Response to the Results (Journal Inquirer)

From the Journal Inquirer:

TOLLAND — Democrats, including two newcomers, now make up the majority of the Town Council, and the party maintains the majority of the Board of Education following Tuesday’s elections.

Democratic incumbent Vice Chairman Richard Field, who brought in the most votes of any council candidate for the second consecutive election, is expected to be named chairman, and he said Democrats will nominate the lone Republican incumbent, William Eccles, for vice chairman.

Field said the bipartisan arrangement has “worked for two terms, and we hope it will work for another two.”

He added that the town has been moving in the right direction and he intends to continue the progress of the previous council.

Eccles said that despite the tendency for Tolland to “flip-flop every four years,” he is looking forward to working with “a great group of people.”

Incumbent Democrat Paul Krasusky said he is looking forward to working with his new colleagues to continue trying to make decisions that are best for residents.

Democratic Town Chairman Steven Jones said the party approached the election with the same energy as two years ago, and with about 50 percent of voters unaffiliated, the goal was to present “not a Democratic slate, but a Tolland slate.”

“It’s a human connection that transcends partisan politics,” Jones said. “We’re on the cusp of a lot of great things.”

The rest of the council will consist of newcomers from both parties, with Democrats Kristen Morgan and David Skoczulek, and Republicans Jeanne Schroeder, and Robert Green.

Former Republican Board of Education member Joseph Sce came up 49 votes shy of Green for the final council spot.

Democratic Board of Education Chairman Sam Adlerstein said he feels voters maintained the Democratic majority because they appreciate the direction the school system is moving and want to maintain it.

However, he said he doesn’t expect partisanship to play a factor in board members’ decisions.

“After tonight, it’s not Republicans and Democrats anymore,” Adlerstein said, adding that he intends to work together with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

Incumbent Democrats who will continue to serve on the board are Vice Chairman Patrick Doyle, Kathy Gorsky, and Karen Moran, as well as newcomer Susan Seaver.

Republican incumbents Robert Pagoni and Colleen Yudichak, as well as newcomers Jeffrey Schroeder and Michelle Harrold, round out the board.

Incumbent Republican Steven Clark and appointed Democrat, Clifton Vachon fell short.

The two open four-year terms on the Planning and Zoning Commission went to Republicans Susan Errickson and Barbara Dimauro, and Democrat John Hughes was elected to a two-year term.

Two four-year spots on the Zoning Board of Appeals went to Democrat Peggy Boyajian and Republican Michael Pascuzzi, and Democrat Marilee Beebe won a two-year term.

A Message from the Chair on Tonight’s Results

I would like to thank everyone who came out to vote today and support our phenomenal team of candidates. While we did not get our entire slate in, every individual worked hard to make a positive difference in town. For those not elected, they are immediately looking to continue being engaged in our government and our community.

It was a historic night that came down to the wire. And it was thanks to everyone who came out and voted. Though there were fewer people than 2 years ago, they made their voices heard and elected residents that want Tolland to move forward in a meaningful way.

– Steve Jones, Chair, Tolland Democratic Town Committee

Full Results from the Tolland 11-3-2015 Municpal final results for emailing

Tolland Election Day Results 2015This election had 26.32% turnout, or 2,398 votes and 40 absentee votes.

Letter to the Editor by Town Council Candidate David “Skoz” Skoczulek

This letter was submitted to the Journal Inquirer and published on Wednesday, October 28th:

Tolland Election

I am running for Town Council to build upon the thoughtful progress and record of success of the current team.

My priorities include:

  • Ensure Tolland’s seniors are able to successfully, affordably live in town and “age in place,” including advocating for property tax relief.
  • Build on the partnership with the Board of Education to continue to build a school system.
  • Protect Tolland’s rural character and charm.
  • Find cost savings and efficiencies through shared services.
  • Foster thoughtful land, business, and economic development.
  • Establish a long-term vision and plan for policing and public safety programs.
  • Solicit and incorporate community input throughout the budget process.
  • Address the impact on neighborhoods of abandoned and foreclosed properties.

Tolland needs intelligent decision-making and a sustainable direction that balances growth and development with the protection of the character and quality of life that make our town great. Council consideration of a blight ordinance and the provision of police services are important to the town’s character and must receive proper and ongoing attention and stewardship.

Likewise, the Board of Education and new superintendent need continued support and partnership from the council.

I am a commissioner on the Planning and Zoning Commission and have been engaged regularly in public hearings related to high-visibility development projects and the regulation changes that allowed drive-through services in the Gateway Design District.

Additionally, I have volunteer and civic experience across the spectrum. While chairman of the board for the North Central District Health Department our team balanced the budget for the first time. As current president of the North Central Area Agency on Aging Board of Directors I received extensive training on good governance. I have also been a Rotarian since 2008 and a corporator of ECHN. These experiences have provided me with the ability to grow as a professional and as a leader.

I hope to earn your vote for Tolland Council on Nov. 3.

David “Skoz” Skoczulek


The writer is a Democratic candidate for Town Council.

Letter to the Editor by Councilman Rick Field

This letter was published in the Journal Inquirer on Wednesday, October 28th.

Tolland election

I have lived in Tolland for 33 years with my wife Chris and son Andrew. I have served Tolland for many years on the Board of Education and now the Town Council.

I am asking for your support to continue listening and leading Tolland with common sense and open government.

There are many challenges ahead for Tolland and I have the experience to help the town move forward. I am also asking you to consider voting for the three other Democratic candidates for council: Kristen Morgan, David Skoczulek, and Paul Krasusky. I am excited to run with this team of young people getting involved in helping Tolland continue to be a great place to live. They believe, as I do, that we represent your interests and will listen to the concerns of Tolland residents and businesses.

Please be involved in town government and vote. Your vote makes a difference.

Rick Field


The writer is a Democrat running for re-election to the Town Council.

Letter to the Editor by BOE Candidate Cliff Vachon

From the Journal Inquirer, dated Tuesday, October 27th.

Since moving to Tolland I have come to realize and appreciate the volunteer spirit that is so prevalent in this community, and it is because of this community spirit I wanted to be a part of it.

My wife Kelly and I have young children, Zachary and Lily, and because of their future in the Tolland public school system, I became interested in serving on the Board of Education. I have a great respect for the leadership of the current board. Under the leadership of Sam Adlerstein as chair, Patrick Doyle, Vice Chair and Kathy Gorsky, secretary, we have seen remarkable progress, beginning with the hiring of our Superintendent, Dr. Walter Willett. We are reaching out to the community in new ways, through breakfasts and pizza nights with Willett, and most recently, with the grant-funded Community Conversation, “Raising Resilient Kids in Tolland.”

It is an exciting time to be a part of this progress, and I hope that I can count on the support of Tolland residents so that I can continue to work for the benefit of the community.

Cliff Vachon


The writer is a Democratic candidate for the Board of Education.

Letter to the Editor: Vote for Tolland on Nov. 3rd

On Nov. 3, Tolland has an opportunity to live up to our 2015 title of 34th best place to live in the U.S.

Election Day gives roughly 9,000 voters from all walks of life 16 hours to elect their neighbors and friends to Town Council, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals.

These men and women volunteer hours of their time every week to make a direct impact on how our town runs, how are schools operate, and seek to grow our business community. More importantly, they are your voice. When you speak, they listen. When you desire action, they run with it. Tolland has become one of the finest forms of community governance in the region, and a core aspect of why our community is one of the best to live in.

For the past two years our leadership on the Board of Education — led by Sam Adlerstein, Karen Moran, Kathy Gorsky, Patrick Doyle, Cliff Vachon, and Susan Seaver — has changed the conversation on what it means to cultivate a successful child in Tolland. And they’ve changed the administration too. We now have Dr. Walter Willett as our superintendent, making waves in the schools and the community that have brought faith back into the school system for parents and kids, as well as trust among teachers and administration.

This team has also made strives to restore trust and foster a positive working relationship with the Town Council, creating responsible budgets that do right by our tax dollars and have passed at referendum four years in a row. Through cost efficiencies, shared services and defining clear priorities, our town continues to receive AAA financial ratings. Rick Field, Kristen Morgan, David “Skoz” Skoczulek, and Paul Krasusky can continue to do this great work as your councilpersons.

I hope you will join me to elect these men and women as your voices for Tolland.

Steven Jones


The writer is Democratic Town Committee chairman.