Letters Of Endorsement

To the Editor:

I am writing today to voice my support for Mary Ann Jacob as my representative for the Legislative Council in District 2. I have known Mary Ann for almost ten years, meeting when our sons were in kindergarten at Sandy Hook School. Mary Ann has served two terms on the council with a level-headed approach that serves us well. She listens and asks questions, sticking to the issues and facts. Her well-balanced approach to education, spending, and other town matters makes me confident in her ability to lead on my behalf. She has been a member of the community for more than 15 years.

As I stated earlier, we met when our high school children were in kindergarten. Since then she has served as a PTA president at both Sandy Hook and Newtown Middle School. Mary Ann has been active in budget advocacy for many years and most recently worked with others to pass the referendum to rebuild our Sandy Hook School.

Please join me on November 5 at Reed School and vote Yes for Mary Ann Jacob.

Donna Sullivan

4 Liberty Drive, Sandy Hook                                      October 17, 2013


To the Editor:

Providing an education, as I have stated before, is a relatively simple task. Planning for a quality education, that provides the resources that our students need to achieve their maximum potential — in an increasingly complex world environment — requires that those deciding on the curriculum have the background and experience necessary to provide that which is necessary in today’s challenging environment. It is our primary responsibility to elect individuals to the Board of Education that have the academic background and business experiences that support student development.

I believe that Michelle Ku is that person. She is a constant school volunteer and has been a member of the PTA. In addition, she has served on the Town’s Charter Revision Commission. She has a PhD in pathobiology and has worked in corporate and academic roles; as a teaching assistant and adjunct lecturer at Brown University.

Specifically, Michelle would like to see a comprehensive strategic plan developed with input from parents, teachers, and administrators. She believes the objectives of such a plan will serve as the guidelines for our short-term and long-term decisionmaking in education.

In addition, she would develop comprehensive programs that allow students with various academic abilities to achieve to their maximum ability. Every student has certain strengths and weaknesses and it is our responsibility to make available programs that match each student’s requirements for success.

She will be open to new and innovative approaches that balance the need for fiscal responsibility with the ultimate goal of academic excellence. Education requires that a certain amount of money be spent developing programs that address our current needs, however, she believes it is equally as important to spend the money wisely and in accordance with appropriate programs.

Michelle Ku has what is necessary for membership on the Board of Education. She knows very well what our students need for their successful development. What she needs to accomplish their success is your vote. Please consider voting for Michelle Ku so that our students can experience the successes that she can help provide.

A.P. Roznicki

169 Hanover Road, Newtown                                   October 17, 2013

To the Editor:

Tuesday, November 5, is Election Day for municipal offices. Please remember to vote or make absentee arrangements with our Newtown Town Clerk, Debbie Aurelia.

Speaking of Debbie Aurelia, I am writing to endorse her run for reelection for town clerk. Having served as our town clerk since 2007, Deb has the critical experience needed to handle all challenges of the job and beyond. From her certifications as a certified and master town and municipal clerk, to her work as chairman of the Newtown website redesign committee and her involvement in local causes, she has more than her finger on the pulse of the job…she also has her heart in Newtown.

As a Newtown resident for more than 36 years, Debbie knows what makes us tick, as a community. After 12/14 and in this, Newtown’s most challenging year, she repeated demonstrated incredible commitment to protecting the privacy of our local families and community. This was well beyond the call of duty and I’d like every reader to understand the courage and willingness to sacrifice for others demonstrated by Debbie, in the most unassuming way.

Debbie Aurelia cares deeply. She does her job well. She is part of the fabric of Newtown. She has my respect and, as I see it, she has earned another term as town clerk. Please join me on November 5 in casting your vote for Debbie Aurelia, town clerk of Newtown.

Mitch Bolinsky

3 Wiley Lane, Newtown                                              October 22, 2013



To the Editor:

I am writing you today in regard to Ann Benore, who is currently running for town clerk.

It was December 19, 2012, when I first had the great pleasure of meeting Ann. My brother and I had just arrived in Newtown to volunteer after the Sandy Hook tragedy. We were placed with a team of volunteers responsible for assembling the children’s gift giveaway, which Ann happened to be heading up. Over the next few days we all worked diligently through long hours to prepare for this event with Ann still attending to her social services requirements as well.

During the next few weeks Ann made sure she showed her appreciation by touring us through your beautiful town proudly educating us of its great history. She introduced us to everyone ranging from local patrons, business owners, town hall staff, to the chief of police.

Through this experience what stood out most to us was not the 20 years of residency or the multiple years of experience in the town clerk’s office, but a person with true knowledge, loyalty, pride, and passion to do whatever is needed to insure a positive move forward for her town.

It was a real blessing to have spent time in Newtown and an even greater blessing getting to know Ann. When elected to the position of town clerk I know that Ann will far exceed any and all expectations.


James B. Pennington

9201 Brodie Lane, Austin, TX                                   October 17, 2013


To the Editor:

Kathy (Fetchick) Hamilton is an incumbent running for the Board of Education. Kathy not only has an intelligent and complete comprehension of school workings but also knowledge of town business and how the two support one another. If you ask Kathy a question that she cannot immediately respond to (and there are few) she will get the answer and get back to you. In addition to settling in a new house, raising two school age children, she is constantly and tirelessly in motion donating her time for the good of Newtown.

She is such a worthy candidate I strongly endorse her and ask that you vote for her in the November 5 election.

JoAnne Albanesi

14 Watkins Drive, Sandy Hook                                 October 20, 2013


To the Editor:

This letter is in support of Neil Chaudhary in his bid for election to his first full term on the Legislative Council.

I had the opportunity to work with Neil when a predicted six-month Lyme disease/Newtown Committee became a two-year effort to produce perhaps the most definitive study of its type. Neil’s contribution to the committee displayed traits that will serve him and Newtown well on the council. He is a highly intelligent, hardworking professional with the ability to work comfortably with people of diverse backgrounds and opinions. His leadership skills were evident in numerous interviews that the committee had with established experts in their fields. Equally important, he is open-minded, having the ability to modify a position after debate.

It is with great conviction that I can endorse Dr Chaudhary for his election to the Legislative Council.


Peter Licht

172 Mt Pleasant Road, Newtown                            October 20, 2013


To the Editor:

Once again it is election time and each candidate’s accolades will be touted repeatedly to “assist” you in making your choice for town clerk. As Newtown’s previous town clerk of 20 years, I believe experience, honesty, and integrity are the most important qualities a town clerk should possess.

The incumbent, Debbie Aurelia, has more than six years experience as Newtown’s town clerk and additional experience as an assistant town clerk, far surpassing her opponent’s experience only as an assistant town clerk. Other writers will present the credentials for both candidates in an effort to sway you, the voter, but nothing can duplicate the actual hands-on experience of performing the duties of the town clerk on a daily basis.

Debbie Aurelia’s honesty and integrity are unquestionable as the business of the town clerk’s office has always been conducted in a fair, ethical, and professional manner. She has strong community ties and has, and will continue to participate in a variety of community service activities and organizations that help to keep Newtown the very special place it is.

Please vote for Debbie Aurelia for town clerk and be assured that the office of the town clerk will continue to maintain the high degree of excellence in its service to the citizens of Newtown.

Cindy Simon

3589 NE 107th St Road, Anthony, Fla.                  October 21, 2013


To the Editor:

I’m writing this letter to endorse Paul Lundquist for Legislative Council, D-1.

I endorse Paul not because of his political ideology or affiliations. I endorse him because of the great personal qualities and traits he posses. For those of you that don’t know Paul, he is an independent thinker with a great sense of family values, integrity, intelligence, and his professional background in analytics make him an excellent problem solver. I feel that Paul has already established himself as a trusted leader in our community. Reelecting Paul assures all of us a voice of reason, compassion, and genuine caring about our community.

Paul Lundquist’s leadership and deep commitment to this community will make him an invaluable resource to all of us as a member of the Legislative Council.

Thank you,

Cody Foss

Mountain Manor, Sandy Hook                                   October 23, 2013


To the Editor:

The Town of Newtown should be very proud of their incumbent Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead. I have known Debbie for almost nine years. She is one of the most hardworking, energetic people I know with a sincere commitment to her job and service to the community. Debbie is very conscientious in running an efficient and friendly office and is dedicated to serving the town. As town clerk, Debbie has a myriad of tasks each day, including the recording of all land records, issuing of vital records, and the posting of agendas and minutes for the boards and commissions in town.

Debbie’s commitment to continuing education and keeping up on pertinent legislation is evidenced by her willingness to attend town clerk classes and conferences, as well as giving up summer vacation four years in a row to attend advanced certification classes in New Hampshire. She became a certified municipal clerk in 2011, has completed the requirements for master Connecticut town clerk, and is very close to receiving her master municipal clerk. Debbie spent countless hours at the beginning of this year working with state representatives and the legislative committee of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association on two proposed bills regarding accessibility of vital statistics that could affect all of us.

Debbie has exhibited time and time again how dedicated she is to her position and to the Town of Newtown. If you want continued experience, intelligence and energy in your town clerk’s office, the obvious choice is Debbie Aurelia Halstead.

Michele Grande

Town Clerk of Redding

52 Huckleberry Road, Redding                                  October 21, 2013


To the Editor:

I am writing to heartily endorse Paul Lundquist to another term on the Legislative Council.

Paul is a smart, rational, and compassionate man who is adept at team play as well as sticking his neck out for something he believes in, even when standing alone. One instance of the latter was when Paul spoke out against the proposed Board of Education reductions, knowing in his heart that our children are the future of this nation; the quality of their education can never be compromised.

As a member of the Legislative Council for the past two years, Paul supported fiscally conservative financial policies and goals, with a vision of restoring some balance to school funding. Paul believes that with a combination of sound fiscal policy and appropriate levels of funding, we can invest wisely in our town’s future.

Paul is the rare politician who checks his own needs at the door, identifying commonalities of opinion across diverse groups, before making decisions that are based on facts and data.

He has selflessly worked with a variety of people in our town, from the many hours he spent working without pay to roll out a comprehensive study for the town, to working to help heal our town after 12/14.

Paul is a devoted father to two boys, a loving husband, and a good friend to many.

Please vote for Paul Lundquist on November 5. Our town needs him.

Scott Wolfman

30 Obtuse Road, Newtown                                         October 21, 2013


October 22, 2013


To the Editor:

I am writing in support of the candidacy of Neil Chaudhary for a seat on the Legislative Council.

I worked with Neil on the Tick-Borne Disease Action Committee for two years. Neil’s willingness to research complicated issues and his ability to draw conclusions from such information was an asset to the committee. His open-minded approach helped to moderate the business of the committee and his ultimate commitment to finish the task at hand was admirable. I am sure that these qualities will serve him well as a continuing member of the Legislative Council.

Mary Gaudet-Wilson

12 Whippoorwill Hill Road, Newtown                     October 22, 2013


To the Editor:

My husband and I recently had the opportunity to mingle with our Legislative Council at a social event. We feel very lucky to have such a dedicated, intelligent, and self-sacrificing group of volunteers serving as our Legislative Council. It has been a difficult year and knowing we have a new school being built soon is bringing light into a dark space. We wanted to thank all of them for their service!

Mary Ann Jacob is a member our Legislative Council that sets the standard high. We have known her for over ten years. Her commitment and passion for our town is admirable. She has handled difficult projects with creativity and grace. She has an innate ability to understand complex issues and speak plainly about them. Her affection for this town is contagious. We are giving our vote to Mary Ann Jacob this election and hope she gets the opportunity to continue serving on the Legislative Council. She will always do her best for us and be available to explain her decisions. She is transparent with her legislative work and that is refreshing!

Laura & Greg Smith

53 Mohawk Trail, Sandy Hook                                  October 22, 2013


To the Editor:

I am writing on behalf of the candidacy of Mary Ann Jacob for the Legislative Council. I have had the opportunity of serving with her as part of local government here in Newtown (I was on the Board of Education while she served on the Legislative Council), and over the past year, have appeared on numerous occasions before the Legislative Council Ordinance Subcommittee, of which, she is the chair.

The issues before the committee were particularly sensitive to our town and required a leader with experience and skill to officiate the process. Ms Jacob managed the many and various opinions of our citizens in a highly charged atmosphere in such a manner that preserved their right to be fairly heard.

We rely on our public officials to treat each citizen’s concerns with dignity and to uphold our constitutionally guaranteed right to process in dealing with local issues. Ms Jacob has continually demonstrated her commitment to these ideals through her service on the Legislative Council. For these reasons, Ms. Jacob has earned my support for another term.

Andrew J. Buzzi, Jr

38 Obtuse Road, Newtown                                         October 22, 2013


To The Editor:

It is my pleasure to indorse Mary Ann Jacob for the Legislative Council, District 2. She is currently the incumbent vice chairman and has served with distinction for the last four years.

Mary Ann has demonstrated a strong ability to navigate difficult issues with fairness and common sense. She is always well informed and is straightforward, honest and dedicated.

It is exactly this type of experienced leadership that we need as we move forward to tackle issues and seize opportunities.

I encourage all citizens of District 2 to vote for Mary Ann Jacob for the Legislative Council.

Very Truly Yours,

Bob Geckle

35 Queen Street, Newtown                                         October 18, 2013


To the Editor:

I met Michelle Ku at more than one of our Legislative Council meetings. She’s always been an interested citizen. When the previous education budget failed last year, it was Michelle who urged everyone on the council to sign a petition to pass the budget on the third try, which it did. Michelle saw the need to unite the voters and the council behind the budget, and was sensitive to both taxpayer concerns and educational needs.

I believe Michelle will balance these two needs — to keep taxes as low as possible while still meeting the needs of our schools — as a member of the Board of Education. I recommend her to serve as a member for a better education system while keeping the rising cost at a minimum. I believe Michelle has the knowledge and know-how to get the job done.


Dan Amaral

Legislative Council Member, District 3

41 Elm Drive, Newtown                                   October 22, 2013


To the Editor:

It is my privilege to endorse Dan Wiedemann in his run for a second term in Legislative Council. In the ten years that I have known him, Dan has been an active member of our Newtown community, including being a mentor and positive role model for the many kids that he has coached in youth basketball.

In addition to being fiscally responsible, Dan has always been honest, fair, and someone whom I’ve been proud to call friend and neighbor.


Jennifer Ayles

Toddy Hill Road, Sandy Hook                          October 22, 2013


To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Mary Ann Jacob for reelection to the Legislative Council in our upcoming local elections on November 5. I first encountered Mary Ann’s service to community years ago when she was our school’s PTA president, and more recently I have witnessed closely her extraordinary commitment to public service. She puts forth incredible time and effort as an active community member and in her work on the Legislative Council, balancing and compromising when needed to find the best solutions among varied interests. She walks the walk in her service to our town, soliciting public input, attending meetings, answering e-mails, listening to district parents, talking with business owners, encouraging participation, and clarifying policies and procedures when someone has a question.

Mary Ann Jacob is a thoughtful, sensible, intelligent, and tireless worker — a true asset to our Legislative Council and Newtown’s government.


Lynn Edwards

3 Sand Hill Road, Sandy Hook                         October 19. 2013


To the Editor:

It is my pleasure to endorse Mary Ann Jacobs for reelection to the Legislative Council. Mary Ann’s dedication to the Town and to the District which she serves has been very evident over the past several years.

Mary Ann has been a very strong supporter of the Sandy Hook business district, supporting infrastructure upgrades during her time on the council. She attended and assisted in many SHOP-sponsored activities that have been held to invite families to enjoy the beauty Sandy Hook has to offer.

Mary Ann has been a shining light in inspiring the school community this past year. Her dedication in serving on the committee to site the new school, her hard work in relocating Sandy Hook School to its temporary home in Monroe, and her tireless efforts to engage the public to get out and vote for the new school referendum are just a few of the reasons that I will be voting for her to be reelected to represent our District on the Legislative Council. I hope you will also.

Michael Burton

107 Glen Road, Sandy Hook                            October 23, 2013


To the Editor:

Debbie A. Aurelia has served as Newtown’s town clerk for the past six years and as assistant town clerk for two and a half years prior. She has run the office with great confidence and professionalism. Over her last two elected terms she has been able to transform the department into a modern-day town clerk’s office by implementing the latest technology in recording, scanning, certifying and viewing the many types of documents her office receives. She has protected our communities’ records and has looked out for the best interest of Newtown and our citizens.

I have been friends with Debbie for over 20 years and currently volunteer with her at the Sandy Hook Fire Company’s Ladies Auxiliary. She brings with her trust, loyalty, and confidence to get any job done. She has always gone out of her way to lend a helping hand and help bring order and stability to our community with out any hesitation.

I am honored to be able to endorse such an experienced, caring and compassionate town clerk as Debbie A. Aurelia.

Vote for Debbie A. Aurelia and allow her to continue to record and protect our communities’ history.


Laura Comerford

25 West Side Road, Woodbury                          October 23, 2013


To the Editor:

Education is a complex science involving numerous variables: students, parents, faculty, community, and resources. Like a Celtic knot, these strands come together at various points, changing their position as they move forward to the next juncture. Should the hands of the weaver be too forceful or too lax, the final product is a distortion of the intended design. In the hands of a patient, creative weaver, the final product is a thing of beauty: balanced, strong, perpetual. Michelle Embree Ku embodies the patient weaver.

Michelle’s resume reflects her passion for learning, both in the pursuit of academics and as a member of our community. Pick any representative body in Newtown — Board of Selectmen, Legislative Council, Board of Education — and you have will have seen Michelle there. Always prepared, Michelle would be the speaker you notice: asking insightful questions, offering rational solutions to challenges, speaking with conviction while being respectful of others’ opinions.

Michelle’s dedication to being an informed parent and community member, her ability to find solutions that balance the needs of a broad constituency, and most importantly, her demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, cooperatively, and collegially make her an ideal candidate for the Board of Education.

It is with utmost respect for her dedication to our community and with the deepest gratitude that she has stepped forward as a candidate, that I support Michelle Embree Ku for the Board of Education.


Karen C. Pierce

10 Chestnut Hill Road, Sandy Hook               October 22, 2013

To the Editor:

I believe Ann LoBosco Benore will make a fantastic town clerk for Newtown! I have worked closely with her this past year — both of us appointed by the town to the Donations Coordination Team overseeing the appropriate distribution of the many material gifts to our community.

Ann has organized and managed with sensitivity and fairness a number of major “donation distribution days” for the Sandy Hook/Newtown community. She administered these events with efficiency and grace: publicizing them, recruiting volunteers, obtaining public space, assuring security, and accounting for the disposition of gifts to as many community children as possible. This is emblematic of the dedication she brings to public service, and especially to Newtown.

Ann has been certified by the State of Connecticut as a town clerk and she has over five years experience as Newtown’s assistant town clerk and Newtown Borough clerk.

She has shown such a willingness to go beyond the expected 9 to 5 in order to find solutions for those who need help, including our town’s many seniors. She is caring, conscientious, and has a wonderful, approachable, up-beat personality which sure would be welcome in the town clerk’s office!

I’m an enthusiastic supporter and I hope you will vote for Ann LoBosco Benore for Newtown’s next town clerk.


Lea Embree

25 Old Green Road, Sandy Hook                               October 23, 2013

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