Planning and Zoning Commission Candidates

Bruce Mayer, Incumbent (4 Yr)

My wife, three sons and I moved to Tolland in 2000. We were attracted by the great schools, the sense of history, and the natural beauty of the town.

I am a biologist at UConn Health in Farmington. In addition to running a research laboratory, I also teach medical, dental, and graduate students. When not at work I can often be found fishing on the coast or offshore, or watching hockey during the colder months. Our kids all played for the Bucks, Tolland’s co-op high school hockey team. My wife and I also regularly enjoy exploring the many conservation areas in town.

Why are you running for re-election to the Planning and Zoning Commission?
I have served as a regular member of Tolland’s Planning and Zoning Commission for the past four years, and was an alternate member the year before that

I have taken on a number of leadership positions at work, but perhaps the most important was as the founding president of UConn Health’s faculty union. In this position I was responsible for over 500 members, and came to understand the meaning of the phrase “the buck to stop here”. During this time I also found that most conflicts and difficult issues can be resolved successfully through respectful listening, discussion, and compromise. Although it was a lot of work, I found it very satisfying to have a role in solving problems for the larger community, and this is what first motivated me to get involved in our local government.

What is your vision for Tolland?
Our town faces a number of challenges now related to its rapid growth in the 1990s and 2000s, and to the prevalence of single family homes on large lots, which put significant stress on town services and schools. We need to think hard about how to guide future development in order to attract and welcome new families and businesses while maintaining the rural, unspoiled character that attracted many of us to Tolland. The recent discussion on the Tolland Village Area proposal underlined the importance of planning for the future, so our community is able to change in a positive way that preserves quality of life and property values for current residents. Community input will be critical in shaping future development, and the upcoming revision of our town’s Plan of Conservation and Development provides a tremendous opportunity for all residents to help chart a responsible future for Tolland.

I believe that encouraging the development of walkable communities around our town center will be very important in generating the critical mass to support more local businesses and attract visitors from the surrounding area.


Mark Farrell (4 Yr)

My wife Sarah and I, along with our two sons moved to Tolland in June, 2016. Sarah and I grew up in the area and wanted to live close to our parents.  We chose Tolland as we admire the schools, the open space, and the community feeling that Tolland provides.

Professionally, I have been with Cigna for eleven years in a variety of roles. Currently, I am a Risk Manager with Individual and Family Plans.

For fun, I have always enjoyed the great outdoors. Hiking, camping, stargazing, and playing with my sons in any silly made-up game is my favorite way to spend my weekends. I also enjoy working with my hands and am constantly finding new DIY projects around the house to tackle.

One of my favorite things about Tolland is the fantastic trail system.  Having easy access to outdoor activities makes Tolland a wonderful and unique Connecticut town!

Why are you running for a seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission?
The political environment is a new to me.  I have never run for a public service position before, but I see Tolland as my ‘forever home’ and I believe that I can reputably represent my neighbors while we are planning for a thriving future.

I have always viewed any position – in life or my career – as an opportunity to help others.  Prior to moving to Tolland, Sarah and I volunteered as managers of our local Farmers Market.  We took pride in helping local producers build their businesses and in providing a family friendly community gathering place.

In my career, I have been fortunate to hold a number of positions where I help make everyone’s work a little easier.  In my current role I try to uncover small problems that are the root of larger issues and ultimately identify logical solutions.  I consistently look for opportunities for improvement – something that I continue after leaving the office.  No matter the situation, there is always a way forward and I firmly believe that I can help our Tolland community continue to progress.

What is your vision for Tolland?
Tolland has been dealt a difficult hand with this year’s budget.  How we collectively react and move forward will have a large impact on our future.  I want to be a part of planning that future.

In the coming year, Tolland will embark on its vision for the future through the Plan for Conservation and Development (completed every ten years by the Planning and Zoning Commission).  I would like to participate in the process in sculpting the vision for the next ten years.  I want to preserve Tolland’s great open spaces for our residents, while proactively planning for our future as an inviting place for people to live, work, and visit.


John Hughes, Incumbent (2 Yr)Hughes

John has been a dedicated Commission member for a decade and continues to focus on the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), smart and balanced growth for Tolland, and collaborating with the Town Council and Board of Education on broadening our tax base.


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