Wednesday, September 28, 2022
HomeNewsKillingworth Town Government2019 Candidates: Killingworth Zoning Board of Appeals

2019 Candidates: Killingworth Zoning Board of Appeals

We reached out to both the Killingworth Republican Town Committee and the Killingworth Democrat 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:

1.     Tell us a little about yourself.
2.     Why are you running for the position?
3.     What do you see as the important issues facing Killingworth and how would you address them in your role?
4.     What are the key things you love about this town and its people?
5.     Additional thoughts to leave voters with?

Ben Charney (Democrat)

My name is Ben Charney and I’m running for the Zoning Board of Appeals in Killingworth. I’m originally from Guilford and a graduate of UCONN.  I’ve lived in Connecticut my whole life and moved to Killingworth with my wife a few years ago.  I’ve spent my career in various aspects of the commercial building services and energy services field.  I enjoy tinkering:  anything with an engine that starts, runs, or perhaps should!
I presently serve as an elected alternate on the ZBA and having attended all meetings since being elected in 2017; I’m excited to become a full member of the Board.  While parties nominate candidates for the ZBA, I’ve enjoyed the fact that this board operates in a non partisan fashion.  We’re neighbors helping neighbors achieve their goals while working to maintain Killingworth’s rural beauty.
No matter where I go in town or whom I speak to, one thing seems clear:  Killingworth residents love our rural and peaceful way of life, the historic homes and peaceful streets.  With that in mind, our residents are more frequently working from home, caring for loved ones, doing more with less and supporting growing families.  Serving on the ZBA has given me the chance to help fellow residents navigate the convergence of these issues by working within our mandate to help residents meet individual goals while preserving what we all love about this town.
What I love most about the people and culture of Killingworth is the sense of volunteerism that is so prevalent in Killingworth life. What I love most about the town itself is its rural beauty.
Elections have consequences and your vote matters, particularly in local elections.  Never has this been more true.
Bruce Dodson (Republican)
Bruce has been a Killingworth resident for 45 years, and Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for 24 years. He has also served on the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust Board of Directors since 1981, including President and Vice President, as well as serving on the Killingworth Historical Society Board of Directors.
Bruce has served on the Parmelee Farm Committee for nine years, and developed the trails at the farm, and has been a member of the Lions Club for over 30 years, and has received the Melvin Jones Award (the highest award of the international club). He has also received the CT Secretary of State Service Award in 2002.

Charles E. Martens Jr.  (Democrat)

I am a retired teacher, presently half way through my sixth decade, as a Killingworth resident. During that time I have had many opportunities to serve my community, including membership on the Town Picnic Committee, the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, the Second Charter Revision Commission, the Housing Partnership, and the Lions Club. Taking advantage of those opportunities has been both educational and rewarding.

I feel I am well qualified to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Being a three term incumbent of the ZBA and a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, serving twenty years, fifteen as chairman, I have gained the knowledge and experience that will be helpful in fulfilling the responsibilities of a Board member.

Killingworth has a well conceived Plan of Conservation and Development  and the Zoning Regulations in place to guide the  implementation of the Plan. A well qualified and effective Zoning Board of Appeals is a necessary part of that process.

Killingworth has a cadre of volunteers that contribute their time, energy, and talents to staff the numerous municipal boards, commissions and civic organizations that make the town such an attractive place to reside. The Democrats have selected a strong slate of candidates that has the knowledge and experience, especially at the top of the ticket, to continue to provide this town with effective and stable leadership.

Karen Vecchitto (Republican)

I have lived in Killingworth since 2002. I am married and both of my children have attended our wonderful school system. I have served my community as a volunteer coach with HK Rec and the H-K Soccer Club. I have also been a religious education instructor at St. Lawrence Church in the past. I currently belong to the Killingworth Lions Club.

I am running for the ZBA because I see this position as another way to serve this very special community that I call home.

ZBA is a small but very important component of our town government. The decisions made by the board impact real people, real families. I will learn all I can regarding the zoning regulations and make any decision fairly.

Killingworth is a wonderful small town. Even though we can’t always see our neighbors, we know they are there. People are always willing to lend a helping hand. You can’t get such a strong sense of community in city.

I possess a strong community spirit and am dedicated to making Killingworth a place where people want to live.

Karen Perry (Republican) ZBA Alternate

A  graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, Karen holds a Bachelor’s degree, with  an interdepartmental major in economics/math from Union College.  Her undergraduate  economics thesis was presented at a National Symposium at the Caltech Institute of Technology.    She was a member of the Economics Honor Society.  She also holds a teaching certificate in mathematics.  Karen is a graduate of Wyoming Seminary, a college preparatory school in  Kingston, Pennsylvania..
Karen lives in Killingworth, CT with her family.  She has been an active member of  the  community and  has  been a  former  Chair and member of Regional School District 17’s Board of Education.    She has also served on the Killingworth Wetlands Commission, and spent four years elected to  the Killingworth Board of Assessment Appeals.  Karen has also coached soccer for the Haddam  Killingworth Soccer Club and baseball for the Killingworth Little League.
I have lived in Killingworth 19 years and believe that in a small town we all need to pitch in and help each other and our town.  I’ve served as Chair of the Board of Education, on the Wetlands Commission, and on the Board of Assessment Appeals.

Stephanie Warren (Democrat) ZBA Alternate

I moved to Killingworth over twenty years ago, attracted by its rural nature and the friendly and positive feel of the Killingworth community.   My (adult) kids are amazed that I have lived in Killingworth for so long, as previously I have lived all over the country. Killingworth has proven to be a wonderful community, with all of the country features that make it so beautiful and peaceful, and neighbors and friends who give meaning to “community.”

In order to give back to Killingworth, I have been serving on the Killingworth Conservation Commission (KCC) since 2001. In addition to working on conservation projects, I have also created Educational projects, displayed at the Killingworth Library. These have included information on Invasive plants, Dangerous (to wildlife) Discards, and several years of essay contests for children related to invasive insect issues. I’ve served as the KCC secretary for the past eight years.

Based on my work in that group, as well as my interest in protecting our area while also enhancing overall growth and development, I was appointed to the CT River Estuary Board (CREPA) and remained on that board until CREPA evolved in 2012 into the RiverCOG and the Lower Connecticut River Valley Regional Planning Committee (RPC) , where I continue to be an active member.  On these two commissions, I have logged in over 12 years. My focus is to ensure that Killingworth town needs are incorporated into regional planning and development projects. Part of that role, in relationship to regional needs, is to work with the other members of the RPC to identify regional needs and how those needs can be met with benefit to the 17 towns, including our Killingworth-Haddam area, in the River Cog/RPC region.

I was elected to the Killingworth Planning and Zoning Commission (KP&Z) and served a term from 2013-2017.  I agreed to spear-head the Town Survey that was sent to all Killingworth residents and was responsible for content analysis and statistical compilation of the responses from that survey. Results of that survey were incorporated into the new Killingworth Town Plan of Conservation and Development, and reflect the areas of importance to the residents.

I am now up for election to the Killingworth Zoning Board of Appeals, as an Alternate member.   To that role I will bring my many years of experience with town and regional planning, zoning and development as well as general growth and development of our town and region.



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