Democrats nominate candidates for boards and commissions — not for first selectman

MONROE, CT — The Monroe Democratic Town Committee endorsed its slate of candidates for the municipal election on Tuesday. Though the party is contesting races for several boards, no candidate is challenging First Selectman Ken Kellogg, the Republican incumbent.

“Although the DTC did not field a candidate for first selectman, we are not in anyway endorsing the current selectman,” said DTC Chair Patty Paniccia. “The current administration has succumbed to cronyism in Town Hall with the hire of the first selectman’s friends in top-tier positions of HR director and economic development director — the latter not even being appropriately posted and searched for. Monroe has an environmental disaster on its hands with the rock crushing operation on Cambridge Drive with no plan by the Kellogg administration to abate it. And the saddest of all, we continue to lack a long-term strategic plan to bring commercial and economic growth to our town. The continued ‘for lease’ and ‘for sale’ signs on businesses are hurting our tax base and causing taxes to be pushed onto the homeowners. The atmosphere at Town Hall is tense, stressful, and one of overwork.”

Aside from first selectman, the party is not contesting the positions of tax collector, town clerk, treasurer, a Planning and Zoning alternate seat and one part of the Board of Finance.

“Like with so many other positions in Town Hall that see constant turnover,” Paniccia said, “the salaries for first selectman, tax collector, town clerk, and treasurer are so low and out of step with other towns. For many people to run and win these positions would be a drastic pay cut from their current occupations.”

Town Democrats are contesting seats on the Town Council, Board of Education, a two-year-vacancy on the Board of Finance and full Planning and Zoning Commission seats.

“Our platform is about bringing Monroe back from the ravages of COVID-19,” Paniccia said. “We need to fund our schools for the amount of students that we see coming in. We need to revitalize our long-term plan for the future of our town. And we need to hire qualified professionals for positions in our town government.”

“The Democratic Town Committee has endorsed a diverse and qualified slate of candidates for the upcoming election,” she continued. “One way to check the current administration is to elect Democratic majorities to the Town Council and Board of Education. We are running education specialists for the Board of Education, former finance professionals for the Board of Finance, and community activists for the Town Council.”

The following candidates were endorsed:

Town Council: Incumbents Dee Dee Martin and Jason Maur, Jessica Katuska, Anthony Agnessanto, and Spencer Wesley

Board of Finance: Mary Hall

Board of Finance Vacancy: Samantha Spino

Board of Education: Incumbent Jerry Stevens, Theresa Oleyar, and Chrissy Fensore Martinez

Planning & Zoning Commission: B.J. Hall

Planning & Zoning Commission Alternate: Incumbent Domenic Paniccia

Constable: Incumbent Pat Tomchik

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