is a proven leader
A few years ago I had the pleasure of serving under Jayme Stevenson when she was president of the board of the Darien Nature Center. Her ability to thoughtfully listen to the views of all members and embrace innovative ideas made my experience working with Jayme especially rewarding. She is a natural leader who strives to understand every detail of a process or operation, and then after logical consideration, decides on the best way forward. It is through this calm yet assertive manner that she motivates others towards common goals.
Darien is fortunate to have had an intelligent dedicated individual like Jayme on the Board of Selectmen, and we have all clearly benefited from her service. Darien needs people like Jayme, and I enthusiastically support her for first selectman and encourage all voters to do the same.
Democratic process must be open to all
Darien needs to have a more inclusive, objective town government. It recently was stated that Ms. Stevenson wanted meetings to start at 6:30 p.m. so there would be plenty of time for executive session. This town is filled with commuters. Many commuters are on the 7:14 p.m. train exiting Grand Central, so any 6:30 p.m. Connecticut meeting is very inopportune. This timing automatically dismisses people who may want to actually attend a meeting or want to have an issue important to them discussed.
The timetable for meetings needs to consider commuters and people who work and cannot make a 6:30 p.m. meeting.
I think that John Lundeen knows how to balance time issues and to be inclusive and cares deeply. For those reasons, he has my support to become first selectman. The Democratic team of David Bayne and Vickie Riccardo have the towns best interest at heart and make themselves available to all.
Getting issues out in front of people will make issues more transparent and encourage people to be less apathetic about getting involved in town government. In difficult financial times, it is important to plan and quantify the quality of life issues which add so much to the charm of living in Darien.
As taxpayers, we all deserve to participate with open debate, transparency and longer-range planning from our town government.
for first selectman
Soon, Gov. Malloy's tax increases, the largest in state history, will take effect, a sad reality that will hit us hard into the end of a tough year. With 9.1 percent unemployment, Connecticut ranks amongst the worst in our country.
By most counts, however, we in Darien should count ourselves fortunate. We have excellent schools and lower property taxes than most of our neighboring towns. And we have very competent leadership in the current team of selectmen. Next month, we will have a choice to continue that leadership with Jayme Stevenson.
It's easy to stand aside, to say local elections don't matter much. But it's not the case. Darien is run by a small group of individuals, both elected and volunteers, who dedicate their time and effort into making the town great. We as a country desperately need rational, intelligent people at all levels of government, whose moral compass and common sense reflect the will of the people. We have such a candidate right here in our town.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, "A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." That one vote can make a difference. Support Jayme on Nov. 8.
Chris La Jaunie
Will continue to support Republican slate
In their run for the Selectman's office two years ago, I wrote a letter of support and made a donation to the campaign for the We Are United team of Dave Campbell, Jayme Stevenson and Jerry Nielsen. Our town is a better place because of their tireless dedication and leadership that always has a common theme: "What is best for Darien?"
Our appreciation for all they have done and what they can accomplish in the next two years can best be expressed by voting Nov. 8 for Jayme Stevenson, David Campbell and Jerry Nielsen. It's not a vote against other candidates, it's a vote for Darien.
Letter in support of Jayme, Jerry and Dave
Please join me in supporting Jayme Stevenson for first selectman and Jerry Nielson and David Campbell for re-election as Darien selectmen.
I'm adding my voice to those supporting Jayme, Jerry and Dave on their re-election. I'm impressed with them as individuals and as a team and am appreciative of the job they've done as selectmen.
I served on the Darien High School Parents Association when Jayme was president, and served on the library building committee when Dave was co-chairman, and I am currently serving on the police building committee with Jerry. Thus, I've worked with each of the selectmen on important issues for the town, and have the utmost respect for each of them.
Please feel free to call me, if you haven't made up your mind about whom to support and would like to hear my views, or just want to say hi.
Don't forget what
your vote means
A vote: A formal expression of opinion or choice made by an individual. In 2008, almost 87 percent of Darienites declared their choice for the next president. That number dropped by nearly half in the 2009 Darien municipal election, where only 44 percent voted for the next leaders of our town.
Almost two years have passed, and we are again faced with the opportunity to vote. And we are again faced with choices. Jayme, Dave and Jerry are accomplished leaders, proactive problem solvers, and genuinely have Darien's best interests at heart. I've made my choice. Don't forget to make yours on Nov. 8.
Supporting the re-election of Darien Republicans
This letter is in support of the re-election of our Board of Selectmen team of Jayme Stevenson, Dave Campbell and Jerry Nielsen. These outstanding individuals have demonstrated a remarkable record of achievement in just two years and have shown that they know how to get things done which need to be done.
Rather than just talking about a housing moratorium, they have actually obtained one.
Rather than just talking about affordable housing, they have proactively innovated and supported projects which are providing or will be providing affordable housing in Darien -- without destroying the residential character of our town.
They have also initiated an open dialogue with the Hartford legislators to revise the 8-30g affordable housing statute in order to provide a workable and equitable housing solutions for all of Darien's citizens.
Now, this team has put a solution in place for our seniors that uses two town buildings instead of three and uses those two more efficiently -- while also providing an opportunity for affordable senior housing.
I would urge you to re-elect this successful team of "doers" to another term in November so that this important initiative can be successfully completed.
Editor's Note: Richard DiDonna is the vice president of the Darien Republican Town Committee.
Apply any objective standard (experience, leadership, commitment, integrity, competence) to the race for First Selectman, and the scales tip decisively in favor of Jayme Stevenson. Darien is fortunate to have someone of her background and experience running to lead the town in the next two years.
For me, the vote on election day is a no-brainer, and I urge my fellow citizens to support Jamye as well.
See Jayme set the
I encourage you all to tune in to the upcoming League of Women's Voters debate on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Town Hall where Jayme Stevenson will further demonstrate her commitment to excellence in leading Darien as your next first selectman.
The list of accomplishments from the Jayme, Dave and Jerry team is indisputable. Still, the (Randy) Klein-managed campaign of their opponents in the upcoming election has attempted to divert attention from their record of fiscal responsibility and longer term solutions that will benefit all town residents.
Attend the debate and you will be reminded why you overwhelmingly chose this team two years ago and why you should choose them again on Nov. 8 to continue to build the best quality of life in Fairfield County.
Editor's note: Joe Pizzarelli is a member of the Republican Town Committee.
Setting the mill
rate facts straight
With a chuckle, I read campaign criticism of Jayme, Dave and Jerry as driving the mill rate increases of Darien. As former chairman of the Board of Finance, I feel obligated to comment and help educate on the budgetary picture.
First and foremost, the selectmen never vote on the mill rate, and do not even propose one. The mill rate is adopted by the Board of Finance and approved by the RTM.
Second, the part of the budget under that control of the selectmen is only 26 percent of the total Darien budget. Debt service is 8 percent, and the Board of Education represents 66 percent. The continued increases in school enrollment and special education expenditures have driven the largest part of mill rate increases over the past couple years.
Third, the existing selectmen have adopted tight budgets over the past two years, which have included head count reductions and restructured operations.
If the Democrat candidates for selectmen wish to make material changes to mill rates, I would suggest that they run for the Board of Finance or the Board of Education. I, however, am very happy having Jayme, Dave and Jerry as the fiscal watchdogs of the selectmen operations.
Forget parties, vote
for the candidate
For just a minute, forget that you consider yourself a Republican or a Democrat. Forget all of the noise in Hartford and Washington that divides us. Focus on the issues facing our town; issues that can't be placed into red or blue, Republican or Democrat boxes. These are issues about our quality of life.
We are so fortunate to live in a town with incredible schools, gorgeous parks and beaches, and wonderful shops and restaurants. When it comes to a first selectman, we need the most capable and qualified person we can find. Someone who will work tirelessly to continue improving our quality of life. That person is John Lundeen.
John's background is truly impressive. With a master's in public policy from Harvard, work as a budget analyst for the White House under both Reagan and Carter, and a long career on Wall Street, John has the experience, skills, knowledge and judgment to best lead Darien. And with his extensive community involvement, it's easy to see how much he really cares about this town.
On Nov. 8, I won't be thinking red versus blue, I'll be voting for John Lundeen because he's the best choice to lead Darien.
Editor's note: Shawn St. Jean is affiliated with Democrats' Darien Working Together campaign.
Re-elect the Republicans this November
I am writing to urge your readers to support Jayme Stevenson for first selectman, and David Campbell and Jerry Nielsen for selectman this November.
As residents of the town of Darien, we are blessed to have such a dedicated team willing to commit their time and expertise for the benefit of the town. Jayme, Dave and Jerry have very deep roots in Darien, and clearly have shown a passion for our town and for getting things done and done right. They have managed our town very efficiently, leveraging their long history in town with their business acumen and their strong relationships inside and outside of Town Hall to accomplish great things for us including:
Obtaining a four year moratorium from specious 8-30g applications;
Fast-tracked resolution of emergencies;
Saved taxpayers over $6 million dollars from an ineffective solution to flooding on Heights Road while preserving valuable parkland;
Brought back the Fourth of July fireworks after a nine-year absence;
Streamlined Darien's annual spring cleanup;
Restarted the police department and Weed Beach capital projects.
Jayme, Dave and Jerry are uniquely qualified to continue this record of accomplishment. Let us continue to support them and their efforts from which we all are beneficiaries.
Samuel B. Fuller
Current administration does nothing for flooding
Flooding issues continue to plague Darien with each storm. Yet the current administration has been the model of inaction when it comes to sensible planning that addresses environmental concerns.
Thus far, we've been given vague promises of treating flooding as a crisis that needs to be resolved, yet we have seen no action. The consultants Milone and McBroom were hired to complete a study of our five watersheds areas, which included recommendations for action, but nothing has been done, not even the creation of a Flood and Erosion Control Board.
Inaction is not policy, but it is a decision -- it's a decision to avoid controversy for fear of criticism rather than standing up for development that leads to increasing our tax base without raising taxes, respects the environment without deterring commercial growth, and allows Darien to stand out as a community that allows business and residents -- of all ages -- to thrive.
That is the type of responsible, professional planning we will get from Lundeen, Bayne and Riccardo. Vote for the Lundeen ticket on Nov. 8.
of domestic violence
On behalf of the Darien Domestic Abuse Partnership, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to our many supporters. Our Healing Wings of Hope Event and Butterfly Release on Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Darien Nature Center was a huge success.
Attendees released 124 monarch butterflies in recognition of the 124 domestic violence calls to the Darien Police Department over the past year. The butterflies symbolize healing and new beginnings. We are grateful to our supporters and donors who have made it possible for us to make a generous donation to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Stamford.
We want to thank State Rep. Terrie Wood, First Selectman David Campbell, Selectman Jayme Stevenson and Selectman Jerry Nielsen for proclaiming October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We would also like to thank our generous donors: Abercrombie, Burns, McKiernan and Company; Thomas McKiernan; Aspen Education Group; Thomas Ahern; Assisted Living Associates, LLC; Dennis Patouhas; By Word of Math Tutorial; Lorraine Hurley; Darien Emergency Medical Service -- Post 53; Susan Warren; Darien Nature Center; Darien Police Association; Dawn Hurd Del Greco; D'Iorio Printing, Dr. Eric Frazer, LLC; MacGuire, Cheswick & Tuttle; Susan Cheswick Brewer; Physicians for Women's Health; Signs Pro of Stamford; Springdale Florist; The Life Solution Center of Darien; Maud Purcell & Associates, Inc.; Victoria Thomas, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Laura van Riper, MSW; Palmer's Market and the Darien Sports Shop. Our gratitude goes out to both The Darien Times and The Darien News for their wonderful coverage of Healing Wings of Hope. Finally, the Butterfly Release would not have happened without the help and support of both the Darien Domestic Abuse Partnership and the Domestic Violence Crisis Center of Stamford.
and Maud Purcell
Lundeen for a responsible Darien
The current administration claims to have addressed the needs for a new senior center.
In fact, solutions for a new senior center have been discussed for more than 12 years, and the current shuffle proposal to put the Board of Education offices in 35 Leroy Ave. is wildly expensive, particularly when our own Planning and Zoning has determined that housing -- particularly senior housing -- is the best use for this site.
John Lundeen and his team of David Bayne and Vickie Riccardo support profitable, tax-producing use of the property at 35 Leroy for senior housing instead of a costly senior center.
They support creating a new modular senior center at the current site for less than half the cost being proposed.
They support creation of a Flood and Erosion Control Board as an effective resource for necessary flood control planning.
It's our choice -- responsible planning or indecision and inaction. Vote for the Lundeen ticket on Nov. 8.
House tour a success
We were delighted to support the Rowayton Civic Association's recent house tour "September by the Sea" as volunteer hosts. Thank you to both the Civic Association for organizing the event and to the homeowners who opened up their beautiful homes to allow us to view them first-hand.
Boccanfuso celebrates more than 25 years
On behalf of those parents who have been fortunate enough to have a student occupy a desk at Middlesex Middle School, we would like to recognize and congratulate Dr. Debi Boccanfuso, principal, for more than 25 years of service to our children and community.
Middlesex Middle School is an exemplary environment for learning and kindness to others and we are truly indebted to "Dr. Bo" for her tireless efforts. Her personable approach to the parents and student body is unique and warm. Her effervescent nature and sense of humor resonate in all that she touches. One wishes it could be bottled!
What many of you don't see are the events that play out behind the scenes and the extraordinary lengths to which Dr. Bo will go to protect and nurture a student. Her emotional commitment to our sons and daughters is heart-warming and we are overwhelmed by her generosity.
It is a privilege for Darien to have such a remarkable role model for our children and we celebrate Dr. Boccanfuso's special anniversary with great respect and admiration for her dedication to our children.
Celeste Marsh and Colleen Lyons
Co-Chairmen Middlesex Middle School Parents Association