Election 2021 Letters to the Editor — Oct. 8, 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. To send a letter to the editor, email it to editor@goodmorningwilton.com.

Jess Christ, an Engaged Parent Dedicated to Ensuring Strong Academic Foundation for Board of Education

To the Editor:

I am honored to endorse Jess Christ for the Board of Education. I have enjoyed Jess’ friendship and support as we have navigated our parenting journeys together. I have observed Jess to be an involved, compassionate parent and engaged member of our community. Jess’ three children, all with different strengths and interests, have attended all four of Wilton’s schools. She is a unique candidate with significant, current, first-hand experience in partnering with our schools. From extensive volunteer work to supporting programs offered by the district, Jess has been an active and engaged parent. Her balanced approach and friendly demeanor make her easy to collaborate with. She is passionate about making sure that the best educational opportunities are available to our children. As such, she would dedicate herself to helping the Board ensure a strong academic foundation for all of our children with ideas such as starting foreign language instruction in kindergarten and providing children who are capable of excelling beyond the current curriculum with opportunities to capitalize on their strengths. I believe Jess Christ has the skills, knowledge, and experience to make a difference at the Board of Education. Join me in voting for Jess Christ on Nov. 2.

Stephanie Mitchell

Vote Democratic — For Facts, Not Politics. For Collaboration, Fiscal Expertise and Humanity

To the Editor:

There’s been a voting sea change in Wilton: Democrats now outnumber Republicans. Unaffiliated voters outnumber everyone so perhaps labels no longer work. Why? Perhaps because more voters make decisions based on facts and shared core values.

Which is why I’m writing this note. If you vote Dem, you’re voting for facts, not politics; for collaboration, not noncooperation; for fiscal expertise, and for humanity. This year’s slate of Dem candidates is extraordinary for having the perfect combination of knowledge, training, experience, and heart to keep Wilton fiscally sound while continuing to be a wonderful place to live and work.

I have tremendous admiration for those who give their time and talent to serve on the town boards and commissions, they are our friends and neighbors; except for the first selectwoman, they are all unpaid volunteers who spend countless hours trying to make Wilton be as good as it can be.

Vote … so you know your voice is heard.

Carole Southall Telyan

Matt Raimondi will Bring Differentiated Thinking and Fiscal Responsibility to BOF

To the Editor:

I am writing this to endorse Matt Raimondi for the Board of Finance.

Matt has a long history in Wilton and genuinely cares about the well-being of this town. To that effect, his focus on ensuring appropriate financial support for the school, town infrastructure and maintaining a reasonable mill rate shows specific purpose that he wants to bring to the BOF in the area of fiscal responsibility. His experience in finance and budget oversight in his private equity day job will enable him to bring new and differentiated thinking in managing the critical activities of the Board of Finance.

I also have had the opportunity of working alongside Matt on the Wilton Economic Development Commission where he demonstrated his capabilities within a short time of joining the commission. His contributions to the commission have been invaluable.

Matt will be a great addition to the Board of Finance.

Thanks,

Prasad Iyer

Keith Denning — Man of Integrity, Man of Action for Board of Selectmen

To the Editor:

Vote Keith Denning for Board of Selectmen!

Keith moved to Wilton four years ago but he comes highly qualified, prepared to serve, and brings new eyes to important issues currently facing the BOS. Professionally, Keith is a Certified Nurse Anesthetist. His job requires him to make immediate decisions that directly affect the life and death of his patients. He must be a decision-maker and a quick thinker. Those are attributes and skills he’ll bring to the BOS.

Keith also brings a long and diverse history of public service. Some of his experience includes consulting for Johnson & Johnson in Cincinnati; volunteering for Operation Smile in Nicaragua, Paraguay, Cambodia and Russia; and volunteering for the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund in Nablus West Bank and Gaza. During his public service, Keith still maintained an active anesthesia practice.

Keith has what we want for the BOS. He’s a man of deep integrity who does what he says with care, skill, and energy. He’s a man of actions who, throughout his professional and personal life, has demonstrated consistency of purpose and deep humanitarian values.

Vote for Keith Denning! He is a Positive Voice for Wilton.

Lorie Paulson

Ensure Pam Ely can Bring Skills as Educator and Leader to Bd. of Education

To the Editor:

Pam Ely has taught literally thousands of Wilton’s students over her 30 years as an educator at both Miller-Driscoll Elementary School and Children’s Day School. As an administrator as well as an educator, she is well versed in issues of budget, teacher contracts, and other business aspects of educational leadership. Pam founded and directed the Mitten Hill Preschool, which served as a state model for mainstreaming special needs children.

Pam is a lifelong Wilton resident and parent who understands and will help preserve the outstanding reputation of our schools. She has the unique combination of abilities as both an educator and administrator — and with it a strong understanding of both pedagogy and politics. Pam’s commitment to community extends to many other organizations in Wilton, where she is frequently identified as a natural leader and consensus builder.

I have known and worked with Pam for several years, and have always been impressed by her intelligence, integrity and compassion. Please join me in ensuring that Pam has the chance to bring her critical skills as an educator and leader to the Board of Education.

Ann Miller

Wilton Board of Finance Needs Someone Just Like Matt Raimondi

To the Editor:

It is with great enthusiasm that I offer my support for Matt Raimondi’s candidacy for Wilton’s Board of Finance. As a resident of Wilton, I have known Matt for almost 20 years. After his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, I encouraged him to apply for a position at Parthenon, where I was a partner.

His exceptional work at Parthenon put him in a perfect position to transition to the investment side of business, where he could flex his financial and accounting muscles. Matt has excelled in his role as Vice President at Cobepa North America. He over-delivers in every environment in which he is placed. He works hard, has passion for what he does, and has a strong analytic and financial foundation.

More importantly, Matt is a wonderful person. I have seen him grow into a mature, caring, thoughtful, and responsible young man. Wilton needs someone just like this, someone who will give back to the community which in many ways made him who he is today. In fact, he loves Wilton so much, he moved here to raise his future family.

Wiley Bell

Monty Du’s Analytical Insight on Board of Finance will Benefit Wilton

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in strong support of Monty Du’s candidacy for the Board of Finance. I first got to know Monty when he reached out a couple of years ago to ask about my experience serving as a Planning & Zoning commissioner. I found his line of questioning to be insightful, methodical and concise … exactly what one would expect from a Columbia University-trained engineer with decades of practical experience!

I was pleased when Monty decided to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals and have no doubt that his being seated on the Board of Finance will be of great benefit to our town. Monty will contribute the analytical insight that is needed to keep expenses under control while still promoting smart growth and expansion of desirable town amenities. We are fortunate to live in a community in which the volunteer spirit continues to be a notable strength and the supply of dedicated residents with wide-ranging skill sets who are willing to selflessly donate their time often seems to outweigh demand. Monty Du is a prime example of this type of good neighbor and I look forward to casting my vote for him on Nov. 2!

Peter S. Shiue

Important that Bd. of Education Members Have Children in School — Like Jared Martin

To the Editor:

I’d like to give my personal endorsement to Jared Martin for the Board of Education. From all the time I’ve spent with him, it is obvious that Jared is hard-working, enthusiastic, and extremely sensible. It’s important to me that Board of Education members have children in the district, as they have an abundant real-world experience with the schools, not just a view from afar formed by memories and what the administration shares with them. It is clear to me that those with children in the schools, like Jared, are most likely to go the extra mile given their inherent interest. Additionally, Jared has stated his priority to improve Wilton’s schools and resources so that parents do not need, as so many do today, to hire outside tutors to either supplement what is missing in school or to push students to the fullest of their abilities.

There is no one I would rather have on the BOE, and fighting for my children’s education than this caring, hardworking, impressively intelligent father of two young Wilton children.  At the end of the day, if you have Jared Martin on the Board or Education, your kids and Wilton will benefit.

Best Regards,

Kevin Regan

Re-Elect Deborah Low, Board of Education Chair

To the Editor:

I vote to re-elect Democrat Deborah Low, Board of Education Chair, in Wilton’s municipal elections, on Nov. 2. As we struggle throughout the nation to get beyond vaccine hesitancy, fear of science, political disinformation and insurgency, Low’s words at the Annual Wilton Democratic Party Barbecue last month really hit home: “There is no more at stake than what goes on in our schools. Knowing how to think through, to study, and to deal with complex issues has never been more important.”

“Debbie” Low is committed to the community, a member of Wilton’s Board of Education since 2017 and Chair of the Board since 2019. No stranger to the area, she was superintendent in Ridgefield and worked for the Wilton School District 20 years before that. She supports continuous improvement, creative savings, and collaboration, citing that good information makes all the difference in planning and implementing strategies for success in education.

We can count on Democrat Deborah Low to continue the focus on constructive dialogue and high achievement; to uphold Wilton’s reputation for excellence in education; to produce forward-thinking graduates who are socially responsible, willing and able to stop the rising tide of misinformation and fear in the United States.

Renee Santhouse

Jess Christ, A “Stand-Up Solid Human Being … has Love and Passion for our Children and Community” 

To the Editor:

Today I write in support of my friend and peer Jess Christ for the Board of Education.  My family has known Jess and the Christ family for the past 10 years. In fact, the issues that Jess is addressing were in place when we first came to Wilton back in 2005. These factors will only make Wilton’s schools a better place for our children to learn for current Wilton families and future Wilton families.

I would like to speak on a personal level about her kind heart, dedication, and her will to make Wilton’s education system the best that it could be. Jess has a love and passion for our children and our community which has always shown in her volunteering positions for our schools. Her will to “get it done”, “be kind” and “stand up for one another” are just a few examples of what Jess is made of.

Jess is a stand-up solid human being and I am proud to support her in her next adventure.

Maria Stepnowsky

Jess Christ and Jared Martin — for New Ideas and Energy on Board of Education

To the Editor:

My children received excellent educations in Wilton partly because we paid extra for tutors in math. And we’re not the only Wilton family paying the “tutor tax.” As reported in GOOD Morning Wilton, Wilton High School is #21 in the state for STEM, a 3-point decline since last year, and #677 in the nation, a decline of 75 points.

Our teachers are working as hard as they can with the tools they have to prepare our students for the future. But vision and drive come from the top. We need new ideas and energy on the Board of Education. That’s why I’m voting for Jess Christ and Jared Martin.

Christ and Martin are young with children in our schools and therefore have different perspectives than an educational careerist. Jared Martin works in technology and believes math and science are essential for success in a tech economy. Jess Christ is a concerned parent who will work hard to ensure that our children are taught how to think rather than what to think.

That may sound radical to someone satisfied with the status quo, but not to parents who have skin in the game and a stake in the future.

Philip Murphy

Justin Anderson will Bring “High Ethical Standard and Exemplary Servitude” to Board of Appeals

To the Editor:

Sound judgement and reasonable evaluation skills are necessary for any important role in community leadership and Justin Anderson has the working knowledge and experience to boot! Known to many as the “Wilton Handyman,” Justin has served the community’s renovation and home improvement needs for the past 14 years. He is an intelligent professional that takes everyone of his jobs as seriously as the rest of them, no matter how simple or small it might be. Justin treats all of his clients, your fellow Wiltonians, with a high ethical standard and exemplary servitude. He is unmatched in what he does and will surely bring all of that with him as he serves on the Board of Appeals … He has my vote, and should carry all of yours as well. In this situation especially, you should vote with your ethical and reasonable voice, not the party line! Remember to vote for Justin under ROW B.

Kindest regards,

Bryan Dinkelacker

Pam Ely Would be Tireless, Committed and Expert Advocate for Welfare of Wilton’s Children

To the Editor:

I have known Pam Ely for almost 23 years in her many roles at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church on New Canaan Rd. I have seen her in leadership roles as Senior Warden, Junior Warden, member of the Vestry and coordinator for various programs, including most recently those relating to racial justice. In addition, I have participated with her in many book and discussion groups. Based on all of this, plus her highly successful 20 years as the director of the Children’s Day School in Wilton (including her last year and a half expertly guiding the school during the COVID crisis), I can say without hesitation that Pam would be a tireless, committed and expert advocate for the welfare of our children as a member of the Board of Education. She is intelligent, thoughtful, knowledgeable, incredibly hardworking, and a real pleasure to work with. I cannot imagine a candidate more qualified or better suited for a seat on the BOE than Pam.

Vote for Pam Ely on Nov. 2 and continue the excellent leadership on the Board of Education.

Joe Magnano

Sandra Arkell’s Work and Talent Help Sustain Board of Finance’s High Standards

To the Editor:

I am delighted to strongly endorse Sandra Arkell for Wilton’s Board of Finance. Sandy was unanimously approved for that position by the members of the board to fill a vacancy in 2020. They recognized that Sandy is not only a highly experienced CPA but an excellent manager and outstanding professional.

Sandy is the principal accounting officer at Mastercard, leading its global reporting and controls operations.  She also manages the company’s external audit with the independent audit firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers, where she previously worked and earned her CPA.  During her 30 year career, she has held many senior positions at leading companies. Prior to Mastercard, she was the chief accounting officer at the Dover Corporation, a global portfolio company. She also was an Executive Vice President for KMart. She excelled in the fiscal aspect of her work but also received accolades for her interpersonal skills.

Wilton is fortunate that she loves the town so much that she volunteered to devote her abundant skills to the Board of Finance. Her work and talent have helped to sustain the Board’s high standards.

Please join me and vote on Nov. 2 to keep Sandy Arkell on the Board of Finance.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Miller

Jess Christ and Jared Martin will Advocate for STEM in Wilton Schools on BOE

To the editor:

As a recent Wilton High School graduate (Class of 2016), I’ve seen first-hand the importance of a robust high school education. Wilton has a reputation for excellent schools, which was well-earned for many years, though recently our STEM education quality has been falling behind other schools in Connecticut; this comes at a time when college and job markets have become increasingly more competitive. Jess Christ and Jared Martin, the Board of Education candidates who enthusiastically have my support, will make it a point to advocate for the increased emphasis of STEM in our schools, and will push to ensure Wilton students will be taught how to think deeply and analytically, while building the foundations for a successful college and post-graduate career. Personally, I was fortunate to take advantage of the many resources Wilton schools had to offer, thanks to our amazing teachers who always encouraged students to challenge themselves intellectually; and I want the students of today and tomorrow to have the same opportunities. Electing Jess Christ and Jared Martin to the Board of Education will help Wilton once again best position our students for success.

Nik Fazio