Candlewood Lake’s Health Discussed at Annual State of the Lake
July 18, 2019
July 25, 2019

The New Fairfield Democrat and Republican Town Committees have named their candidates for First Selectman and Selectman in the upcoming November 5th town election. For the Democrats, incumbent Pat Del Monaco will run for First Selectman, and incumbent Khristine Hall for Selectman. They will be challenged by Republican First Selectman candidate John Hodge and incumbent Republican Selectman Kim Hanson.

The Democratic Town Committee selected Ms. Del Monaco and Ms. Hall as its ticket at the committee’s July 16 caucus. In endorsing Ms. Del Monaco, the committee’s website states “As First Selectman, Ms. Del Monaco has focused on addressing the concerns of New Fairfield residents. She was instrumental in establishing the School Safety and Security Committee to address residents’ concerns and enhance the safety of New Fairfield Schools. As a result, every school in the district is staffed with a School Resource Officer. Pat also directed the response and recovery to the May 15 macroburst, collaborating with Town employees, Eversource and state and local officials to restore power and clear debris as quickly as possible. Currently, Pat’s focus is on improving the economic climate in New Fairfield. The Board of Selectmen established the Economic Development Commission early this year to support existing businesses and to attract new businesses to our empty storefronts. She looks forward to working with the Commission and Business Advisory Council over the coming months. Ms. Del Monaco, who holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University served as Chairman of New Fairfield’s Inland Wetlands Commission and on many volunteer organizations in the New Fairfield Schools. Prior to her involvement in the community, she served as a department director at Unilever US.”

In endorsing and selecting Ms. Hall, the committee’s website states, “Ms. Hall has been an active member of the Board of Selectmen. Among other things, she has focused on protecting Candlewood Lake and working with the Candlewood Lake Authority and working with the State and Danbury to establish a walking trail along Margerie Reservoir. She enjoys talking to town residents about their concerns at her Listening Hours in the Library and Senior Center. Prior to her election in 2017, she was a local news reporter. She retired from IBM in 2015, where she was a Project Executive for large projects. Ms. Hall has a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature and a law degree (J.D.) – both from the University of Kansas.”

Republican First Selectman candidate John Hodge is no stranger to the New Fairfield political scene. He served as First Selectman from 2005 to 2013, when he stepped down to work full time for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. A 26-year New Fairfield resident, Mr. Hodge said he made the decision to seek the Republican nomination because, “after six years on the sidelines I was growing increasingly concerned, particularly over the past 18 months, about rising municipal spending.” Hodge also served two separate stints on the Board of Finance and has also served as Police Commission Chair and as a delegate on the Candlewood Lake Authority.

Incumbent Republican Selectman candidate Kim Hanson is completing his third term as Selectman. Before that, he was Chairman of the Board of Education for ten years and served for three years on the Inland Wetlands Conservation Committee. A resident of New Fairfield for 24 years, Mr. Hanson has had a long career in theatrical lighting design and production, including seven years as Production Manager at the Candlewood Playhouse in town.

Several individuals had thrown their hats into the ring for the Republican nod for First Selectman. In addition to Hodge, former First Selectman Susan Chapman and Mike Oliva had stated their intention to be considered. In the end, the Republican caucus nominated Hodge and Chapman. In the ensuing vote, Hodge received 77 votes to 15 for Chapman, earning him the party’s endorsement.

Look for future articles on the candidates and the issues as we draw closer to Election Day.

By Greg Slomba