Darien needs the best leaders

To the Editor:

Darien needs strong leaders. Leaders that are not afraid to ask critical questions and challenge the status quo. Leaders that recognize that while Darien is a great place to live for some, there are others living here that struggle with feeling welcome and still others who choose not to buy homes here because they believe they are not welcome. It’s time, past time actually, that we work as a community to address issues of inclusion and acceptance.

The school system is a major part of this change. Mike Burke and Sara Parent have demonstrated that working on these topics is a priority of theirs. I am excited to vote for two open, caring and compassionate people for the Board of Education. I know Darien can be better. It starts with having the best leaders we can. Vote Mike Burke and Sara Parent for the Board of Education.

Wyatt Piedra

The writer is a member of Darien’s Democratic Town Committee

Dineen and Maroney have been careful stewards of education

To the Editor:

The Darien Board of Education has been fortunate to have the service of Duke Dineen and Dennis Maroney for the past six and three years, respectively. Both have been careful stewards of our children’s education. Both have long histories of commitment and community service in Darien. Duke has had several roles with the Darien firefighters, Tiny Miracles and the Darien Depot. Before his time on the Board of Ed, Dennis served on the RTM for 19 years and chaired the RTM’s education committee.

As we navigate through the pandemic, I am grateful they are willing to continue their service. Their strong understanding of the Darien community, the Darien public schools and town government combined with their passion for service to our students is a gift to our community. Vote for Dineen and Maroney on Nov. 3.

John King

The writer is a member of Darien’s Republican Town Committee

Biden/Harris is a return to civility

To the Editor:

Since 2016, Americans have become increasingly angry and divided. We need a return to civility, focused on shared values and respect.

Sadly, our President’s rhetoric has stoked hate and divisiveness, sowing discord for his personal gain by exploiting the worst aspects of our society: white supremacy, patriarchy, corporate greed, and lies. Inconvenient facts from reputable sources are now labeled ‘fake news’, while social media, online and cable ‘news’ outlets offer speculation and falsehoods.

We all need to ask ourselves if Donald Trump’s behavior is the example we want our children to emulate; they are watching. Silence or excuses make us complicit in what we know is wrong.

I will vote for Biden-Harris, for their intelligence, honor, empathy, and commitment to collaboration. Their team will move us towards a more equitable society while unifying as they repair the damage inflicted these past four years on our relationships, reputation, environment and health.

Holly Schulz

Darien resident

Unaffiliated voter

Wood is dedicated to the people she serves

To the Editor:

Terrie Wood is that rarest of politicians: a person who walks her talk with unwavering dedication to the people she represents. Renowned for pragmatic creativity and excellent listening, Wood works tirelessly across party lines to focus on issues and develop common-sense solutions to complex problems. All have benefited from her keen attention to our well-being including heartfelt commitments to mental health, special education, the environment, and responsible fiscal policy. Ever accessible and smiling, Wood shares information and listens to us with frequent meetings, coffees, opinion pieces, and communications.

We can trust Terrie Wood to serve the 141st district with unswerving dedication, unflagging energy, and boundless enthusiasm. In the challenging times ahead, her abilities and experience are essential to address health care, education, jobs, and sustained prosperity.

Please vote for her on Election Day.

Louise Foerster

Darien

Thank you to Duff, Leone and Blumenthal for special session votes

To the Editor:

Thank you to Senator Bob Duff and Carlo Leone and State Representative Matt Blumenthal for attendIng the special legislative session last week. Your vote to support $6 million dollars for the new Ox Ridge Elementary School, the Eversouce Accountability Bill and the Environmental Justice Bill, which will not only move Darien education forward for our children, but will also ensure a better future for all of us.

In Darien we benefit from your ongoing commitment to education and to our environment as well as your dedication to keeping us safe.

Join me in voting Row A in November.

Chip Raymond

The writer is a member of the Action Network of Darien Democrats

Wood is not about noise, she’s about listening

To the Editor:

We are writing in support of Terrie Wood for re-election to the Connecticut House of Representatives. For the last decade, Connecticut has been a one-party ruled state with the State House, Senate and House of Representatives all controlled by Democrats. The entire legislature has been controlled by Democrats for 40 years.

This one-party rule has not worked out very well for California, and with Connecticut near the bottom of most state rankings of economic and fiscal conditions, it is not working out very well for us. We need alternative voices and views, especially from someone like Terrie who has demonstrated an ability and desire to reach across the aisle without rancor. Terrie is not about noise, she’s about listening. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated representative serving us.

Joan and Bob Meyjes

Darien

Himes is a voice of reason during unreasonable times

To the Editor:

In times that often ignite the deepest of passions, Congressman Jim Himes has kept his focus on serving Darien and Southwestern Connecticut. He deserves re-election.

On the economy, Jim Himes was a co-sponsor of the CARES Act that brought millions of dollars to Connecticut in Corona Virus relief.

On the environment, Jim was endorsed by the Sierra Club and has been described by the League of Conservation Voters as making “clean energy a top priority.”

Jim is a strong supporter of women's health and women's rights, which is an issue that is likely to come into sharp focus as the Supreme Court starts its new term this week.

Jim Himes been a voice of reason in unreasonable times. As our Congressman, Jim has worked hard for all Fairfield Country residents; not just those who voted for him. Jim Himes deserves Darien’s thanks and our votes.

David Bayne

Darien

The writer is the chairman of Darien’s Democratic Town Committee.

Wood will focus on Hartford’s fiscal mismanagement

To the Editor:

I am writing to offer my support for Terrie Wood for State Representative.

Terrie always takes the time to listen to the concerns of her constituents. I greatly appreciate her practical focus on ending years of fiscal mismanagement in Hartford, which has left one of the wealthiest states in the nation a fiscal disaster. Terrie’s other priorities for her next term are desperately needed right now: rebuilding the local economy with a focus on small businesses, addressing the needs of our education system and the importance of local control of schools, and ending top-down control in Hartford so that the voices of the citizens are heard and respected.

Terrie Wood is a true public servant, focused on the needs of her community rather than on her own political agenda, and I am proud to support her re-election.

Suzanne Domenici

Darien

Himes puts belief into action

To the Editor:

I am voting for Jim Himes on Nov. 3 because he understands that high-quality education is one of southwestern Connecticut’s strengths and one of the reasons people move here. Great education fuels resilient communities.

Jim believes in early childhood education and he supports making quality pre-school education available to all. He recognizes that education includes parental involvement and access to social services in addition to quality teaching. Jim believes college should be more affordable and has supported the Pell grant program and fought to keep Stafford Loan rates low.

In Washington, Jim has recently reintroduced three bills: the Supporting Early Learning Act, the Total Learning Act, and the College Affordability & Innovation Act. Jim puts belief into action and is setting an amazing example of how to be a leader while doing so. We need more of that.

Join me in voting for Jim Himes on Nov. 3.

Shannon Silsby

The writer is a member of the Action Network of Darien Democrats

Maroney works collaboratively

To the Editor:

I urge a vote for Dennis Maroney this Election Day. I served with Dennis when he chaired the Education Committee of the RTM. His thoughtful guidance of our committee made him an excellent candidate for election to the Board, and his stellar service on the Board should earn him re-election.

Dennis’ collaborative approach and his commitment to open and honest debate is important to ensuring our schools remain among the best in Connecticut. Dennis is willing to challenge his colleagues, no matter their politics, when required, but his collaborative approach ensures all Darien students and taxpayers get the most from their board.

Ed Washecka

Member, Education Committee

Representative Town Meeting

Mike Burke and Sara Parent are the right choices for Board of Ed

To the Editor:

I have been living in Darien since 2007 and my daughters graduated from Darien High School. I believe our school system is what makes our town most desirable to live and therefore it is our responsibility to choose the right candidates for the Board of Education.

I support Mike Burke and Sara Parent. I believe in their commitment for the cause of education and their vision to make our education system best in class by achieving the following agenda:

1) Appropriate budgeting: Operate on a budget that is responsible to taxpayers while allowing our schools the flexibility to be responsive to both current and future district needs.

2) Improving outdated and inadequate school facilities

3) Diversity and inclusion

4) Wholistic approach to child development including ensuring well-being of mental health of our children

5) Minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on our children’s education

Dan Nalawade

The writer is a member of Darien’s Democratic Town Committee.

Fraternal Order of State Police endorses Kousidis

The following letter was sent to Elisavet Kousidis, a candidate for the 25th senate district. It is reprinted here upon request.

To the Editor:

It is our honor as members of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police to endorse you as a candidate for the 25th senate district. There is no question in our mind that you will continue to support law enforcement and keep the people of your district safe at a time when law and order has never been so important. I urge all citizens living in the 25th senate district to join us in voting for Ellie Kousidis and keep your communities safe.

Sgt. John Krupinsky

President

Connecticut Fraternal Order of Police

Wood is who we need in these polarized times

To the Editor:

I met Terrie Wood nearly 25 years ago when our children were in the same elementary class. I know her as a loving mother, tireless worker and a person of tremendous integrity. Terrie is the type of person we sorely need in these polarized times. She has a broad, inclusive vision of the world and makes everything around her better.

I’m especially interested in the leadership she’s shown in Hartford regarding the education system. Terrie believes in local control of our school boards. She’ll oppose forced regionalization of our schools.

Terrie is interested in dealing with the impact of school shutdown whether they happen now or in the future. She believes our youth deserve the best quality education we can offer. Her strength of character and resolute fairness will go far in bringing all groups together.

I’m proud to support Terrie and her efforts on behalf of all Darien residents.

Vicki Patton

Darien

America, we are better than this

To the Editor:

America, we are better than this. Our democracy is at risk and we have to vote for Joe Biden. As a lifelong Republican, it has pained me to see the actions of this President and his enabling party. I now am a registered Democrat, trying to help our country elect Joe Biden. He is an experienced leader, an honest man, who is prepared to work for all of us. He will help America regain our leadership in the world. And, most importantly, unite us as a people. Joe will restore our ailing economy; help us manage our way smartly through COVID-19; and lead us to respect one another again.

He and Kamala Harris embody the values that have been core to our democracy. He must be elected in November. The Presidential Debate should have made this eminently clear. Think about it — the last few years have seen a President who “deflects, denies, lies, and lies.”

John Bassler

The writer is a member of the Action Network of Darien Democrats

Vote Ellie Kousidis

To the Editor:

I saw a political sign as walked through town, and I chuckled to myself because:

1. Duff has presided over a slow economic recovery in Connecticut.

2. Duff allowed a deeply flawed police bill to be passed in the middle of the night.

3. Duff exempted his union friends from the upcoming Family Leave Act Law in Connecticut that starts 1/1/21, but those of you working in Connecticut, will have to pay a new 0.5% payroll tax.

4. Duff claimed he was spat on at the Norwalk Police Department, but the Video does not corroborate the occurrence.

5. Duff was one of the sponsors of a school regionalization bill that threatens Darien’s amazing schools.

Let’s review the Duff record:

1. Economy — failure

2. Safety — failure

3. Jobs — failure

4. Personal integrity — failure

5. School regionalization — potential disaster

Please vote for Ellie Kousidis. #EnoughofDuff

Rob Cardone

Darien

The writer is a member of the town’s Board of Finance.

Dineen and Maroney are critical to responsibly updating school facilities

To the Editor:

A three-year veteran of the Board of Education and chairman of the facilities committee, Dennis Maroney is charged with the important work of overseeing the board’s efforts to remove portables from our elementary schools. A six-year veteran of the Board of Education, it is Duke Dineen, currently the board’s vice chair, who led the Facilities committee that drafted the master plan; the cafeteria renovation; and kicked off the Ox Ridge school building project. Duke is currently the co-chairman of the Ox Ridge Building Committee. Together these two are critical to continue the important work of responsibly updating our facilities. I urge you to vote Dineen and Maroney on Nov. 3.

Bonnie Frate Dora

The writer is a member of Darien’s Republican Town Committee.

Maroney has no agenda for serving on Board of Ed

To the Editor

This election you have to make a choice. The ballot will have four names and you can only vote for two. I am writing to unequivocally back Dennis Maroney and hope he is re-elected to the Darien Board of Education. Dennis has been consistent and reliable in his support for Darien's school children and their families. Unlike others running this year, Dennis has no agenda. He is able to be fair-minded and will continue to bring balance to a board that sometimes seems to suffer from partisan politics. Dennis has proven that he considers all the taxpayers of Darien to be important including the elderly and those living on a fixed income. Dennis will see to it that Darien Schools stay superior while maintaining fairness for all of Darien's residents. This year, you get to choose and I hope Darien chooses to re-elect Dennis Maroney.

Lucy Fiore

Darien

The writer is a member of Darien’s Representative Town Meeting.