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HomeNewsHaddam Town Government2023 Candidates: Haddam Zoning Board of Appeals

2023 Candidates: Haddam Zoning Board of Appeals

(September 12, 2023)—We reached out 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 candidate’s reply is unchanged from the original as submitted. HK-Now.com and Haddam Killingworth News are not responsible for errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.

Zoning Board – Appeals

Margo Chase-Wells

Margo Chase-Wells (R): 

HK News: Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a retired physical education teacher and current alternate on the Zoning Board of Appeals. I have also served on the Planning and Zoning commission. I’m a master teacher in the sport of pickleball and along with my husband, Richard, am engaged in running boot camps and beginner clinics for HK-Recreation. We raised two, very successful sons in Haddam, having moved here 39 years ago from Portland. Not only were my children involved with Haddam schools and sports, but I have coached and served on our Little League board. My roots are here!

HK News: Why are you running for this position?

I am very interested in the proper use of land in Haddam since first serving on the Planning and Zoning commission 12 years ago. As a result, I have learned a lot about proper land use and feel duty bound to insure that Haddam allocates its precious land resources within a framework that maintains the rural character of our town.

HK News: What do you see as the important issues facing your town and how would you address them in your role?

As a ZBA commissioner I would like to make sure our rules and regulations are upheld as closely as possible. There are occasional exceptions, but I want to guarantee that no special favors are granted and that we strive to maintain Haddam’s integrity in regards to land use.

HK News: What are the key things you love about this town and its people?

I love this town because of its small size, the friendliness of our citizens, and Haddam’s attitude towards modest growth and development.

HK News: Additional thoughts to leave the voters with?

I want what’s best for Haddam and that means what’s best for all of its citizens. I welcome any discussion concerning the proper use of land in our town.

Ken Wendt

Ken Wendt (R):

HK News: Tell us a little about yourself.

Longtime resident of Higganum/Haddam who’s enjoyed the safe and private living environment of our town. My adjacent neighbors have also enjoyed residing in our town for over 50 years.

HK News: Why are you running for this position?

Active participation in the town’s activities to sustain good living conditions for all town residents, along with protecting the integrity of our community.

HK News: What do you see as the important issues facing your town and how would you address them in your role?

Safe and affordable living conditions for our families. Ensure that our town’s properties comply with zoning regulations and enhance the value of our real estate.

HK News: What are the key things you love about this town and its people?

Protecting important natural and historical resources of our river town.

HK News: Additional thoughts to leave the voters with?

Encourage those impacted by any proposed ZBA variance to voice their concerns or approval at our monthly public hearing.

Sandy Olsen

Sandy Olsen (D):

I am essentially a lifelong resident of Connecticut. For 2 years I attended University of Maine at Orono, while living on an organic farm homestead. I returned to Connecticut, and in 1980 I started working for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. After 33 years of state service, I retired in 2013.

I moved to Haddam in 2008 and in 2020 I agreed to fill a vacant position on the BOF. I believe it is important for me to step forward to serve our town. It has been a pleasure working with First Selectman McGarry and citizens in town.  Haddam has to have high quality services at affordable costs, and it’s important for our town functions to be transparent, honest and always seek the input of our residents. On the Zoning Board of Appeals I can help ensure Haddam retains its special character and ensure that our zoning and land use policies match our residents’ desires.

I have always enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings of our state and especially the Connecticut River Valley. My love of walking, hiking, kayaking, and gardening continually remind me how blessed we are to live here in this community.

Zoning Board – Appeals, Alt.

Ron Borrelli (R):

HK News: Tell us a little about yourself.

My wife Stephanie and I moved to town 10 years ago for the peace and quiet and country setting away from the hustle and bustle of a larger city. Married for 25 years and now in our retirement, we presently run a small gentleman’s farm after almost 40 years in the construction business.

HK News: Why are you running for this position?

I feel my experience in real estate as a land lord, legal experience with real estate issues, being in construction for many years, as well as serving on Wetlands and P&Z in Middletown, gives me unique qualifications for service on ZBA.

HK News: What do you see as the important issues facing your town and how would you address them in your role?

Maintaining the rural feel of our town is important to many. Keeping low income housing in check is also a concern. My role would be to collaborate with my fellow team members to initiate the regulatory changes to keep it as such.

HK News: What are the key things you love about this town and its people?

What I like best about Haddam is it’s like a big family. Everyone seems willing to reach out and help one another when the need arises. Being a small town keeps us close and I want to keep it that way.

HK News: Additional thoughts to leave the voters with?

Although I’m a Republican I want to represent all residents impartially and apply the zoning regulations as written fairly to all applicants who come before the commission. I have extensive experience in real estate (my wife and I at one point owned and managed 15 properties) and have worked construction jobs in over half of the United States. In addition, I know how to read and interpret blue prints and engineering drawings. Clearly, my experience in this field is extensive and I feel highly qualified for this position. I would very much appreciate your support!

Deb Rutter

Deb Rutter (D):

My husband Bruno Morasutti and I have lived in town for over 35 years.  We have 2 children, both proud H-K graduates. I was a librarian for 47 years and retired last December after 23 years as the Deputy Director of the Cheshire Public Library.  The library in Cheshire was a town department and reported directly to the Town Manager, so I had the opportunity to work closely with other town departments and elected officials and became familiar with many aspects of town governance.  If elected to serve on the ZBA, I believe this professional experience will be useful. To further prepare, I have been reading past ZBA minutes, the town’s zoning regulations and the Plan of Conservation and Development. ZBA is an essential board to help ensure we retain our unique, small-town character.

My local activities include over 20 years of involvement with the Haddam Historical Society (where I currently coordinate the historic garden volunteers), miscellaneous library committees, volunteering in the schools and a few years of teaching Sunday school.  An avid gardener, I am in the process of completing the UCONN Master Gardener program at the extension center, which provides more opportunities for volunteer service!

 

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