Monthly Archives: November 2017

Wrap-up: Our Campaign Was Like a Duck

We’ve all heard the quote about how we should aspire to be like a duck: calm and smooth on the surface, but paddling like heck underneath. A good political campaign works the same way. Voters (and the opposition!) should see only an organized, powerful message consistently and clearly communicated… but if we want to win, we’d better be paddling our little webbed feet off.

This year, we seemed to glide over the water. Voters saw cleanly designed, upbeat campaign literature show up in their mailboxes and in their newspapers. They read succinct, informative bios of our candidates in the local newspapers. They scrolled through, liked, and shared engaging and informative Facebook posts and videos. They met cheerful, informed candidates and volunteers at their doors and chatted with them on their phones. They read interesting columns written by our candidates. They enjoyed another House Tour, let their kids bounce around in our Harvest Fair obstacle course, and grabbed a donut and a chat outside the IGA before the election.

But we paddled like hell under the surface.

Everyone knows that the campaign team and candidates lived and breathed this thing for ten weeks. But without the input and effort of everyone who contributed in ways both big and small, we would not be celebrating our victories today.

Below the surface, we all, as a team, were churning to November 7. Campaign signs were designed and ordered early. Our 2017 House Tour–which funds an enormous portion of the campaign–was the most successful one ever. This year, we knocked on doors—a significant mission that takes not only a team of brave and determined volunteers, but also hours and hours of behind-the-scenes strategizing. Phone banks were planned, scheduled, and executed. We agonized over the exact wording on ads and mailers, but we also stamped and addressed hundreds of postcards. Columns were written and re-written. A master calendar of every event to take place in Sherman over the course of the campaign was composed, shared, and re-shared. Facebook videos were scripted, filmed, edited, and then scrapped and re-shot again. The newsletter team composed and sent three newsletters focused on the campaign. The newspaper was filled with our letters of support for our candidates as well as letters that clearly illuminated the faults of our opponents. Before the debate, candidates and their volunteer coaches prepped. We solicited donations with a massive letter-mailing campaign; and then tallied, recorded, and tracked all of the paperwork involved in that process. Thank-you letters were written and sent to our donors. Website content was created and constantly updated. Budgets were written, updated, and carefully followed. We ordered, set up, manned, and packed up a bouncy obstacle course for the Harvest Fair; then just weeks later set up, manned, and even enjoyed the always-popular DTC table at the Halloween Bash. We negotiated with IGA to let us host “Donuts with Dems;” then decorated and managed that table for hours. And on Election Day itself, volunteers sat at the polls, crossing off lists of voters and delivering those lists to yet another team of volunteers who made that crucial, final get-out-the-vote push on the phones.

Because we paddled together, as a team, we are celebrating today. It’s undeniable that timing was on our side this year—our town, and our nation, were ready for a change. But without the efforts of every single person who was a part of this mission, from the candidates themselves to the volunteers who found the time to make even a few phone calls, we could very well be facing a far less reassuring future for our town.

Thank you. You did this. There is much work to do moving forward, but first we as a team should take the time to appreciate our wins and recognize our efforts.

Go Blue!




Breaking News…

Don Lowe is the New First Selectman with Kevin Keenan as Selectman

Unofficial results showed Lowe winning with 726 votes to Cope’s 636 votes. Cope garnered less votes than his running mate, Bob Ostrosky, and Lowe’s running mate, Kevin Keenan, and will thus be off the board when his term is up.” said the Newstimes.

“It was the men’s second time facing off for the town’s top office. But while Lowe lost his race for first selectman in 2015 to Cope by just 80 votes, he outgunned the Republican incumbent Tuesday by 90 votes, according to unofficial results.” added the Newstimes.

“I’m deeply moved by the message from the voters of Sherman,” Lowe said. “I’m deeply honored. A lot of people put their hard work and sweat into this campaign.”

Supports the Democrat’s Clean Campaign, Not the Republican’s Attacks

From Town Tribune Nov 2, 2017. To the Editor: For the record, I never ‘liked’ or ‘requested to join’ Friends of Sherman Republican Town Committee as they recently posted in Facebook. I saw that several other people experienced the same thing; two are on the Democratic Town Committee! I am registered unaffiliated voter.

Are we being hacked? Really? in Sherman? Do we really need to bring the underhanded filth in DC to our town? Do we need the unending personal attacks because someone runs against you in an election? This degrading behavior affects us all, bringing our town to new lows.

I would like to believe the town I’ve lived in for 35 years and raised our children, would be better than what I’ve experienced firsthand with our first selectman. That all of us could engage in civil discourse and still be neighbors, even friends, regardless of our differences. This has become impossible over the last 4 years.

I fully support Don Lowe and Kevin Keenen, not only for their superior qualifications that directly; pertain to the positions they are seeking, but, because they have run a clean, positive campaign, and, are simply decent human beings. We need that now, more than ever.

Catharine Cooke, Sherman

Don Lowe (D): Volunteerism, Openess, Stopping the Waste of Taxes

From Town Tribune, Nov 2, 2017. The best part of the 2017 campaign has been the opportunity to visit with so many Sherman residents and  business owners, and to hear your concerns. These concerns encompass a broad spectrum and they speak to the challenge of being First Selectman and to the type of leader we need here in Sherman: a sincere person who listens and responds to people’s concerns.

As I spoke with Shermanites of all ages and backgrounds, one common thread kept coming up: people expressed that, if I’m elected, they’d like to volunteer to serve Sherman in some capacity. Music to my ears! I believe Sherman is better served by shifting away from oligarchy and, instead, allowing a wider range of people to be involved. One of my immediate goals as your First Selectman is to fill the vacancies that currently exist on our boards and commissions. Your political party won’t matter to me; I just want you to belong to the “I like my town” party. I will also push hard for volunteers to our invaluable Sherman Volunteer Fire Department as well as other important Sherman organizations.

Speaking of amazing organizations: I am so impressed by FISH, a group of dedicated volunteers who have been providing rides to Sherman seniors for 46 years. At the Annual Luncheon last week, Barbara Hoag delivered some remarkable statistics. In the most recent FISH fiscal year, volunteer drivers made 173 trips for 23 different residents, most of which (121) were for doctor appointments but also covered other important needs too 5,898.5 miles of driving! Through 46 years, FISH volunteer drivers have made 6,211 pickups and amassed 204,857 miles. That’s almost four fifths of the way- to the moon! This spirit of neighbors helping neighbors makes Sherman a mighty special place. I am deeply honored to have been a Selectman for six years in such a wonderful town.

Thank you to those who attended the candidate debates that the Town Tribune did such a fine job of hosting. They went very well and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to get my points of view across. One of the debate highlights for me was hearing my running-mate Kevin Keenen speak. Kevin spoke openly and responded to audience questions with a modest honesty that I found refreshing. He has no political ax to grind and calls them like he sees them. I have been fortunate to learn so much from Kevin as he and I discuss issues concerning Sherman. His expertise on infrastructure and building alone makes him a valuable person, especially now, for Sherman. I truly appreciate him stepping up.

Please vote for Kevin!

If I am your First Selectman you can expect to have your tax dollars valued and not wasted or over-spent. You can expect a fair tone of government and when you attend meetings and want to express something that you feel is important you will be treated with respect. When people came to me, for example, about concerns over Sherman’s air quality from the Cricket Valley power plant, I took them seriously. One thing I would like to start doing now is to monitor our air quality so that when the plant opens for business, we have a baseline for an air quality comparison pre-Cricket Valley vs. post-Cricket Valley. (By the. way, I didn’t think of that myself. A smart and concerned Sherman resident offered me that idea as we were discussing Sherman’s future with a power plant just miles off our border.)

As your First Selectman, you can expect me to fight for fairness and the protection of our Candlewood Lake Authority so it can continue to protect our lake. You can expect me to work successfully, cheerfully, and in synergy with our public works department, our boards and commissions, and our town staff to enable Sherman to fully realize its potential. You can expect me to take great interest in our senior population and in assuring that the terrific people who already help our seniors are respected and served by my office. As a First Selectman, you will see me at BOE meetings ready in any way to help our Sherman School. That extends to our high school students and also students seeking higher education as I have already demonstrated through my 16 years with the Sherman Higher Education Fund Board. You can expect me to help our business community thrive. (I loved John Jenner’s presentation, by the way, about a Roger Sherman Trail, which only offers upside for our businesses.) And Sherman folks? If you come into Town Hall, my door will be open and I will look forward to listening to you, to helping you, and bringing an inclusive approach back to the First Selectman’s office. I humbly ask for your vote on November 7th.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty Endorses Lowe/Keenan

From Town Tribune, Nov 2, 2017. To the Editor: “I’m proud to support Don Lowe and Kevin Keenan for the Board of Selectmen. I know that as First Selectman, Don will work hard to protect Candlewood Lake as a beautiful resource for generations to come. He un-derstands the value of listening to residents, and working collaboratively with others to get results -values that served me well when I was a member of my Town Council.”

I ask the people of Sherman to vote for Don Lowe and Kevin Keenan on November 7th. Working together, we can get things done for Connecticut. “
-Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty