Claims by candidates on both sides are trash

Where is the truth in political advertising?

We are all receiving political postcards in our mailbox at this point in the political season. They are the local alternative to 30-second commercials and full page ads. The rhetoric in these cards, though, sometimes has more in common with the National Inquirer than The Wall Street Journal. Statements made on behalf of both candidates for first selectman are a cause for concern.

The Tetreau campaign repeatedly claims the first selectman “delivered” the lowest tax increases in recent years. In fact, the budgets proposed by the first selectman have always involved tax increases that were greater than the actual tax rates he touts in his postcards. As the first selectman knows well, the tax rate is set by a process involving the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance and the RTM. For example, the most recent tax rate that the first selectman claims so much credit for was actually lowered by the Board of Finance based on its projections of tax collections. There is no doubt that the first selectman has worked to keep tax increases low, but it is distressing to see his campaign inflate his role and trivialize the overall budget and tax rate approval processes. The first selectman and his campaign know better.

Meanwhile, the Tymniak campaign’s use of a chart showing the first selectman’s proposed tax rate increases “compounded” over four years is misleading and unfair. And the Tymniak campaign should know better than to attack the first selectman on ownership of property in Fairfield. That issue has no relevance to the first selectman’s performance in office.

The Tetreau campaign’s postcard claim that candidate Tymniak “put Ansonia on the road to bankruptcy” is highlighted in bright red and footnoted using the Ansonia 2013-15 budget as authority. There is no mention of bankruptcy in that budget document. The Tetreau campaign is misleadingly using a document in a footnote as camouflage for its own bleak analysis of Ansonia’s financial status. The Tetreau campaign should know better.

We are witnessing two flailing candidates trading low blows via postcards. The most disturbing part of the distortions and mudslinging coming from the first selectman campaigns is what is revealed about their attitude toward Fairfield voters. The candidates seem to think that shoddy postcards will sway us. Both campaigns should know better.

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Bipartisan slate for school board backed

We all have something uniquely in common. Each of us has held a prominent leadership position within the school communities represented below. While we served in these volunteer positions, we gained valuable insight. We saw firsthand how the work of central office and its dedicated staff impacts the individual child in each classroom. We listened to parents about their expectations. We witnessed the joys and challenges experienced daily in our schools. We were privy to the impact that state mandates and budget realities have on the delivery of a quality education to all Fairfield students. Most importantly, we learned to value the professional judgment of the teachers of Fairfield. We stand united with our teachers in their endorsement of these five bipartisan candidates for the Board of Education:

Anthony Calabrese (R), Philip Dwyer (D), Jessica Gerber (D), Jennifer Maxon-Kennelly (D) and Trisha Pytko (R).

Writing to you as individuals, we ask you to please stand with us, and our teachers, in this most important election. (Please note this letter is not written on behalf of any local, state, or national organization — only concerned citizens with a shared experience).

Signed: Ann Harvey (Burr Elementary School), Shaun Amberg (Riverfield Elementary School), Wendy Brachfeld (Burr ES, and special education, district-wide), Pam Brennan (Dwight Elementary School), Christine Brewster (Jennings Elementary School), April Burggraf (Stratfield Elementary School), Meg Capodanno (Osborn Hill Elementary School), Tausif Churyk (Fairfield Woods Middle School), Jennifer Colucci (Burr Elementary School), Susan Coyne (North Stratfield Elementary School), Amy Crawford (Riverfield Elementary School), Meg Day (Osborn Hill Elementary School), Trudi Durrell (Holland Hill Elementary School), Nora Fanning (Riverfield Elementary School), Pamela Fink (North Stratfield Elementary School), Gail Francolini (Stratfield Elementary School), Traci Garceau (special education, district-wide), Liz Giardina (Osborn Hill Elementary School), Catherine Giff (Fairfield Warde High School), Andy Gleeman (Dwight Elementary School), Charlotte Glovin (Stratfield Elementary School), Jenny Hayes (Riverfield Elementary School), Dorene Herron (Sherman Elementary School), Mary Hogue (Burr ES, Woods MS, & Warde HS), Sara Jannott (Sherman Elementary School), Lizzy Knisley (Osborn Hill Elementary School), Laura Kottler (Dwight Elementary School and FLHS), Gina Luczaj (Dwight Elementary School).

Also, Wendi Malone (Mill Hill Elementary School), Mary Mayer (Mill Hill Elementary School), Michele Modugno (Fairfield Woods Middle School), Mindy Morgan (McKinley Elementary School), Mary Nardone (Burr Elementary School), Liz Neugebauer (Dwight Elementary School), Ai Nguyen (Tomlinson Middle School), Leslie Noland (Riverfield Elementary School), Robin Orriss (Osborn Hill Elementary School), Deb Owens (Roger Ludlowe Middle School), Kim Palmer (Dwight Elementary School, and Tomlinson MS), Katy Rosenfeld (Dwight Elementary School), Maureen Sawyer (Riverfield Elementary School), Danielle Sharp (Dwight Elementary School), Laura Shea (Stratfield Elementary School), Brenda Steele (Jennings Elementary School), Kristen Tharrington (Riverfield Elementary School), Jennifer Tierney (Jennings Elementary School), Tracie Valentino (Holland Hill Elementary School), Marissa Vallillo (Holland Hill Elementary School), Christine Vitale (Roger Ludlowe MS and Fairfield Ludlowe HS), Sue Voltz (Dwight Elementary School), Michele Whelan (Dwight Elementary School).

Tymniak dishonest about Penfield, Ansonia records

Christopher Tymniak is the Republican nominee for first selectman, and in the last few months has proven himself to be both arrogant and dishonest in his portrayal of his own credentials and of Mike Tetreau’s leadership over the past four years.

From his articles and campaign mailings, he touts his experience as the chief administrating officer of the city of Ansonia and blames Mr. Tetreau for the current, boarded-up state of Penfield Pavilion.

With respect to Penfield, Mr. Tymniak must think we Fairfielders are stupid: the minutes of the Representative Town Meeting show that Feb. 3 he voted against repairing Penfield Pavilion. While Mr. Tymniak was being an obstructionist and delaying repairs on our town’s capital assets, Mr. Tetreau was working to get the FEMA funds to reimburse the town for repairs.

Moreover, in his year and a half as chief administrating officer of the city of Ansonia, Mr. Tymniak brought that city from the seventh most economically distressed municipality (Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Distressed Municipalities List, 2013, 2014, 2015) in the state to the second. Waterbury is now the only municipality in the state in worse financial shape than Ansonia — what an inspiring record!

Meanwhile, Mr. Tetreau has delivered the lowest tax increases in the last twenty years of our town’s history, with the percent increase going down every year (this year it was 1.6 percent). He is fiscally responsible, and understands the value of investing in our town’s assets.

Perhaps my value for honesty and responsibility in politics is old fashioned and naïve, but the thought of such a scoundrel as Mr. Tymniak at the helm of our town is truly horrifying, and our Republican Party should be ashamed at the endorsement they have made. I will be voting for Mike Tetreau and Sheila Marmion on Nov. 3.

Greg Convertito


Tymniak, McArdle best for Fairfield

Fairfield has an opportunity on Nov. 3 to elect an energetic and responsible team for fist selectman and selectman. Chris Tymniak and Laurie McArdle are the right choice. Both own homes in Fairfield, paying property taxes on them, and have children in our schools.

I believe in a “common sense” way of governing and these two candidates can put aside partisan politics to achieve the greater good for our town. Mike Tetreau is a good man, but he is not the leader we need and it is time for change. Chris and Laurie have the fire in their bellies and an invested interest to keep Fairfield an attractive and affordable place to live.

As a first-time candidate for RTM in District 9, I want to work with Chris, Laurie and all other RTM members, regardless of party affiliation, to keep Fairfield the great town it is. My son will enter the Fairfield school system in a few short years and I want him and all our children in town to continue to get a top-notch education. Chris can create a budget that fully funds the school system without continuing unsustainable tax increases as we have seen the last four years.

We need candidates who are ready to roll up their sleeves and go to bat for those of us living here especially those of us paying property taxes in town. Please join me in voting for Tymniak and McArdle.

Nick Aysseh

RTM District 9 candidate

Voting for Tetreau, Marmion

Join me in voting for Mike Tetreau and Sheila Marmion.

Mike's service on the Board of Finance and as first selectman has demonstrated his ability to accomplish measurable improvements to Fairfield's financial position. Our AAA bond rating is now secure.

Sheila Marmion served well on the RTM and now on the Board of Selectmen. Her thoughtful comments and probing questions demonstrate a keen mind focused on the issues at hand.

I trust Mike Tetreau and Sheila Marmion to provide responsible, well-considered leadership for the town of Fairfield. Vote for Mike and Sheila on Nov. 3.

Helen D'Avanzo


Attacks on Tymniak’s Ansonia record unfair

Mike Tetreau has spent a lot of time and money disparaging the city of Ansonia instead of talking about his vision for Fairfield’s future. Two years ago, the people of Ansonia, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5 to 1, realized their city was in dire condition and elected a Republican mayor. The new mayor sought out the most innovative and talented people he could find to comprise his team. Chris Tymniak was hired as city manager because he knew Chris had the energy, experience and innovative ideas to help to turn the city around.

Chris knew that Ansonia had a lot of serious problems, ailing schools and an economy that was really struggling. Chris was up for the challenge. In the past two years, Chris’ team was able to reduce taxes, increase education spending and retain businesses. Ansonia has a long way to go, but they are finally on their way thanks to Chris’ team. Mr. Tetreau should be ashamed of the way he has attacked Ansonia and, thereby, the people of Ansonia. I know Ansonia well. The people of Ansonia may not have the resources or geographical advantages of Fairfield, but they have pride in their community and are good, hard working, middle class people. Fairfield is not and will never be Ansonia … there is no comparison.

I know Chris will bring that same level of enthusiasm and innovative ideas to Fairfield as first selectman. I hope you will give him a chance and vote on November 3rd.

James Millington


Republican Town Committee

Tymniak can’t have it both ways on Ansonia record

You can't have it both ways, Chris.

For months you've told voters they should choose you because as the town manager in Ansonia (for less than two years) you are responsible for a zero tax increase — achieved by spending down 20 percent of Ansonia's surplus to meet their actual 3 percent budget increase. Never mind that Ansonia is now the second most distressed town in Connecticut — after being rated seventh. Or that 50 percent of Ansonia’s revenue comes from the state of Connecticut, putting the town on a clear path to bankruptcy should that revenue be reduced.

Now, in a recent television interview on News Channel 12, near the end, you're telling voters you're really not the person responsible for all those financial decisions in Ansonia after all. That it's the mayor.

Which is it?

You say your work in Ansonia is the experience that you bring to the first selectman's job — did you make these financial decisions or not?

Heather Dean


Democratic Town Committee

Backs FEA-endorsed school board candidates

I have great faith in the leadership abilities of Philip Dwyer. He has served this town well as a member and chairman of the Board of Education. We are fortunate he is running for re-election.

I am impressed with a recent comment Phil made: “The greatness of a school district is not measured by national standardized tests, but rather in how it educates those students most in need.” I agree. Our community has many students with a diverse set of needs and we need leadership that understands the mission of our public schools is to educate every student.

The Fairfield school district has adopted a new District Improvement Plan under the leadership of Philip Dwyer and Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title. We have a great school system and this plan is intended to make it even better. Continuity is important to insure the plan is implemented as intended.

I also understand the Fairfield Education Association (FEA) that represents all certified district staff (teachers and others) has recently endorsed five candidates for the Board of Education. I also have faith in our teachers and their commitment to each and every student. Clearly, our school district is at an important juncture for the FEA to make endorsements for the first time.

Thus, I support those endorsements including Democrats Philip Dwyer, Jessica Gerber and Jennifer Maxon-Kennelly. The FEA also endorsed Republicans Anthony Calabrese, who I know, and Trisha Pytko, who I met recently at one of our church functions. Our teachers have a good read on the needs of the Board of Education for more constructive collaboration among its members. They also understand the needs of our school district.

I support their collective wisdom in choosing these five candidates to best serve the needs of our community and our students. I will follow the teachers lead and hope you do as well. Please vote on Nov. 3.

Rev. David W. Spollett


Tymniak, McArdle will ‘restore’ Fairfield

The house of cards is coming down for sure, but whose? Unfortunately it’s ours, the Fairfield taxpayers! Fairfield residents are in desperate need of some relief and we’re not getting it from our current leadership, which seems content to sit on its hands while they hope for better times. Hope is not a strategy. We need action now especially on escalating property taxes, “an increase is an increase,” which, by the way, our first selectman does not pay because he doesn’t own any taxable property here in Fairfield.

Property taxes are but one of the many issues affecting Fairfield that require new thinking. You need examples? Here are a few:

Taxes keep increasing while our services keep diminishing.

Penfield Pavilion continues to waste away unused for three years running now.

GE is threatening to move its corporate headquarters … the economic fall out would be devastating.

Our senior services are substandard in comparison to other towns.

Fairfield is losing ground to neighboring towns on education as well as the sustainable taxes and home values.

Fairfield is in urgent need of new leadership … the kind that Team Tymniak/McArdle can provide when we elect them on Nov. 3. Consider the following:

Tymniak has already accomplished elsewhere what we are seeking for Fairfield, in other words, improving a town’s economy, increasing their education budget while lowering taxes.

Tymniak knows Fairfield … he is a lifelong tax-paying property owner who grew up and was educated here. His children attend Fairfield public schools and participate in youth sports and recreation programs.

McArdle has been a Fairfield resident for 28 years, a math teacher at Fairfield Woods Middle School for 14 years. She has four children, all of whom attended Fairfield public schools. She understands what needs to be done to improve our schools.

McArdle is an RTM member with a proven record of voting to keep our taxes and expenses in check while supporting our schools and town services.

Team Tymniak/McArdle have a well-thought-out plan to accomplish Fairfield’s objectives. They aim to keep existing businesses in Fairfield while attracting new ones. They will honor Fairfield’s seniors by improving services and will restore our schools’ reputations for excellence. They are committed to dealing with the Penfield Pavilion situation and addressing our taxes, which once under control will improve home values and make Fairfield the envy of the region once again!

Please help restore Fairfield, elect Tymniak/McArdle this Nov. 3.

Kathleen Blaine


Supports Wolk for RTM

I support the candidacy of Jay Wolk for Fairfield's RTM and I encourage and urge the voters of District 5 to elect Jay as your representative. Jay currently serves District 6 on the RTM, but due to redistricting, he is running for re-election in the new District 5.

Jay has a long history of service to the town. In addition to his duties on the RTM, he has served our school district as the Stratfield School delegate to the PTA Council, as the PTA Council vice president of programs and as the PTA Council liaison to the first selectman's office. He is a member of the School Climate Team for Bullying, a board member of Fairfield Counseling Services and currently serves on the RTM's Education and Recreation Committee.

Jay has always provided excellent constituent service and is always ready to address any issues and concerns that the residents of his district may have. His tenure on the RTM has provided him with the knowledge of town government and the experience needed to make decisions in the best interests of his constituents. Since the newly reconstituted RTM will now have only 40 members — down from 50, it is imperative that District 5 be represented by seasoned legislators, and in that regard, Jay qualifies.

I exhort you to vote for Jay Wolk and let him put his efforts, energy and enthusiasm to work advocating for your district as well as for the town of Fairfield.

Kevin Moran


Fairfield needs Tymniak’s new ideas

On Nov. 3, Fairfield has the opportunity to elect a new leadership team with new ideas, new energy and a new direction. I hope you will join me in voting for change and electing Chris Tymniak-R as first selectman and Laurie McArdle-R as selectwoman.

Chris grew up in Fairfield, has two kids in Fairfield schools and wants residents like his mom, former Rep. Cathy Tymniak-R, to be able to afford to stay in Fairfield in her retirement. Chris offers the experience to lead us forward from day one. Two years ago in Ansonia, Chris was brought in to help their fiscally ailing community. In that time, the newly elected Republican administration successfully reduced taxes, improved education spending and retained existing businesses while attracting new ones. In a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5 to 1, the Republican mayor is expected to win re-election in a landslide. Fairfield needs the innovative ideas that were effective in Ansonia and a leader like Chris who will rise above the status quo and seek out new ideas and best practices for governing.

Laurie McArdle was a longtime Fairfield teacher and is a small business owner. Many Fairfield families entrusted her with their children as students and they can now trust in her to safeguard Fairfield’s future. Laurie and Chris make a promising team with Fairfield’s best interests at heart.

Hank Ference

RTM deputy moderator


Tymniak, McArdle have best vision for town’s future

I am very pleased to be supporting Chris Tymniak and Laurie McArdle for first selectman and selectman. Not only are they dedicated and passionate individuals but they also have a vision to make Fairfield better — from ensuring we spend smartly to keeping our education system strong, and providing town services without compromising a commitment to fiscal responsibility.

Chris, a Fairfield native, has been a citizen volunteer by serving on the RTM, fighting and has been leading for what is right for our community. These attributes are not surprising as Chris comes from a family who has always put service above self, and he and his wife are teaching their own children to live by that mantra. A smart and accomplished individual, Laurie McArdle equally brings a strong dedication to Fairfield which comes from a deep love for our community.

While I applaud all people who are willing to run for office, I am supporting Chris and Laurie because they have a clear vision to make Fairfield a better place to live, to work and to raise family but they also have the ability to listen and learn from all individuals, and to build consensus.

Giorgio Versea


Gerber backed for new school board term

I have known Jessica Gerber for almost 15 years. She's a great friend, but that's not why I'm writing this letter. I'm writing this to make sure that the people of Fairfield know what a great job she has done as a member of the Fairfield Board of Education and what a great asset she is to our community.

I have three children of my own in the Fairfield public school system and sometimes find it hard to balance everyone's schedules. Jessica has gone above and beyond that with her family, in addition to attending countless meetings. She's been the board secretary for all four years. She has been the liaison to the Parks and Rec Committee, SEPTA, Fairfield Ludlowe High School and Osborn Hill Elementary school building committees, as well as the chairman of the Ad Hoc Communication Committee.

I feel confident that my children's educational needs will be met with Jessica on the board. She's always fair and honest, and understands the importance that the Board of Education has on our children's lives.

Please join me in supporting Jessica Gerber.

Karen Houghton


Vote for Tymniak for needed change

As a lifelong resident of Fairfield, I’ve seen many transformations over the year involving taxes, schools, the character of our downtown, to name a few. Elected officials owe it to the taxpayers to be fiscally responsible while still maintaining excellence in our schools, services to which we’ve become accustomed and the bottom line, making Fairfield the best town possible.

Under Democratic control, there has been a lack of long-term vision for Fairfield. Take, for instance, our school facilities. When Roger Ludlowe High School re-opened as Fairfield Ludlowe High School, a full investment in facilities should have been made at the time to update the building. It didn’t happen and as a consequence, there are still building projects currently going on at FLHS, one involving new window installation that is over budget and past its due date. There was no long-term vision in building the third middle school in the center of town, which added to the sports field shortage situation and continues to contribute to traffic problems in an already congested area near the train station.

And that’s just school facilities, the downtown library was expanded and rebuilt but lacks adequate parking. We as taxpayers were forced to contribute to the cost of finishing the stalled Metro Center project for a third train station, but we have yet to reap the full tax benefits of that property. The Penfield Pavilion has been bogged down in bureaucratic red tape like a ship without a rudder while we residents lose tax revenue and this valuable destination spot. In short, our Democrat-controlled Board of Selectmen now and over the years has short-changed Fairfield with its lack of vision and long-term planning. The amount of tax money spent on our school buildings, library, Metro Center and Penfield Pavilion should have yielded better results. It hasn’t and our families with children and those on a fixed income suffer the most for it. It’s time for a change and a fresh set of eyes. It’s time to elect leaders invested in the future of Fairfield.

Please join me in voting for Chris Tymniak and Laurie McArdle on Nov. 3.

Peter Tallman

RTM District 8 candidate