Letter: Supports Laubin, Kilmartin for Fourth Ward Alderman seats

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

I would like to urge my fellow voters in Ward 4 — who vote at Mohegan School — to vote for Amanda “Mandy” Kilmartin and Michelle Laubin as our Aldermen.

I have had the pleasure of serving with Mandy Kilmartin on the Shelton Board of Education for the past 18 months. In my first meeting, Mandy served as a leader fighting to have bi-partisan representation in the board officer positions and urging the board to maintain separate legal representation from the city due to a conflict of interest as the city is suing the Board of Education.

While she did not win these two battles, she continued to question misinterpretations of the board by-laws with success. This included an attempt to silence people during the public comment portion of the board meeting and prevent the annual election of board officers.

Mandy can also listen. When our high school was faced with a drive-by graduation for the class 2020, she led a committee of staff, parents and students in working with the state health department that allowed our students to have a graduation with their peers that included that all-important rite of passage — walking across a stage and receiving a diploma. While I will miss having her by my side at the Board of Education, I look forward to her serving in city hall fighting for our entire community.

In November 2020, more than 70 percent of us who voted in Shelton voted to reject the proposed charter revision. The biggest issue was the elimination of financial oversight of city hall in the form of the elimination of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation. No one exemplifies this fight more than Michelle Laubin.

For the last four years, Michelle has served on the Board of Apportionment & Taxation, the only bipartisan financial oversight board in the city. This board should meet on a monthly basis but rarely meets unless authorized by the mayor, and that did not happen during the COVID pandemic despite the availability of remote meeting access. Michelle has fought tirelessly to continue regular meetings so this board can do its job as per our city charter.

The few times the board did meet, Michelle had clearly done her homework by questioning the decisions being made with our tax dollars. In the most recent attempt to rush the board through the budget process, Michelle did her due diligence and thoroughly questioned the city departments. She also demanded additional meetings so the board could properly do their job.

In the end, she came up with two different proposals to properly fund our schools while decreasing or maintaining the current mill rate. The votes on those motions were split along party lines and ultimately the board was not able to do its job of passing a recommended budget. Michelle has a background as an attorney representing public sector clients and would be a huge asset to our Board of Aldermen.

Ward 4, I am tired of rubber-stamp aldermen who vote as they are told and do not have our best interests in mind. Please join me and the members of the bi-partisan group Envision Shelton in voting on Row A for Amanda Kilmartin and Michelle Laubin

Diana Meyer