P&Z candidate profiles

There are seven candidates running for three 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.

David Eldridge (independent)

Current job: Shelton Police Department

Education: Graduate, Shelton High; Wentworth Tech School.

The most important issue in this election: Safety issues with concerns as to limited parking along Canal Street, and the fact that emergency vehicles cannot properly evacuate persons and or respond to a fire and any emergency situation in a safe, timely manner. To limit the Planned Development Districts (PDD) high-density apartment developments.

Other issues: To address improvements to our infrastructure; as we develop the Bridgeport Avenue corridor, our attention must be made on improving traffic flow, widening the road, and improve the intersection and/or feeder roads along the corridor. To request a current study on the city’s affordable housing quota and what percentage have we met.

Family: I have three daughters, Emily, 21, Megan, 20, Giovanna, 9. We enjoy the winter months skiing and during the summer the lakes and the going to the beach.

Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Board of Aldermen, Second Ward, elected two terms; member of the American Legion Post 16 Shelton; crime prevention officer, Shelton Police Department; Boys & Girls Club; Marine Corps League.

Nancy Dickal (D)

Current job: Retired

Education: Milford High School; UNH.

The most important issue in this election: The top issue I will address if elected is overdevelopment, conservation, traffic concerns and continuing downtown revitalization.

Other issues: The other issues I feel that are important in this election are unity in the community and within our town’s political arena.

Family: I am married for over 35 years to my husband Alan. I also have two daughters; Dawn, who resides in New Jersey, is a nuclear technician, and Lisa, who is a state licensed wildlife rehabilitator, actively helps our community and surrounding towns. She is also one of the animal control officers for Shelton/Derby.

Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Former Appointment and Taxation board member, Planning & Zoning commissioner, currently a Planning & Zoning alternate. Adopted-A-Street, participate in Earth Day cleanups and involved with animal rescue.

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.

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.”

Elaine Matto (D), incumbent

Current job: St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

Education: Bunnell (Stratford); University of Vermont, Southeastern Massachusetts University; University of Connecticut.

The most important issue in this election: Downtown development including parking.

Other issues: Transparency in government processes and financing.

Family: Widow of Ralph Matto. Large family of siblings, nephews and nieces.

Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Current Planning and Zoning Commission member; board member, St. Vincent de Paul.

Ned Miller (R)

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.

Quinn Weber (D)

Current job: Consumer’s Tax Service.

Education: Shelton High School; Syracuse University.

The most important issue in this election: Parking downtown, lack of walkability in the city as a whole and lack of affordable housing.

Other issues: Education funding and government transparency.

Family: Longtime Shelton residents. Stepfather Andrew Kolaski owns A-Plus Audio Visual.

Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Naugatuck Valley Young Democrats (president) and Valley Young Professionals member.