Shelton Board of A&T candidates

There are six candidates running for the Board of Apportionment & Taxation. Voters are asked to vote for any six candidates.

John Belden (R), incumbent

Current job: Communications technician for 23 years.

Education: Shelton High School; University of Connecticut; Southern Connecticut state University.

The most important issue in this election: Shelton has done a good job of maintaining and growing the tax base, in a state where a lot of business continues to leave, Shelton needs to keep doing that with balanced development in order to maintain our low tax rate.

Other issues: Maintaining our low tax rate with continued improvements along the way; one example of a recent improvement is the athletic complex at Shelton High School which is an amazing facility that will benefit our students for years.

Family: A 49-year Shelton resident, he has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 30 years. He has four children, John III, Justin, Chris and Kevin.

Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Belden is running for his fifth term on Board of A&T; certified high school basketball official IAABO board; on Shelton Biddy Basketball Board since 1998; on Community Focus Group for the Shelton Public Schools Strategic Planning; coached and volunteered for Shelton National Little League, Shelton Biddy Basketball, Shelton Babe Ruth, Cardinal Shehan Center, AT&T Pioneers, and Spooner House.

John Boyko (R)

No response

Joseph Knapik (D), incumbent

Current job: Retired

Education: Quinnipiac University - B.A., Southern Connecticut State University - M.S., sixth year.

The most important issue in this election: Will promote logistical reform for Board of A&T.

Other issues: Actual consideration of budget recommendations made to aldermen.

Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Shelton Board of Education, eight years; Shelton Conservation Commission; Board of Apportionment & Taxation, six years.

Jay Francino-Quinn (R)

No response

Michelle Laubin (D), incumbent

Current job: Attorney with Berchem Moses, P.C.

Education: Mahopac High School; Wells College; J.D., Northeastern University School of Law.

The most important issue in this election: Transparency and integrity of fiscal management in the city. We need a forensic/operational audit of city finances to determine how to regain the operational control that the 2018 audit report indicated was lacking, and we need to reform our budgeting practices, including but not limited to establishment of a reserve or “rainy day” fund.

Other issues: Transparency and integrity of city government in general. We need to develop a vision for what we want Shelton to be, and then a plan for how to get there, including a plan for city development. We need to make sure that our infrastructure is maintained and keeping pace with the population growth. We need a strong education system. We need a city government that is not constantly suing the Board of Education and seeking to deflect blame for its own shortcomings. As Abraham Lincoln said, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Family: Married 20 years, husband, Michael.

Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Shelton Democratic Town Committee, secretary. Board of Apportionment & Taxation, 2017-2019.

Campaign website:

Steven Guralnick (D), incumbent

Education: University Of Bridgeport.

The most important issue in this election: Advocating for a balanced budget that maintains Shelton’s low tax rate. Listening to all views so the city budget represents all residents’ views. Important that the city has full transparency with its budgets and boards.

Other issues: Shelton school system is a concern, especially coming from an education background. Shelton’s finances are a mess and need a full forensic or operational audit to see where our money is going.

Family: Married and two adopted rescue dogs

Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Shelton Democratic Town Committee.