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Guía de Votantes

New Canaan Town Council

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    Rita Bettino
    (Dem)

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    Tom Butterworth
    (Rep)

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    Luke Kaufman
    (Rep)

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    Kim Norton
    (Rep)

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    Hilary Ormond
    (Dem)

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    Penny Young
    (Rep)

Please provide a brief biography of yourself, your qualifications for the position you are seeking, and relevant experience and/or character traits that will make you successful in your role as well as any personal experience, beliefs, or other factors that will impact your decision-making process. (700 character limit)

What are your top three priorities for the Town over the next two years and what would be a successful outcome in those areas. (700 character limit)

I am a working mom of 3 kids aged 13-27. I grew up in Valhalla, NY, the daughter of Italian immigrants, and earned an Economics degree from Boston College and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Since moving here in 2019, I drove the effort to improve our neighborhood’s roads and sidewalks, worked with the LWV to encourage young people to vote and am working to get an ice rink installed at Waveny. My 25 years of corporate experience and years playing on sports teams taught me how to collaborate and work effectively with people of different perspectives in order to get things done. I have a non-partisan bent and a pragmatic, commonsense approach to decision-making and problem-solving.
My top priorities on Town Council would be to build upon the characteristics that make New Canaan a great place to live and to visit. I want to protect the integrity of our town’s biggest asset – our schools, I want to ensure our downtown business community – the backbone of New Canaan – is thriving once again, and I want to make sure the assets and services we are investing in are benefitting the entire community, from our youngest children to our precious older adults. I also believe it is important to encourage more community participation in Town Council meetings and increase financial transparency, so New Canaanites can appreciate how and where our resources are being invested.
Tom and his wife Libby and have lived in and loved New Canaan for over 30 years. He is Chairman of New Canaan Chamber Music and a member of the Rotary Club. He has directed and performed in The Gridiron Club Show and for the Town Players of New Canaan. Tom and Libby restored New Canaan's oldest home. They have five children and nine grandchildren. As Town Council liaison to the Board of Education Tom has attended several dozen BOE meetings and has come to know the leaders and policies that have caused our schools to be among the best in the nation. He's been a staunch advocate for our public schools. Professionally, Tom has been a lawyer, businessman, financial planner.
First, we should ensure that our schools receive funding sufficient to maintain their excellent (# 1 in the State) performance. Property tax rates are a bargain compared to other tri-state towns with high-performing schools. Second, we should be responsible in how we use the approximately $3 million the Town will receive under the American Rescue Plan for revenues lost due to COVID. Taxpayer dollars covered that loss, so taxpayers should benefit from the reimbursement. Third, we should support a plan for the Police Station renovation that will minimize the risk of a long, drawn-out approval process that may increase costs. To that end it may be most prudent to renovate in place.
With my wife, Emily and our three sons, we made New Canaan our hometown for the past six years. New Canaan is a great place to live, work and raise a family. I enjoy participating in the many community programs such as the YMCA, Waverly Pool and coaching various youth teams.

With over two decades in corporate finance and current role of Head of Commercial Lending, I’ve gained considerable budgetary experience that will help to continue the pursuit of maintaining the town’s strong fiscal integrity. I have significant experience in reviewing budgets from projections to execution and evaluating final results, along with my primary responsibility of managing risk and fiscal accountability.
My key objectives are to ensure the Board of Education has adequate funding for its initiatives. I will work to re-establish and encourage new downtown family owned businesses as well as expand the New Canaan Athletic Foundation’s reach to host more regional tournaments. I am committed to working with the MTA to improve train schedules and increase cell phone service through negotiations with local providers. Most importantly, it is my pledge to work closely with Town Council members as well as other local government bodies to ensure New Canaan continues to remain fiscally responsible.
I get things done – locally, statewide, and nationally. I am not afraid to take a stand that serves our residents' best interests, and am 100% committed to New Canaan after living here for 13 years. I have kids in the New Canaan Public Schools, am a Waveny Pool pass holder, town court tennis player, Waveny trail walker, YMCA member, Land Trust hiker, and frequent downtown diner. I have a Ph.D. from Fordham and am a Presidential Scholar. My advocacy includes initiating PCB remediation in NYC public schools, the first and only student data privacy law in CT and spearheading Slow Down in Our Town to improve pedestrian safety in New Canaan. I am also a published author and audiobook producer.
My top three priorities are 1) Increased public input and participation in town decisions. I’ve proposed “Coffee with a Councilwoman” to regularly listen to New Canaanites and enhancing residents’ audio visual experience of hybrid meetings and TV viewing. Let’s bring back the Town Hall meeting for public discussions. 2) Protecting property values, downtown vibrancy and our historic and natural landscapes. Success will be a flat mill rate, thriving downtown and preserving key historic properties. 3) Support our excellent schools by involving Town Council earlier on in the budget process including labor negotiations, finding ways to reduce redundancies and headquarters facility costs.

I am a stay-at-home parent of an 8- and 5-year old. I earned a BA from UVA, a MA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a JD from Fordham. Before having children, I was an attorney working on high stakes business litigation. Since moving to New Canaan in 2014, I have successfully advocated for security cameras at Waveny Park, spearheaded the town's first Pride celebration, co-chaired the annual Historical Society fundraiser, among other things. As an attorney, I learned to digest information quickly, manage personalities effectively, and resolve issues efficiently. I am committed to using those skills to work in a bipartisan and collaborative basis with my peers on Town Council.
My first priority for New Canaan is protecting our top-ranked school system. I want to ensure our schools are properly funded to offer cutting-edge curriculum, maintain healthy start times for all students, and attract top-flight talent, which will benefit both our students and our property values. Our schools are the industry of our town and must be treated as such. I also want to keep our parks and village safe and sustainable. After our schools, New Canaan's abundant outdoor spaces and unique downtown are what draw people here. Finally, I will fight to keep our town meetings accessible to all residents, even after the pandemic subsides. The more we hear from residents, the better!
Since moving to New Canaan in 1975 I have been a committed volunteer and leader with many organizations primarily focusing on our children’s activities, NCBeautification League, League of Women Voters, older adult interests at Waveny LifeCare Network/Elder Care Council/Getabout Van/Staying Put and spearheaded the renovation and expansion of the Lapham Community Center. I’ve served 6 terms on the TC, on all committees and liaison to the Selectman’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure. Activities statewide include Stamford Symphony, Area Agencies on Aging, Yankee Institute, and gubernatorial appointment to the CT Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity.
Having held leadership positions with many community organizations and having served 6 terms on the TC, I bring indepth experience with the issues of interest to the voters. I will focus with demonstrated commitment to 1) containing the cost of government without sacrificing services; 2) continued collaboration between municipal and School District departments to eliminate duplication and promote cost and operational efficiencies; 3) proactively plan for cell/natural gas/solar services and senior and workforce affordable housing; 4) support efforts to preserve the historic character of our community; and 5) promote and expand opportunities for open and receptive dialogue with voters.