Tony Anastasio,1st selectman candidate in Woodbridge, seeks tie-breaker role
By Pamela McLoughlin
@mcpamskids on Twitter
WOODBRIDGE >> If Republican Tony Anastasio is elected May 1, he will be sworn in to two positions July 1: as the town first selectman and as president of Woodbridge Rotary, of which he is president-elect.
Anastasio said he decided to run because the town’s charter is set up so that tie votes along party lines on the Board of Selectmen are common and the first selectman has the tie-breaking vote, as well as a regular vote.
He said because of that, it’s difficult to get anything done for the party not in power.
Town leaders in recent years have had a way of “kicking things down the road,” and have been “reactive, not proactive,” he said.
A major issue facing the town and a headache for the recent administration has been what to do with the Country Club of Woodbridge, which the town bought eight years ago after its owners fell on hard financial times.
There was a failed attempt to run a golf course; proposals to build dense housing were never approved.
“I have been against mass development,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve marketed the property properly.”
Anastasio has some ideas:
• He’d like the property to be open space with passive recreation such as walking trails.
• He will “engage professionals to market the Country Club of Woodbridge property for sale to independent golf course operators.”
• He will get an “unbiased” professional land use consultant to develop recommendations for the best uses of the property, taking into consideration economic, social and quality of life issues.
• He will not entertain changes to the zoning regulations because it’s important to preserve the rural and historical character of the town.
Anastasio is “very unhappy,” with the way the Board of Finance has handled department budgets, calling them “ill-conceived and ill-practiced.”
The Finance Board in recent years has effected policy rather than just budgets, he said, and if elected, he’ll consider a “process change” to assure that the selectmen have final approval on policy matters rather than “putting the burden and decisions on the Board of Finance.”
“It’s not that I’m angry with any of the people; it’s the political games that are played,” he said.
Anastasio said it’s important to maintain the town’s high education standard, including at the “Blue Ribbon” Amity High School.
Anastasio aims to “control our ever-increasing tax bills by improving our budget process and promoting sensible commercial growth.”
He said he will hire a part-time economic development professional to promote and market the commercial district to bring in more taxes.
Anastasio has a history of community service. He is serving his fourth year on the Board of Selectmen and in 2011, he was named Woodbridge Volunteer of the Year.
Anastasio is a semi-retired financial expert. He is married to lawyer Lisa Oak, who is former president of Subway Real Estate Corp., and now has her own business consulting firm, Oak Advisory Services, LLC. They met while serving on the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, married in 1995 and have two sons. They moved from Milford to Woodbridge 15 years ago.
Anastasio’s family goes back 100 years in Woodbridge. He said his great-grandparents came to town to farm the land and raise their families.
“My mother, Anne Perrotti Anastasio, and her siblings worked on those farms from the time they were children. I grew up helping my grandfather, Frank Perrotti Sr., at his garden center and other properties,” Anastasio wrote in his biography.
Voting is 6 a.m.-8 p.m. May 1 at the Center Building gym, 4 Meetinghouse Lane. The Woodbridge Republican slate is: Tony Anastasio, first selectman; selectmen, Spencer Rubin, Joe Dey, David Lober; Board of Education, Paul Testa, Steve Fleischman, Jeff Hughes; Amity Board of Education, Hal Smullen, Robert Rosasco III; Beth Walter, Board of Assessment Appeals; Zoning Board of Appeals, Kim Giangrande, Wanda Luciani-Kesses, Mary Hill, Dr. Robert Wiznia.