Town Council candidates are asked: Why should people vote for you?

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Election Day is this Tuesday. Candidates in a highly contested Town Council race have gone door-to-door, held events and wrote letters to make their case to voters.

Republicans are trying to hold onto a 6-3 majority, while Democrats are vying to take a maximum of three more seats.

The Monroe Sun has given each candidate one last chance to appeal to voters on this site by answering the question posted below. Click on a candidate’s name to see their profile:

Why should people vote for you on Nov. 5? What skills do you bring to the Town Council?

Spencer Wesley

Spencer Wesley

I would proudly like to serve my town. I want to be a part of helping my community, where I have spent the better part of my life, reach greater heights.

Kevin Reid

I am an enthusiastic, tireless volunteer that deeply cares about Monroe, its people and our environment. Ensuring we deliver the needs of the people and take advantage of the opportunities we have as a Town to advance and

Kevin Reid

remain financially successful is the measurement of success I subscribe and hold myself to.

I am strong advocate for public safety and services, effective and safe public schools, healthy and maintained infrastructure, reasonable and efficient processes to make things happen and most importantly, advocating for and ensuring people are heard and have a voice.

Effective organization, accurate communication and the establishment of make-sense strategies are not only critical skills one must have in this seat, but it’s also important the Council member has done it successfully to an extensive and great degree.

I am a former Army reserve officer and current corporate executive in one of Connecticut’s greatest companies. My life experiences are a direct connection to how I will continue to approach my seat on Council.

A quick learner, a person open to any conversation and a willing compromiser are key traits and approaches to a successful Council member that works for the people. I am that candidate. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you these past five years. It truly has been an honor and I hope I can serve you again for another cycle.

Sue Koneff

Sue Koneff

I feel I’m qualified to become a Town Council member because of my many years of experience on both the education and the municipal side of the town. I was an educator for over 26 years at Chalk Hill Middle School and then Jockey Hollow.

For 25 years I attended all Board of Education meetings in my role as vice president and then president of the Monroe Education Association.

After my retirement I ran for and was elected to the position of registrar of voters. In that position I became very familiar with the municipal side of the town, especially the budgeting aspect. My fellow registrar and I were responsible for the implementation of the new voting machines and redistricting of our polling locations.

All of this experience, I believe, makes me qualified to be elected to the Town Council.

Jonathan Formichella

Jonathan Formichella

The people of Monroe should vote for me because I bring the critical combination of fresh eyes and experience. As the newest member of the Town Council, I am able to offer new and innovative solutions to the unsolved challenges of the past. But, because I have previous experience on the Planning and Zoning Commission and now on the Town Council, I am able to offer those solutions with the advantage of experience.

With fresh eyes and experience, I am able to help solve the challenges of the past and anticipate and prevent future issues. Armed with these two distinct traits, I can effectively continue to serve on the Town Council.

During my time on the Town Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission, our town has experienced great successes because of the strong Republican leadership we have had on our town’s boards, commissions, the Office of the First Selectman, and on the Town Council.

Working with the First Selectman, Monroe’s taxes are lower today than they were two years ago and Monroe’s bond rating was increased. As for services the Town provides its residents, Monroe residents now enjoy increased hours of operation at the library and Wolfe Park pool. The Town Council and First Selectman have delivered on their promise to repair our roads in a fiscally responsible manner.

During my time as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Commission passed critical amendments that promoted economic growth while maintaining Monroe’s rural character. The Commission updated our open space standards, increased the number of permitted uses in a given zone, revised and reduced oppressive parking standards and created an easy to use land use table of permitted uses.

Jennifer Aguilar

Jennifer Aguilar

I am very detail oriented. When presented job descriptions at the beginning of my term I was dismayed at the inconsistency in the descriptions. The HR department in turn has made all the job descriptions consistent with each other.

I am also a team player. I am not there to pick a fight, but to get things done for the best interests of the town. Having an open mind and good rapport “across the aisle” is a key to getting things done.

Terry Rooney

Terry Rooney

This is possibly one of the most challenging questions to answer. As much as elections are about self promotion, I find it difficult to look inside and say why someone should vote for me. I will answer in this way. If I was a voter, looking at me as a candidate, I would ask myself the following questions.

1. What is this candidate’s motivation for doing this job?

My answer is because my family has been here over 200 years and this town has given me so much from my childhood till now. I live in a town that I love marrow deep. I know the fish that swim in the rivers and ponds and the animals in our woods. I drive down roads everyday that I used to drive down with my grandmother and grandfather Charlie and Hattie Canfield. I’ve had the privilege to raise my family in a place that truly owns my heart.

I have served as a Bridgeport policeman and I believe my experiences along with my business background gives me a unique perspective into the daily lives of people who live in Monroe. It’s just so important for me to give back and hopefully leave a legacy of being involved in positive changes.

2. What special talent does this candidate have?

My answer is that I will go to almost any length to keep this town safe. I have worked on the opiate crisis from my position as town council liaison to the Monroe police department and I have had an impact on what’s accessible to our kids. There’s a real problem out there that Monroe is not impervious to, however, we as a town have done an amazing job in recent years to stay on top of that issue.

3. What is this candidate currently doing in town officially that they may need to be re-elected to finish ?

My answer would be the EMS building. Our EMS has been working in substandard conditions for years. I was appointed by our selectman and town council to be the Chairman of a committee to remodel a current firehouse to a new  Emergency Medical Services facility. This facility will be modernized and be centrally located to service our aging community and the public in a more efficient way.

This project is well under way and is awaiting plan completion and future town approval. I would really enjoy as a Town Councilman to continue this project to completion.

Jason Maur

Jason Maur

Having been a lifelong resident of Monroe. I have seen Monroe grow through the years. We have done many great things in that time to make this the place I am proud to call my home.

In addition to my knowledge of Monroe’s past and present, I bring a multitude of experience to the town from my efforts as the Student Representative on the Monroe Board of Education, to my experience in Washington DC as an intern on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, to over 6 years serving on the Monroe Commission on Aging on which I was the vice-chair, to my term serving on the Town Council, the position for which I am presently seeking re-election. I have not only watched Monroe grow, I have helped it grow.

That being said, there are still many improvements we can make. My main three areas I want to concentrate on are: 1) Improved spending control, especially on our roads” to maximize our tax dollars and create a sustainable future; 2) Economic Development and 3) Continuing our tradition of offering high-quality education, which makes Monroe a place where you want to move to and stay in with your family.

We CAN improve our road quality at a faster pace by utilizing some of our reserve funds and taking advantage of the low rate bonding presently available to do more each year, while also decreasing the amount we will have to spend in the future because we will be left with simple maintenance.

We CAN bring businesses into Monroe AND still keep our local charm, allowing us to lower the tax burden on the individual resident.

We CAN continue to offer a high quality education to our students, while creating a community not dependent on State Aid by increasing revenue coming in from businesses and reworking our present budgetary spending to properly allocate funds form the get go, rather than having to worry about million dollar shortfalls as a result of under-budgeting.

We CAN make Monroe even better.

I don’t just want to continue to serve this community, I want to continue to help it reach greater heights. I have been part of Monroe’s past and have learned from it. I am part of Monroe’s present and proudly serve it. I have a vision for Monroe’s future, so let’s be a part of it together.

Vote Jason Maur for Monroe for Town Council.

Frank Lieto

Frank Lieto

I want to thank the citizens of Monroe for giving me the opportunity to serve them over the past eight years as a member of the Economic Development Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission and as your current Town Council Chairman.

As a lifelong resident of Monroe and practicing attorney, I am proud to have utilized my advocacy education, negotiation skills, business management experience and hometown pride to bring sensible and fiscally responsible results to Monroe.

If re- elected, I will continue to be a fixture in the community and work tirelessly to balance economic growth and educational proficiency while maintaining a cost- effective quality of life. I will further support responsible economic development while preserving Monroe’s natural character, parks and open space.

Thank you for your consideration in re-electing me to Town Council on November 5th!

Dee Dee Martin

Dee Dee Martin

There’s something to be said for institutional memory. I’m running for re-election with the background of experience with the process. I’ve worked on many budgets and served on committees intent on making my community a better place.

Enid Lipeles

I have served over 30 years in various appointed and elected town positions. These include: Vice Chair of Park and

Enid Lipeles

Recreation, Chair of the Joint Board of Appeals, Chair of the Monroe Town Council, Vice-Chair of the Monroe Town Council, Liaison to Planning and Zoning Commission, Liaison to Finance, Health and Public Safety Commission.

Phyllis Kansky

As far as why people should vote for me, I have 45 years of municipal government

Phyllis Kansky

experience. I was Assistant to the Town Manager, Assistant to the First Selectman and then Human Resources Director. I worked in all aspects of municipal government, and was a grants writer for the Town as well.

If elected, I would bring a wealth of knowledge in the performance of my duties as Town Councilmen.

Sean O’Rourke

Sean O’Rourke

Monroe first, Party affiliation second. By the way, I believe all of us share this order of priority.

I’m a married father of two daughters, have 10 years experience serving on Town Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as on various sub-committees with chairmanships.

I’m a 25-year resident of Monroe and have given corporate support to the community.

 

 

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