Paula Cassidy is the new Democratic Deputy Registrar. Paula is replacing Carol Muska who has moved from Sherman. An interview with Paula as well as one with Carol will be seen In a future SDTC newsletter. Paula had been involved with the SDTC for many years.
The current Democratic Assistant/Deputy Registrar, Carol Muska, will be stepping down soon. Anyone interested in this post or knows someone who may be, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Deputy position will be appointed by the Democratic Registrar.
Carol says, “It is a pleasant, nonpartisan environment working with the Republican Assistant/Deputy Registrar and both the Democrat and Republican Registrars.”
During its March 23rd caucus, the Sherman Democrats unanimously elected its three allocated delegates to the Democratic State Convention to be held at the 30,000 seat Xfinity Theater in Hartford. The delegates are Vice Char Sunday Fisher, Treasurer, Bob Gamper, and Chair Jeff Ginsburg
During that caucus, no one volunteered to be alternates for the state convention nor as delegates for the other conventions: state senate, congressional, state rep, and probate. Therefore, the caucus unanimously voted to give SDTC Chair Jeff Ginsburg the authority to appoint alternates to the State Convention, and up to three delegates each to the Senate, Congressional, and Probate Conventions.
Barbara Ackerman, a former probate judge, will be a delegate to the probate convention.
Dates of the conventions:
May 6th & 7th: State Convention
May 9th: Congressional Convention (nominates the U.S. Representative to Congress)
May 10th: State Senate
May 11th: 108th House District Convention (via Zoom)
May 12th: Probate Judge
If you are a registered Democrat or Unaffiliated, you are welcome to take part and be a delegate in this historic process vital to our democracy. It’s also a chance to get to know other like-minded folks. Please contact shermandems@gmail to find out more.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman, 203-895-4403
To donate to the campaign, click here
NEW MILFORD, CT (March 9, 2022) – Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman, a long-time champion for children and families has announced her candidacy for the 30th District seat in the Connecticut State Senate. Redistricting now has Sherman in the 30th.
“I am ready to work hard for all 18 towns in the 30th District,” said Zimmerman, a Democrat. “I am an organizer at heart. I love talking to people to find out what’s important to them. I look forward to building coalitions among our diverse residents for smart, bottom-up policies that address our needs. And I really look forward to taking those ideas to Hartford and making our voices heard. I won’t be shy.”
Zimmerman is an organizer who advocates for better pay and benefits for workers. “My Dad was a teacher and my mom owned a bakery,” Zimmerman said. “The challenges faced by employees and small-business owners are the challenges that shaped who I am. I have been fighting for working families my whole life. Now, when our health care is threatened by corporate hospitals, the quality of our children’s education is pressured by unequal access to online learning tools, and our environment is in crisis, I will stand up for our communities and find solutions that benefit all of us.”
Zimmerman has local government experience having served a term on the Newtown Legislative Council and statewide political credentials from her 2018 bid for lieutenant governor and her 2016 race for the state legislature. Her passion for public policy yields results. Eva was awarded Latina of the Year by the Connecticut State Legislature as she enrolled more than 15,000 people in the state’s healthcare exchange during the first three years of the Affordable Care Act. Zimmerman also launched “Road to Rights,” a voter registration coalition of more than 60 statewide organizers to support civic education and engagement.
Zimmerman’s energy and commitment to public service won praise from State Rep. Maria Horn (64th), co-chair of the Public Safety and Security Committee. “Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman has spent her career advocating for working families throughout the state and would bring passion and intelligence to representing the 30th District as our Senator. I look forward to the opportunity to work alongside her representing the Northwest Corner” said Horn.
Zimmerman had an earlier introduction to politics than most. Before age two, Zimmerman became a plaintiff in a landmark school desegregation case, Sheff v. O’Neill. The court ruled that “The state had an affirmative obligation to provide Connecticut’s school children with a substantially equal education opportunity … the Court further concluded that school districting based upon town and city boundary lines was unconstitutional.”
Eva’s family lived in the South End of Hartford. Her father, Pedro, is a retired k-12 teacher. He taught at schools in Hartford’s North End during a time in which that community saw violence at unprecedented levels. Eva remembers losing friends to gang and drug violence that plagued Hartford during the years of her youth. Her mother, Carmen, owned and operated a local business located in New Britain, Connecticut that made wedding and sweet fifteen “Quinceanera” cakes. Later on, going back to school for a Bachelor in Education and has worked with special needs children for over 15 years.
Zimmerman attended a regional magnet school in Hartford that was set up in response to the Sheff v. O’Neill verdict. She loved learning and politics was her passion. She volunteered for the Presidential campaign of Al Gore at age 12. At age 16, Zimmerman finished high school early and was selected by Rotary International to go on a humanitarian service project that brought her to the favelas of Brazil. Having grown up in a bilingual community, Zimmerman was fluent in English and Spanish, and during her time in Brazil, she also became fluent in Portuguese. Her experience with the poor in Brazil led her to a career in public policy advocacy, where she has fought against poverty, for wider access to healthcare, and for workers’ rights. She returned to Hartford eager to make a difference. Before college, she worked as a field organizer for Connecticut Public Interest Research Group (CONN-PIRG) helping reduce carbon emissions and create more environmentally sustainable policies.
Eva continued her advocacy during college, protesting the tuition cost increase of the University of Puerto Rico Interamericana, where she was a political science major. She finished her studies cum laude at the University of Puerto Rico Interamericana and was awarded a prestige’s spot representing the government of Puerto Rico through the Cordova Fernos fellowship program where she was stationed with Congressman Rangel Chair of Ways and Means and Representing Harlem New York. As an aide, Eva was assigned to lead abatement, labor relations, and Puerto Rico affairs.
She has been organizing for over 13 years and is currently Director of Child Care and Field Organizing for CSEA SEIU. She most recently received close to 80,000 votes in this year’s Democratic primary.
In more recent years, Zimmerman has been a leader in CT’s fight for a $15 minimum wage, a state Dreamers’ bill, environmental justice, and women’s rights. If elected, she intends to focus her efforts on those kitchen-table issues that affect working families — affordable healthcare, education, the environment, and economic development. “Like many of you, I am proud to call Connecticut home and even prouder of what our district has to offer,” she said. “I am committed to advancing policies that benefit all the citizens here and that optimize those qualities that make the Northwest Corner so special.”
As Sherman enters the fourth year with Don Lowe as First Selectman, it’s gratifying to appreciate what he and the town have accomplished together. Here’s a list of 37 of the more noticeable items.
Taxes and Finances
- Taxes have decreased more than 8% during Don’s first 4 years
- Surplus and capital fund and Happy Acres restricted Fund all significantly bolstered
- After complicated negotiations, we added Sprint/T-Mobile as a carrier and gave Sherman a $26,000 increase in yearly revenue
- Offered property tax relief to disabled Sherman Veterans
- Chose a better investment company for Town employees
- Happy Acres Farm is now properly managed and, finally, is once again a working farm and a place that Sherman can be proud of calling its own
- Repaired, resurfaced, and repainted the Happy Acres barn and house.
Public Works including Roads and Public Facilities
- Purchased several new implements for Public Works
- Veterans Field Bathrooms are fixed and working.
- Re-surfaced Town Beach Pavilion
- Fox Run detention basin project, the longest-running agenda item in Sherman history (14 years) was completed in Don’s first year
- Strong and active response to blocked roads and power outages from storms
- For the first time ever, Mallory Town Hall has been provided a generator for power outages; Public Works has been provided with a new generator
- After 25 years of requests, the BOS installed ADA compliant entrances into Mallory Town Hall
- Paved the Town/Trinity Church road
- Solved several longstanding drainage issues on Town roads including Hardscrabble Road, Fox Run, and Taber Road
- Improved the face and landscaping at Mallory Town Hall
- Helping the Sherman School move forward with capital repairs and a phased modernization plan
- Better relationship with State partners resulting in Route 39 S being paved and Route 39 N chip sealed.
ESF and Charter Hall Improvements
- Drilled a new well for the Sherman ESF Building/Charter Hall and solved several longstanding water issues there.
- Fixed venting system and improved air safety in the garage bays at the ESF building
- Repaired the floor in Charter Hall
- As promised, there is a far more effective ESF/Charter Hall maintenance plan in effect
Public Health, Safety, and Emergency Response
- Strong and active response to the Covid-19 pandemic
- Formed an Emergency Response Team that meets regularly and continues to improve services during storms, blocked roads, and power outages.
- Formed a CERT TEAM (Citizen Emergency Response Team) – first time ever in Sherman.
- Surveillance cameras at Town parks for better safety
- Increased traffic safety awareness
- After complicated negotiations, we added Sprint/T-Mobile as a carrier and gave Sherman a $26,000 increase in yearly revenue
- As promised, the coordination between Town agencies is greatly improved
- Park and Rec programming has been expanded to include more programs for adults
- Increased tree cutting and removal
Improvements to Quality of Life
- Secured a state grant to improve the Sherman Scout House
- Provided water for the community gardeners
- Better relationship between Town and Eversource and Charter cable
- Added more kayak space
- Made recycling stickers free
- Offered tuition waiver for pre-school parents who suffer financial hardship
- More attention to Candlewood Lake quality-of-life and a stronger more vital Candlewood Lake Authority
Sara Laughlin has stepped up and agreed to become Sherman’s Democratic Registrar. She has already begun and appointed Carol Muska as the Deputy Registrar.
Sara and her husband Tim became Sherman residents earlier this year. She is a retired teacher, having taught in the Brookfield Public Schools for nearly 40 years. Sara and Tim are excited to call Sherman home and “are enjoying our beautiful community as well as being closer to our children and grandchildren”.
Tim Laughlin, Sara’s son, serves on the BOE and significantly contributed time and effort to our recent campaign.
We are grateful to our previous Registrar of Voters, Joe Keneally, and the Deputy Registrar, Carol Muska, for all the devoted hours they have volunteered.
The Registrar of Voters, one from each political party, performs all duties required by Connecticut General statutes governing voter registration, the annual canvas of voters, primaries, elections, and the compiling and retaining of statistics for federal, state, and municipal agencies.
Kate Kelley Frey seeks a position on the Board of Education. This would be her first run at an elective office.
Kate was asked why she is running and why she would be a valuable member of the BOE.
“To volunteer my time and give back to a town that has supported and given so much to me personally, and to my family over many years, would be a tremendous privilege. My expertise in curriculum design and best practices would fill a practical need currently existing on the Board of Education (BOE). Running for a seat on the BOE is a stroke of good fortune: to have the special abilities to give back and a strong sense of indebtedness to Sherman.
“I am currently an elementary school teacher with 33 years of experience in public education who has worked with high needs children in Texas and Connecticut. I have my Master of Science in Curriculum from Western Connecticut State University and a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University. I feel my knowledge of curriculum, best practices, and my collaborative nature would be an asset to the Board of Education. I am a good listener, reflective, and value different perspectives. I believe in cooperation and that when we value all perspectives and work together as a community we get a far better outcome than working alone or in isolation. The needs of the children in our community are my top priority and strive to balance that with ensuring that the taxpayers get the best value for their hard-earned money.
“The Sherman School holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. My first teaching job was at the Sherman School. I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade social studies filling in as a long-term substitute for several months. It was a supportive, close-knit staff who welcomed me with open arms and who were delighted to have “one of their own,” come back to teach. The students and parents were also a joy to work with, eagerly participating in our celebrations of Ancient Greece and Rome. One parent volunteered to share a slideshow of her life in Iran before she moved to Sherman with my students. It was a privilege to work alongside my mother and be part of an engaged community of parents, grandparents, caregivers, and friends who all played a role in supporting student learning in the classroom and beyond.
“In 2007 I moved back to Sherman and built a house in the field behind my parents’ house. I would soon gain a new perspective of the Sherman school community as a parent. My daughter and my brother’s boys would all ride the bus together each day and I would get to know all of my daughter’s classmates and families. We fundraised together, attended art shows, talent shows, musicals, chorus and band concerts, and open house night each year. I have heard many stories from friends over the years about how they felt like their child was part of a bigger community at the Sherman School, being raised and cared for by a community of adults. I am so grateful that my daughter and nephews were able to belong to a unique K-8 school community, make lifelong friends, experience small class sizes, and participate in all the wonderful programs that the school offers.
“My family became full-time residents of Sherman in 1976 when we moved into what we affectionately called “ the camp.” while we waited for our new house to be completed. I have such fond memories of Lake Candlewood and the bugle call at the Boy Scout Camp that would wake us each summer morning to our parents’ chagrin. Little did I know that one of my future Sherman classmates, whose family were caretakers of the Boyscout camp, would be one of my friends, and we would spend winters ice skating and have sleepovers at the lodge. My brother and I made many friends those first years at Sherman School and I still see many of my classmates around town at the IGA or stay in touch through Facebook.
“I realize that my experiences differ from others but I think all students deserve a great public school with the resources, programs, and curriculum to nurture their curiosity, imagination, spirit, talents, and desire to learn. I am honored to be running for a seat on the Board of Education and will work hard to earn that trust.”
James Neunzig has served on the Board of Education (BOE) for the previous four years. His most recent role is Chair whose term completes at the end of this year. He now seeks a second term serving on that Board of Education.
James was asked why he is running again and why he would continue to be a valuable member of the BOE.
“Having served the Board of Education (BOE) for the previous four years, I am eager to continue the momentum of that work. I am the current BOE chairperson. If Sherman does re-elect me for another four-year term and you elect Kate Kelley Frey, I would likely have the privilege of serving as the BOE Chairperson for the next two years. Either way, I will work tirelessly.
“My style is to work in partnership with parents, other citizens, and town leaders to address the important issues meaningful to the Sherman community. Investing our tax dollars wisely towards the best school experience for not only the near-term but also for the future is essential to me.
“My wife Kara and I have lived in Sherman for more than 20 years with our three children, all of them have attended The Sherman School. I am the owner of J.P. Gifford Market, Giffords Catering, and J.P. Gifford Café. I have over 30 years of experience in the Hospitality business.
“After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America with an AOS in Culinary Arts, I earned a business degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Institutions Management from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. During that time, I taught culinary arts and restaurant management to undergraduates at the university.
“From those experiences, the most important ability I developed was to listen first and foremost. Ask questions. Seek expert advice. Gather the facts and carefully form a position that could evolve as new information and perspectives come into focus. Sometimes the result is going in directions originally unexpected. I consider myself to be very thoughtful and reflective and do not make snap decisions.
“I believe in and love our small town. Even in Sherman, I’ve seen a rich diversity of viewpoints from a wide range of backgrounds. Our children reflect that diversity which must be nurtured along with our commonality, in our schools, community, and how we administer the BOE. I want the BOE to foster a safe, congenial, and wonderful educational experience. I want this for my own children and for all my neighbors’ children. I want the school environment to be one in which our more senior members of our community want to volunteer and feel a strong connection to this vital hub of our town—regardless of whether you have children or not.
“My experiences in business have given me the flexibility needed to work with an evolving BOE—one that will experience the departure and arrival of several board members. Both BOE versions share similar goals and going forward, I expect, the new to have some different approaches. Essential is to respect and use the groundwork laid by the previous BOE and to build on that. To those stepping down, I have gratitude for their hard work and hours of volunteer time. To those willing to step forward, and give thanks and encouragement.
“My commitments bring a full life and am glad I am able to compartmentalize and be the best parent, husband, small businessman, BOE-member, taxpayer, voter, the charitable person I can be with little compromise. I usually donate anonymously and am reluctant to mention the extent to which my businesses and I have freely provided wine dinners, delectables, and staffing to events supporting the Sherman Library, the Sherman Historical Society, and the Sherman Parent-Teachers Organization, and many others. I don’t keep track, don’t care for recognition, and do it just to help. I mention it only for those unfamiliar with me.
“What aspect of being on the BOE have I enjoyed the most? I’ve especially enjoyed the company of both past and present board members. I see everyone’s intent as pure. If re-elected, I will ensure that we efficiently/effectively invest in our children’s educational experience for not only the near-term but also for the future. I will ensure our community is regularly informed of our efforts.
Matt Vogt has served the Board of Education (BOE) for the previous two years after being appointed to fill a seat vacated by Missy Alexander moving from the area. Matt now seeks a full term serving on the Board of Education, he runs for this seat unopposed.
Matt was asked why he wants to return to BOE and why he would continue to be a valuable member of the BOE.
For the last year, I have had the honor to fill a seat on the Board of Education by appointment. I hope to continue to fill that seat for the remaining two years of its term. As a small business owner, I bring my experience in operations and budgeting, with an understanding of the balance needed between the financial requirements of operating the school district and the realities of its existence within the framework of such a small town.
Providing the best possible education for our students is paramount. I also feel an acute responsibility to maintain this highly valuable center of our community for our town and for the future generations of Sherman School students to come. I appreciate the opportunity to continue serving the town of Sherman and its school district.
As a lifelong resident of the town of Sherman, I truly believe that its greatest asset is the Sherman School. I spent nine years at the school from Kindergarten through Eighth grade, so I know firsthand the value of the experience Sherman has to offer. I was away from town for about 5 years but when I returned, my step-son entered the school for his 7th-grade year and thrived in the Sherman environment in a way that he was not able to in his previous school district. This strongly reinforced for me the importance of maintaining this school for future generations. He is now 18, I also have a daughter who is 21, twin daughters who are 6, and a son who is 19 months.