Shelton Board of Aldermen candidates
There are contested elections in Wards 1, 2 and 3. Residents are asked to vote for no more than two candidates in their respective ward. Below are small biographies submitted by the candidates. The incumbents are noted. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order in their respective ward.
David Gidwani (R), incumbent
David Gidwani certainly has reason to celebrate Nov. 6, since that is his birthday. But he is hoping voters give him an early present the day before by re-electing him to represent the First Ward on the Board of Aldermen.
Gidwani, a Republican, is seeking a second consecutive term on the board. Incumbent Republican Anthony Simonetti is also seeking re-election, with Democrat Paul Littlefield challenging for one of the two ward seats on Election Day, Nov. 5.
“I always want to be there for the people of Shelton, which is why I chose to run in the first place,” said Gidwani. “I’m not doing this for the recognition. I am doing it to help others.”
Current job: Self-employed.
Education: St. Xavier’s; HR College of Commerce & Economics; business management.
The most important issue in this election: There are many top issues: Keeping taxes affordable, supporting redevelopment of downtown, advocating for funding education, supporting seniors in our community, and maintaining open communication with the BOE and our citizens.
Other issues: We need to work as a team with one goal in mind: We are one Shelton.
Family: I am blessed with a loving family. I have been married for 21 years to my wife who is an elementary school teacher and I have two wonderful children who attend Shelton public schools.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Alderman, Ward One; Street Committee; served on the board of directors for Sikorsky Credit Union prior to becoming alderman.
Campaign website: Facebook: David Gidwani Alderman.
Paul Littlefield (D)
Current job: Saint Paul’s Church, Huntington.
Education: Trumbull High School; Columbia.
The most important issue in this election: Relations between City Hall and the Board of Education.
Other issues: Fiscal responsibility, a transparent budget process, and having a vision for the future of Shelton.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: None at this time.
Anthony Simonetti (R), incumbent
Current job: Emmett O'Brien Tech High School.
Education: Notre Dame High School, West Haven; University of Scranton, BS, business administration; post-grad studies: University of Bridgeport and Quinnipiac College.
The most important issue in this election: The issue of cementing a bond between the BoA and BoE to provide our students with opportunities to advance them on to college, the military services or into trade schools so that they are able to care for themselves and assume the roles of caring for others in the future with careers and opportunities that are not even on the books yet.
Other issues: Promoting downtown development, and ensuring we meet our obligations to care for our citizens with minimal cost and government interference.
Family: I am married to Janice (Pagliaro) Simonetti for 38 years, and we have two grown sons. Janice just recently retired after almost 25 years as a special education instructor and administrator in the SPSS. Tom is the artistic director and owner of Valley Shakespeare Festival and is pursuing his K-8 teaching degree. Nicholas is a first vice president at Merrill Lynch at Rockefeller Center.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Board of Alderman First Ward; VP, Shelton Flag Football; chair of $25 million renovation of Shelton High School; chairman, Shelton Republican Town Committee; member, Sons of Italian Americans; corporator, St. Vincent de Paul, Derby.
Kevin Kosty (D)
Current job: Senior technical support specialist/PerkinElmer.
Education: Vestal, N.Y.; Nazareth College of Rochester
The most important issue in this election: Improving the budget process to ensure we can maintain our low tax rate by increasing transparency, setting goals and establishing metrics for how our money is spent. As a scientist, I will bring a different perspective and analysis skills to city government and Shelton’s finances.
Other issues: Partnering with citizens to create a vision for Shelton’s future. Addressing traffic issues through town. Dealing with the lack of parking downtown for residents and to help business flourish. Improving the relationship between the boards of aldermen and education, investing in our children promoting S.T.E.M. education in Shelton schools.
Family: I have proud parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a brother 12 years younger than me.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Shelton Democratic Town Committee.
Stanley Kudej (R), incumbent
Work experience: Kudej retired from Allied Signal after 37 years and was a local 1010 UAW official in charge of workmen’s compensation.
Family: He and his late wife, Pat, have three children and seven grandchildren.
Background: A nearly lifelong resident of Shelton, Kudej is an Army veteran and a member of American Legion Post 16, where he has served as treasurer of its baseball team. He is a longtime member of Shelton’s Czech Club and a corporator of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. He was elected to the Board of Aldermen in 2001 and an advocate of low taxes. A strong supporter of recreational opportunities for residents, he has been a Shelton Parks and Recreation Commission member for more than 25 years and Shelton National Little League President for more than 30 years. During that time he played an essential role starting the Challenger Little League for handicapped children.
Eric McPhearson (R), incumbent
Work experience: McPherson worked in the security and public safety fields for more than 25 years and helped to create Shelton’s Office of Emergency Management.
The most important issue in this election: He is a strong supporter of low taxes and balancing Shelton’s growth, development, and open space. He especially believes that government must live within its means. A strong and a tireless advocate for the downtown area, he has worked with police officials to enhance public safety for safer neighborhoods. He successfully led efforts to have Shelton’s anti-blight ordinance amended to force absentee landlords to clean up their property, and has worked through the Street Committee to see that roads are repaired.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: A Shelton resident for most of his life, he is a longtime member of St. Joseph Parish. He is experienced in city government, having been elected in 1989 to the Board of Apportionment & Taxation and in 1991 to the Board of Aldermen where he served four terms. He was re-elected to the board in 2009, serving on the Public Health and Safety Committee and currently is Street Committee chairman. In 2015, he was elected as vice president of the board.
John Anglace, Jr. (R), incumbent
Education: Bullard Havens Tech. School; University of Bridgeport; B.A., industrial relations.
The most important issue in this election: Tax stability/good education/senior tax stability.
Other issues: Fire, police emergency services; senior center services.
Family: Two children, five grandchildren.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Board of A&T, Board of Aldermen (28 years); Lions Club, American Legion, Boy Scouts.
Cris Balamaci (R), incumbent
Current job: Employed by the largest private sector healthcare system in the state of New York (70,000 employees) as a director of risk management programs; former vice president of risk management in the public sector for a major metropolitan New York healthcare corp. for 10 years; prior to career in risk management, was a dedicated clinician in private practice in Southern California; maintains board certification - National Commission of Certified Physician Assistants (NCCPA); holds active PA medical license in Connecticut and New York.
Education: Graduate from the University of Oklahoma-College of Medicine - Physician Associate Program (top 10 percent of graduating class).
The most important issue in this election: Devoted to continuing to serve in the community
Family: Longtime Shelton resident; born and raised in Fairfield County.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: U.S.A.F. veteran-commissioned officer affiliated with the Cape Canaveral Shuttle program - as a team member of the Biomedical Corps; member of the American Legion; member of the Western CT Military Officers Association; appointed to Board of Aldermen, July 2017, following the resignation of Lynne Farrell; serving the remainder of Farrell’s term.
As former chairman of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation, I understand the challenges of the city’s budget and the importance of great fiscal leadership to ensure financial stability for the city. I have a strong financial background with drill-down granular focus to identify inconsistencies and more than 20 years in risk management/cost containment.
Jose Goncalves (D)
Goncalves has lived in Shelton for nearly 40 years and he and his wife have raised three children here.
For more than 25 years, Goncalves worked for the Bridgeport Board of Education and is a member of its Executive Union Board. Goncalves has volunteered with the Shelton Youth Soccer Program at the Boys and Girls Club. He and his family are active members of their church and within the Portuguese community.
He currently serves on the Board of Education in Shelton, where he advocates for all students in Shelton to have a first-rate educational experience. He believes that students who are prepared for higher education and the trades will better compete in a global economy.
Matt McGee (D)
Current job: Dishwasher, Sassafras Diner.
Education: Shelton High School.
The most important issue in this election: The education budget is underfunded by $3,000 per student. This is unacceptable. As your alderman, I will work first and foremost to increase education spending by redirecting surplus funds from other city departments. We must invest more in our young people.
Other issues: Overdevelopment within the city is a major concern and as an alderman, I will look to curb high-density developments in suburban areas and to encourage smart development downtown. This starts with increasing public parking and one of the ways we can do this is by constructing a parking garage.
Family: My mom is a nurse at St Joseph’s Manor and my dad is retired. I love them both dearly and I can’t thank them enough for their love and support.
Campaign website: http://mcgee4alderman.wixsite.com/mcgee4alderman.
Noreen M. McGorty (R), incumbent
Current job: I work at an investment advisory firm in Stamford.
Education: Graduated Iona College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a business management major.
The most important issue in this election: The top issue I will address if elected is to continue to hold the line on taxes and to closely manage city spending. The aldermen are the fiscal authority for the city and I take that responsibility very seriously. I pay close attention to the budget and spending.
Other issues: 1) ensuring responsible development and fighting the affordable housing project in Shelton and 2) addressing the communication issue between the Board of Education and the Board of Aldermen. There have been good improvements in this area but so much more is needed. This should include all of the aldermen taking some part in the responsibility of transparency.
Family: I’ve been married to my husband, Ben, for 28 years. I have a daughter, Siobhan, a son, Bennie, daughter-in-law, Florencia, and granddaughter, Savannah.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: The boards/commissions I belong to are Public Health and Safety Committee, the Emergency Medical Services Commission and the Board of Valley Emergency Services.
Maintaining the high standard of living in Shelton, working with the Board of Aldermen to keep the tax rate low and helping to continue the strong economic development that has been happening in the city. In the fourth ward, I will also work with the city and local sports organizations to maintain and improve the Nike site. This is a place that brings the community together.
Bernie Simons (R)
A longtime city resident, I have my own insurance agency and have a financial background. I am here to represent all taxpayers in Shelton.
I feel I am uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of Aldermen considering my years of experience working on city boards and commissions — including serving two terms on the Board of Education. I also have an in-depth understanding of city finances having served as chairman of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation as well as city finance committee chairman.
Having served on the Board of Education gives me a unique understanding on how that board operates and what it needs to best serve the school population. I also come in with understand of the city finances, through A&T, so I think I can help bridge the gap that exists between the two boards. For me, it is about cooperation, not competition. I also serve as chair of the city’s Public Building Improvement Committee, on which I have helped work with the Board of Education on several projects — including the new Sunnyside School roof, security enhancements at the elementary schools and the new football stadium — that have come in on time and on budget.