We reached out to both the Killingworth Republican Town Committee and the Killingworth Democratic Town Committee and asked candidates to respond to a set of questions; if a candidate did not respond, their name is listed, so that you know who is running for each office. Updates from all candidates are welcome, and will be published as Letters to the Editor. The questions posed to the candidates were:
Tom Hogarty (Democrat)
My wife Lucinda and I moved to Killingworth in 2013 from Chester. We have made so many connections here, met lots of good people largely due to Cathy Iino being so good at getting people involved. Lucinda is the president of the library board and I also serve as chair of the HK High School building committee. We are also very involved with the newly forming newcomers club.
I am retired from the state police where I served for 23 years. I currently work part time as the zoning enforcement officer in North Branford. I previously held the same position in Wallingford and Norwich. I served on the planning and zoning commission in Brooklyn, CT for six years. I am now running for a second term on P & Z here in Killingworth.
The planning and zoning commission is extremely important to the development of the town. As a commission, I think we do a good job at putting applicants at ease and helping them through the process which can sometimes feel complicated.
I think the biggest issue now is that the population of the town is projected to shrink considerably over the next 20 plus years by as much as 27%. That will have a huge impact on town finances. One way to help stem that trend is to develop housing that young adults can afford and seniors can down size to. I hear the complaint a lot that people are leaving town because of the lack of affordable housing.
This is a very friendly community with a lot of pride and people who are willing to step up and help others.
Tom Lentz (Republican)
The Planning and Zoning Commission is of great importance in determining the quality of life in town because it regulates land use and the nature and extent of future growth and development. I have tried to insure that planning and zoning regulations and the Town Plan of Conservation and Development preserve the rural-residential character of the town and protect ground water supplies so as to avoid a town-wide sewer system. I believe the Town should continue to acquire permanent open space for recreation and preservation of significant wildlife habitats. I also support efforts to stabilize the tax base by attracting high-quality commercial enterprises in harmony with the rural and historical character of the town.
I have served for 40 years on the Planning and Zoning Commission and can provide the experience and leadership necessary for a continued effective commission. I have lived in Killingworth since 1966 and am also the Municipal Historian for Killingworth and historian for the Congregational Church in Killingworth. I have authored books on the history of Killingworth including A Photographic History of Killingworth.
Mike Drew (Republican) Planning & Zoning Alternate
A Connecticut native, my family and I chose to settle in Killingworth a little more than four years ago. As our family grew to three children who are now ages 9, 7 and 5, my wife and I realized we wanted to live in a more rural area, with great schools and a strong sense of community. As a project manager at a large engineering & construction firm, I’ve always made decisions methodically with the end goal in mind. In this case, the end goal was to build a happy, healthy and safe future for my children. Killingworth’s proximity to work, recreational activities, and shoreline made it an ideal location our family.
As I mentioned, I am a project manager at a large engineering & construction firm, where we manage billion-dollar capital programs. From my work on these projects, I understand the regulatory hurdles, opportunities and community interests associated with development and conservation. I chose to run for this position because I want to help shape the direction that our town progresses towards, without compromising the history, aesthetics and values of its citizens.
A thriving town center and opportunities for business development are two key areas of growth that I will focus on for Killingworth. As new generations of residents are looking to settle, it’s important to stay on top of the factors that help shape their decisions when choosing a community. Connecticut’s energy costs and current job market do not make it the easiest state to inhabit, however; the schools, sense of community, beauty and recreation are what draw in and keep people here. Killingworth is an excellent representation of a town that is home to those benefits. For us to keep progressing in that direction while never compromising the rural beauty of our town, we will need to focus on sustainable economic development. Development that includes input from both its residents, existing and prospective businesses to help ensure that the things we love most about Killingworth are preserved for future generations.
My wife and I could not be happier with the school system and sense of belonging we feel within the town. The rural nature but easy access to community and events are a perfect blend for our family life. In the four years I have lived here, I have had some of the best summers of my entire life in Connecticut, with such easy access to the shoreline and recreational activities.
I really look forward to the opportunity to serve this town on the Planning and Zoning Commission, and to be instrumental in creating new opportunities for our town to thrive, making it an example of how business and community can come together.