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2023 Republican Municipal Candidates 



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Mark A. Lauretti

Mark A. Lauretti was first elected as Mayor in 1991 and is currently serving his 16th consecutive term.  During his 32 years in office, Shelton has achieved unprecedented economic growth for which it has received national and statewide recognition.  As mayor, he oversees a municipal budget exceeding $131 million dollars.

Shelton's Grand List has grown from $1.28 Billion in 1991, Mayor Lauretti's first year in office, to $6.68 Billion today, an astonishing increase of 421.875%.  In 1991, Shelton's mill rate was 38.33; today it is 17.47 mills, the eighth lowest and most consistent mill rate in Connecticut.

Remediation of brownfields along Canal Street was financed by state and federal grants, permitting new construction by private investors along it and Howe Avenue valued at over $140 Million.  With the extension of Constitution Boulevard, 64 acres will open for additional business development, with an estimated 600,000 square feet of new commercial or manufacturing space expected.  Besides an estimated $1 Million in new tax revenue to the City, hundreds of new jobs are expected to be generated.


Mayor Lauretti’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for the residents of Shelton is reflected in the City acquiring of over 2,000 acres of fully paid open space; over 15 miles of hiking trails, with four miles handicapped accessible;

a community center with a year-round swimming program, sports leagues, exercise classes, and numerous enrichment programs; and even a dog park!


Prior to first being elected, Mayor Lauretti was a small business owner, teacher, and a coach for the track and basketball teams at Shelton High School, Syracuse University and Central High School in Bridgeport.  An athlete himself, he played in a professional basketball league in Bologna, Italy after college.


Mayor Lauretti is a Vice-Chairman of the Metropolitan Planning Organization in Bridgeport, Vice Chair of the Valley Council of Governments, Chairman of the VCOG Regional Roundtable, member of the Coastal Corridor Transportation Investment Area Board, former President of the Board of Directors for the Nutmeg State Games, former member of the Board of Directors of Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority (CRRA), former member of the Executive Board member of the Housatonic Council of Boy Scouts of America, Past President of the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, member of the Board of Directors of the Fairfield County Sports Commission and Chairman of the Valley Transit District.


Mayor Lauretti holds an undergraduate degree in environmental zoology from Ohio University and a Master’s degree in Science Education from Syracuse University.  He and his wife have four children who all attended Shelton public schools.

City Treasurer

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Raymond M. O'Leary

A Shelton resident of 44 years, Ray is married, has two daughters and five grandchildren.  He is a graduate of Croft High School, Waterbury and attended Finance courses at Post College, Waterbury and the University of New Hampshire.  Ray has been the City of Shelton’s Treasurer since 2011.  Now retired, Ray was a management consultant in the financial industry for 30 years and founded Growth Services Group, Inc. in 1985.


Ray served on the Shelton Board of Education for 11 years, as its Chairman for four years and Vice Chairman and Chairman of its Finance Committee for seven years.  He also served as a member of the City of Shelton’s Ethics Committee for one year.


Ray’s priority as City Treasurer is, and always will be, continuing the Lauretti administration’s positive record of investments, responsible growth, low taxation and controlled spending.  He is especially concerned about changing regulations and the need to have a system to insure the overall safety and soundness of all City bank accounts and investments.

Ward 1 Aldermen

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Porter McKinnon

Porter has resided in Shelton since 1997 with his wife and three children.  Even though he hasn’t lived here his whole life, he considers Shelton his hometown. Porter’s first two children graduated from Shelton High in 2017 and 2021, and his third child is a member of the class of 2025.


Porter is the Vice President of Art & Print Production at Penny Publications which publishes over 800 titles and prints over 50 million books per year.  He is responsible for managing its budgets and negotiating contracts for the art, typesetting and print production departments and recognizes the importance of controlling spending, labor costs and waste.


An eight-year volunteer for the SHS Quarterback Club, Porter served as its President for six years, during which time he worked closely with the school administration as well as the Board of Education to enhance the experience of not only the football players, but all scholar athletes.  When his children were younger, he was active as a coach with Shelton’s T-Ball and Youth Soccer programs.  He was also a member of the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club for five years, volunteering thousands of hours to help raise money to support the community.


Porter’s tenure as Quarterback Club president gave him insight on Shelton’s Board of Education budget, and in that role he spoke out against “pay-to-play”.  Porter supports the proposed Charter changes as it would allow for the creation of a permanent Technology Commission which would assist the City and the Board of Education to plan and transition into new technologies as they become available. Porter knows how to look at the big picture, how to pay close attention to every detail and, above all, how to spend smartly.  As an alderman, Porter’s focus will continue to expect responsible spending from all City departments in order for Shelton to continue a low mill rate and provide a great education system.

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Anthony F. Simonetti

Anthony has been a Shelton resident for 62 years and is where he attended elementary school. He is a graduate of Notre Dame High School, West Haven, received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Scranton, and has done post-graduate studies at the University of Bridgeport and Quinnipiac College.


Anthony is retired from a 53-year career as owner/manager/administrator of nursing homes in Shelton, Derby, North Haven and Phoenix, Arizona.  He also worked for Sikorsky Aircraft in its Engineering Department and managed a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Currently he is a part-time substitute teacher at Emmett O’Brien Technical High School.  Anthony and his wife have two adult sons and a new grandson.  He is the current chairman of the Shelton Republican Town Committee, a member of the Sons of Italy, a supporter of White Hills Fire Company #5 and a founder and long-time Valley Shakespeare Festival volunteer.  Anthony was formerly a Biddy Basketball and Flag football coach, SHS band parent, Youth Connection volunteer and member of the St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Shop’s Board of Directors.


A First Ward alderman since 1999, Anthony is very familiar with the City’s budget, day-to-day management, and the services and opportunities available for Shelton residents.  He chaired the building committee responsible for the $25M renovation of Shelton High School and supported the $160M repair, replacement and upgrades to Shelton public schools.  Anthony believes the Aldermen (by City Charter the fiscal authorities for the city), are required to be good stewards of taxpayer money and vigilant about keeping taxes low to benefit Shelton taxpayers on fixed incomes and families saving for their future.  As an Alderman, he will always honor and respect the Board's fiduciary responsibility.


Anthony also supports balanced growth and will continue to focus on securing open space, expanding the Riverwalk and City trails, and minimizing City expenditures without the loss of services and recreational activities for residents.


Anthony feels it is critical to not only maintain, but to expand, the spirit of cooperation between the Boards of Alderman and Education which was established after new Republican members were elected in 2019 to the Board of Education.  With the cooperation of both Boards, our City's administration will have the ability to provide an education to students for their future success in whatever field they wish to pursue.

Ward 2 Aldermen

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Eric McPherson

Eric has been a Shelton resident for most of his life and was employed in the security and public safety fields for nearly 30 years.  He is very knowledgeable of the operations of our City’s government, having been elected in 1989 to the Board of Apportionment and Taxation and in 1991 to the Board of Aldermen where he served until 1999.  Eric returned to the Board of Aldermen in 2009 and has been re-elected six successive times.  He is Vice President and Street Committee chairman for the Board, and a previous member of the Public Health and Safety Committee.  In the mid-1990’s, Eric co-founded our City’s Office of Emergency Management.


Eric has always insisted that smart and sound fiscal policies be implemented to keep the city’s mill rate the lowest in the area.  He is adamant that our administration lives within its means and is accountable for its management of our City.  He believes in balancing growth, development, and open space throughout the City.  A solid supporter of Shelton’s police and emergency services, Eric has worked with police officials to increase public safety throughout the downtown residential and commercial areas and is proud that our city is designated as one of the safest in our state.


He successfully led efforts to have Shelton’s anti-blight ordinance amended to force absentee landlords to clean up their property.  As Street Committee chair, Eric worked with our Public Works Department to maintain and repair the City’s road system and to make crosswalks safer.  With the assistance of State Rep. Jason Perillo and the Shelton Police Department, Eric is working to improve traffic signals on Howe and Coram Avenues.

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Ben Perry

A lifetime resident of Shelton, Ben and his wife, Christen, have been married for 24 years.  They are the parents of two daughters who received their education in the Shelton public school system and are now attending college.  Ben is a graduate of Shelton public schools and is the owner and operator of S&G of Shelton, LLC, located in Shelton and S&G Hauling, LLC, located in Derby, which employ a total of eighteen local residents.


Ben served for four years on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Lower Naugatuck Valley where he is a member of its Hall of Fame.  This organization was of particular interest to him as it provides a safe environment for young people to learn life skills its adolescent development programs to help them realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.  For the last 18 years Ben has also been a member of the Friends of Jimmy Miller, Inc., a charity which raises funds to support programs that benefit children in crisis, and currently serves as a member of its Board of Directors.


As an Alderman, Ben’s goal is to work with other Board members to maintain the city’s strong financial position while addressing the needs of residents and businesses.  Ben became especially concerned when the minority member of the Board of Aldermen voted no for the current fiscal year’s city budget.  In doing so, this Alder voted against a negotiated agreement between the Mayor and the Superintendent of Schools as well as an additional $2.5M appropriation for the schools which covered the cost of contractuals.  By voting against the budget, he also voted against keeping our city’s low and stable 17.47 mill rate.

Ward 3 Aldermen

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John F. Anglace, Jr.

John is a Derby native who became a Shelton resident in 1967.  He graduated from Derby High, Bullard Havens Technical School and the University of Bridgeport with an Industrial Relations degree.  John is an Army veteran where he obtained the rank of Master Sergeant.  He retired in 2001 from Pfizer Inc. after 28 years, holding positions as Worldwide Director of Employee and Labor Relations and Director of Retiree Relations.  He has two adult children and five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


John is a current member of Shelton’s Senior Center, American Legion Post 16, St. Margaret Mary Parish, the St. Margaret Mary Men’s Club, and BSA Housatonic Council.  John is a recipient of the Council’s “Good Scout,” “Silver Beaver” and National BSA James E. West Fellow awards as well as the Shelton Republican Town Committee’s John Davis Lodge Award.


Formerly a member of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation and Welfare Director, John was first elected as an alderman in 1991 and has been Board President since 1995. John was a charter member of the city’s School Technology Committee and served 12 years until the completion of its project to upgrade system-wide technology.


Since becoming Board President, Shelton has eliminated double billing and homeowner liens for ambulance service; implemented infrastructure, STEM and transportation programs for city public schools; put a city-wide recycling/garbage system into service; continued road reconstruction/resurfacing; purchased new fire apparatus and safety equipment; constructed a new animal shelter; improved tennis courts; remodeled and upgrade the high school football field and concession stand, and acquired over 2,000 acres of fully-paid open space.


John considers approving changes to the City Charter to be this election’s most important issue.  The recommended changes would allow the first increase since 2012 in the amount the Board of Aldermen can spend on capital improvements throughout the City in a single year by .5 percent to 2.5 percent.  It also establishes an independent technology committee to acquire appropriate technology, with funding separate from the education budget, for use by the City and the Board of Education.

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Cris Balamaci

Cris is a long-time Shelton resident who was born and raised in Fairfield County.  A graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Medicine Physician Associate program, she was in the top 10% of her class.


Cris is board certified by the National Commission of Certified Physician Associates (NCCPA) and holds an active Physician Associate medical license in Connecticut and New York.  She is an Air Force veteran-commissioned officer who was affiliated with the Cape Canaveral Shuttle program as a team member of its Biomedical Corps and is a member of the American Legion.


Formerly a clinician in private practices in Texas, Nevada and Southern California, Cris had previously been employed for over 21 years as a Vice President of Operations in the field of risk management, cost containment, human resources, occupational health and workers' compensation for several Fortune 500 companies as well as in the healthcare arena.  Cris was recognized by “Risk and Insurance” magazine for her expert handling of COVID-related cases in New York for the largest private healthcare corporation in the State of New York which consists of 23 hospitals, 850 clinics and 82,000 employees.  She also was a recipient of a Teddy Award for an award-winning workers' compensation advocacy model program.


Cris is the former chair of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation and was appointed to the Board of Aldermen in 2017 upon the resignation of Alderman Lynne Farrell.  She was elected to a full term in November, 2017 and has since been re-elected to the position.  Not only does Cris understand the challenges of setting a city budget, but how sensible growth leads to financial stability for the City.


As a Veteran, Cris has a strong sense of duty and service to the community.  Military service provided her with the opportunity to develop valuable leadership, organizational and problem-resolution skills which she has used in her professional career and as an Alderman.


While Cris is focused on assisting Shelton to remain an affordable community, she has concerns about the impact of unfunded State mandates and the effects of Connecticut’s 8-30g statute which allows developers to bypass all of a municipality’s zoning regulations which has the potential of putting a burden on the City’s infrastructure and school system.

Ward 4 Aldermen

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Lorenzo Durante

Lorenzo and his family have resided in Shelton for over 15 years.  He and his wife have three children who currently attend Shelton schools.  Lorenzo has a B.S. in Business Administration and Communications from Eastern Connecticut State University and is the Business Development manager for Grande Cheese Company, a large food manufacturer headquartered in Wisconsin.  Lorenzo is the former owner and manager of the La Sala banquet hall and catering facility in Derby


A Shelton Parks & Recreation Commission member for the last nine years, Lorenzo is a certified sports coach and has coached Shelton and Derby youth soccer. In 2011, he was a co-founder of "Valley Angels for Families", a non-profit organization supporting children with heart problems. He is a past President of the Valley Regional Lodge of the Order of Sons of Italy in America, Derby.  Lorenzo has also volunteered at Shelton High School for its food industry education program.


As a resident of Shelton since 2008, Lorenzo has witnessed first-hand the positive business growth of our City and would like to help maintain a business-friendly environment.  He understands the need to provide our City’s emergency personnel and first responders with the necessary tools to perform their duties, and adequate funding for our school system.  In his second term as an Alderman, Lorenzo intends to continue addressing the needs of our community ranging from school funding to supporting veterans to offering suitable recreational offerings as a community is best served when a balance of all needs is addressed.  Lorenzo prides himself on listening to his constituents and providing facts, not opinions, when questions arise about issues.

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Bernard "Bernie" Simons

Bernard "Bernie" Simons has resided in Shelton for over 30 years and has a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Sacred Heart University.  He is a zoning, blight and wetlands inspector for the City of Shelton and a licensed insurance agent.  Bernie previously owned an insurance agency and was employed as a commercial business banking officer.  He is a current member of the Elk and Lions Clubs and a former member of the Rotary Club.


Seeking his third term on the Board of Aldermen, Bernie served two terms on the Board of Education, was the Chair of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation and its Finance Committee and is the current Chair of the Public Building Improvement Committee.  If re-elected to the Board of Aldermen, Bernie would be the only Alderman in a number of years to have served on multiple boards for the City, giving him the unique perspective of how each City board operates on its own and in conjunction with other boards, which would be a benefit to taxpayers.


Bernie is especially proud of the Public Building Improvements Committee’s collaboration with the Board of Education on several school building projects, all of which came in on time and on budget, including a new Sunnyside School roof, security enhancements at the elementary schools, and renovations to the Shelton High football field.  Bernie and the Public Building Improvements Committee also oversaw the renovations to the Community Center swimming pool and repairs to the high school air conditioning system.


To continue the City’s low mill rate, Bernie feels the City must continue to appropriately manage finances and use long-range planning to make sure the Board of Education is properly funded in order to better serve the needs of students.  Bernie is in favor of approving revisions to the City Charter to allow an increase in the amount available annually for infrastructure improvements and to create a joint technology committee to assess and fund legitimate technology needs.

Board of Apportionment and Taxation

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John Belden

John is a 52-year Shelton resident and has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 34 years. They are the parents of four sons.


John's educational background includes Shelton High School, the University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University. John has been employed as a Communications Technician for 27 years.

John feels Shelton officials have done a good job of growing the tax base, and in a state where many businesses continue to leave, the city needs to continue balanced development in order to maintain a low mill rate.

John Boyko

John is a long-time Shelton resident and received his education in the Shelton public school system. He has an A.S. degree in applied science and management from Charter Oak State College and a B.S. degree in industrial technology and management from Central Connecticut State University.

John is a project manager for CPM Environmental, a licensed master electrician and a commercial interior contractor. John was a member of the 1993 building committee which oversaw the installation of lighting upgrades for city schools and buildings, and the 2010 building committee for the renovation of the Shelton High School boiler room. A fiscal conservative, John believes in government operating within its means and the strong oversight of expenditures by city departments.

Joanna Carloni

Joanna is a University of Connecticut graduate who received her law degree in 2012. She currently is a Senior Assistant Public Defender at the Fairfield Judicial District. Licensed to practice law in Connecticut, Joanna previously served since 2013 for the State of Connecticut as an Assistant Public Defender for Bridgeport geographical area #2 where she was responsible for providing legal defense services to indigent clients charged with crimes before judges at Bridgeport Superior Court.

In February, 2021, Joanna was appointed to the Board of Alderman to finish the term of the late Stan Kudej and served as Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee. One of her responsibilities as committee chair was to be attentive to the spending of each city department to make sure each was staying within their approved budget. Joanna feels it is the responsibility of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation to submit a budget to the Board of Aldermen that reflects adequate income and expenses to fulfill the needs of our entire city.

Board of Education

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Jim Feehan

Jim is President of New England Fire Equipment & Apparatus in North Haven and retired from the Stamford Fire Department with the rank of Fire Lieutenant in 2014 after 28 years. A native of Patchogue, New York, Jim and his family recently relocated to Shelton after residing in Stratford for 27 years. He and his wife, Karen, have been married for 30 years and have three adult children.

A graduate of Norwich University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration, Jim is a U.S. Marine Corp veteran and a former member of both the Knights of Columbus and the Germania Schwaben Society.

While a Stratford resident, Jim served as Chairman of Stratford’s Board of Education for four years, was Chairman of Stratford’s Town Council for 10 years and served for two years on Allied Signal’s U.S. Army regional advisory board. He is a former member of the Shriner's Children Hospital’s Board of Directors, and Stratford's Veterans Museum Commission.

As a Board member, Jim’s priority is to be the advocate for our children’s educational needs. He also feels that alternatives need to be found to cover the costs for health care, and the Board should bring Special Education services back to the Shelton school system and make them available to school systems in other communities to offset program costs.

Sharon Herman

Sharon graduated from Iona University in New York in 1992, did post graduate work at Middlebury College in Vermont and obtained her Paralegal Certification from Fairfield University. She was employed for over 25 years by the late inventor and political activist, Bernard Zimmern, of Norwalk. A lifelong Republican, Sharon’s job entailed working closely with think tanks in D.C., specifically The Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute.

A Shelton resident since 1998, Sharon’s daughter is a Junior at Shelton High School and has attended Shelton public schools since kindergarten. Sharon is a former PTO member and has volunteered numerous hours throughout her daughter’s school years at her elementary school library and as head of its gardening club. She also organized and coordinated an active children’s playgroup for five years, has been a Girl Scout Camp An-Se-Ox counselor and a Shelton Clean Sweep volunteer. Sharon and her daughter have practiced karate, participated in several Shelton Day karate demonstrations and have competed in national and international karate tournaments.

Sharon is concerned with the rise of healthcare and special education costs post-Covid which have caused overages in these budget line items. She is aware that the need for additional mental healthcare services for our students is more crucial than ever. Sharon understands school parents wanting the education budget to be "fully funded", but she knows the worth of large sums is diminished if not used properly and wisely. Sharon also understands the importance of working in partnership with the Board of Aldermen to resolve budget issues efficiently and effectively on behalf of our students and the taxpayers of Shelton.

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Jason Neves

Jason is a Shelton High School, class of 2000, graduate and the co-owner of Neves Brothers Construction Company. He and his wife, Lauren, have been married for 15 years and are parents to a daughter and son who are Shelton Intermediate School and Perry Hill School students.

A volunteer coach for his son’s football team, Jason has volunteered his time to improve the bleachers at Gracie field, install Mohegan School’s front garden and rear outdoor classroom. Jason would welcome being able to offer his expertise to further improve athletic facilities in our community and suggests that the Board and the City work together to determine whether state grants exist and to solicit community support, as was recently done to create the outdoor patio next to the Shelton High football field concession stand.

Jason is seeking elective office to not only help provide Shelton’s school students with the resources for an appropriate education, but to set an example to his children of how a person should give back to their community. He feels members of the Boards of Education and Aldermen need to work together to address areas of concern in the budget, especially the rising costs of health care and special education. If these specific accounts experience the need for more funds during the year, the assistance of the Board of Aldermen to cover excess costs will allow the Board of Education to continue funding other budget areas, with no disruption to students receiving the education and services needed.

Richard O'Connor

Richard is a native of Middletown, New Jersey and has been married to his wife, Staci, for 18 years. They have resided in Shelton for five years and previously resided in Stratford for 13 years. He and his wife have two daughters who attend Perry Hill School and Booth Hill School.

Richard has a B.S. degree in Finance from Fairfield University and an M.B.A. from Monmouth University. He has been employed for the past 17 1/2 years by FactSet Research Systems in Norwalk, a provider of a software system to investment professionals, and is currently its Associate Director, Content. Richard was recently honored by his peers and colleagues at FactSet with its “What We Aspire To” steward's award. For the last two years Richard has been a Shelton Little League softball coach and the Religious Education Principal at Booth Hill School for St. Lawrence Parish. He also is a volunteer for Connecticut Foodshare through his employer.

Richard and his family were drawn to Shelton for its excellent education system, its affordable mill rate and the overall quality of life it offers. As a member of the Board of Education, his priority would be for the Board to responsibly and appropriately spend taxpayer dollars on programs that will allow all students to receive a proper education to be positioned for future growth and success. Richard also feels it is critical for the lines of communication between the Boards of Education and Aldermen to remain open, especially with current rising health care costs.

James Orazietti

Jim, a long-time Shelton resident, and his wife, Sharon, have one daughter and one granddaughter. Jim attended St. Joseph Parochial School, Shelton High School and Central Connecticut State University. A retiree of Sikorsky Aircraft, Jim formerly served as assistant registrar of voters, Perry Hill School Building Committee vice chairman, a member of the Public Building Improvement Committee, Conservation Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. For several years Jim was also a coach for Pop Warner football, Biddy basketball and recreational softball programs for girls.

Jim served on the Board during 2003-2011, since 2017 when he was named Vice-Chair. Since his re-election to the Board, Jim has focused on re-establishing effective and cooperative communication between the Board and City Hall and implementing an accountability system for public school system employees. He joined fellow Republican Board members to successfully obtain State of Connecticut reimbursements for school building projects, and prevented the elimination of 8th grade, freshman and JV sports as proposed by Democratic Board members.

Jim’s priorities are promoting financial transparency, using funds for education and essential services, working with the City’s administration to ensure the skyrocketing costs of special education and health care are funded outside of the Board’s operational budget and acquiring updated technology to ensure students continue to receive a first-class education.

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Carl Rizzo

Carl is a 50-year resident of Shelton and is married with two adult children who graduated from the same Shelton schools as their father. Out of his three grandchildren, two currently attend Shelton schools.

Carl has degrees in electrical engineering technology and information technology and is employed as a Supervisor of National Technical Support for Fujifilm Healthcare and technical liaison to Japan for FUJIFILM Healthcare Americas. Carl has served as Shelton National Little League vice president for 20 years; as president of Shelton Travel Baseball for the past seven years; and is also active in the Men’s League of St. Margaret Mary Church.

For the past four years on the Board of Education, Carl served as Vice Chair of both the Finance and Teaching and Learning Committees and headed a Technology work group. During that time Carl was involved with reorganization of the Special Education department, the recovery of millions of dollars owed for many years to the City by the State for reimbursable capital improvement projects, and significant technology upgrades to the school system.

Carl is in favor of the proposed changes to the City’s Charter in order to address the continual and pressing need to complete capital projects and acquire technology. If proposed changes to the City Charter are approved, funding for capital improvement projects will automatically increase as the Board of Aldermen will no longer be limited on the amount it can give the Board of Education for capital improvements and for replacement of Chromebooks, and a permanent and independent Technology Committee with funding separate from the education budget can be created.

Amy Romano

Amy is a Connecticut native and has been a Shelton resident since 2004. She and her husband, Mark, are raising three sons; two are Shelton public school students, and their eldest is a recent college graduate who is pursuing his MBA. An active volunteer for the past 15 years in Shelton schools, Amy is a candidate for a third term on the Board of Education.

Amy has a degree in Interior Design from Paier College of Art and spent 10+ years managing large-scale, retail interior design projects across Fairfield and Westchester counties. She has spent the last two decades working in the real estate, business development, and construction industries and has managed multi-million dollar budgets and oversight of public financing from the State of Connecticut. Amy and her husband own Romano Brothers Builders, which has successfully developed numerous single-family residences in Shelton and surrounding towns. She has been a licensed real estate agent since 2007 and currently works with Preston Gray Real Estate.

Amy is presently serving as Chair of the Buildings & Grounds Committee which is responsible for overseeing school projects and maintenance. She recently coordinated renovations to the concession stand with City departments and volunteers, and is continuing to assist the high school with its "Buy A Brick" fundraiser and new patio renovations.

As a member of the Board’s Finance Committee, Amy used her business experience to help forecast 2022-23 school system revenue and expenses to help prepare a balanced school budget for the current fiscal year. She has made it a priority to keep City officials informed of the various needs of the school system on a monthly basis and suggested ways to resolve each. If re-elected, Amy’s priority is to provide a school system that is adequately staffed and funded as well as fiscally responsible to taxpayers.

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Anthony Smeraglino

Anthony is a native of Bridgeport and is a graduate of Central High School and the New York Culinary Arts High School. He and his wife, Suzann, have been Shelton residents for over 45 years and have two children and four grandsons.

Anthony has held food service management positions for private companies and educational institutions for 40+ years and also operated a well-known area catering company for 16 years. He currently is the District Manager for the Bridgeport Nutrition Center where he oversees food service operations for 12 Bridgeport schools.

A current member of the Shelton Little League Board of Directors, Anthony was the concession stand manager in the 1990’s. For a number of years Anthony organized and participated in Greenwich Academy’s “Midnight Runs” to feed the homeless in New York City. He served on the Shelton Board of Education during 2005-2011, and is a former member of the Shelton Housing Authority, Board of Apportionment & Taxation and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Anthony also participated in the Shelton Board of Education’s mentor program.

Anthony feels the cost of line items in the Board of Education’s budget are increasing unnecessarily and feels a reliable system needs to be developed by the school system’s finance personnel so expenses can be reported accurately and on a timely basis to the Board of Education. Anthony feels strongly that all members of the Board, no matter what “side of the aisle” they may sit, need to work together to provide the means for Shelton students to receive an excellent education. He also endorses and will do his part to continue the vital relationship that has been rebuilt between the Boards of Aldermen and Education.

Michael Weber

Michael was born in Long Island, NY and is a graduate of the Shelton public school system. He credits the education he received in Shelton schools as laying the foundation for him to be successful in college, graduate school and his profession. He is the son of Margaret Weber who retired after serving as Shelton’s Assistant Town Clerk for 24 years.

After earning a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Connecticut, an MBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame, and working out-of-state for two major corporations for a number of years, Mike and his wife, Ashleigh, returned to Shelton to raise their family and to enjoy all that Shelton has to offer -- especially its low tax rate. Mike’s two daughters attend Shelton schools; one at the Intermediate School and one at Elizabeth Shelton School. A Shelton Youth Soccer coach for the past eight years, Mike is a member of the Elizabeth Shelton School’s Fathers Club and a member of the Notre Dame Alumni Association of New York.

For the past 25 years Mike has held various finance and consulting roles for IBM and Concentrix Corporation and has extensive experience with budgeting, financial strategy, operations and contract negotiations. As a consultant to numerous Fortune 500 corporations, Mike has assisted them with cost-saving strategies and by implementing new technologies to enhance their customer experience. He feels his experience in financial operations and contract negotiations could be utilized to help the Board provide students with the means to have the best possible education. He also completely understands the responsibility, effort and energy that is expected as a Board member as his brother was Chairman of the Delray Beach, Florida Board of Education.

Mike believes that not only is education essential for our children, but it benefits the greater community. With Education making up a large portion of our City’s budget, Mike feels it is critical that members of the Board of Education look at all options to provide our school students with a first-rate education while maintaining our spending. If elected, Mike would also continue the current board’s work to foster a collaborative relationship with our Board of Alderman and the Mayor.

Planning and Zoning Commission

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Virginia Harger

Ginny has been a Shelton resident for close to 70 years and has been married to her husband, Mark, for 48+ years. Ginny has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Business Education from Central Connecticut State University, taught at Shelton High School during 1974-1981 and was employed locally by two major international corporations in marketing communications and public relations for more than 15 years. From 1996-2015, she was the office manager at St. Joseph Church, where she was a Parish Council member, the Pre-Cana coordinator, a lector and coordinator of the parish’s monthly meal donation program for the Spooner House and Umbrella agencies. Ginny has been a Shelton Republican Town Committee member for more than 19 years and is its secretary. Now retired, her full-time positions in education, the business world and volunteering for a non-profit organization have given her the opportunity to successfully manage and oversee personnel and projects.

Ginny was first elected to the Commission in 2005 and has been its chair since December 2017. After Commission meetings were suspended for a month following the beginning of the pandemic in March, 2020, Ginny’s proposal to fellow Commissioners that the Commission meet weekly to make sure the work of the Commission could continue was adopted. Shortly thereafter she directed and collaborated with Commission staff to develop outdoor dining regulations to allow local restaurants to continue operations for approval by the Commission. Since becoming Commission Chair, Ginny has appointed special Commission subcommittees to study recreational cannabis, accessory dwelling units, high-density residential developments and short-term rentals to determine if zoning regulations needed revision.

Ginny takes her responsibilities as Commission Chair very seriously and takes care to prepare beforehand for meetings by reviewing proposals and seeking additional information when necessary. She has a 94% attendance record with the 430+ regular and special meetings attended since 2005, which does not include numerous meetings for the Shelton Economic Development Commission, Valley Council of Governments and Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Regional Planning Commission.

Of special concern to Ginny is Section 8-30g of the Connecticut General Statutes, the “Connecticut Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure,” which became law in 1989. Under its provisions, on appeal of a municipality’s denial of an affordable housing application, the burden of proof falls on the municipality to demonstrate that the threat to local health, safety and welfare is far greater than the general need for affordable housing. As CGS 8-30g also allows developers to bypass all of a municipality’s zoning regulations including setbacks, zone restrictions, parking requirements and lot coverage standards, Ginny feels the strategies in Shelton’s Affordable Housing Plan to increase affordable multi-family residential units should be pursued to bring Shelton closer to compliance with state requirements.

Responsible and prudent economic development throughout Shelton is important to Ginny to ensure the City stays affordable for residents and businesses, especially with the burden of new and increased state taxes. Her knowledge of development proposals, new business ventures and land use issues can only benefit city residents and the business community when the Commission is considering whether or not future proposals are appropriate.

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Charles Kelly

Charlie has been a Shelton resident since 1976. He attended Warren Harding High School and the University of Bridgeport and completed five additional years of schooling and training in the electrical industry conducted by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JACT) of Local 488, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Charlie holds an Electrical Unlimited Contractor License.

Charlie was the co-owner of Johnson Electric Construction Co. until selling the business in 2005. For several years afterwards, Charlie was an instructor at Porter and Chester Institute, Bridgeport for its industrial, commercial and residential electrician programs.

The father of two sons who are employed as an electrical contractor and as an attorney, respectively, Charlie is a grandfather to six boys. He was a Cub Scout leader for Pack 101, and Boy Scout master for Troop 55. Charlie still serves on the advisory board for Porter and Chester Institute; is a past president and board member of Brownson Country Club, and chair of Planning & Zoning’s Downtown Subcommittee.

Charlie feels his experience with major construction projects throughout Fairfield County, and his familiarity with the work of many of the architects and engineers involved with proposals before the Commission, have been of benefit to him when evaluating each when presented to it.

Planning and Zoning Commission Alternate

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Robert Cristiano

Rob has been a member of Shelton’s Inland Wetland Commission since January 20, 2022. He is a lifelong resident of Connecticut and a Shelton resident since 1997. He and his wife, Larissa Vartelas Cristiano, are the parents of two children who graduated from Shelton High School, Matthew (2020) and Ella (2023), who now attend the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

Rob holds a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven. He began his career in the field in 1991 with the State of Connecticut’s Judicial Branch and has held various positions since that time. Since 2010, Rob has been a Regional Manager in Pretrial Services for the Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division.

Since 2011, Rob has served as a USA Swimming official meet referee and since 2017, as a CIAC swimming referee. During 2012-19, he served in various positions for the Board of the Shelton-Monroe Swim Team, a USA Swimming Club which develops novice to competitive athletes.

Rob believes in development that meets the needs of residents and the business community while preserving Shelton’s core foundation and stable tax structure.

Library Board

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James Geissler

Jim, a life-long Shelton resident who has been married to Nancy Cook Geissler for 49 years, is seeking his second full term on the Library Board. He became a member of the Board in 2012 when a member moved out-of-town and has served as its Chairman since 2016.

While chair, Jim has been involved with refurbishing the interior of the Plumb Library and the installation of an elevator as well as upgrades to the Shelton Community Center branch library. As chairman, he feels the Board has done a good job of meeting the needs of library patrons, and his priority in his next term is to complete all planned projects at both locations.

Jim is a graduate of St. Joseph Parochial School, Shelton High School and received a B.S. degree in Psychology from Sacred Heart University. Jim is retired from the Shelton Board of Education after 20 years as a truancy officer. He previously was employed for six years with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, 10 years by Area Cooperative Services as a crisis intervener, and directed the Shelton Youth Bureau’s Juvenile Review Board for four years.

Jim’s community service is diverse and lengthy and includes 15 years with the Parent-Child Resource Center, 12 years with the United Way, three years with the Shelton Historical Society, 10 years on the Interfaith Care Givers Board with seven as Chairman, eight years on the Youth Service Board, 22 years on the Visiting Nurse Service’s Partners-in-Care Board of Directors with 12 years as Chairman. A member of St. Joseph Parish, he served on its Parish Council for 12 years with eight years as Chairman and as an assistant coach for the Shelton High School girls’ softball team for five years.

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