Letters & Endorsements

Letter to the Editor

Anyone who serves in public office understands that politics is all about building relationships with the communities they serve.

Fortunately for South Windsor residents, the Democratic-led Board of Education has demonstrated its ability to clearly articulate to residents the needs of the students, the staff, and how a strong school system makes for a strong community.

Led by Chairman Craig Zimmerman, the BOE, in partnership with Superintendent Carter, has constantly and consistently shared its vision and mission with residents. Through the BOE’s work, the school system has become a model for our state partners as it relates to the successful facilities master plan, with newly constructed schools being completed on schedule and within or below budget.

This is only one of the many reasons that South Windsor is one of the few districts seeing an influx of new students, something that will help secure additional state funding each year. By passing budgets that are in line with their strategic initiatives, the BOE has responsibly managed costs.

Aside from the money, which we too often focus on rather than what’s occurring in the classroom, the Democratic-led BOE successfully implemented a world language program within elementary schools, deployed devices at all grade levels to ensure equal access to computers, and hired highly capable and competent leaders at the middle and high schools.

The BOE has also kept the safety and security of your children at the forefront of its work, evident by the newly hired director of safety and security.

All of these successes have been achieved because your elected leaders have taken the time to speak with you and listen to what you have to say to educate not only your children, but parents and guardians on the challenges and opportunities that face South Windsor.

As one of South Windsor’s state representatives, and a former BOE Chair myself, I can tell you with confidence that your vote for the Democratic candidates for Board of Education will ensure that South Windsor continues to be a model community.

Jeff Currey
East Hartford
The writer is the state representative for the 11th District.

Published in the Journal Inquirer, October 30, 2019

Letter to the Editor

Local elections matter. On Nov. 5, South Windsor voters will elect candidates who will make decisions that impact their everyday lives. Decisions on taxes, road maintenance, and snow removal. Decisions regarding fire and ambulance services, and programs for seniors and youth. Decisions on economic development, open space, farmland preservation, and our children’s education.

We, the voters, trust our leaders to make choices that reflect our vision for our community. It’s important to look at the accomplishments of the elected officials who have been in a leadership role for the past two years and who are asking for your support this Election Day.

If you support fiscally responsible budgets such as the one approved for the 2019-20 fiscal year that has the lowest tax increase in 10 years, vote for the Democrats on Row A. If you believe maintaining roads, sidewalks, and buildings should continue to be a priority, vote Row A. If you believe economic development balanced with open space and farmland preservation is important, vote Row A. If you believe all our children deserve modern, safe schools with technology that prepares them for the future, vote Row A.

For the past two years, a Democratic majority has lead the Town Council, Board of Education, and Planning and Zoning Commission. Democrats have worked hard to make sure South Windsor is a great place to work, live, and raise families. Support the Democratic team, vote Row A. See you at the polls.

Elizabeth McGuire
South Windsor

Published in the Journal Inquirer, October 21, 2019

Letter to the Editor

I have known South Windsor Mayor Andrew Paterna for nearly 10 years. In that time, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many dedicated public servants. Paterna is by far one of the most compassionate, caring, and committed individuals I have ever worked with. His dedication to our community has helped South Windsor become one of the most desirable towns in Greater Hartford.

Paterna is the most qualified person and a visionary person to lead the South Windsor Town Council. Together, Paterna, Deputy Mayor Liz Pendelton, Councilors Mary Justice Hockenberry, Karen Lydecker, and Cesar Lopez, and council candidate Erica Evans will continue to guide the town into a promising future.

South Windsor mayors are chosen from the political party that wins the majority on the council. That’s why I urge residents to vote Row A on Nov. 5. Continue our Democratic leadership and help Paterna build on the successes of the past two years.

Saud Anwar
The writer is the state senator for the Third District.

Published in the Journal Inquirer, October 23, 2019

Letter to the Editor

Anyone who is paying attention is a witness to how partisan our politics have become. We have barricaded ourselves in our political bunkers, but this tribalism seems to relate more to national, state, and regional politics.

More often than not the genesis of this is a passion for a core issue or two — a woman’s right to choose, gun rights, etc. But for many of us, these issues are more philosophical, as they often don’t impact our day to day lives.

When it comes to issues that do affect our daily lives — quality schools; improved streets and roads; development that drives new tax revenue; limiting tax increases; programs that support our youth and seniors; securing open space that we can enjoy, etc. — we tend to be more politically moderate. After all, at the town level we’re all in this together — every day.

When it comes to these important local issues, South Windsor residents should know that under the leadership of the Democrat-led Town Council, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, the progress that’s been made has been extraordinary.

We are in the midst of building all new elementary schools and have implemented new safety and security measures. Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, as well as other well-known and respected companies, have chosen South Windsor as a place to do business. Roads and sidewalks are being added and improved, as are bike trails. The list of improvements is overwhelming. You can see more at www.southwindsordemocrats.com.

The suggestion here is that those who identify as Republican or independent should consider staying the course with our Democrat-led councils and commissions. If you like what you’ve been seeing and hearing around town, then assure that the progress continues. Vote Democratic on Nov. 5.

Paul Bernstein
South Windsor

Published in the Journal Inquirer, October 8, 2019

Letter to the Editor

The Democratic team for the Board of Education has never been stronger. There are five of us who are proudly running for election, each with different perspectives and skills that make us the right team for South Windsor’s future.

We write, as a team, to ask respectfully for your vote on Nov. 5.

The Board of Education has been successful under our leadership. We have worked with Superintendent Dr. Kate Carter and the administration, all our great teachers and staff, and many local volunteers — always in a bipartisan manner with our Republican friends and neighbors on the board.

For example, we have: built one new elementary school and are in the process of completing two more (with a referendum for a fourth and final new elementary school expected this March); we added an Elementary World Language Program; we worked to increased student and school safety; hired two new energetic leaders for our middle and high schools; and safeguarded the continued excellence of our entire school system.

With an increasing student school population, expected decreases in state education assistance, and the many complex issues in a school district like ours, the next few years will be challenging for our town and school district — but our Democratic team has shown that we can continue to meet these challenges and deliver for our students and families.

We pledge to continue to work across party lines to provide the best education we can to each of our students. We truly put our kids and schools before all politics.

For continued excellence in our South Windsor schools, please vote for the entire Democratic team on Nov. 5. Vote Row A all the way.

Craig Zimmerman
South Windsor

Published in the Journal Inquirer, October 2, 2019

Letter to the Editor

In the past two years, the South Windsor Town Council, led by Democrats has shown great financial leadership. Earlier this year, the council approved a fiscally responsible town budget. The budget includes only a 1.9 percent tax increase. That’s the lowest increase in 10 years.

In addition, the Democratic-led Town Council has helped the town’s older citizens stay in their homes by expanding the senior tax credit. Our hardworking volunteer firefighters are getting a financial break too, with the council’s adoption of a fire tax abatement that reduces their taxes, depending on eligibility.

South Windsor residents have more money in their pockets because Democrats have been careful with taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

Let’s keep our community on the right financial road. On Election Day, Nov. 5, join me in voting Row A, for Mayor Andrew Paterna, Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Pendleton, Erica Evans, Mary Justine Hockenberry, Cesar Lopez, and Karen Lydecker.

Dwight Johnson
South Windsor

Published in the Journal Inquirer, September 23, 2019

Letter to the Editor

I would like to see the Democrats continue to lead the South Windsor Town Council because of the way they have improved the town’s financial situation over the past two years.

Our current year’s tax increase is under 2%, which is less than many other Hartford area towns. In addition to carefully monitoring town expenses, the Democrats have managed to keep tax increases down by increasing economic development. New construction is visible across much of South Windsor, while open space objectives have never been compromised.

In addition, the Democrat-led Town Council has taken action to make sure the town’s finances are less vulnerable in the future. They have accomplished this by establishing a tax stabilization fund that can be used to maintain services and offset tax increases if there are future declines in the town’s revenue.

All of these steps taken by the Democrat-led Town Council have assured that South Windsor will continue to be both a desirable and affordable community. I would like to see that continue and, for all who agree, the best way is to vote Row A — Democratic — on Nov. 5.

Mark Abrahamson
South Windsor

Published in the Journal Inquirer, September 19, 2019

A Message from Your South Windsor Democratic Town Committee

From now until election day on Tuesday, November 5, Democratic candidates for the South Windsor Town Council, Board of Education, and the Planning and Zoning Commission will be walking through local neighborhoods to talk to residents. This will be a great opportunity for voters to meet the candidates and discuss any issues or share ideas and concerns.

South Windsor Democrats have an amazing track record. In the past two years, the Town Council and Board of Education have passed fiscally responsible budgets, brought new businesses to town, and preserved farmland and open space.

The Democratic team has ensured the forward progress of the 10-year elementary school building plan, including the completion of Orchard Hill School and the soon-to-be finished Eli Terry and Philip R. Smith schools. In addition, our team is in full support of the next phase of the plan and will be supporting the construction of the new Pleasant Valley School.

Your hard-working Democratic leaders assisted homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations through a tax-fixing agreement, helped seniors stay in their homes through expanded tax credit, and improved town roads and sidewalks.

Under the Democratic majority, South Windsor continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

Remember, your elected officials work for you. I encourage South Windsor voters to talk to the Democratic candidates and look at their record. Once you do, I have no doubt that you will see that the Democrats deserve reelection.

Find out more about the candidates and the issues on the South Windsor Town Committee’s Facebook page, and on Our 2019 Candidates page on this website.

Anthony Duarte
Chairman, South Windsor Democratic Town Committee