Pellegrini running for re-election in Somers
By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Somers - posted Thu., Jul. 7, 2011
Following the 2008 presidential election, Lisa Pellegrini found herself frustrated with the direction the country appeared to be heading. Encouraged by her husband to do something about it, Pellegrini decided to run for first selectwoman of Somers - no small task, as she was relatively unknown in the community at that time. The 2009 election came, and Pellegrini, a Republican, won by a decent margin.
“I was honestly a bit surprised,” she said, “but I wanted to win; I’m a competitive person.”
That competitive spirit can be seen in the way Pellegrini aggressively seeks grant money to better the town of Somers, receiving more than $930,000, to date, during her time in office.
Under the campaign slogan, “Still A Better Way,” Pellegrini has announced she will run for re-election in November. A better motto might be “go big or go home,” as the first selectwoman sets lofty goals to achieve.
Looking back on her time in office, Pellegrini said, “We were able to fix a lot of things that were broken… but I didn’t want to just fix problems.”
Following this line of thinking, she set her sights on energy, particularly solar power. With one project completed and two more on the docket, Pellegrini said her goal with each building is to have alternative energy sources carry 75 to 100 percent of the energy load. When finished, the combination of solar panels and energy-efficient lighting at the Department of Public Works building will absorb nearly 95 percent of energy costs.
Besides maintaining town infrastructure, Pellegrini has worked to cut unnecessary costs. Examples of this include bidding out the town’s workers’ compensation insurance to save $52,000, cutting animal control labor costs by 50 percent, replacing antiquated technology in town buildings and giving back her company car and free gas.
In addition to her current projects, Pellegrini and her staff are investigating ways to improve senior services for Somers residents. She said her ultimate goal is to work smarter, and by doing so, provide a healthy and safe environment for residents.
“I want to continue the good things and produce for the town,” Pellegrini said. “I don’t want to see the hard work stop.”