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In the Danbury newstimes…Sherman Democrats endorse Anne Weisberg in 108th House race, challenging incumbent Patrick Callahan

By Kendra Baker, newstimes Staff WriterMay 26, 2024

Anne Weisberg of Sherman was endorsed by local Democrats to challenge for a seat in the state House of Representatives. Contributed photo

SHERMAN — A town resident who says she has a passion for Candlewood Lake and a commitment to fairness and justice is looking to be the next representative in Connecticut’s 108th House District.

Sherman resident Anne Weisberg was unanimously endorsed to run as the Democratic candidate for the House seat, the Sherman Democratic Town Committee recently announced on Facebook

“I know what it takes to win,”  Weisberg said in a video message played during a May 15 nominating convention at the Sherman Senior Center, according to the DTC.

She is the second Democrat from Sherman to challenge incumbent Republican Patrick Callahan for the 108th House District, which includes Sherman, and parts of New Fairfield, Danbury and New Milford.

Callahan, a longtime New Fairfield resident who worked in law enforcement for nearly 30 years, secured a second term after defeating Sherman resident Jeff Ginsburg in the 2022 election. Callahan announced his plans to run for a third term in office earlier this year.

Notice to Caucus for Endorsing Members

All Sherman Voters registered as a Democrat or are Independent are welcome to attend the caucus and monthly meeting of the Sherman Democratic Town Committee. The caucus will endorse members and candidates for the Sherman Democratic Town Committee and transact other business as may be proper to come before the said caucus.

These events will occur on  WEDNESDAY, Jan 10, 2024, at 7:30 pm at Charter Hall, Sherman Emergency Services Facility 1 Route 39, Sherman, CT.

Candidate for First Selectman, Don Lowe

From Town Tribune, Oct 19, 2023

First Selectman Don Lowe

I have been your First Selectman since 2018 and I am running for re-election. Lately, the Sherman School renovation project and subsequent failed referendum has been the number one issue in Sherman and it’s the number one issue for me, too – and then there’s about 25 other things I attend to that keep Sherman running smoothly.

In the clamor over the school, a few residents have forgotten how well Sherman has done over the last 6 years. Due to a teamwork approach, Sherman has never been financially stronger, the synergy between Town entities (SVFD, Public Works, Park and Rec, Senor Center, Library, etc.) has never been as efficient, and the effectiveness from the “lack of politics” over the last 6 years has been refreshing. Now, with the acrimony over the school, Sherman has had a taste of what it used to be like here on a weekly basis: Every issue a battleground, the borders drawn by a few extremists fighting unfairly to win their point. I. Do. Not. Want. To. Go. Back. To. That. And we won’t if I’m re-elected.

As I said the school vote results are on people’s minds and I have received criticism from No voters and YES voters alike for not supporting their point-of-view. There is a certain misunderstanding of the Board of Selectmen’s role here. Our primary function is to bring issues and projects to the voters. Yes, we can lobby one way or the other when it’s appropriate, but our primary function is to see that voters understand the facts, have access to them, and then to let the voters speak. This is called democracy, and I’m all for it! Sometimes, though, we don’t get what we want in a democracy. And if someone is mad at me over that, and willing to forget 6 years of success from an effective and responsive Board of Selectmen to be a single-issue voter, then so be it. But while they are mad at me over one issue, the rest of the Town needs safe-keeping.

Just a word about information from dubious sources on my wanting to be re-elected to keep my salary. Frankly, that’s offensive. It’s also wrong. Believe me, I can make more money doing many other things than working 60 hours a week on a Sherman First Selectman salary – by the way, among the worst salaries of Town CEO’s in the 169 Connecticut towns.

I want to be re-elected so that I can finish what I’ve started. I want to give Sherman voters an opportunity to vote on a fully functioning school facility, the opportunity to vote on a much-needed new Senior Center, and to vote on more docks at the Town beach. I want Wakeman Hill Road resurfaced this spring. I want to continue advocating that the State leave our zoning alone and let us manage Sherman the way WE want to manage it. I want to supervise the construction of the pickle ball courts this late spring in order to realize the grant that I received to build them. I want to oversee, now that we have so efficiently repaired and revived it, the development of Happy Acres into a thriving public entity. I want to continue to assist the excellence of our emergency services. I want to continue increasing our Park-and-Rec offerings. I want to continue our tree cutting efforts because it’s working.

This is enjoyable work for me and I’m good at it. That’s why you often see me with a smile on my face. It’s a privilege to come to work in a job I love and a job where I help people every day. Sometimes that help is with high level planning and projects, sometimes it’s in finding efficiencies that make life easier or less expensive for residents, and sometimes it’s in answering complaints and addressing individual needs. Heck, sometimes it’s chasing cows and pigs off a roadway. Every day is interesting. In six years I’ve taken seven days off.

One more thing: our Board of Selectmen always has the future of Sherman on our minds. We recognize the delicate balancing of retaining Sherman’s rural aspects, keeping taxes low enough to make us an attractive town to move to while also keeping our residents on fixed incomes living here, and in attracting a population that serves our volunteer needs (especially the SVFD’s needs). We also see value in adding to our commercial base. Sherman’s future depends on making us an attractive town for families to move to. This is why a strong school is necessary; this is why low taxes and all of the other components of Sherman success are necessary. Depend on me, Joel Bruzinski, and Bob Ostrosky, to keep our eye on Sherman’s present while never losing sight of the future.

Candidate for Selectman: Joel Bruzinski

Published in the Town Tribune on Oct 12, 2023

On Saturday, October 7th the voters of Sherman decisively voted “no” to the version of the school building project presented to them by the Sherman School Building Committee (SSBC).

For almost two years I have served on the SSBC as the representative of the Board of Selectman. During that time, we have openly and actively encouraged our members to challenge each other, voice dissenting opinions, and embrace push-back and challenges from the community and town entities all in the interest of bringing the best possible options to the voters of Sherman. SSBC members brought a myriad of professional expertise and countless volunteer hours to work for the community they love and believe in. I could not be prouder of my fellow members of the SSBC and have been honored to be able to work with them. Sherman must now decide how to move forward with a solution to our critical school facility issue. I would encourage all of you, particularly if you were a “no” vote, to reach out to the SSBC at and let us know your thoughts on how to deal with this issue in a manner that best serves Sherman.

Two recent occurrences in the lead-up to the referendum deserve some mention. The first is an anonymous email that was circulated to people who had not solicited it, from a list or lists the sender was likely not supposed to have. This email contained conspiracy theories about the school building project, vicious personal attacks on certain SSBC members, and even a swipe at special needs students. It was cowardly and divisive and did nothing to serve the needs or represent the values of our town. The author did lament the change that inevitably comes to a town like ours and, after 25 years of living here, I find myself grumbling about certain changes at times too. But change is inevitable. It is how we, as a community, choose to address that change that ultimately determines if it is a positive change or not.

The second instance involves a “Vote No” ad placed in the Town Tribune the last issue before the referendum. Most notably, this ad was from four former members of the Sherman Board of Education, and this surprised me because, despite their concerns, only one of the authors of this ad had engaged the SSBC in any meaningful way over the last two years, across hundreds of hours of public meetings and four community forums. Furthermore, at the root of its argument the ad cited a very alarming collapse of our real estate market and a complete “paradigm shift” in the world of education in Sherman’s near future as its core reasons to vote “no” to improving our school in the proposed fashion. Yet, these very reasons that necessitated this last-minute, the self-funded, full-page ad had never been called to the attention of the SSBC where they could have been discussed, addressed, and collaborated on. I genuinely do respect these four individuals for their many, many years of volunteer service to Sherman but am surprised and disappointed that they chose this most recent tact to influence the future of their town. Sherman is still faced with an immediate need to address our school facility. Moving forward this need will not be best served by cowardly, unsolicited, and anonymous emails and last-minute ads that don’t allow for the exchange of ideas or collaboration. Sherman can do better. We must.

Collaboration is, however, exactly what 1 have experienced over my first term on the Board of Selectman. I have greatly enjoyed working with our First Selectman Don Lowe. His 12 years of experience on the Board of Selectman are evident in his proficiency of service to the town. While Don and I have agreed on most issues we have had some hearty debate over a few things and have always come to a solution that has been in the town’s best interest. The ballot in November will, of course, show that I am running “against” fellow selectman Bob Ostrosky. While that is technically true, I am actually running to get back on the board with Bob. 1 have very much enjoyed working with Bob. His ten years as a selectman are plain to see in every facet of how he conducts himself on the board. Bob has both challenged me and encouraged me as I have learned the job of selectman. I feel we, as a Board of Selectman, have really found a one-off, collaborative balance of varied skill sets and points of view that serve Sherman extraordinarily well. 1 hope the voters will put me back on the same team with Don Lowe and Bob Ostrosky in November. Finally, I would like to thank Ruth Bums and Liz LaVia for their kindness, patience, and professionalism in bringing me up to speed over the last two years. They are both truly wonderful and absolute assets for the town.

Letter to the Editor: Richard Connell for Treasurer

I have known Richard Connell for many years. He is a very warm and conscientious friend.  I am thrilled that he has stepped forward to be a candidate for treasurer because I think he is uniquely qualified.

He has been an active Sherman citizen for over 23 years with his wife, Mary Jane Magoon, a prominent local artist.

Rich has had a long career on Wall Street including being head of Global Fund Administration for a $14 Billion Hedge Fund. His primary responsibilities had a heavy emphasis on compliance, due diligence, and budgeting. He’s also had major wins in instituting cost-saving systems and measures

I know Rich to be very detail-oriented and compelled to do any task to the utmost.  With Rich recently, retired, I bet he has more flexibility to devote all the hours needed to be treasurer than someone working full time.

Being Treasurer is a perfect extension of his decades-long history of volunteering for Sherman. His financial sector experience, availability, and willingness to put in the time and energy make him uniquely qualified. I urge my fellow Shermanites to vote for Rich on Nov 7th.

Jeff Ginsburg, Sherman Oct 12, 2023

Meet the Candidate: Rich Connell

October 9, 2023

Hello Sherman Friends!

I am excited to share with you that I am running as a candidate to be Sherman’s next Town Treasurer.  I have had a long career on Wall Street including being head of Global ($14 Billion) Fund Administration. I am a full-time resident for over 23 years. You may know me from my many roles around town: serving on the Board of Directors for the Sherman Library, volunteering for Naomi, or being the husband of Mary Jane Magoon, a prominent local artist. I am proud of our family of three sons and seven grandchildren.

With the current Town Treasurer retiring and my own recent retirement, I can fully commit my time, experience, and education to serving our community and ensuring its financial security.

I am a fiscal conservative and believe that the Treasurer must operate in an impartial and non-political manner at all times. I am a registered Independent who has consistently voted on the merits of a candidate, not the party they belong to.  

Upon seeing my qualifications, the Democratic party was “excited” to ask me to run as the next Treasurer. To use their words, they felt I was “the right person at the right time”.

As head of Global Fund Administration for a $14 billion hedge fund, I performed due diligence on over 400 executing brokers while working with all the major domestic and international brokerage houses in the world.    Highlights of my  16  years in this area include identifying a  weakness in broker analysis and introducing a  platform that strengthened our commitment to the  Patriot  Act and reduced questionable trading. I also revamped a system for processing trade confirmations, saving over $180,000 in one year.

After leaving the hedge fund for work closer to home,  I became a  conflict resolution specialist for six years, resolving differences between my employer, one of the largest energy companies in the Northeast, and its large-volume consumers.

I have a bachelor’s degree in management from Western Connecticut State University’s Ancell  School of  Business.  To complete an additional degree in paralegal studies,  I interned at the Department of Justice where I researched case law and drafted Medicare fraud complaints for federal court.

As Sherman’s Town treasurer, through my career and even internship, I have developed strong skills for ensuring that our town’s finances are managed optimally and comply with sound accounting practices.

As a twenty-three-year resident, my passion is for making Sherman a better place to live, work, and play. Folks in town know me as one who cares deeply about our town’s quality of life.  I am well qualified in temperament, motivation, and experience to work with town officials, staff, and citizens to achieve our common goals and address our challenges.

Might I have your vote for Sherman’s next Treasurer?

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at

Ready on day one and fully committed,

Richard Connell

Candidate Bio: Selectman Joel Bruzinski

September 23, 2023

Joel Bruzinski is the Democratic candidate running for re-election to the office of Selectman in Sherman.

Joel is a 25-year resident of Sherman.  Since moving to town with his wife Ashleigh Blake in August of 1998, the couple has lovingly restored a home and property in the town’s historic center.  They have enjoyed raising their son Nathaniel and daughter Eden in Sherman.  “It is hard to imagine a better place to raise a family,” says Joel.  The couple proudly watched their children mature through the Sherman school system and on to high school. 

In addition to his current role as selectman Joel has served on Sherman’s Planning and Zoning Commission for a four-year term, the Sherman Historic District Commission for over twenty years, and is currently the representative for the Board of Selectman on the Sherman School Building Committee. He was the Chairman of the Sherman Democratic Town Committee for three years.   Additionally, Joel has volunteered countless hours for the Sherman SPTO and the Sherman Library Association where he identifies his current role as “Chief schlepper and handyman”.

Joel has worked for Pamby Motors, a family-owned Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram dealership in Ridgefield, for over 27 years.  For most of that time, he has been in his current role as General Manager, dealing with all facets of business operations, logistics, inventory management, cost controls, facilities, staffing, and HR.  Joel also serves as the company’s in-house IT Director executing such duties as negotiating, contracting, and on-boarding new communications systems as well as CRM, security, and workflow solutions.  He provides day-to-day support for company hardware and software across all departments.  Joel prides himself on a track record of maintaining well-trained, long-term employees and navigating his company through the pandemic without losing a single staff member. 

Joel has enjoyed his first term on Sherman’s Board of Selectman.  “This has been a particularly strong BOS in my opinion, and I very much enjoy working with both First Selectman Don Lowe as well as Selectman Bob Ostrosky.  Their combined 22 years of experience on the BOS really shows in the quality of work they perform for the community.  I have tried to learn as much as I can from Don and Bob and look forward to putting that knowledge to work for the town as a more seasoned and proficient selectman in my next term.”

Candidate Interview: Selectman Joel Bruzinski

September 23, 2023

1) What inspired you to run for the position again? 

Two main factors helped in this decision.  The first was that people asked me if I was and stated that they hoped I would.  That sort of positive feedback is always great to hear from folks who believe that you are doing a good job and would like you to stay at it.  Secondly, I feel like you really spend the first two years of the job of Selectman getting the “lay-of-the-land” and learning everything you need to be a solid contributing member of the Board of Selectman.  Now that I have a little bit of experience, I look forward to being able to pull my weight with more proficiency in the role.  I feel that, with Don and Bob, we have a great board and welcome the opportunity to work with them again.  

2) What do you appreciate most about your partnership with Don?

Don and I have had a very direct understanding from day one that my opinion or vote on an issue need not be the same as his simply because we are members of the same political party and ticket and we have held to that.  I have enjoyed some debate with Don just as much as I have enjoyed being aligned with Bob Ostrosky on any given topic this board has addressed.  I feel that is what has made this such a strong board over the last two years.  We all work for what we truly feel is best for the town.  I respect the level of experience that Don and Bob bring while they have never minimized or dismissed any fresh perspective that I may have added.  I have known Don Lowe as a good friend for over two decades.  Working with Don however, has given me a new perspective on the earnestness and effort he is capable of pouring into his role as First Selectman.  Don cares deeply about Sherman.  It is difficult to convey the amount of time and thought he devotes to the job. His experience and knowledge in the role will continue to benefit Sherman moving forward.  

3) From Day 1 as Selectman to now, what has changed the most in the Town?

I think the biggest tangible change has been emerging from the pandemic.  It has been great to see Sherman “thaw” back into its previous wonderful self with events and programs happening in person again. A change that has not been positive is the amount of speeding on our streets.  Don, Bob and I have gone at this head-on with added enforcement and traffic calming measures.  We will continue to do so moving forward.

4) There were some tense meetings this past year; particularly during public comment, regarding such issues as: 5G, Happy Acres Farm, Veteran tax benefits, Air Bnb’s – to name a few.  If re-elected, how do you plan on addressing these issues/resident’s concerns?  

I feel this board has addressed all of these issues and well.  We are currently in process on the Veteran’s Tax Benefits and Air Bnb’s topics.  Happy Acres is discussed often by our board.  Typically for maintenance related needs.  I think David Jellen is doing an incredible job out there and the farm is a gem in our town. People passionate about a particular issue may feel things are not moving fast enough or in the direction that they want at all times. I can assure you that it has been my experience that all concerns raised by the public are addressed by this board in manner that is most prudent for the overall well being of the town.  Most of the topics that this board addresses turn out to be far more nuanced than they appear to be initially with potential negative impact brought on by hasty, or inexperienced decisions.  Don and Bob are an absolute asset to the town in this respect with just shy of 22 years combined experience on the Board of Selectman between them.  I look forward to working with them again in the next two years.

5) Do you have any new Town projects coming down the pike that you are particularly excited about?

The renovation of the school is, of course, the most major project Sherman will face.  As the representative of the BOS on the Sherman School Building Committee I want to assure the public that the level of professional expertise and dedication that the other members of this committee have brought to the table are incredible.  These folks, some of whom are sceptics-turned-advocates after seeing the state of the building, have poured endless hours into coming up with the least expensive and most well-engineered plan possible.  No one, of course, is thrilled about the associated cost of this renovation, however, further delay will only make that cost far worse.  The tax impact associated with the project, an average total increase of 14 percent, is going to be felt for sure and I am certainly mindful that for some households this will be difficult.  We do need to keep in mind however the fact that this Board of Selectman and several previous versions under Don Lowe and Bob Ostrosky, have reduced our taxes while building our surplus and allowing tax payers to keep as much of their money in their own pockets, where it belongs, until a time when it is really needed.  I can say that I am excited about the prospect of bringing our school facility up to the level that our students and teachers deserve.  Sherman is better than those same kids and staff having to wonder if they will have heat or potable water in our school on any given day.  I hope the voters also see us a community that can and should do better than that and vote “yes” in the upcoming referendum.
6) What are some areas of Town that you’d like to see improved upon in the coming years?  

A few things – I am looking forward to moving our BOS meeting into a “hybrid” format through the addition of an Owl conference camera system this BOS has purchased.  This, hopefully, will allow greater attendance of our meetings by the public.  Also, I would really like to see more of our citizens get off of the sidelines and participate in our town in some way.  Since my wife and I moved to town 25 years ago there has not been a time when one, or both of us was not serving on one or multiple town boards, committees or organizations.  I don’t say this as a boast but rather as an example that it is possible.  It is possible for two working people, with full-time jobs to serve your community while renovating a house, tending a yard, raising a family and dealing with everything else life throws at you. Volunteers are the life-blood of small communities and we need as many good folks, with all of their varied talents and perspectives, to step-up and get involved.

7) Anything else you’d like to add? 

I really want to thank all of the candidates who are running for an office in this election.  It takes a certain amount of bravery to put yourself out there in such a public way.  I also want to specifically thank Liz LaVia and Ruth Burns for their kind patience over the last two years in bringing me up to speed and answering all of my questions thoroughly.

A Great BOS Team: Promises, Successes

By First Selectman Don Lowe in Town Tribune, September 28, 2023

(editor note: The title was added by the SDTC webmaster, not by Don)

Friends and Neighbors,

I have had the privilege of serving as your First Selectman since 2018. I’m asking for your vote to serve Sherman for two more years.

PROMISES: When I ran in 2017 and you elected me, all I had to offer were promises. I promised to keep Sherman financially strong, promised to budget prudently, to manage Sherman responsively and effectively, and to be actively engaged on issues concerning our seniors, our Sherman School, emergency services, public works, Flappy Acres Farm, Candlewood Lake, and other Sherman matters. And, as I will point out later in the column, all of those promises have been met and Sherman has thrived in the last six years.

SUCCESS: But I didn’t do this alone. This success has taken an entire team of good people working together. The only thing 1 can truly take credit for is my ability to get people to work together. I’m pretty good at that. When I started in 2018, I made a conscious decision to not be concerned about politics, to work in a non-partisan way that incorporates the skills of many amazing people. And it starts with my Board of Selectmen (BOS). I can’t say enough good things about both of the selectmen, Joel Bruzinski and Bob Ostrosky.

A GREAT SELECTMAN: Joel Bruzinski has been on the board for two years now and has made a tremendous difference with his good judgment and his conscientious work ethic. (Previous to this, Kevin Keenan was the democrat selectman and he served the town exceedingly well too!) Joel brings a hands-on business acumen and is an old-school conservative when it comes to spending tax-‘ payers’ money. He graciously stepped up as a committed member of the Sherman School Building Committee and has served as the BOS’s liaison for that critical project. He works cheerfully and honestly for Sherman, has a strong sense of planning and Sherman’s future, and I’m proud to call him a fellow board member.

ANOTHER GREAT SELECTMAN: Bob Ostrosky, on the Republican ticket, has served on the BOS for 10 years and is, in my opinion, an unsung hero for his repeated good judgment and for the care that he puts into his decisions. Bob brings corporate management skills to the table and keeps the BOS on track both procedurally and progressively. Like Joel, he has a vision for Sherman’s future and he bases many of his decisions on where Sherman will be in the near and the far future. Bob is exceptionally strong at creating budgets and finding the most economically sound ways to use taxpayers’ money to keep Sherman running well.

RESULTS: This is not some “rubber stamp” Board of Selectmen where all three plod along in sleepy lockstep with each other. Quite the opposite. We disagree but without the political backstabbing, we disagree to find the best solutions, and we disagree politely and constructively.. Consequently, this BOS has leveraged some favorable financial circumstances to save Sherman taxpayers money by budgeting tax decreases five years in a row. We also nearly doubled the Sherman surplus/rainy day fund, and overall, as taxes dropped services increased. As a board, we completely revived and repaired Happy Acres farm and we have shepherded successful capital projects on every single Sherman-owned entity. It’s been a good six years for Sherman. For Sherman’s well-being, I hope all three of us are back working together for two more years.

THE SHERMAN SCHOOL: Saturday, October 7 will be the referendum to fund a plan to renovate the Sherman School in order to fix the building’s severe infrastructure issues and to right-size the building for current and projected K-to-8 enrollment. If that referendum passes, it will be full speed ahead to make that building whole again. If the referendum fails, it will still be full speed ahead to make that building right again. As long as I’m the First Selectman, we will find a way. Sherman is greatly marginalized when its school building – its most expensive asset – is marginalized. An even worse scenario would be regionalization in which we send our young students to other schools. That’s unacceptable. Property values are dependent on a strong school and the Sherman School is a key part of our Town culture. I’m proud to have put three children through the Sherman School and am pleased that others, in years past, voted to fund the school for them. Now it’s time to fund the school to make it whole for new generations for years to come.

COMING UP: In my next campaign column, I will write about what is expected of a First Selectman to serve Sherman correctly. I will mention others who have furthered the collective improvement of Sherman over these last six years. I will outline, specifically, a list of successful capital projects completed over these last six years