Glastonbury Town Council Candidates
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Mon., Oct. 28, 2013
Glastonbury residents will elect a new town council on Nov. 5. Currently, the Republican Party holds a 6-3 majority on the council. Nine members will be elected from the 12 running for council seats.
Democrat Tim Coon is seeking a fourth consecutive term on the council, having served since 2007. He is curriculum manager at the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council and a U.S. Army Colonel. He holds a BA from the University of Connecticut, a CT Teaching Certificate from Eastern Connecticut State University, a master's in public administration from the University of Hartford and a master's in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
“During my time on the Board of Education and Town Council, I have always listened to the citizens of Glastonbury on the issues we’ve faced,” Coon said. “When it comes to education, economic development and open space, I will always choose what’s best for all of Glastonbury.”
Jill Barry is seeking her second term. Barry is a CPA who has worked in both public accounting and corporate finance. More recently, she has been at home with her three children: Emmett, Kaye and Jameson. Barry serves on the PTO Steering Committee at Hebron Avenue School and volunteers in the classrooms and library. She has also served on the Youth and Families Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals before being elected to the Town Council in 2011.
“As a member of the Town Council, I bring my professional strengths in budget analysis and strategic planning along with the knowledge gained from my time with Youth & Family Services,” Barry said.
Tom Gullotta is seeking a second consecutive term. Gullotta is C.E.O. of Child and Family Agency and a member of the psychology and education departments at Eastern Connecticut State University. He has co-authored two college textbooks and edited or co-edited several others. Gullota was the senior editor for the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion (Kluwer / Academic, 2003) and has returned to that same role for the anticipated four-volume second edition of that reference work.
“How we address the major issues Glastonbury faces today—redevelopment of the town center, open space availability, and our aging population—will have a significant impact on our town’s quality of life in the future,” Gullotta said. “That is why I run.”
Newcomer Julie Thompson is a former lawyer who also served on the Nayaug PTO Bord for three years, most recently as president. She has lived in Glastonbury for 13 years and has four children in the town's schools. She said she is looking forward to meeting and speaking to residents of Glastonbury during the campaign, and considers herself fair, thoughtful, and willing to listen to all sides of any issues.
“Our town is known for our excellence in education and the character of our community,” Thompson said. “I intend to be an informed and effective member of the Town Council, and make smart, responsible decisions that benefit Glastonbury now and in the future.”
Newcomer Cara Tonucci said she chose to settle in Glastonbury because of the active and involved residents, open space and parks, and excellent public schools. She holds a B.S. in business marketing from Quinnipiac University, a master's in business administration from UConn and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
“My drive to help and serve the community, combined with my experience as a practicing attorney and a small business consultant, has made me a confident leader qualified to collaboratively and successfully meet the challenges facing Glastonbury,” Tonucci said. “I will work across party lines to ensure our community has the open and accessible government we deserve.”
Leslie Ohta has lived in Glastonbury since 1984, but has visited more than 40 countries. She worked with the Peace Corps in the Philippines and as an English teacher, a copy editor, and an extra in TV and movie productions while living in Japan.
She worked at UConn Health Center as an administrative coordinator and as a clerk at the Connecticut Supreme Court. She was also an assistant U.S. attorney for 11 years, was a trial attorney in the Civil and Criminal Division, and spent a year in Iraq as a federal prosecutor.
“I have the integrity, motivation, talent, and ability to effectively serve as a member of the Glastonbury Town Council,” Ohta said. “My reputation for being open minded, fair, and willing to work in a non-partisan manner will ensure that all of Glastonbury benefits.”
Stewart “Chip” Beckett has served on the council since 2005, and is currently chairman. He is the founding veterinarian at Beckett & Associates Veterinary Services, LLC. He has served as a director at The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture, a legislative chairperson at the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association and on the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
“As a resident since 1971, I am running for the Town Council because of the pride I have for my hometown. Growth has and will happen, but how that growth occurs will affect the quality of life that we all experience. Most importantly, we all live here and need to be a community working together for the greater good. I look forward to being inclusive and responsive to the needs of our town.”
Republican Kurt Cavanaugh has served on the Town Council from 1991-1999, and from 2003-present, and was chairman from 1997-1999. He is a firefighter in Hartford and a former police officer in East Hartford, as well as a former Special Police Officer in Glastonbury.
“I believe Glastonbury stands at a turning point in how we view ourselves, and how others view us,” Cavanaugh said. “The decisions to be made as we plan for future growth and long term economic stability will determine Glastonbury’s identity for generations to come. Glastonbury is a special community in which to raise a family, educate children, start a business and pursue the widest choices in the quality of life. Whether we shape Glastonbury’s future in the image of our hopes is ours to determine today by our actions, our choices and the leadership we choose.”
Whit Osgood has served on the council since 2001, and previously served on the Town Planning and Zoning Commission. A commercial real estate broker for 14 years, he has a B. S. from Emory University and an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.
“My family and I are longtime residents of Glastonbury,” Osgood said. “I have stood firmly on the side of maintaining our excellent education system, which has resulted in the expansion of Glastonbury High School and the construction of a new elementary school. I have also been a strong advocate of managed growth, and balancing the need for additional commercial development for its positive tax impact with a eye toward preserving the character and open space in our town. I believe in an open planning and approval process with significant citizen input, and am a staunch supporter of our land acquisition fund.”
Councilman Larry Byar is seeking his second term. Byar previously served on the Glastonbury Board of Assessment Appeals and on the Board of Finance in the town of Monroe. He is a senior loan officer at TD Bank, N.A.
“It has been my honor and privilege to serve the town of Glastonbury for the past five years,” Byar said. “I am proud to live in a community that is second to none with unparalleled schools, parks and charm. I know that the burden of property taxes affects us all. Over the past two years, I have worked hard to lessen the tax burden on residents without sacrificing town services or the high level of education our children receive. Going forward, I will continue to work tirelessly and collaboratively with you and the other members of our town’s government to ensure that the town of Glastonbury remains the best community in our state in which to live, while at the same time keeping our taxes manageable.”
Newcomer William Finn has been a member of the Glastonbury Youth and Family Commission since 2012 and was vice chair of the Town Planning and Zoning Commission from 2003-2008. He has also been a member of the Glastonbury Youth Football Board of Directors.
“As a father of three children, I have enjoyed all of the benefits that Glastonbury has to offer,” Finn said. “Our town has allowed me the opportunity to grow professionally and personally, and now I want to give back to Glastonbury by serving on the Town Council. Through my service on the Planning and Zoning Commission, I have enjoyed the opportunity to interact successfully with developers, architects, engineers, construction managers and city and state officials on critical issues for our town. I have a consistent record of leadership within the business community and the political arena, and I am driven by a strong work ethic and an ability to plan for the future and execute those plans successfully.”
Karen Boisvert is a lieutenant in the Hartford Police Department, where she has also coordinated the Hartford Police Youth Program and commanded the Citizens' Academy. She has an M.S. in human services, leadership, management and policy from Springfield College, a B.S. in political science with a public administration concentration from Central Connecticut State University and an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Manchester Community College.
“As a police officer, I know the importance of staying connected to my community,” Boisvert said. “I believe in efficient government, good management of the town’s resources, excellent education, economic growth and a quality of life for all. If given the privilege to serve as a member of town council, I will continue to preserve the charm and warmth Glastonbury has to offer its residents.”