Candidates

 
 
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Eric Wellman

I am the First Selectman of Simsbury, a husband, and father of a 7 year old. My wife, Rachel, grew up in Simsbury, and when I received a job offer in the Hartford area, we knew there was nowhere else we would rather live. We feel blessed to be part of this wonderful community where there is simply no better place to raise a family. Our daughter, Jayna, is currently a rising second grader at Tootin’ Hills.

I work in the insurance industry where I focus on business process improvement. That involves helping organizations make data driven decisions so they can work smarter and more efficiently. I am passionate about bringing that same skillset to town government, because we have an obligation to serve our residents in the most cost-effective way possible.

Prior to my career in business, I hosted a talk radio show on the NPR affiliate in Cleveland. I spent 8 years asking tough questions and holding politicians accountable. I bring that same high standard for open and transparent government to Simsbury.

Rachel, Jayna, and I live in the Mountain Farms neighborhood in West Simsbury.


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Shannon Knall

My name is Shannon Leary Knall, and I am running for Simsbury’s Zoning Commission as an Alternate.

Simsbury is the town and the community I love to call home. My husband Mark and I, have lived here with our children Jack, Patrick and Jameson for the better part of the last twenty years, and our children have gone through Simsbury schools.

What do I love about Simsbury? 

Besides the people, I love its’ charm, its’ fusion of past and present, and its’ beauty. These things don’t just happen. Our town is what it is because of the work that goes on behind the scenes on our Boards and Commissions. 

I am looking forward to the opportunity to be a new voice for balancing growth and preservation, making Simsbury accessible to everyone, and ensuring our beautiful town remains a treasure for generations to come.

I will bring my experience on the Board of Selectmen, Economic Development Commission, and Aging and Disability Commission to the job. Most importantly, I’ll bring my experience as a member of this community...as a baseball mom on the fields, as a parent volunteer in our schools, as an advocate for those with disabilities, as a consumer of all of the amazing dining, entertainment and shopping Simsbury offers, and as resident who revels in Simsbury’s beauty and history. 

I humbly ask for you vote on November 5th! 


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Wendy Mackstutis

My name is Wendy Mackstutis and this is the first time I am running for office since I was elected Vice President of my Junior class in high school. This time around, I hope to earn a seat on the Board of Selectmen.

I have lived in Simsbury since 1987, where my husband and I moved as we started our lives together. Here we raised both Kevin, 29, and Leah, 26, both Simsbury High Graduates. My community service started with their activities, where I became very involved in local sports and in the schools. As the Registrar of Simsbury Youth Hockey for many years, I was able to represent both players and parents, ensuring a fair process for all. 

My professional career has been in Information Technology, where I had many roles at the Travelers and UnitedHealth Group over a 25-year career.  I have been a project lead, managing teams to deliver key technical initiatives, was the data management director for a business-critical data warehouse, and served as consultant and developer on multiple projects over my career. 

 I became politically tuned in with the 2016 election, when I realized I needed to get involved. I volunteered for Chris Murphy, Mary Glassman, and our local Democrats by phone banking and door knocking in the 2018 election. I saw that it was possible to make a change by working hard and getting good people elected. As a result, I’ve decided to try and make a difference where I can - at the local level, which is close to all of us. Having lived here for 32 years, my experience in many facets of town life, along with my deep-rooted friendships and ties to our community, gives me confidence that I can fairly represent all Simsbury residents. My years of corporate experience brings negotiating, consensus building and problem-solving skills to the table. 

One of my main goals is to keep Simsbury affordable in order to attract new residents, while making sure we retain and engage our current multi-age population. This means that we need to make smart fiscal and economic decisions. Looking at all Simsbury has to offer, beyond our schools, are the many great resources available to us – the Greenway, the Wild and Scenic Farmington River, Simsbury Farms, SPAC, Simsbury Public Library, our Senior Center, the Flower Bridge and all the local businesses that are part of our daily lives. Those of us who are empty-nesters, retirees and seniors need to take advantage of and get re-acquainted with these resources. For parents of school-age children, we need to make sure we continue to offer a top-tier education in a town that offers a safe place to live. 

This town is a special place for all of us and I hope to help keep it that way, while moving us forward. We can still grow and implement positive change, while keeping the essence of Simsbury.

All of this is possible with a town government that makes smart decisions for our future. 

I would love to be part of this team and to serve our town residents over the next 2 years.

 

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Linda Schofield

Linda Schofield is running for re-election to the Board of Finance, where she has served for the past six years. Prior to that she served as Simsbury’s State Representative for six years. 

Linda believes that we need to carefully balance the tax burden for Simsbury property owners with the need for essential services, such as roads, schools, and police and fire services. In order to attract young families and to enable seniors to remain in Simsbury:

  • we need both a tax rate and quality of life that is competitive with neighboring towns 

  • we must balance responsible growth in the grand list with appropriate and efficient spending that supports our high quality school system and public services, without any wasteful or unnecessary costs

  • we need borrowing and investment policies that assure that we are managing our resources in the most efficient and productive way possible and investing in infrastructure that will enable future growth

  • we must preserve the quality of Simsbury life and educational excellence

Bio

Linda’s professional background was in health care in both the private and public sectors. She began as a registered nurse. After earning a Master’s in Public Health, Schofield worked her way up to running health plans at Aetna and Kaiser Permanente.  She also served as the Director of Medicaid for the State of CT.  

Linda parlayed her in-depth health care policy and operations management experience to establish Schofield & Associates Consulting.  She consulted for ten years with other states, health care providers, insurers, and research organizations on health policy issues and on maximizing quality and efficiency in health care operations.  She closed the business after her election to the State House of Representatives.  

Family

Linda has lived in Simsbury with her husband, Mark Deming, for 26 years. Though Linda and Mark have no children of their own, they have had three exchange students live with them for a year each, and all are still in frequent contact with them.

Simsbury Involvement

Schofield is the chair of the board of the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center. She also serves on the board of the Simsbury A Better Chance (ABC) Program, where she was President for nine years. In addition she is on the board of McLean’s. She also served on the 2005 Simsbury Charter Review Commission, started the Simsbury “Try-athlon”, organized the 2012 ArtWalk, took the lead in getting interpretive signs funded and just recently installed on the bike path,  and has volunteered at various times with the library.

Linda has been a strong voice on the Board of Finance for fiscal prudence.  She has helped keep average tax increases at 1.35% for the past six years, in spite of enormous fiscal uncertainties from the State. Vote for Linda Schofield on November 5th and keep her fighting for our town!


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Jeffrey E. Tindall

Born and raised in Simsbury, Jeff is thrilled to serve on the Board of Education and work with the exceptional students, teachers, staff and administration. He remains energized to continue the fight and address the necessary issues to retain the excellence for all students in the Simsbury school system.  

In November 2004, Jeff returned home to Simsbury to join Cigna after living in the Washington, DC area for 14 years. He is responsible for state government affairs for the southeastern states. In his role, Jeff serves as the primary representative with state legislators and regulators. He influences regulatory and legislative action, responds to regulatory inquiries, provides risk avoidance and management services and manages implementation of enacted laws. Prior to joining Cigna, Jeff served as a Legislative Director for the America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance industry’s trade association, from 1997 - 2004.  

Jeff is a graduate of Hobart College (B.A., 1991) and Georgetown University (M.P.P., 1994).

Jeff ‘s two sons attend Henry James and Squadron Line.  


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Phil Purciello

Like so many of you, my wife Kasia and I chose Simsbury for its charm and we knew that when we started a family, Simsbury schools would be great for our kids—we have two now! Zofia is two and a half and Philip is almost 1. There are always plenty of activities for us to share here, and I want to make sure that Simsbury stays a great town for families, empty-nesters, retirees—and the businesses we all rely on.

I began my public service in the Navy where I served for six years – deploying to Qatar, Afghanistan, Okinawa and El Salvador. Locally, I have served on the Board of Selectman, Insurance and conservation commissions, and with your vote, I hope to continue serving Simsbury.

Professionally—I am a Leadership Program participant at Travelers, and I have a masters of public administration from UConn, and another in communication from Southern New Hampshire.

I know that you work hard for your money and I am committed to reimagining government to make it work efficiently and transparently so we get the best return on our investment. That means:

  • Making sure we are using up-to-date technology and data to make decisions that help us improve services and reduce costs

  • Ensuring our schools have the resources they need to be nimble so we can prepare our children for a rapidly changing job market

  • Developing a roadmap to modernize our infrastructure with smart and clean technology

  • Preserving our beautiful open spaces and making sure Simsbury can always be home to our veterans and seniors

By reimagining government, constantly finding efficiencies and seeking out sensible development, together we can preserve what we love about this town and be leaders in moving our community to the future.

I’m Phil Purciello, candidate for the Simsbury Board of Selectmen. On November 5th, I ask you to vote for me and the Eric Wellman team on row A.


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Amber Abbuhl

I’m Amber Abbuhl, and I’m honored to be a Democratic candidate for the Library Board of Trustees. As a Library Board Trustee, I will make sure that our library continues to fulfill its role as the heart of our community by staying technologically current, fiscally sound, and open and welcoming.

My husband, Tim, and I fell in love with Simsbury a little over five years ago when we moved here with our twin daughters Madeline and Claire. The library was one of the first places my young daughters and I visited that summer, and it was our introduction to this wonderful community. Our library is a community treasure, providing a welcoming place for individuals and clubs to gather, connect and learn.  

Before moving to Simsbury, I worked for over twenty years, first as an accountant and later as a lawyer focusing on business and financial disputes. I understand the importance of fiscal responsibility inherent in the role of a Library Trustee. Over the past five years, I’ve had the pleasure of being an active community volunteer, serving as President of the Tootin’ Hills PTO (and current Treasurer),  Treasurer of the Simsbury Junior Woman’s Club, member of the Executive Council of the First Church of Christ, and member of the Simsbury Celebrates Committee.  

 I ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 5. Thank you!