Running for the Planning and Zoning Board

The Milford Mirror had questionnaires sent to candidates for the Planning & Zoning Board asking them to discuss the key issues and their education and experience. Following are their responses. If we did not get a response, their information was pulled from the town committee’s promotional material.

DISTRICT 1

Peg Kearney

Democratic

I hope to see Milford continue to be a vibrant, growing community that attracts families and young professionals, as well as become a destination for new businesses. We also need to live up to our motto of being the “Small City with the Big Heart” by having housing available for residents at all income levels. Recent changes in the state 830-G statute will assist us in documenting existing affordable housing stock, moving us closer to achieving that goal. We can then develop Milford in accord with our goals rather than those of developers. I would also like to assist the board in educating residents about restrictions and policies so they better understand how and why decisions are made.    

Background: I spent my early career in journalism as a sports writer and editor at various newspapers. I then spent 23 years at a New York City sports publishing company as the Senior Vice President of Development. I spent the last years of my working career as a Development Manager at Subway where I got to know many Milford residents. I was actively involved in PTA at Mathewson, Harborside and Jonathan Law, where I was also on the board of the Sports Association. I was on the Milford 9-11 Commission and on the board of the Woodruff YMCA for eight years.

I have the time, energy, patience and commitment needed to be a productive member of the Planning and Zoning Board. I intend to have an open mind on all proposals coming before the board and will insist on transparency. I will listen to the concerns of my constituents and will consider what is best for them and for the city; to balance the public good with private rights and interests. I will educate myself in all aspects of the position.

Thomas Nichol

Republican

Current  Planning and Zoning member  with seven years on the board. Former member Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals. 53 year resident of Milford. Member of the MRTC and Senior Center. Retired from Norden Systems with 43 years service. I hope to review and continue to protect projects that comply with current regulations. I will continue to encourage and maintain a good environment for business. Observe what is right, and do what is just.

DISTRICT 2

Denise Doucette-Ginise

Democrat

Key issue #1: Affordable Housing (8-30g). Encourage proactive development of affordable housing for placement in designated zones.

Work to reach the state sponsored moratorium which will eliminate developers’ ability to override local zoning regulations if a development has an 8-30g component.

When an 8-30g development is mandated, ensure surrounding property owners are protected by actively working through privacy, security and environmental concerns.

Key issue #2: Responsible Development. Encourage utilization and redevelopment of currently developed space.

Weigh growth and development against environmental impact and historic preservation.

Background: Alumnus of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield; hold a B.S., Nursing and M.S., Nursing Administration. For over 15 years I co-owned a small, Milford-based, environmental service business then entered nursing as a second career. I have practiced as a healthcare industry executive for almost 10 years.

As a 30-year Milford homeowner who now borders a new affordable housing development, I became knowledgeable about 8-30g regulations and the challenges faced by our Planning & Zoning Board in attempting to regulate these developments. I believe, although 8-30g is a state mandate, the Planning & Zoning Board has a duty to both protect and support existing homeowners, while encouraging responsible development of designated affordable housing zones. I have raised two sons in our wonderful city and am vested in ensuring we simultaneously encourage growth while maintaining our historic charm and beautiful, natural environment.

District 3

Full Term

Jim Quish

Democrat

Milford has been targeted by developers seeking to bypass our zoning regulations by using the state law known as 8-30G resulting in high density residential development which adversely affect the neighborhoods they encroach upon. I have and will seek strategies and actions to protect neighborhoods and Milford residents from the negative effects of these developments.

Background: Owner- Integrated Building Services and Integrated Energy Solutions; Education- BS Northeastern University; Experience, 35 Years in Contracting/Construction.

I bring a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to the position from decades of work experience in the development and construction industry. I also have had a four-year education from my experience as a member of the Milford P&Z. I have and will continue to work to balance the support of growth and development in the City of Milford with the preservation of the character of Milford that we all hold so dear.

Peter Berube

Republican

Key issues: 8-30g Affordable housing: I am concerned with developers who try to over-develop single family zoned properties using laws that are intended to benefit lower income families. In the manner they are applying the laws, the only real winners are the developers.

Create a business friendly environment: Currently in Milford it takes a long time for local businesses to receive the approvals needed to develop, expand or relocate. I would like the board to streamline the process, keeping in mind that unnecessary delays inhibit business development.

Over building along the shoreline: Other than the people of Milford its shoreline is our greatest asset. We need to preserve our small town charm and prohibit large developments along the shoreline. Residents should have access to all the beautiful beaches.

Background: United States Navy veteran; Boys and Girls Club of Milford trustee and former board member; VFW lifetime member; DAV lifetime member; Worked in Milford for 10 years, currently a restaurant general manager.

My experience in the Navy instilled the importance of following policies and procedures. However, As a small business manager I have seen how over regulation can inhibit growth. I think there needs to be a happy medium.

DISTRICT 3

To fill vacancy for two years

Robert Satti, Jr.

Democrat

The key issues are the effect of the 8-30g law and its impact on the residential neighborhoods of Milford. As a representative of all the citizens the board has to strike the appropriate balance between the rights of individual property owners to develop their property with the rights of the neighbors to the peaceful enjoyment of the neighborhood, I recognize the responsibility of the board to conscientiously listen to the concerns of all the parties involved to ultimately make a fair decision that will keep Milford the beautiful city that it is while making sure that there is affordable housing for all who want to live here. I oppose the misuse of that statute to unnecessarily burden city services, including water, waste and traffic, to ruin the great neighborhoods that we have in Milford.

Background: I have been a practicing attorney for 38 years and presently work in the State’s Attorney Office in Bridgeport. My title is Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney. I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame majoring in government studies with a minor in urban studies. I received my law degree from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Mass. I have served as chairman of Milford’s first Ethics Commission and the Board of Education, including being the Majority Leader. I have been involved with civic organizations for all of my adult life.

As explained above, I have served on public Boards and Commissions. I presently serve on the Pension and Retirement Board. As a practicing attorney I routinely evaluate claims relating to the Connecticut General Statutes and municipal ordinances. I am qualified to make the appropriate and tough decisions that affect the lives of all the citizens of Milford.

Rick Varrone

Republican

The greatest responsibility for Planning and Zoning is to balance the will of the people, the letter of the law, and the vision of the past, present, and future land development of our great city.  We have certain issues that are sometimes a challenge to balance – the 8-30g State Statute in particular can present the board with tough choices. I firmly believe in the spirit of this law, but sometimes it can be difficult to rule on an 8-30g project in light of all the factors involved. My goal is to be a consistent voice for the people of Milford in the future development of our great city.

Background: Milford small business owner serving local businesses for almost 30 years. Campaign manager for State Rep. Charles Ferraro 117th in the 2014 elections. Candidate for State Rep. in the 2016 elections. Current member on the Planning and Zoning Board in Milford. Alumni of New England School of Theology. 5th Degree Master Instructor in the Martial Arts

As a lifelong resident my heart and soul live here – as an incumbent I already have my finger on the pulse of Milford and have been an effective leader on the board – and I believe public service is an honor and privilege. I think all Milford citizens should  spend some time serving our great city to insure we continue to be great long into the future

DISTRICT 4

Full term

Brian E. Kaligian

Democrat

There are many important issues facing Milford today. I think it is important to accept that the city will continue to grow and our collective task is to make sure that growth is responsible and that we preserve the characteristics that made Milford the place that we chose to live.

Background: I have practiced law in Connecticut for more than 32 years and maintain an office at 74 Cherry Street. I am a former member of the Town of Orange Planning & Zoning and a former member of the Orange Board of Assessment Appeals. I received a BA from Michigan State University and a JD from the University of Bridgeport.

During my years of practicing law I have developed excellent listening and communication skills. I will always be well prepared and I will always continue to be fair and open minded.

Rich Goulart

Republican

Milford needs to have the control of its Planning and Zoning Board returned to its local municipality. The state government in Hartford has too much control over the way Milford conducts its business. For example, State Statute 8-30g, which pertains to affordable housing, interferes with Milford’s ability to control its own destiny. Hartford is spending too much time “swimming in our soup.”

Fair and smart economic growth for the residents of Milford is part of the responsibility of the Planning and Zoning Board. Milford’s open space and natural habitat can and must be preserved, while simultaneously encouraging said growth. Milford must remain the charming city it is and retain its historical character.

Background: I am the current president of the Kiwanis Club of Milford, which serves children and the local community. I am on the Board of Directors for the Beth El Center, whose mission is to alleviate homelessness and hunger by providing shelter support and educational resources. I served 10 years in the Connecticut Army National Guard. I graduated from the Center for Culinary Arts in 2001 and am a chef/owner of Simply Elegant Catering of Milford. I currently work as a bakery technician representing Wakefern Food Corporation, the parent company of Shop Rite.  

As a resident of Milford for over 23 years, I am interested and invested in the future of Milford. I currently serve the community on several different fronts. I am passionate and committed to Milford’s well-being and future. If elected, I promise to protect Milford’s neighborhoods and ensure a safe and desirable environment.

DISTRICT 4

To fill vacancy for two years

Nancy Austin

Democrat

Nancy was appointed this year to the Planning & Zoning Board. She is a lifelong resident of Milford.

Background: Nancy is a graduate of Elon University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Medicine. She is skilled in business management, strategic planning, marketing and advertising. Account Executive at Altice Media Solutions and News 12 (formally Cablevision); former sales manager at Kia of Milford. Attended the Milford school system K-12.

Nancy and her husband Doug, reside in the Borough of Woodmont.

DISTRICT 5

Carl Moore

Democrat

Carl and his wife, Diana Crosdale Moore, have a son, Isaiah. Carl is a mentor for Career Beginnings and a Youth Advisor for Sickle Cell Association of America. Carl enjoys jogging, golf, chess, basketball and softball.

Background: Carl has been serving on the Planning & Zoning Board since 2013. He has worked in the healthcare insurance industry for over 15 years, currently working in Healthcare Analytics at United Healthcare. Carl served in United States Air Force during Operation Desert Storm.

He has been involved with the following: City of Milford’s Veterans Grave Preservation; Golden Hill United Methodist - Co-Lead Men’s Ministry and Trustee Committee member; MBA in Health Care Management, Regis University, Denver, Colorado; BS in Business Administration in Health Care Management at the University of Connecticut, Active Commander of the AMVETS Post 43

Edward Mead

Republican

A major issue in Milford is the State Statute of 8-30G Affordable Housing. If I am elected, I will work with both the people in the neighborhoods affected by the affordable housing projects and the developers to come to an agreement which is acceptable to all. The law has the Planning and Zoning Board’s hands tied on the matter of affordable housing but I believe the developers are willing to come to agreements. With my past experience of serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals for six years, the Planning and Zoning Board for seven years and my working knowledge of the business of construction overall, I know that I am able to be a catalyst to achieving those agreements while maintaining the integrity of our city. I will help Milford residents in their understanding of the Affordable Housing Statute.

Another import issue that impacts our city is the redevelopment of existing properties. If elected, I will help in the development of empty storefronts to help grow business and increase our tax base.

Background: I am a lifelong resident of Milford and graduated from Jonathan Law High School. I am a licensed automotive and diesel repair mechanic and a licensed mason through the State of Connecticut Mason Apprenticeship. I have worked as a mechanic for UPS for 26 years. I have served Milford as a former member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for six years and the Planning and Zoning Board for seven years both as a member of the board and vice chairman.  I am also Past President of the Irish Heritage Society of Milford.

My past service on Milford’s Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning and Zoning Board and attendance of several workshops that have covered all aspects of zoning and land management has afforded me an extensive knowledge of the city’s zoning regulations and laws of the state. I have used that knowledge in the past to successfully work through major projects that have been constructed in the city. I will do my best to maintain the charm of the city while working to develop the city and represent its people.