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Council Experience

I have been elected to Wallingford’s Town Council in every election since 2009, was elected vice-chair in
2012, and have been elected to Chair our Council the past five terms, with bi-partisan support each
time. During these last fourteen years, Wallingford has undertaken many significant issues that required
calm, measured and experienced leadership with bi-partisan action. This is exactly what I will bring to
the job as Mayor, with your support.

Leading a town like Wallingford requires experience, thoughtful decision-making, and a bias towards bi-
partisan collaboration. Our town’s annual budget is approximately $187million, spread across 27
departments, including education, with many needs and priorities. Our next Mayor must have the
experience and judgment to lead and manage such complexity.

It would be impossible to list every issue and decision I have been involved with and led over these
fourteen years. There are a few worth mentioning here that show my leadership style, and, of which, I
am particularly proud.

Reactions to the COVID crisis. Like every other city and town in our country, the COVID crisis
was a significant moment in time that changed many lives and forced many decisions… few of
them easy to make. During this period, I worked with my colleagues to:
Shift all of the Council’s business to virtual platforms. Like every other organization, the pivot to
doing business virtually needed to be rapid. And while we all are very comfortable in these
formats now, that was not the case at the time. The pivot needed to be quick and effective…
and it was. In this case, I partnered directly with the administration. This then led to the rest of
the Town’s boards and commissions adopting the same virtual meeting platform;
Increase outdoor dining options in our town by allowing our local restaurants to continue to do
business while keeping everyone safe. Outdoor dining is now a highlight within Wallingford. We
have continued these same initiatives post-pandemic, initially as a result of my work, since by
state statute, with great results for restaurants and their patrons;

I know how to lead during a crisis, and after it is over. As your Mayor, I will use my experience to
Wallingford’s advantage and continue to make decisions in this same manner, with a style that
is thoughtful, and prioritizes a balance between the health and safety of our community, and
supports the businesses of Wallingford.

Navigating Community Pool. This has been a significant and important topic for years. Prior to
closing the pool in 2019, the facility’s use was rapidly declining, and the costs of maintaining the
property were rapidly rising. This issue required thoughtful, bi-partisan work to make the best
possible decisions for everyone in the town. In particular, I worked with fellow Councilor Chris
Shortell, along with the pool administrator, to keep the pool open through Labor Day 2019,
which was a first. Since 2019, the pool has been closed, much to the disappointment of many in

As part of my platform, I am committed to finding ways to solve this problem, and re-open the
property even if we need to do so in some other form.

Transparency in Town Financial Reporting. In 2016, I worked with fellow Councilor Marrone to
dramatically improve the council’s and the public’s ability to access information on the town
budget, along with tracking it throughout the year:

We added a summary page to the monthly reports that will give anyone who is interested a
quick glance into the state of our performance vs the annual budget;
During this term, I worked with the Program Planning Department to create a historical archive
of agendas and minutes in a searchable format on the Town’s website.

As part of my platform, I am committed to finding additional ways to increase transparency into
the process and the decisions that are made on behalf of the residents of Wallingford. Residents
deserve information and leaders who understand this. In particular, under my administration,
we will make a major commitment to technology, to make transparency and the ability to
conduct business with the town far easier.

Revision of the Town’s Charter. In the 2016-17 term, the Town Council worked together in a bi-
partisan way to conduct the first successful revision of the Town’s Charter (our core governing
document) in nearly thirty years. Some of the work was simply long-overdue language updating
and cleanup. But there were substantive improvements made as well. In particular, we took the
politics out of one the most important positions in our town; the appointment of the Fire
Marshall. Under the old version of the Charter, the position was filled by appointment from the
Town Council. Since our revision, the position is now filled by appointment from the appropriate
expert – Wallingford’s Fire Chief. My colleagues and I gave up political power to do what was
right for the town.

This is exactly the kind of decision-making and leadership you can expect from my
administration. I have a clear track record of doing what’s right for our Town, regardless of the

Making It Easier To Do Business with Wallingford. Our Town’s Charter gives broad powers to
the Mayor to conduct the business of the town, and allowing the purchasing department to
request, review and accept bids for the projects and purchases that need to be completed. By
town ordinance, there was a low threshold for contracts for purchases without going through
the bid process. However, my fellow Town Council members and I took a close look at how
other towns conduct their business. We modified the purchasing ordinance to increase the bid
waiver threshold by 3x, which dramatically simplified the purchasing process.

This type of process, while not particularly flashy, is a perfect example of how my years of
experience leading the Town Council will benefit Wallingford when you elect me as your next
Mayor. I will listen to and collaborate with business leaders as well as taxpayers to find the best
ways to stretch our dollars and get projects done, efficiently and effectively.

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