Party, Position Seeking:
Democrat, Board of Finance
I grew up in Stamford, CT and graduated from Central CT State College with a BS in Art Education (K-12). I worked at the UCONN Health Center for 6 years, and I founded, owned and ran Tomolonius Design, a marketing and publication design company, for 25 years. I have lived in Canton for over 35 years and have served the Town of Canton for more than 16 years on the Board of Selectman, as First Selectman and, presently, as a Board of Finance member and volunteered for various organizations since I moved to Canton, initially volunteering as a weaver who demonstrated on the large loom at the Canton Historical Museum.
I have been married to my husband, Gary, for 37 years, and I have three children: Sarah, David, and Hannah.
Occupation, if applicable:
I currently serve as Executive Director of the Connecticut Association for Community Transportation, and I am the former owner of Tomolonius Design, a publication design and marketing company.
Political Experience, if applicable:
I have over 18 years of elected and appointed experience serving Canton. I am presently serving my first term on the Board of Finance. I have served four terms on the Board of Selectman, and three terms as First Selectman. In addition, I have served as a board member of the Collinsville Historic District Commission and the Economic Development Commission.
Other Relevant Experience, Community Service:
Since 1994, I have volunteered as the Sam Collins Day Chairman, and since 1995, I have volunteered on the Canton Democratic Town Committee. I currently also volunteer with the Cherry Brook Garden Club, and as a Justice of the Peace.
My Past Volunteering Includes:
- Canton Historical Society, 2008-2010
- Connecticut Supports our Soldiers, founding member (CSOS) 2003-2007
- Mayor Perez Commission to End Chronic Homelessness, 2005
- BOE Strategy Planning Committee, 2004-2005
- Capital Region Council of Governments Policy Board, 2001-2007
- Salvation Army Unit Chair, 2001-2007
- Substance Abuse Council, 2001-2007
- CT Workforce Development Board, 2003-2007
- FOCUS on Canton, 2001-2007
- Farmington Valley Visitor’s Association, 1995-2001
- Canton Chamber of Commerce, member since 1995 (served as President, Networking Chairman, on the Board of Directors, Chairman of the Education & Training Committee)
- Canton Youth Soccer Association, President 1995-1999, Board Member 1992-1995
- Miss Porter’s School, Parent Faculty Committee, 1994
- Canton Creative Arts Council
Why are you running for office?
I was raised to believe that volunteering your time to your community was important. I think that my experience on various elected boards provides historical perspective and experience, and I believe that my municipal and small business experience enables me to understand, evaluate and make informed decisions about the fiscal issues facing the town.
What skills do you have that you could bring to the community?
I have business acumen, extensive municipal experience, and a long history with non-profit organizations. Whether as a volunteer or as an elected official, I am passionate about helping the community. I communicate my knowledge with strong speaking skills, but I am also a good listener who is concerned with helping groups come to a consensus that best meets the needs of our community. I bring organizational skills and a particular attention to the details that make me a good problem solver.
If elected, what would be your primary areas of focus?
I believe it is paramount that Canton maintains its bond rating, and I would implement the recommendations once the 2013 POCD is adopted. I would also maintain a responsible fund balance and review areas where outsourcing can control or reduce costs, which includes seeking more opportunities to share services with area towns. In addition, I would provide residents with a more transparent understanding of the town expenses and develop new and innovative ways to provide necessary services.
Name something the town has done well over the past four years.
I believe one of the most successful recent projects has been the completion of Phase 3 of the Rails to Trails, a project that was begun more than 15 years ago. The Rails to Trails highlights Canton’s history, the great natural beauty of the Farmington River and provides free and fun access to an outdoor activity that runners, walkers, bikers, families and friends utilize. Additionally, I think it’s great that the Board of Selectmen’s meetings are recorded and provided on the town website. This allows residents that might not be able to attend those meetings because of work or family or other obligations to learn about the important issues facing the town and the progress and resolutions that the BOS is making towards achieving Canton’s goals.
What is something the town could have done better during the past four years?
In terms of current projects, we need to finish the Zoning Rewrite, which began years ago, as this could allow the town to have mixed-use development, which is critical to help relieve the reliance on the residential property tax. The town’s current taxes are split, with residents paying the vast majority – 86 percent - and businesses paying 14 percent. The Zoning Rewrite could provide a more equitable distribution of taxes and relieve residents from shouldering the bulk of the monies the town needs for necessary functioning and projects.