Support for BOS Candidates

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I am honored and excited to be running for re-election as the First Selectman of Granby. I was born and raised in the Farmington Valley and moved to Granby over 25 years ago. My wife, Joanie and I have raised our five kids here and we love the sense of community Granby offers. I have been involved in many activities through the years such as coaching, church activities and have been an active parent in the school district. I was honored to serve as the Republican Town Committee Chair for over 11 years. I am a former member of the Board of Assessment Appeals, the Board of Finance and an eight-year member of the Board of Selectmen and have been First Selectman for the last six years.

My desire to run again for First Selectman stems from wanting to give back to the town that has given me and my family so much. My past experiences both professionally and personally have given me a skill set of problem solving, innovation and budgeting. I want to help make a positive impact by serving with the Board of Selectmen. I believe we are fortunate with all the volunteer leaders we have in this town that step-up and serve our community. I am honored to work with our Board of Selectmen, we each bring unique and similar skill sets to our positions and a strong desire to do what is right for our town. 

We have seen improvements in our town center and are thankful to the small businesses that chose to be a part of our town. Our board has also improved avenues of providing information to the residents of Granby and continue to strive to seek your input for budgets, policies and procedures. Thank you so much for your assistance in the effort of doing what is right for our town. As your First Selectman, I will continue to work with our local boards, regional leaders and state representatives in letting them know exactly what our community needs are and work with them in developing effective, collaborative solutions.

I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 5. Thank you,

B. Scott Kuhnly

I strongly endorse Ed Ohannessian for the Board of Selectmen. Ed has a passion for Granby, thinking about Granby’s needs today and tomorrow. He is pragmatic, always balancing cost with benefit. Ed is willing to ask the tough questions. Granby’s future direction requires a leader with experience, integrity and an independent thinker. I encourage you to vote Nov. 5. I ask that you vote for Ed Ohannessian for the Board of Selectmen.

Ben Perron

I’d like to express my support for Scott Kuhnly for First Selectman in the upcoming election. I have known Scott and his family for 25 years now. From our youthful days together as co-workers, right up to the present, Scott has been a faithful friend and mentor to me over the years. His municipal experience, dedication to service and compassion for others is second to none. I hope you will consider casting your vote for Scott Kuhnly for Granby’s First Selectman.

Glenn Cusano

At our regular monthly meeting on October 17, the Granby Democratic Town Committee voted to endorse B. Scott Kuhnly for First Selectman.

There is no Democrat running for the highest elected office in our town. If there were, we would be doing all we could to elect our party’s candidate. But, the DTC has determined that one of the two candidates who are running is clearly the better choice for Granby.

Mr. Kuhnly has been a loyal public servant to our town for a number of years, serving on both the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen before being elected First Selectman in 2015. In contrast, his opponent has never held public office, has no relevant experience that would indicate that he is qualified to hold the position he seeks, and was not even registered to vote in Granby until the day of the recent, very important budget referendum in April. In our view, a candidate for First Selectman should have a proven understanding of the issues facing the office and a demonstrated commitment to serving the town. Only Mr. Kuhnly meets these criteria.

For all of these reasons, we endorse B. Scott Kuhnly for First Selectman.

Christine Chinni, Chair For the Granby Democratic Town Committee

I have been a resident of Granby for nearly 50 years, and I support Glenn Ballard for First Selectman. Glenn is intelligent, thoughtful, hard working, forward thinking and loyal. We need someone to take a hard look at the future of Granby. We cannot ignore the prospect of continuing to increase our taxes. Glenn is looking at ways to control spending for the future. Granby is a special town, it is time to review where we are and where we are headed. Glenn is committed to working together with everyone to do so.

Mark Ernst 

We are writing in support of Jim Lofink and Sally King for Board of Selectmen.

Sally King has the experience of many years of managing how Granby has grown and has always worked to preserve our farms and community. As a lawyer, an avid horse owner and a canine enthusiast, Sally is active in our community and represents our town interests on the board.

Jim Lofink has been a contributor to the Granby community since his arrival in town, and is always open and receptive. On the Town Charter rewrite, he was the first commissioner to agree with us on giving townspeople the right to vote on our budgets by referendum. Jim is a person of the people, and brings with that a lot of leadership and management experience to help make decisions for the best of Granby.

As long active Granby residents, we ask you to vote for Jim Lofink and Sally King on Nov. 5.

Jim Glenney and Len Murray

My husband does not know I am writing this.

Behind his back, I am disclosing to you what it is like to live with someone that has a deep commitment to the town we live in, the town in which we raised our boys and the town we will love to live in for many more years.

Jim Lofink, my dear husband, became engaged in our community shortly after we moved here in 2005. His volunteerism started at the Holcomb Farm, after which he was invited to join its board, and eventually became its (last) executive director. He still volunteers there. His volunteerism, however, doesn’t end with the Farm. Jim also became engaged with the Granby Land Trust, the Granby Historical Society, the Granby Tennis Club and more. He became involved in municipal duties as well, first chairing a building committee then serving on a second building committee while also working on the town’s charter revision commission. 

Jim has always cared deeply about his “family-first” responsibilities, but he also works tirelessly when he commits to fulfill his civic commitments and responsibilities. Because he is a man of his word and promise, you can imagine his outside family efforts take significant time, energy and attention. 

Hours every week are absorbed into these civic and volunteer responsibilities, which have only grown since Jim started serving on the Board of Selectman in 2013. As a town committee chair, he has helped to recruit and position other people to fill roles in service to the town. Jim’s commitment to Granby shows in the long hours spent in dialogue with other residents. His off-phone time is spent learning the facts on issues, and how they impact not only us as a family but you—my fellow Granby residents.

As a member of the minority party in town (yes, we Democrats are outnumbered by both Republicans and unaffiliated voters), Jim has found that he has had to work harder to know the facts, and use that (with a certain force of character) to earn the respect of his peers and build relationships that can influence decision making for making Granby a better place for all of us.

Knowing Jim since he was vice president of a multi-national manufacturing company, I was never surprised that he could learn to contribute to the community we chose to live and raise our family in. However, it did take a new set of skills and learning how to use them in a new context. I think his record shows that he has learned to serve you all well.

While part of me would rather have more of Jim’s time at home tackling “the list” (you know that list), I know the right thing to do is to continue to share him with Granby. Another term for Jim on the Board of Selectmen will benefit all of our friends, neighbors and future friends we just haven’t met yet in our Granby community.

My husband does not know I am writing this. Let’s keep it our secret but I ask that you please join me in voting to re-elect my husband, Jim Lofink, for Granby’s Board of Selectmen.

Celia Lofink 

Granby is a community where government has been “By the people.” However, as with a whole lot of the world around us, government of “representation” is fast disappearing. Those elected to the office of governing the people, more often choose their own objectives before those of the citizens they represent.

In the meantime, a crisis is brewing that leads to a Granby government that spends way more of its money than its citizens can afford. Just ask your neighbors what the biggest problem is facing the community. Our elected officials, some who have been in office too long, think that maintaining “status quo” on the spending side is the best course, leading to one of the highest tax rates in Connecticut for communities our size. Our local governing boards see the grandeur of the community as more important than the survival of its residents.

We have an opportunity to elect a First Selectman who is by nature a thrifty person. Glenn Ballard will slow things down and examine the true needs of our community. Glenn is also an open person who can listen to everyone and apply the sense of the people.

We sorely need responsive leadership. Although we like to think otherwise, too many decisions are constructed behind closed doors, outside the view of the public, and lack concern for the public’s wallet. There is far too much of a willingness to keep throwing taxpayers’ money at anything that moves.

We must make a change in direction now, or watch the financial destruction of our neighbors.

Nelson Toussaint

I’m excited to have a choice in the coming election for the Board of Selectman—it is time to get fresh perspective on the way the town is run. Our taxes have become increasingly burdensome to the extent that many residents feel they have no choice but to move to other towns. With less money coming in from the state, and a high proportion of fixed costs, it is vital that we examine our current operation and see where we can make savings without compromising the rural small town feel that we all love. Companies do this on a regular basis and so do households. Why not the town? Rather than settling for an annual increase of 1 to 3 percent, let’s look at how we operate and see if we can realize some savings.

A prime example of misspent money was the 2012 purchase of the 125-acre Evonsion property on East St. The town did not need the land for new schools (the school population was already declining), no developer found the site attractive because of the lack of services to the property, and the $2.4 million price tag was based on an old appraisal. The proposal to purchase was bundled with other capital projects including vital bridge repairs. Hardly a mandate from the people and a gross waste of our taxes. Although only two members of the existing BOS were serving at that time, the issue was further compounded in 2018 by the subsequent mishandling of a legitimate offer from a local farmer who was willing and able to invest in our town. Why, when we are crying out to alleviate the tax burden on our residents, was he not welcomed with open arms? The Evonsion Farm is now being leased to an out of town farmer for $13,000 a year. Certainly more than the town was originally leasing it for, but this paltry sum pales in comparison to the tax income we would have been receiving if we had allowed the state-of- the-art organic dairy farm that is now operating successfully in New York.

Glenn Ballard and John Bazyk are refreshingly different and are focused on reducing the cost of town services while maintaining or improving quality, increasing government transparency and encouraging more involvement from residents and they have my support. I applaud their decision to run as independents. At the local level it doesn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat, agreeing on what’s best for our town goes across party lines. What matters to me more is getting candidates on the board that can look at our issues with fresh eyes. I am truly appreciative for the time and energy the board members have expended on our behalf, but times have changed, our town has changed and Selectmen should not be lifetime positions.

Anna Sogliuzzo

For the last 13 years, I have had the opportunity to work with many people in making sure we were delivering exceptional products to our customers. I’ve worked with thousands of people to help them get what they need. In my professional career, I have learned that when we listen to our customers and work with them, we can deliver exceptional experiences and products. My work at Command Corporation has allowed me to take feedback from customers and develop cost-effective installation methods and lower-cost equipment that function at a higher level. I believe the methods I have used over the last 13 years of my professional life can be applied to local government.

I first met my wife Katie when I was 19 years old and she shared a powerful, life-changing quote with me from Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

I believe if we focus on strengthening our community first, then the nation will become stronger, and then the world. If we want to change the world for the better, we have to start at home and in our hometown, and the good we do will expand outward from there. Vote for your Unaffiliated Candidates this year on Nov. 5.

John Bazyk