GOP primaries: Shelton P&Z candidate bios
There are four candidates running for three Republican spots on the ballot for the Planning & Zoning Commission in the November election. Below are small biographies submitted by the candidates. The incumbents are noted. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
Virginia Harger (R), incumbent
A Shelton resident for more than 60 years, Harger was first elected to the Planning & Zoning Commission in 2005 and is running for her seventh term. She strongly feels her experience by serving on the PZC for the last 14 years and her familiarity with citywide economic development projects benefits city residents and the business community when dealing with future proposals.
The commission chair since December 2017, Harger is the commission’s representative to the Regional Planning Commission of the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments. Prior to becoming commission chair, Harger served for nine years as chair of the commission’s downtown subcommittee.
Harger holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in business education from Central Connecticut State University, taught at Shelton High School from 1974-80 and was employed locally by two major international corporations in marketing communications and public relations for more than 15 years. From 1996—2015, she was the office manager at St. Joseph Church, where she also was a member of its Parish Council, the pre-Cana coordinator, a lector and coordinator of the parish’s monthly meal donation program for the Spooner House and umbrella agencies. Harger has been a member of the Shelton Republican Town Committee for more than 15 years and is its current secretary.
A priority for Harger is responsible and prudent economic development throughout Shelton — especially in the downtown area — to allow current and potential residents and businesses reap the benefits of the city maintaining a stable tax base for all taxpayers.
As Shelton has evolved to become a highly desirable area for new residents and commercial establishments, Harger feels it is important for the commission to be open-minded when new and innovative development applications are presented.
Chris Jones (R)
Current job: Owner, All Premiere Flooring, LLC
Education: Shelton High School; Gateway College
The most important issue in this election: My first issue is to ensure that the Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission abide by state laws pertaining to zone change applications. A PDD zone change was voted favorably by Chairwoman Harger and Commissioner Miller for the Shelter Ridge application when it was not submitted in accordance with the law.
Other issues: Shelton’s Planning & Zoning Department has been run by a mayoral appointed provisional administrator that is not an AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) for about one year and there are no P&Z enforcement officers. This is unacceptable for a city our size. Who is watching the developers? Needs to change.
Family: Married for 14 years to Joanne; children, Gabriella, seventh grade, and Brady, fourth grade.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: U.S. Army veteran, 1986-90; American Legion Post #16 member; Shelton 20-year firefighter with Shelton Fire Department; former Board of Aldermen member; former Planning & Zoning Commission member; coach for Shelton Biddy Basketball, Little League and AYF Football; president of Boys & Girls Club of the LNV Alumni Association.
Charles Kelly III (R), incumbent
A Shelton resident since 1976, Kelly attended Warren Harding High School and the University of Bridgeport. He was co-owner of Johnson Electric Construction Co., selling the business in 2005. He was then a teacher at Porter and Chester Institute for several years.
Kelly, father of two sons, was a Cub Scouts leader for Pack 101, then Boy Scouts master for Troop 55. He still serves on the advisory board for Porter and Chester Institute; a past president and board member with Brownson Country Club; and chair of the Planning & Zoning Downtown Subcommittee.
On his value to the commission, Kelly said his company played a major role in the constructions sector throughout Fairfield County. “This gives me an understanding of the major projects being presented to the commission. I have worked with most of the architects and engineers presenting projects to the commission.”
Ned Miller (R), incumbent
A lifelong resident of Shelton, Miller attended elementary school in Shelton, graduated from St. Joseph High School and received a B.S. degree in economics from St. Bernard College. He and his wife, Marianne, are the parents of two adult children and have two grandchildren.
Miller has been in the insurance industry for some four decades, beginning as an underwriter for Kemper Insurance. After a few years with Kemper, Miller joined the Miller Agency, his family’s property and casualty agency, selling personal and commercial insurance. At the end of 2012, Ned assumed the office of president of Ned Miller Associates, a division of Starkweather and Shepley insurance brokerage company.
Active in several community service organizations, Miller has served as board chairman and annual community campaign chair of the United Way of the Valley; president of the Shelton Jaycees, Ansonia Rotary Club, and Housatonic Council Boy Scouts of America; vice president of the Parent-Child Resource Center and treasurer of the Masonic Temple Association. Miller’s other board affiliations include Griffin Hospital, the Recreation Camp, Shelton Economic Development Corporation and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce. Ned has also been the recipient of awards from the Valley Chamber of Commerce; the Parent-Child Resource Center; Valley United Way; Derby Historical Society and the Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America.