Bialek to hold first campaign event in her race for mayor on July 1

The Democratic candidate for mayor will hold a campaign kickoff event on Wednesday to highlight her platform and raise money.

The Committee to Elect Michele Bialek event will take place Wednesday, July 1 from 6-8 p.m. at Bricks & Barley Tavern, 441 Howe Ave., Shelton.

“The campaign is already underway conducting outreach to voters but this event will mark the campaign’s first public celebration of Michele Bialek’s plan to become Shelton’s next mayor,” according to a campaign press release.

Bialek is the owner of Liquid Lunch with her husband, Fred, who is the restaurant’s chef. The campaign release describes her as a leader in the grassroots effort to pass full-day kindergarten in Shelton in 2014.

Bialek also the founding president of the Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund, a nonprofit organization which connects people to the arts and fills gaps in arts education in the local area.

She is challenging Mayor Mark Lauretti, a Republican who is seeking his 13th term this fall.

Advancing an agenda

According to the release, Bialek’s campaign platform is focused on keeping what’s working under the current administration, such as Shelton’s low tax rate, while also advancing an agenda that prioritizes education to meet the needs of students, downtown development to create a vibrant destination, and a strengthened budget process to improve city services.

As mayor, Bialek said she would work with the school system to protect education funding. “I am deeply worried about the cuts in education that are likely to come next year,” she said.

“The education funding for the [new] budget does not even cover our schools’ existing commitments, let alone allow our schools to add or expand programs,” Bialek said.

“As mayor, I would work collaboratively with the new superintendent and Board of Education to ensure that we provide an education for our children that is strong and competitive, while also balancing the financial needs of the rest of the city," she said.

Downtown, budget transparency

Bialek said she wants to transform downtown Shelton into a vibrant destination for the region. She said she would involve the public in planning and implement plans to build on existing resources such as local artists, small and large local businesses, and local farms.

She also said she wants to “expand transparency in the budget process,” helping voters better understand how city funds are managed and spent.

Bialek grew up in Shelton and lives near the downtown on Weybosset Street with her husband and children.