2017 Republican Municipal Candidates
At a meeting at the Shelton City Hall auditorium on Monday evening, July 24,
the following Shelton residents were chosen by the Shelton Republican Town Committee
as the endorsed candidates in this year's municipal election on Tuesday, November 7:
Mark A. Lauretti
Mark A. Lauretti was first elected as Mayor in 1991 and is currently serving his thirteenth consecutive term. During his 26 years in office, Shelton has achieved unprecedented economic growth for which it has received national and statewide recognition. As mayor, he oversees a municipal budget exceeding $110 million dollars.
Mayor Lauretti’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for the residents of Shelton is reflected in the numerous city infrastructure projects, the conservation and preservation of open space, and redevelopment in the downtown area that have occurred during his tenure.
Prior to being elected, Mayor Lauretti was a small business owner, teacher, and a coach for the track and basketball teams at Shelton High School, Syracuse University and Central High School in Bridgeport. An athlete himself, he played in a professional basketball league in Bologna, Italy after college.
Mayor Lauretti is the Chairman of the Metropolitan Planning Organization in Bridgeport, Secretary/Treasurer of the Valley Council of Governments, Chairman of the VCOG Regional Roundtable, member of the Coastal Corridor Transportation Investment Area Board, President of the Board of Directors for the State Nutmeg Games, former member of the Board of Directors of Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority (CRRA), an Executive Board member of the Housatonic Council of Boy Scouts of America, Past President of the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, member of the Fairfield County Sports Commission and Chairman of the Valley Transit District.
Mayor Lauretti holds an undergraduate degree in pre-environmental zoology from Ohio University and a Master’s degree in Science Education from Syracuse University. He and his wife have four children who all attended Shelton public schools.
Raymond M. O'Leary
A Shelton resident for 38 years, Ray is married and has two daughters and five grandchildren. He has been the City of Shelton’s Treasurer since 2011. Now retired, Ray has 30 years experience as a management consultant in the financial industry and founded Growth Services Group, Inc. in 1985.
Ray served on the Shelton Board of Education for 11 years where he was its Chairman for four years and Vice Chairman and Chairman of its Finance Committee for seven years. He also served as a member of the City of Shelton’s Ethics Committee for one year.
It has been a pleasure and privilege for Ray to serve Shelton residents as a member of the Lauretti administration. His priority as Treasurer is, and always will be, continuing the administration’s positive track record of responsible growth, taxation and related spending.
Ward 1 Aldermen
David has been a Shelton resident for over sixteen years and has been married for over 19 years to his wife, Sangeeta, a teacher in the Trumbull public school system. They are the parents of a son and daughter who attend Shelton public schools.
David graduated with a business management degree from Xavier College, Bombay, India. He is self employed and has served on Sikorsky Financial’s board of directors.
As an alderman, David’s priority is to work with the mayor and the other aldermen to keep taxes low, to provide quality education for our children, and to maintain a good quality of life for our seniors and veterans.
Anthony F. Simonetti
Anthony has been a Shelton resident for 55 years. He attended Shelton elementary schools and received a B.S. degree from the University of Scranton. A licensed Connecticut Nursing Home Administrator, Anthony has 30+ years experience as an owner and manager of nursing homes in Shelton, Derby and Phoenix, Arizona. He also was employed by Sikorsky Aircraft in its Engineering Department and has experience as a restaurant manager.
Anthony is married and has two adult sons. He has been a Biddy basketball and Flag football coach, a SHS band parent, Youth Connection volunteer and chairman of the Shelton Republican Town Committee since 2011. He is a founder of the Valley Shakespeare Festival, on the St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Shop’s Board of Directors, and a White Hills Fire Company #5 supporter.
A First Ward alderman since 1999, Anthony has focused on keeping taxes low, securing over 1,600 acres of open space, expanding the Riverwalk and creating the dog park. He chaired the building committee overseeing the $25M renovation of Shelton High School, and supported the $160M repair, replacement and refurbishing of Shelton public school properties. Anthony’s goal is to continue balanced growth and minimize city expenditures while providing services and recreational activities to residents.
Ward 2 Aldermen
Stanley J. Kudej
A nearly life-long resident of Shelton, Stan is an Army veteran and an American Legion Post 16 member where he serves as treasurer of its baseball team. Stan retired from Allied Signal after 37 years and was a local 1010 UAW official in charge of workmen’s compensation. He is a longtime member of Shelton’s Czech Club and a Corporator of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.
Stan was elected to the Board of Aldermen in 200, is the current Finance Committee chair, and an advocate of low taxes. A strong supporter of recreational opportunities for residents, he has been a Shelton Parks and Recreation Commission member for 25+ years and Shelton National Little League President for 30+ years. During that time Stan played an essential role starting the Challenger Little League for handicapped children.
He and his late wife Pat, have three children and seven grandchildren. Stan resides on Plaskon Drive but if not at City Hall, he can be found during the baseball season at the Little League field!
Eric J. McPherson
A Shelton resident for most of his life and a longtime member of Saint Joseph Parish, Eric worked in the security and public safety fields for more than 25 years and helped to create Shelton’s Office of Emergency Management.
Eric is very experienced in city government, having been elected to the Board of Apportionment and Taxation in 1989 and the Board of Aldermen in 1991 where he served four terms. He was re-elected to the Board in 2009, serving on the Public Health and Safety Committee and is currently Street Committee Chairman. In 2015, Eric was elected as Vice President of the Board.
Eric is a strong supporter of low taxes and balancing Shelton’s growth, development, and open space. He especially believes that government must live within its means. A strong and a tireless advocate for the downtown area, he has worked with police officials to enhance public safety for safer neighborhoods. Eric successfully led efforts to have Shelton’s anti-blight ordinance amended to force absentee landlords to clean up their property, and has worked through the Street Committee to see that roads are repaired.
Ward 3 Aldermen
John F. Anglace, Jr.
Born in Ansonia, raised in Derby, John and his family became Shelton residents in 1967. John graduated from Derby elementary and high schools, Bullard Havens Technical School and the University of Bridgeport with an Industrial Relations degree. A veteran with 11 years of Army active duty and Reserves service, John received an honorable discharge with the rank of Master Sergeant. John retired in 2001 from Pfizer Inc. after 28 years, holding positions as Worldwide Director of Employee and Labor Relations and Director of Retiree Relations.
Active in city government since becoming a resident, John served on the Board of Apportionment and Taxation for a number of years and was Shelton’s Welfare Department director in the 1980’s. He was first elected to the Board of Aldermen in 1991, has been re-elected as Third Ward alderman 12 times, and has served as Board President since 1995. John was a charter member of the city’s School Technology Committee and served on the committee for 12 years until its project to upgrade system-wide technology was completed.
John’s major accomplishments for the City since being elected to the Board are:
no increase in the city mill rate in nine of the last 11 years and a decrease in two of the last 11 years;
co-operative funding of technology, infrastructure, and STEM programs for the city’s public schools;
a new city-owned school bus transportation system utilizing economical propane-fueled school buses;
a new city-wide recycling/garbage program at no cost to taxpayers;
acquisition of new fire apparatus and related fire safety equipment;
an on-going program for city road reconstruction and resurfacing;
construction of a new animal shelter;
revision of Shelton’s City Charter.
John is a current or former member of the Shelton Senior Center, American Legion Sutter-Terlizzi Post 16, the Derby-Shelton Lions Club, and St. Margaret Mary Parish. He has been active for many years with Troop 3, Boy Scouts of America and has served BSA’s Housatonic Council in a number of capacities. John received the Housatonic Council’s “Good Scout” and “Silver Beaver” awards and was named as a National BSA James E. West Fellow. John was the Shelton Republican Town Committee’s 2003 recipient of its John Davis Lodge Award.
Cris has resided in Shelton for 14 years and is a former commissioned Air Force officer having served in the Biomedical Science Corp and at a Strategic Air Command Base (45th Space Wing) linked to the Space Shuttle program. She received her Physician Associate and B.S. degrees from the University of Oklahoma, graduating in the top 10% of her class. Formerly a healthcare and risk management executive for a major medical center and two Fortune 500 companies where she was responsible for cost containment, loss mitigation, and claims settlement negotiations, Cris is currently employed by a top investment banking firm in the metropolitan New York area in Global Wellness/Disability Management.
Elected to the Board of Apportionment and Taxation in 2015, Cris served as its Chairman until being appointed to the Board of Aldermen in July, 2017 to represent the Third Ward. She is a member of the American Legion and a volunteer at her church.
Cris’ background in the public and private sector and experience with budgets, fiscal responsibility and streamlining programs to eliminate waste makes her uniquely qualified to serve as an alderman whose goal is to continue having Shelton be a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Ward 4 Aldermen
Jim is a life-long resident of Shelton and received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Spanish from Southern Connecticut State University. He is a member of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, a Spooner House volunteer, is active in youth programs at local churches and does mission work in Guatemala where he sponsors two children.
Currently the Property Manager at Avalon, Shelton, Jim has been in the Property Management field for over ten years. At Avalon he has created and monitored budgets, developed and monitored programs for tenants to maximize revenue while controlling expenses, and supervises employees.
Jim was first elected to the Board of Aldermen in November, 2015 and serves on its Public Health and Safety Committee. His focus as an alderman has been to “do right” for Shelton residents by keeping taxes low while still providing a quality school system, reliable emergency services and well-maintained roads.
Jim is seeking re-election as an Alderman to continue being a voice and to help make Shelton even better for its residents.
Noreen has been a city resident for 26 years and has been married as long to Ben McGorty, Connecticut state representative from the 122nd district. They have two adult children and one granddaughter. A graduate of Iona College with a Bachelor’s degree from in Business Management, Noreen has been employed in the finance field for 30 years.
Noreen has served on the Board of Alderman since 2009 when she was appointed to its Public Health and Safety Committee. She has been a member of the Emergency Medical Service Commission since 2000 and Valley Emergency Medical Services since 2008. As Chairman of Shelton's EMS Commission and Vice President of VEMS (Shelton's paramedic team) Noreen has worked closely with ambulance administrators to cut emergency response times and increase volunteer ranks. She has worked diligently with Shelton’s Police Department, Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management to ensure proper oversight and review.
Noreen believes in public service and as she has enjoyed not only helping her neighbors in the 4th Ward, but all residents of Shelton for 15+ years, she is seeking re-election to allow her to continue in a capacity to do so.
Board of Apportionment and Taxation
Our first Board of Apportionment & Taxation candidate endorsed by the Shelton Republican Town Committee is Karen Battistelli.
Karen has been a Shelton resident for 18 years, is married and has two daughters and four grandchildren. Karen is a graduate of Sacred Heart University with Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Accounting. She has been employed as an accountant in the finance field for over 25 years for both large corporations and small businesses.
Karen was elected to the Board of Apportionment and Taxation in 2013 and became the acting Chair earlier this year when the Chairman of the A & T Board was appointed to the Board of Aldermen. Her priority as a member of the board, and as acting chair, is to facilitate the meetings promptly with the smooth transfer of funds from one account to another. She feels she can best serve the City of Shelton by using her many years of accounting to keep the Board on point as it works through the 2017-18 fiscal year.
A member of Trap Falls Kennel Club, Karen serves as its treasurer and participates in local events with the Club to educate the public in responsible dog ownership. She is also participating in a three-year program to train her Golden Retriever, Marcus, to be a therapy dog.
The second candidate for the Board of Apportionment & Taxation endorsed by the Shelton Republican Town Committee is John Belden.
A 47-year resident of Shelton, John and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 28 years and are the parents of four sons. John attended the University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University, and has been a telecommunications technician for 21 years.
John has been a member of the Shelton Biddy Basketball Board of Directors since 1998, is a certified referee for Board 9 of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, and coaches a high-school student team for the Cardinal Sheehan Center’s Fall basketball league. A past volunteer coach for Shelton Biddy basketball, Shelton National Little League and Shelton Babe Ruth teams, John also performed community service work through the AT&T Pioneers Volunteer Network.
A member of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation since 2011, John was inspired to become a member of the Shelton Republican Town Committee and run for a local elected position after the passing in 2007 of his uncle, Richard O. Belden, who represented Shelton in Hartford as State Representative from the 113nd District. John feels strongly, as his uncle did, that public service is the best form of giving back to the Shelton community. His focus as a member of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation is to carefully scrutinize budget requests in order to deliver city services while maintaining a low tax rate.
Michael, a native of Stratford and former Westport resident, has resided in Shelton since 2008. Married to Anne, a candidate for the Shelton Board of Education, they are parents of a daughter who is a student in the Shelton public school system.
A 1988 graduate of Sacred Heart University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, Michael has been employed in the market research industry for the past 16 years with positions in project management, survey programming and data processing. He currently is an Operations Manager for a local market research company in Trumbull. For 18 years he was an on-air personality in local radio at WEBE108 and WICC600.
Michael was appointed to the Shelton Board of Apportionment and Taxation earlier this year to fill a vacancy when a Board member switched to an open position that occurred on the Shelton Board of Aldermen. He has been a frequent attendee at various city meetings throughout the year and looks forward to serving the community he loves by being on the Board of Apportionment & Taxation. His priority is to maintain our city’s low tax rate to keep Shelton a great place to live and raise a family.
Board of Education
Anne and her husband, Michael, a candidate for the Board of Apportionment and Taxation, have been Shelton residents since 2008. They are the parents of Samantha, an 8-year-old third grader at Sunnyside Elementary School.
A graduate of the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh with a BA in Studio Art/Graphic Design and a Minor in Computer Science, Anne has been a graphic designer for over 20 years. Anne is an active Sunnyside PTO member, PTO website coordinator, yearbook coordinator, classroom volunteer, and a member of the Shelton public school’s Strategic Plan Committee. She is a member of the Shelton Republican Town Committee and was named to the Shelton Parks and Recreation Commission in 2016.
With a daughter in the Shelton public school system, Anne has a vested interest in the quality of our schools. A strong believer in the value of an excellent public education, Anne’s goal – as a member of the Board of Education – is to be an advocate for our children, placing their needs first while balancing a competitive learning environment with a responsible budget. Of importance to Anne is encouraging and promoting communication between the parent community and the Board of Education. Anne also feels serving on the Board of Education would be a worthwhile and rewarding way to volunteer her time and give back to the community.
Mark has been a Shelton resident since 1981 and is married to Wendy Holden. He has a long record of community service, having served for 25 years on the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Foundation, BHCare, the Valley Mental Health Center, and three years as Chairman of Healthways, Inc. (Umbrella domestic violence program).
Active in the Jaycee organization on the local and state levels, Mark is nationally certified by the Jaycees as a trainer for team-building, leadership and chapter management. A former Project Astro astronomer/guest lecturer, Mark has worked with teachers and students to demonstrate that science is fun. He is President of the Boothe Memorial Astronomical Society which actively participates in STEM nights for the Shelton, Stratford and Milford school systems.
Mark’s first city office was as a member of Shelton’s Board of Apportionment and Taxation where he served for six years, four as Chairman. He is in his sixth year on the Board of Education, has been its Chairman for the last five years and has the highest attendance rate of anyone at Board and committee meetings. A strong advocate for public education, Mark’s focus has been for continual improvement of the quality of education by using available resources to allow students to meet new challenges and get the best possible outcome. Since becoming Chairman, the Shelton school system transitioned to full-day kindergarten, became the first school Connecticut school district to give students and staff ALICE training for dealing with intruders, started Shelton Empowers to help combat the opioid problem, and started the School of Innovation where project-based learning is used at the Shelton Intermediate School. Since Mark became a member of the Board, student achievement has continued to climb while cost per student hasn’t increased nearly as fast as neighboring towns.
Mark will always be a strong advocate for public education, using available resources to get the best possible outcome to meet new challenges and improve the quality of education we provide our students.
Tom has served on the Board of Education for 10 years and is currently
the vice-chairman. His top 4 priorities are: providing a quality education, keeping the community informed about the BOE work and policies, low taxes, and a strong, honest, transparent government.
Tom worked for the Bridgeport Board of Education for 38 years as a Mathematics Instructor and city-wide Mathematics Supervisor. He is currently a part-time Adjunct Math Professor at the University of Bridgeport, and has been since 1985. He has BS, MS, and MS+ 30 degrees.
Tom has been a resident of Shelton for 39 years. He has been involved in many committees and organizations, including: Lector & Volunteer at St. Margaret Mary Church; Barnum Festival Committee and Volunteer; Columbus Day Parade Committee Volunteer; Knights of Columbus - Fourth Degree; and Aspetuck Village Condominium Association as Director and Secretary.
Tom and his wife, Nancy Ann Minotti, have 4 children (Tom, Jr., Christopher, Michele and Jennifer) and 8 grandchildren (4 graduated from SHS; 4 remaining in Shelton Public Schools).
Dr. Darlisa Ritter is a Republican seeking her second term on the Shelton Board of Education. She is a parent, attended Shelton public schools, beginning with Ferry School and graduating from Shelton High School, and a 40-year veteran Shelton teacher. She received five higher education degrees, culminating in doctorates in Educational Administration, Supervision and Leadership, and Human Resources.
Recognized and cited as an outstanding doctoral leader in Who's Who in University Students, she has achieved many national, state, and city accolades ranging from serving 17 years as a board member with three years as Chair of the State Department of Education's Celebration of Excellence program to simultaneously serving as Chair and member for the CT State Department, Bureau of Certification and Development and Accrediation Review Team for five years. She received prestigious recognition as a National Educator Awardee from the Milken Family Foundation, a G. E. Foundation Math Award, CT Academy of Schools Awards, a George Lucas Foundation Technology Award, a McDonald's National Award, and a Shelton Teacher of the Year Award.
Utilizing her extensive educational background and experience she serves on BOE Teaching and Learning, Policy, and Finance committees. She supports and contributes to the advancement of our students and school system, all the while keeping an eye on the needs of taxpayers. Dr. Ritter speaks from a place of concern, practicality, and common sense.
Kathleen Yolish has been a Shelton resident for fifty years. She’s married to Norman and has a Morkie, Kinzy Bean. Kathleen is seeking reelection to the Board for her fifth term. As a 35-year teacher at Ferry, Sunnyside, Lafayette and Elizabeth Shelton schools, she understands the concerns, frustrations and needs of the taxpayers.
Throughout her educational career she has received honorariums including teaching grants, Teacher of the Year finalist, Who’s Who in American Teachers, Shelton’s Walmart Teacher of the Year, the Weller Educational Award and Disney Teacher Recognition Award. As an eight-year Board member, she devotes many hours serving on committees: Teaching & Learning, Policy, Finance, Board liaison for the Shelton Education Association as well as attending many school functions, cultural arts programs, concerts and plays. She also writes the educational articles for the Shelton Economic Development Commission’s publication, Shelton Life.
She is an active member of the SRTC, St. Margaret Mary Church and continues to volunteer in the third grades at Long Hill School. Kathleen has the heart of Shelton. She truly cares about the children, their parents, the taxpayers and employees. She hopes that voters will continue to support her commitment to be a voice in this challenging, ever changing world especially in these fiscally unstable budgetary times.
Planning and Zoning Commission
A resident of Shelton for nearly 40 years with two adult daughters, Ruth has been an elected member of Shelton’s Planning & Zoning Commission since 2007, serving as its Chairman since 2009. She sits on the P & Z’s Downtown Subcommittee and is the city’s representative on the Naugatuck Valley Council of Government’s Regional Planning Commission. Ruth also serves as an Executive Committee member on the Shelton Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors.
Ruth is employed by the Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company where she manages community and government relations, stakeholder outreach and corporate giving. A summa cum laude graduate of Sacred Heart University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Ruth received Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Public Administration from the University of New Haven.
As a community leader and volunteer, she is a current Executive Board member and a past chair of the Valley United Way’s Board of Directors, a member of the Corporate Volunteer Council and a Valley Community Reviewer for the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven’s Responsive Grants. Ruth was a 2010 recipient of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Gold Seal Award and the Shelton Economic Development Corporation’s 2014 Raymond P. Lavietes Award for Outstanding Leadership & Vision.
As a member of the P&Z for the last ten years, Ruth has been committed to making sound decisions for balanced economic development that serves the best interests of all residents of the City. These decisions have helped to provide a stable tax base and have contributed greatly to Shelton’s success. As a community that offers diversity in housing, shopping and dining, Shelton continues to attract new residents because it is a place where people want to live and work. If re-elected, Ruth will continue to focus on smart development that addresses the needs of our community, places importance on the preservation of open space, and results in a net positive tax gain to the City.
Tony has been married to Palma since 1966. They have been residents of Shelton for the past 50 years and have two daughters and four grandchildren. Tony is a graduate of Stratford High School and attended the University of New Haven. He is a Navy veteran and is self-employed, operating a carpet and upholstery cleaning business.
Tony has been a member of the Shelton Planning & Zoning Commission since 1993. He was Chairman from 2007 to 2009 and Vice-Chairman from 2009 to present. He is a board member of the Shelton Economic Development Corp., a former chairman of Shelton’s Ethics Commission, and the former Ward 4 chairperson of the Republican Town Committee. Tony served as a member of Shelton’s Plan Update Advisory Committee where he is proud of the sound vision that set forth the guide lines for the future development of the Shelton.
As a member of Shelton’s Planning & Zoning Commission for the last 24 years, Tony’s first priority in approving any project presented before the Commission has been to evaluate the impact it will have on the quality of life for the citizens of Shelton. Tony believes sound economic development will provide a solid financial return that will benefit all Shelton residents, understands about the importance of open space and feels strongly about continuing the economic development of downtown Shelton and the Housatonic Riverfront area.
Planning and Zoning Commission Alternate
A life-long resident of Shelton, Ned attended elementary school in Shelton, graduated from St. Joseph High School and received a BS degree in economics from St. Bernard College. He and his wife, Marianne, are the parents of two adult children and have two grandchildren.
Ned has been in the insurance industry for almost 40 years, beginning as an underwriter for Kemper Insurance. After a few years with Kemper, Ned joined the Miller Agency, his family’s property and casualty agency, selling personal and commercial insurance. At the end of 2012, Ned assumed the office of president of Ned Miller Associates, a division of Starkweather and Shepley insurance brokerage company.
Active in several community service organizations, Ned has served as board chairman and annual community campaign chair of the United Way of the Valley; president of the Shelton Jaycees, Ansonia Rotary Club, and Housatonic Council Boy Scouts of America; vice president of the Parent-Child Resource Center and treasurer of the Mason Temple Association. Ned’s other board affiliations include Griffin Hospital, the Recreation Camp, Shelton Economic Development Corporation and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Ned has also been the recipient of awards from the Valley Chamber of Commerce; the Parent-Child Resource Center; Valley United Way; Derby Historical Society and the Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Jim has been a life-long Shelton resident and has been married to Nancy Cook Geissler for 43 years. He became a member of the Library Board in 2012 to fill a seat when a Board member moved from Shelton and has served as its Chairman since 2016. At the present time, Jim and the Library Board are working with the City of Shelton’s administration to have an elevator installed and are making plans to refurbish areas of the library.
A graduate of Sacred Heart University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Jim retired from the Shelton Board of Education after 22 years where he worked in Truancy Outreach. He previously was employed for 10 years by Area Cooperative Services as a counselor and presently works part-time with the Shelton Youth Bureau directing the Juvenile Review Board.
Jim’s community service also includes 10 years with the Parent-Child Resource Center. A member of St. Joseph Parish, he served on its Parish Council for eight years and as its Chairman for three years. A 20-year member of the Visiting Nurse Service’s Partners-in-Care Board of Directors, he is presently serving as its Board Chairman.