Working as a Team to Continue Moving New Milford Forward!
Children: Olivia, 12, and Tommy, 10
Occupation: Energy efficiency expert for commercial, residential building and new construction, and experienced financing and real estate consultant for 28 years.
Number of years as resident: 12
Education: Graduated from Canterbury School and studied marketing at Western Connecticut State University and political science at Villanova University.
Community experience: He is a three-term member of the Town Council, and is the past chairman of the ad hoc, IT Transformation Committee. He is vice chairman of the New Milford Energy Efficiency Committee, a member of New Milford Economic Development Corporation, the advisory board for the Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut, a member of the New Milford Economic Development Commission, and a past member of its subcommittees, having served as chairman of the Higher Education Initiative Committee, Farmland Preservation subcommittee, coining the slogan, “To Save the Farms, We need to save the Farmers,” and the Marketing Committee. He is a past member of the Plan of Conservation and Development update committee, a past member of the New Milford Film Commission, a past member of the Creative Playground Committee, a past member of the board of directors for MVP-SOS and a past council representative for the School Facilities Utilization Committee.
Three most important issues facing the town–
Efficiency and exceptional service across the town government and schools: leveraging the efficiency initiatives that have been originated and supported by the Republican-led Town Council already under way, such as online payment and program signups at Park and Rec., the upgrades to the tax assessor and tax collectors software, and year-round online tax payments. Currently, the financing departments software upgrade this year will have a great impact in efficiency in managing the town and school budgets. Continuing to improve upon the customer service initiatives we have instituted. The solution: re-establishment of an IT transformation committee and an efficiency committee. Moving to make them permanent commissions in the future under Charter revision.
Jobs and economic development. Promote our exceptional town and all its assets to attract new companies and businesses to move to New Milford in order to grow our tax base and provide jobs in town to our residents. The solution: continued support of the Economic Development supervisor, Economic Development Commission and the Economic Development Corporations efforts.
Children: Jacqueline, 14
Occupation: Attorney for 17 years
Number of years as resident: 11
Education: Graduated from C.W. Post Center, Long Island University, with a B.S. and M.S., and from Pace University with a J.D.
Community experience: He is a member of the Artificial Turf Field Construction Committee and Town Council, having served three terms. He is a past member of the Ethics Commission and the Board of Education.
Three most important issues facing the town –
Making New Milford an even better place to live: Continue the efforts to keep the town a place to want to live with sound economic policies, business growth, recreational activities and great educational services.
Provide diverse programs and services to all residents: Assure the town provides drug prevention programs and help for families of those who struggle with drugs and psychological issues, increase social services for those in need and homeless, support diverse senior programs, and recreational activities and facilities for all residents.
Balance the town’s needs with the ability to pay for the services at rates that are fair to all residents: Always stay apprised of the town’s use of funds with continued oversight by the Town Council to assure the taxpayers obtain the best benefit for their money, provide as many services a possible, and keep taxes fair.
Spouse: Michael Falder
Occupation: Manager, analyst for 13 years
Number of years as resident: 12
Education: Graduated with honors from Vandalia-Butler High School, the University of Phoenix with honors with a B.S. in management and from Southern New Hampshire University with a M.B.A. with honors in quantitative analysis. She holds these professional certifications: Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University, Certified Professional Healthcare Quality from the National Association of Healthcare Quality and Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute.
Community experience: She is a member of the Town Council and the New Milford Recycling Committee, an administrative official for USA Swimming and a volunteer coordinator for the YMCA Mako Swim Parents Committee. She is a past member of the New Milford Rotary Club, the New Milford Recreation Association, and vice chairman of the Board of Finance. She is a past member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Cost Efficiency and Savings and the School Facility and Utlilization Study Committee.
Three most important issues facing the town-
Stimulate economic growth to attract quality employers to the region: New Milford is a gem with considerable potential for employers to build and grow businesses within the town, but we have struggled to attract new employers to the region given the economic challenges within the state. We must aggressively market our town as “open for business”’ to organizations wishing to invest in New Milford and partner for mutual success for both the business and our citizens. We also need to continue to work with our business owners and community partners to support both theirs and our town’s economic development. At the same time, we need to balance this growth with the preservation of our town’s historic New England charm and character.
Occupation: Self-employed business consultant for 15 years
Number of years as resident: 64
Education: Graduated from New Milford High School, Bridgeport Engineering Institute with an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering and attended Lycoming College.
Community experience: She is a member of the Town Council, having served two terms, and a member of the New Milford Public Library Modernization Committee, the New Milford Historical Society, the New Milford Recycling Center Subcommittee and the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce. She is location leader of the Wreaths Across America at St. Francis Xavier Church, a recipient of the 2009 Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Member Award and webmaster for the Friendso f New Milford Library, for which she is also a past president. She is a member and secretary of the New Milford Republican Town Committee, a member and media chairwoman of the Roger Sherman Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, a member and media chairwoman, and past president of the New Milford Rotary Club. She is a past member, secretary of four years and vice chairwoman for two years of the Planning Commission, past chairwoman of the New Milford Tricentennial Commission, a past volunteer for Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House, a past board member of the St. Francis Xavier Women’s Guild, a past 25-year member and state board member for Connecticut Junior Women, and a 2008 recipient of the Leonardo Da Vinci Medal for commitment to community service.
Three most important issues facing the town
The influx and increased use of drugs by children and young adults must be stopped: Nothing is more important than the welfare of our children. We are in the midst of a drug crisis and our community at large needs to get involved. I advocate the immediate formation of an anti-drug commission. Drawing members from police, hospital, emergency response, local anti-drug agency, New Milford Youth Agency, middle and high school teachers and students information can be shared. Improved collaboration between agencies to speed the process of informing and supporting parents, children and young adults. Along with ongoing police patrols and undercover work, we need to supply more education and facilitate involvement of all residents. With teamwork, clear communication and education ,we can take bigger strides to stop the flow of drugs into our community.
Improved communication between town hall, boards and commissions and residents: While the many volunteers who sit on boards, commissions and Town Council are accessible by email or phone at any time, and while meeting videos and meeting minutes are available online, too much of what residents “know” about what is happening in their town is garnered from sources on Facebook or Twitter that are unknown or under-informed, not from factual or first-hand information. It’s the duty of the elected and appointed members of the Town Council, every board and commission and the mayor’s office, to not only listen to what constituents have to say but to get clear information to the people in a way that works for them as a whole.
I have spent years volunteering in New Milford with organizations where political affiliation is never a factor, reaching a goal is what counts. We all want the most up-to-date and accurate information available so that we can make informed decisions. When an audience isn’t hearing your message, the solution is to find a more clear and accessible channel of communication, whatever it takes. That’s our job and I am committed to getting residents who feel “‘out of the loop” to feel invested again in what goes on in their town.
The country is moving away from the dinosaur age of strict, two-party lines of thought. Surely, we can get accurate information flowing both ways to bring residents back to being involved in the future of our town. We need to work on this until we get it right. New Milford belongs to all of us.
Economic development efforts need to ramp-up now: Using the existing strategic plan as a base, our economic director and Economic Development Commission should make it a priority to meet with neighboring towns who have had greater success attracting new business and employ an experienced marketing consultant. The vacant Route 7 corridor buildings are perfectly sited as an attractive location for manufacturing, distribution, information technology or mixed-use development.
A dialogue between downtown landlords and our Economic Development Commission should be scheduled ASAP to find common ground and begin a frank dialog on why the long-vacant buildings remain unleased. New Milford’s Green is one of the most beautiful in the country and we are the Gateway to Litchfield County. Traffic is passing us by every hour of every day, cars filled with people who need to eat and buy gas, people who want to shop and enjoy quintessential New England at its best. Tourism dollars are part of smart economic development and we need to attract those dollars to our downtown.
Children: Jackson, infant
Occupation: President of Arthur H. Howland & Associates, P.C., civil engineers and land surveyors, for 10 years.
Number of years as resident: 10
Education: Graduated from Shepaug Valley High School and from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in civil engineering.
Community experience: He is a member of the Town Council, a multi-year major sponsor of Trunk or Treat on the Village Green, president of the Lawrence Richter Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors for Spaghetti Arms, which raised awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He also volunteered to design engineering plans and approvals at no cost for Lynn Deming Park improvements. He is a member and a past president of the Board of Directors of Candlewood Trails Association.
Three most important issues facing the town
Heroin: For some reason this town does not want to acknowledge there is a problem. Well guess what, there is. I cannot say I have all the solutions to this issue but I am trying to learn. First, I have agreed to donate $1,500 to the Town of New Milford Police Department so their vehicles can be equipped with Narcan, which quickly reverses the effects of an opiate overdose. Second, I am willing to work with the Board of Education to modify their policy with respect to the random drug searches that occur at the school. Time and time again, nothing turns up. The policy is flawed and needs to be corrected. Third, we all need to come together and work with the media outlets whether it be this paper, the town of New Milford website, other online presences and have a centralized location where addicts can find the resources to get help and where parents and loved ones can find the resources that we need. I humbly ask that everyone in this town contribute to it how they can; whether it be time, talent or treasure.
Inform the community of issues facing our town: It is still astounding to me that the general taxpayer/voter is unaware of the multitude of issues facing this town. To that end, several months ago I started a page, “New Milford Town Council Happenings” on Facebook where any member of the council can post an update about what is happening at the Town Council level and interaction is encouraged. The page has already led to the council rethinking a few proposals due to the wonderful input of the town taxpayers. My door is always open (143 West St., Suite E at the Bleachery) and I want to work cooperatively with all of the residents in town to make New Milford the best it can be.
Lack of promotion of New Milford: I have been seeing a troubling trend lately where the townspeople complain about the negatives in New Milford instead of letting everyone know about the positives. If you complain about an issue I fully expect you to assist with finding a solution. Unfortunately, that rarely occurs and does not assist with us bettering New Milford. Why are we not shooting from the rooftops about this great town? We offer all kinds of residential housing, whether it be high density residential in close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the downtown to bucolic large acreage properties in the rural part of town. Speaking of downtown, look at how much that has improved over the last 10 years. It is something to be proud of. Look at the increases in recreational opportunities that have occurred. From the archery range, to the added parks, to the soon to be renovated Lynn Deming Park to the reconstruction of sports fields we are making progress. Let’s get the word out to our friends and businesses who aren’t aware of us to help make us an even better town than we already are.