberg, for Board of Finance.

Thanks,

Dennis Devane