Meet the Tolland Town Council candidates
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Mon., Oct. 28, 2013
Tolland voters will select a new Town Council on Nov. 5. Four Republican candidates and five Democratic candidates are running for the council. Voters will be able to select any five on their ballots.
Incumbent Democrat Jan Rubino was previously on the Tolland Zoning Board of Appeals and Board of Education. An Army veteran, she is now a freelance certified bookkeeper and certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor. She is also a current member of the Tolland Conservation Corps.
“I believe that we need to keep our eye on the future growth in our community that relates to the growth of our grand list,” Rubino said. “I support and encourage the proposed Technology Zone. The success of the plan is dependent on everyone working together. We focus on the quality education of our youth, and this is very important for Tolland youth as it could provide wonderful job opportunities for them down the road, while also giving them the opportunity to remain a part of the vital community they grew up in.”
Incumbent Democrat Rick Field is an Army veteran and a retiree, having worked at Pratt and Whitney for 42 years. He said the biggest issue in Tolland is giving input and choice back to its residents.
“Taxes versus services should be a resident's decision on a proposal by the Town Council,” Field said. “That is why we have our referendum. Tolland government needs to stop the erosion of services and utilize the input and desires of our neighbors in future budgets.”
He added that the council could improve its communication with other boards, commissions, and citizens of Tolland. “We are a representative democracy and to represent we must listen,” he said. “When the community sentiment on any issue is something we personally disagree with, our vote should be with the community.”
Newcomer Democrat Jackie Kolb moved to Tolland with her husband and two children seven years ago, to “raise our children in a quality town environment and to experience the great public school system.” She is the IT Project Leader for a major Insurance company with extensive program development, implementation, and team building experience and a supporter and participant in the Junior Achievement program. She has been an active member of Friends of Tolland since moving to town.
Kolb said she is running for office “to utilize my organizational and implementation skills to enable the change I want to see in our community. An example of change would be the fostering of better communication between the Board of Education and the Town Council especially in the areas of budget and property management,” she said.
Democratic newcomer Paul Krasusky was born and raised in Tolland, and calls himself “apolitical” and “not much of a proponent of the dual-party system.”
“I tend to view things from a sensible, logical perspective – whether an opinion or view is considered to be Democratic or Republican – and not be categorized into one ‘box’ or the other,” he said. Kasusky has been a commercial banker for the past 17 years, managing a portfolio of business loans. He is also a participant, organizer, and promoter of various motorsports activities.
“Tolland’s biggest issue is ensuring the Town’s fiscal success while maintaining its longstanding and unique character,” Krasusky said. “The Town’s current philosophy appears to be to continue to shrink to excellence, which cannot and should not be sustained. The Town cannot continue to fund budget shortfalls with program/service cuts, and no one in town wants to pay more taxes.”
Newcomer Steven Jones has lived in Tolland for 17 of his 23 years and is chairman of the Tolland Democratic Town Committee. Previously a research assistant for the Allegheny College Center for Political Participation from 2009-2012, he is currently employed at Highland Park Market of Coventry as a produce department clerk.
“I am running for office because Tolland is at a crossroads right now,” Jones said. “With the Technology Corridor being developed at UConn, the Technology Zone being developed in Tolland, the Tolland Village plan, and Tolland’s energy audit, we need leadership at the council level that will work towards maximizing the affects of all these projects for the betterment of our community.”
“By far, the issue of taxes and services is on the minds of many residents in town,” he said. “We need to broaden the base of revenue by encouraging leading industries to develop and settle in Tolland, and to attract families that will work in these industries to live in Tolland as well.”
Republicans have four candidates running for town council.
Incumbent and current Council Chair Jack Scavone is a manager at the All-Phase Electric Supply Company and holds a BS in electrical engineering from The University of Hartford. He has also served on the Economic Development and Planning and Zoning Commissions.
Scavone said that he ran a business for more than 30 years and is able to identify issues quickly, while being able to make the decisions necessary to address those issues.
“I ran on a platform with my fellow councilmen last term and we achieved all of the goals we promised,” Scavone said. “We opened lines of communication across political party lines and on other boards, to get results for Tolland citizens.”
Georger Baker is a practicing attorney and has his own office, the George A. Baker Law Firm, in Glastonbury. Baker has a BA in political science from Eastern Connecticut State University and his JD from Western New England University School of Law. He was previously a member of the Willington Planning and Zoning Commission where he also served as chairman. Baker also served as Tolland Probate Judge from 1995 to 1998.
“As a small business owner, I understanding the challenges imposed upon small businesses and how regulations impact the growth of small businesses,” Baker said. “My top priority as a member of the Town Council will be to develop an environment that encourages businesses to move into Tolland. More businesses will bring in jobs and grow our grand list, which is imperative if we want to continue to provide excellent services and to maintain our strong education system.”
William Eccles is the principal electrical engineer at Bloomy Controls, Inc., and has degrees from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the University of South Carolina. He is the father of two sons, and husband to Dr. Terry Eccles, MD. A former United States Air Force Captain, he also previously worked at Hamilton Sunstrand. Eccles currently serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission and previously served on the Zoning Board of Appeals as an alternate.
“Having two teenage sons, I am committed to supporting Tolland’s education system so that it remains one of the best in the state,” Eccles said. “Because my wife is a small business owner, I am acutely aware of the necessity to keep regulation to a minimum, to keep our property tax structure fair, and to promote Tolland as a superb place to launch a business of nearly any size.”
Incumbent Ben Stanford is seeking his second term on the Town Council. He is an aerospace engineer, who received his bachelor's degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2002. He also served on the Tolland Planning and Zoning Commission as an alternate from 2009 to 2011.
“I fully support the transition to self-funded health care and promotion of the Health Savings Account plans for the town and BOE employees,” Stanford said, adding that he worked on the Tolland Energy and Facilities Task Force on the town's ESCO project, which will result in $10 million in facility and HVAC upgrades to Town and BOE builds that will be paid for with energy savings from those upgrades. He also said that Tolland needs to grow.
“The best growth for the town right now, in my opinion, would be commercial in the Village and Tech Campus zones along Rte. 195,” Stanford said. “The new commuter bus stop at exit 68 may be an important first step and catalyst to the development of these zones.”