As we approach our upcoming Election Day on November 2nd 2021, I wanted to make a direct appeal to the voters seeking your support.
I have had the honor to serve you on your Board of Finance for the past 27 years, and Chaired this Board for 18 of those years. Seeing this Board go from an appointed to an elected one, Stonington has benefitted from the Triple A Bond Rating these Boards have worked so hard to maintain. I have been committed to ensuring the maximal bang for the buck, and have been unwavering in ensuring that fiduciary responsibility from the Department Heads serving our community is demanded.
I chose to run for Re election as I fear an inflationary recession could be on the horizon. As a Grandparent of triplets, I know the pain at the gas pump we are all encountering, and the increased cost the supermarket visit makes. These pressures on Stonington families no doubt will make tax dollars needing to be reviewed increasingly closely. I have never shirked my duty to you to ask the difficult questions, and as an adult who transitioned from active military service to return to my native Stonington in the late 1970s in equally troubled economic times, have the experience to protect the individual taxpayer and our community. I have never forgotten the lessons learned in those difficult times. I am prepared to use them to negotiate these difficult days and inflation.
Always whether friend or no, I have ensured that money allocated for town is vetted thoroughly. Those that take that path often can become considered unpopular and controversial. I pledge to you that appointed or elected I will present a thoroughly vetted budget for your approval. Never seeking unnecessary tax funds that, I fear, will be increasingly scarce as we collectively recover from the Covid 19 Pandemic. Our town must spend and plan wisely for an uncertain fiscal future fraught with potential peril. I am committed to protecting the individual household as I am the town. We are all in this together.
This candidate is not afraid to take tough stands on issues. Recently I was not in line with my party leadership in my opposition to the Fixed Tax Assessment for the Campbell Grain Mill. I saw that as not worthy of town financial subsidy and saw my fiduciary role trumping party loyalty. I applaud the informed taxpayers of Stonington for demanding their voices be heard. My stances always dictated on what I truly believe is best for our town and never forgetting those tax funds are precious to those raising families and on fixed incomes.
In my next four years I will seek to drive these following issues in Stonington to successful resolution. I believe they are priorities that will put the future of our town on a path that will keep it the special community that it is.
As always I am willing to listen and weigh all opinion. I am not ashamed to say I am a fiscal conservative. My record shows I always put Stonington first, care deeply about our working families and seniors. I'm eager to advocate for these needs and humbly ask for the honor of your vote.
The Board of Education's (BOE) goal is to ensure and advance student success. To maximize student achievement, the BOE must work with all stakeholders: students, parents, teachers, school faculty and staff, and community members. My background enables me to act as a voice for each of these stakeholder groups.
I am a Stonington graduate. I attended Stonington Public Schools for my entire K-12 career. I credit SPS for helping me build a foundation for success well beyond my 2009 high school graduation. I participated in many of SPS's rich extracurricular curricular activities including band, cross-country, track, basketball, student government, theatre, and a variety of after-school clubs and groups. I understand the positive impact that these activities have on skill development, relationship building, and physical and mental health.
I’m a parent. My wife, Ellen, and I have two beautiful daughters, Tess (2) and Neve (4 months). By the end of my first term as a BOE representative, Tess will be a student at West Vine. I have skin in the game in ensuring that Stonington offers ample educational opportunities for Stonington students.
I was a teacher. I understand the day-to-day life of a teacher. I know how to work closely with parents and administrators to meet the individual needs of every student. I have attended interviews for faculty and administrative hires. I have worked with district and state curriculum directors to tailor lessons to maximize student achievement. I have attended PPT meetingsand conferences to advocate for student’s needs. I have fostered meaningful relationships with students, fellow teachers, faculty, staff, community members and understand the importance of each in student success.
I have strong ties to the Stonington community. My family has resided in Stonington and has been active in the community for over 70 years. My father grew up in Pawcatuck, my mother in the Borough, and my siblings and I were raised in Pawcatuck. I have held a variety of jobs in town, starting at ten years old as a New London Day paperboy. I was also a bank teller and a basketball referee. Along the way, I have made valuable and lasting connections with community members.
I have extensive professional education experience. I have held positions as a high school teacher, educational consultant, conference presenter, published educational researcher, data analyst for an educational software company, undergraduate and graduate university instructor, and university guest lecturer. I have a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. I am also working on my dissertation toward a Doctoral degree in Educational Psychology. Through this in-depth study of education, I have developed a deep understanding of the current body of research in educational assessment, evaluation, instruction, policy, and student learning. I pledge to align my policy decisions to research and data wherever possible.
I love this town, have a deep understanding of what makes Stonington tic, and will work passionately to advance the community that has served my family and me so well.
I believe my background will allow me to advocate for students, parents, teachers, and community members and would appreciate your support and your vote on November 2nd!
I’m running for the Stonington Board of Education because I believe we need to move forward. We, as a school district, town, state, and country have experienced many ups and downs over the past year and a half. I plan to help the Stonington School District continue to provide a quality education and be transparent with the families, students, and teachers. I believe it is important to continue to work to keep our students in school. I want Stonington students to be recognized among the best in the State.
I am a native of New Hampshire and moved to Stonington in 2008 after accepting a position with the Connecticut State Police. In September 2012, I married my wife, Ashley, a North Stonington native. We met during our time at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI.
In 2013 and in 2016, we welcomed our two children into the world. Our son and daughter are now in third grade and kindergarten, respectively, at Deans Mill School. We could not be happier with the experiences the Stonington School District has given to our children.
As a mandated reporter, I will work to keep the students of Stonington safe and hold those accountable who violate the rights of our students.
Throughout my career, I have worked in the many different areas of southeastern Connecticut. I have developed the understanding we all come from unique backgrounds and individual experiences.
While not busy at work, I coach with the Stonington Soccer Club and Junior Sharks. I have spent the past few years coaching baseball with Mystic Little League and the Pawcatuck/North Stonington Little League. I am an avid fan and supporter of the Stonington Flag Football Rec Program and enjoy watching all the players come together on the weekends. I have volunteered at events with Deans Mill School, attended Field Day, school plays, and music shows. I regularly attend mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Mystic and have volunteered my time.
I look forward to getting to know the many residents of Stonington, students, their families, and supporting the Stonington School District. Our students have lost a lot of time over the past year, and I am excited to help Stonington students receive the best education and prepare them for their futures.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your Vote on November 2.
I’m running for the Board of Education because a solid public school education is basic to producing the future citizens we need, and the Board of Education is instrumental in that goal.
I support transparency in BoE actions and encourage students to maximize educational achievement. I also support measures to recover the lost learning time from the past year such as short-term tutoring for students as appropriate.
I am a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and spent my first career in the U.S. Navy. After various tours of duty including command of a nuclear submarine and two tours at the Pentagon, I retired with the rank of Captain.
I attended the George Washington University Law School at night, and upon retirement from the Navy, worked in the Washington D.C. office of the law firm, Winston and Strawn. After serving briefly as Deputy Inspector General of the Peace Corps at the Headquarters in the nation’s capitol, I returned to Connecticut and worked as an attorney and Vice President at a company in Waterford.
I was a substitute teacher in various subjects in public schools in the Stonington and Mystic area and taught geometry for 1.5 years at St Bernard High School in Montville, Ct,
I served as Executive Director of the Connecticut Early Music Society for over a dozen years, organizing the annual Connecticut Early Music Festival. In that capacity, I brought music programs into a number of local and New London schools.
I sing or have sung in various groups in the region including the Westerly Chorus, the chorus of the Saltmarsh Opera and the Stonington Madrigals Singers. I have been involved in prison ministry including the Alpha Course and the Kairos prison ministry in Corrigan and Radgowski prisons in Montville. This work also involved some one-on-one mentoring of inmates during their final year of imprisonment.
My wife, Roberta, and I have three grown children and we live in Stonington, Connecticut.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
When the Connecticut House of Representatives next meets on Monday, September 27th it will be in a special session to vote on a seventh extension of the Governor's emergency powers, this time at least until February.
The Governor insists that Connecticut's public health and civil preparedness emergency declarations must be extended, but our neighbors to the north in Massachusetts have still managed COVID effectively in their schools and workplaces, even though their governor, Gov. Charlie Baker ended his state's emergency declarations months ago.
Meanwhile, the true emergency facing Connecticut - the erosion of our public safety in the face of rising violent crime and a wave of juvenile car thefts - has gone unaddressed, largely thanks to Democratic inaction in the legislature.
If you agree with me that our state's true emergency can no longer be ignored, visit www.StopCarThefts.com and write a message to those lawmakers still on the fence about protecting your safety.
As always, please contact me should you have any questions about this important issue or concerns on any other topics relating to state government at Greg.Howard@housegop.ct.gov.
State Rep. Greg Howard
Here is the slate of candidates that we feel are the best choices for Stonington. Campaign season is around the corner, and this town will be better for the inclusion and reelection of candidates that represent the values and vision for our town.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 4th of July is a day to celebrate American Independence. This day set the stage for the founding of our nation on the principles of freedom and liberty.
From 1776 until now, this day has been recognized as the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. Before the Declaration was even signed, John Adams envisioned a festival accompanied by fireworks to promote victory of independence.
And as we take part in July 4th festivities, it is important to remember that the freedom we enjoy can at times be easy to take for granted. It is a great opportunity to connect with our families and friends in backyards, around pools and at the beach, to watch fireworks and enjoy BBQs.
I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a great Independence Day.
God Bless America and the state of Connecticut.
State Rep. Greg Howard
Memorial Day Tribute – It’s About Freedom!
Pawcatuck VFW – 1000H, Monday, May 31, 2021
The Hon. Robert R. “Rob” Simmons
Member of Congress, 2001-2007
Colonel, USAR, Retired
In December 1776, Thomas Paine said of the difficulties confronting General Washington’s military forces during the Revolutionary War, “These are times that try men’s souls.” And indeed, the times in which we are now living are “trying” times.
That being said, I believe the strength of a country and a culture is how it deals with adversity. And I give credit to the Pawcatuck VFW for holding this event today. You have not let the disrupting influences of a global pandemic interrupt the time-honored tradition of celebrating Memorial Day and honoring the memory of those who have died serving our great country in uniform.
Some confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day; but they are not the same. On Veterans’ Day we specifically honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces in the past. On Armed Forces Day who honor those currently serving. On Memorial Day we honor all those who have died in combat while serving in the Armed Forces of our country.
Memorial Day grew out of a terrible war, a Civil War, a war that divided our nation, pitting brother against brother. Even before the war was over, there were instances of families in the South decorating the graves of their fallen loved ones on the battle fields where they died. That gave rise to the original name for this holiday which was “Decoration Day.”
The outcome of our terrible Civil War was a unified country which has guaranteed the blessings of liberty to its people for another 150 years; a freedom-loving nation that has been willing, in the words of President Kennedy, to:
“Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
Let me repeat part of what Kennedy said: “…to assure the survival and success of liberty.” Liberty!
On Memorial Day we celebrate the service and sacrifice of those who died in uniform fighting for liberty. A total of 666,441 American men and women have died in 81 wars from 1776 to the present.
But why did they die? What was it for? And the answer is simple. They died for Liberty; for Freedom.
This is the critical message for all of us here today because during this great pandemic, we have lost many of our liberties in the name of public safety.
Think about it. Our freedom of speech was limited by curtailing public events and closing public buildings. Our freedom of religion was curtailed by closing churches. The right of our children to a free public-school education was degraded by closing schools and relying on distance learning.
In Connecticut alone, over 600 restaurants were permanently closed and thousands of private sector jobs were lost due to government regulations about indoor and outdoor dining.
For 19 months the government told us to wear one, two or three masks; and now we are wearing none.
Our right to a representative government of elected peers in the US Congress and the Connecticut General Assembly was replaced by Presidents and Governors ruling by Executive Order.
Our 4th Amendment right to privacy was undermined with government SWAT Teams breaking into the private homes of political rivals like Roger Stone and Rudy Giuliani.
Here today, on this Memorial Day, when we honor those who have died for our freedoms, we have decided not to have a public parade. Some said it was not safe.
Well, Bunker Hill was not safe. Gettysburg was not safe. Neither was the Argonne Woods and the D-Day landing in Normandy, France. The Chosen Reservoir in Korea was not safe, and speaking personally, the TET Offensive in Vietnam was not safe.
The fight for Freedom is NOT safe. It never is. We have fought for freedom around the world. Now we need to fight for it right here at home.
Let me add some thoughts for this Memorial Day Tribute.
Over one hundred and fifty years ago President Lincoln spoke at the consecration of the Soldier’s National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA, four months after the great Union victory there.
While he spoke briefly about the service and sacrifice of soldiers who had died there, he focused his attention on the living. And he said that it is up to us – to the living – to dedicate ourselves to the “unfinished work” of those who died for the “proposition that all men are created equal.”
Lincoln called for a “a new birth of freedom... so that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”
I place a special meaning on these words because the flu pandemic has NOT provided us with a “new birth of freedom.” Rather, government intervention in our lives, presumably for our own safety, has diminished our freedom in unprecedented ways.
So, the challenge for all of us from now until Memorial Day 2022, is to get back to normal. We must reopen our town, state and country so our people can enjoy their God-Given and constitutional liberties to live, work, speak, pray, vote and gather together once again as Free Citizens of this great country.
Will you join me in a pledge to hold our traditional Memorial Day Parade in Pawcatuck and Westerly next year? Great! Thank you.
As a veteran and a citizen, I thank you for taking a few moments out of your busy lives:
-- To attend this Memorial Day Tribute;
-- To love our country;
-- To respect its flag;
-- To honor our Constitution;
-- To celebrate the freedom it provides; and
--To recognize those who made the supreme sacrifice for our American values.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless America.
Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.
By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.