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Newcomers eager to run in Montville's municipal election

Montville — Both the Democratic and Republican town committees have announced the slates they are endorsing for the municipal election in November, and the newcomer candidates are eager to make a difference.

"We filled all the slots with really qualified people," said Tim May, chairman of both the Town Council and the Democratic committee. "All have a drive to serve the community and do the best for its citizens."

The Democratic caucus met last Friday night to announce its 14 candidates. Among them is 21-year-old Grace Carlos, who is running for a seat on the Board of Education.

"One thing I hope to do, win or lose, is be an example to other young people that they, too, can run for local leadership in their municipality," she said.

Carlos is a student at Three Rivers Community College, where she studies political science. She graduated from Montville High School in 2018, having attended the town's public schools all her life.

Always involved in the community, Carlos attended Board of Education meetings and served on the town's Youth Action Council. She said her many leadership positions in town and the state, such as interning for the lieutenant governor's office, makes her the right candidate.

Others in the running for Board of Education are incumbent and current Chairwoman Sandra Berardy, Tara Crosley, John Desjardins and newcomer Tim Shanahan.

Newcomer 30-year-old Nick Sabilia is running for Town Council and, like Carlos, said he hopes to inspire younger members of the community to run for local office.

Sabilia, attaining a business degree from the University of Connecticut, currently assists students with special needs at Montville High School, officiates college football and runs a recreational basketball program for third and fourth graders in the winter.

"Lately, I have felt compelled to do even more with my life and decided it would be nice to have a greater impact on the town I love," he said.

Also in the running for Town Council are incumbent Tim May, Billy Caron, Kate Southard, Joseph Jaskiewicz, Lenny Bunnell and newcomer Jeff Carver.

Running for his sixth term, Caron said he hopes to continue the legacy of his family's 125 years of history in the town and to serve the community in such unprecedented times.

Seeking reelection for the Board of Assessment Appeals is Gary Murphy, a member of the Oakdale Volunteer Fire Company for 47 years. Running for Zoning Board of Appeals is town government veteran John MacNeil.

The Republican caucus held a meeting July 22 to nominate its slate of 11 candidates.

Robert Yuchniuk is a retired police officer who currently sits on the Zoning Board of Appeals and has worked as an animal control officer for Waterford and East Lyme for the past five years. This will be his first time running for Town Council.

Yuchniuk describes himself as a fiscal conservative and libertarian. Aligning with Republican ideals more, he chose to run with the party to discourage what he said is the "that's the way we've always done it" mentality.

"I don't know if I'm going to make a difference, but I'm willing to try," he added.

Running with Yuchniuk for Town Council are former Councilmen Wills Pike and Tom McNally, newcomer Al Mandler and incumbent Colleen Rix.

Rix said she is seeking a second term after the coronavirus pandemic slowed the impact of her first, and aims to continue being a "younger voice of reason," bringing in the perspective of a mother and business owner. 

Newcomer and former Navy official Tina Grove is running for a seat on the Board of Education.

Once a professor at Goodwin University in East Hartford, Grove said she hopes to use her background and doctorate in education to keep Montville at "the forefront of education."

Incumbent Wills Pike and Newcomer Flo Turner also are in the running for the school board.

All newcomers, Vince Young and Al Mandler are running for Zoning Board of Appeals and Richard Cenami is running for Board of Assessment Appeals.

Treasurer of the Republican committee and current Councilman Joe Rogulski said he would not be running for reelection but said he is confident in the members of his party who are running.

"We have a great group of people in the RTC," he said. "I think bringing in fresh ideas is good on both sides."


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