Get to Know Ashley Gaudiano

To the Editor:

November may seem far away, but it’s never too early to learn about the candidates who are working to earn your vote.

Ashley Gaudiano is a small business owner, attorney, advocate, and mother to two young children who deserves your vote for State Representative. She’s running for the 134th General Assembly seat, which covers parts of Fairfield and Trumbull.

Ashley and her husband moved to Trumbull in 2013 to raise their family, and she’s been an asset to the community since. Prior to opening her own consulting firm, she oversaw communications for a national, Bridgeport-based nonprofit. Now through her own firm, she provides nonprofits throughout the state support with communication and strategy.

In 2017, Ashley was elected to serve on the Trumbull Town Council in her first run for public office. She campaigned to ensure families are represented in local government, and that all citizens have a voice in the town’s future.

Decisions made at the state level over the last two decades have led to some incredibly difficult challenges in Connecticut. Despite this, Connecticut is still a wonderful place to live and raise a family. We need new voices and fresh ideas in Hartford to face these challenges and carry Connecticut forward.

Ashley’s experience and leadership are exactly what we need. She will advocate on our behalf, bring fresh ideas to the table, and collaborate to find a path forward.

Please join me and support Ashley Gaudiano for State Representative in November.

Erin Lopez

Fairfield

I’m just a proud parent

To the Editor:

We Fairfield citizens seldom hear about the accomplishments of our sons and daughters in their later years, of their accomplishments, the exception often being that a name might appear on a police blotter.

I recall that one of my favorite authors and one of my favorites stories of his, “The Slap,” is a graduate of Ludlowe. If some readers are unfamiliar with the story, it ought to be on their reading list. There are other graduates, not so much a luminary as Steven Millhauser, but all of them worth noting, once in a while and particularly when there’s talk of slimming down the school budgets.

Our oldest son, Kevin Coulombe, 62 years old, Master of the container ship, Maersk Memphis, has started his final voyage, having recently boarded his ship in Houston, on a trip that will take him and his ship up the East Coast, with stops along the way, to the Port of New York, and, from there, across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean Sea, with a stop in Algeciras near Gibraltar, before continuing the voyage to Suez.

Once there, Coulombe will attend to the first leg of a transit of the canal, whereupon the Memphis will sail down the length of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, up into the Gulf of Oman, through the straights of Ormuz, whereupon the container ship will unload and upload containers at Qatar, and, then, return toward the Indian Ocean through the straights of Ormuz and into the Arabian Gulf before exiting on his return voyage with stops at Karachi and Mumbai before returning to the States on a route that will take them back to the Med via Suez and into the Atlantic and by the Azores to the Port of New York with or without slowdowns at sea for weather, engine trouble, or in response to calls for assists at sea.

Coulombe has sailed nearly all of the oceans during his thirty-some years at sea, with twenty or so of those years as master of container ships. He is a collector of old navigational sextants, an ardent, metal craftsman, and a searcher for old books, fiction or nonfiction, about the sea.

Kevin was born at the University of Maine where his mother and I were married and I was a student and veteran and she a nurse, breadwinner and my partner. Kevin graduated from the New York State Maritime Academy and attended the University of Washington in Seattle. He and his wife live in Washington State. Captain Kevin Coulombe graduated from Ludlowe High School in Fairfield. Kevin writes frequently about his experiences at sea for professional periodicals and is a maritime representative to various international organizations related to ships and ships’ traffic on the world’s oceans.

Who am I, just a proud parent, proud of his children and of their accomplishments—and proud of our Fairfield schools, of course.

Gerard Coulombe

Fairfield

How did they get approval?

To the Editor:

How did they ever get approval to build that there? Doesn’t this town have some kind of a master zoning plan? What ever happened to the rule of law? I get those questions all of the time here in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Fairfield.

The answer is hidden in plain sight mid-afternoon on several days of just about every month. The location is the Board of Selectmen (BoS) conference room on the First Floor of Sullivan Hall. The approving entity is the elected Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). If any of the folks asking had the opportunity to watch just one or two of these meetings they could answer the questions on their own.

That conference room is set up for FAIR TV equipment. FAIR TV covers the regular BoS meetings, as required by town ordinance. However, the same town ordinance specifically exempts the ZBA from mandatory FAIRTV coverage. When the ZBA meets, the FAIR TV microphones and cameras go blank.

From the get-go, transparency across the board for all elected entities should have been mandated by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) when it established FAIRTV ordinance. The RTM was wrong to specifically exempt the elected ZBA, and the elected Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA), from mandatory coverage.

The ZBA and BAA, by state statute, deal in appeals to normal rule and order. And, as noted, in Fairfield, the two entities are elected just like the BOS and RTM. People who watch FAIRTV should get to see the ZBA and BAA in action just as they watch the BoS and RTM. If nothing else, people can see who and what they voted for last election. More importantly, they would be able to answer the opening questions for themselves.

The RTM needs to right this wrong. Fix the ordinance!

Jim Brown

Fairfield

Where are you going?

To the Editor:

“Where are you going?”

It’s a question we’ve all been asked at some point in our lives.

It’s a question we’ve likely asked ourselves about our future plans.

It’s a question I asked of my brink-of-bankruptcy city five years ago when I was elected mayor.

It’s a difficult question to answer.

In the wake of multiple tax hikes, credit rating downgrades, and outmigration of residents and businesses, the same question must be asked of the State of Connecticut.

“Where is Connecticut going?”

I am running for governor to set our state on a more stable, positive and predictable course.

My 10-point vision represents the path I will push our state toward as your next governor.

My vision is unique because my background is unique. As a young, female, fiscally conservative Republican chief executive of a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans six to one, I have the skill set to get Connecticut’s economy growing again.

I love this state. Over the past eight weeks since declaring my candidacy, I have met with thousands of people who share that love and who have responded to my vision.

And my vision begins with establishing that connection.

Let’s put the “connect” in Connecticut by maximizing the opportunities created by our location between New York and Boston. Imagine a fast, secure, statewide internet system. A higher education system without bureaucratic bloat that moves toward more online learning. A state that keeps its young talent via tax incentives to get graduates to establish roots here.

My vision includes upgrading the housing stock in our cities and providing relief to crumbling foundation homeowners in eastern Connecticut. It celebrates the value of our economic backbone — small businesses and mom and pop shops — by incentivizing their growth.

Check ErinForCT.com for details of my 10-point vision. I am proud of the work we have done to provide New Britain residents and businesses with a brighter future and an improved quality of life. There’s a renewed spirit in the Hardware City now — an energy and vibe that didn’t exist five years ago. We can do the same for Connecticut. We can bring predictability, pride and passion back.

When asked, “Where is Connecticut going?” we can respond with confidence that we are heading to a much better place. As your governor, it will be my honor to get us there. And by my side, Peter Tesei, the First Selectman of Greenwich and my choice for Lieutenant Governor. Hey Connecticut: Let’s do this!

Erin Stewart

Mayor of New Britain

Republican Candidate for Governor