Category Archives: Posts

Virtual Candidate Information Meeting to be held on June 23, 2021

The Old Saybrook Town Committee Nominating Committee is interested in speaking with town residents interested in running for positions on municipal boards and commissions in the November 2021 election cycle.

Elected boards and commissions include:

  • Board of Selectmen (each one of these would link to the page for the appropriate board/comm)
  • Town Treasurer
  • Tax Collector
  • Board of Finance
  • Board of Education
  • Board of Assessment Appeals
  • Planning Commission
  • Police Commission
  • Zoning Commission
  • Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Harbor Management Commission

The process for interested town residents is to speak with the Nominating Committee about the position they are interested in serving as a candidate.  The nominating committee then presents a slate of candidates to the full Democratic Town Committee, no later than July 26, 2021.

Boards and Commissions have different meeting schedules, responsibilities and terms.  Interested town residents are encouraged to attend the board or commission meeting that they are interested in serving on.  At present, all board and commission meetings are held virtually.

A candidate information meeting will be held virtually on June 23, 2021 at 7pm.  Pre-registration is recommended for this event.  This event will serve as an opportunity to speak with current board and commission members to better understand the role and responsibilities of membership and service.

Interested candidates can email to express interest.


OSDTC Voter Suppression Statement

Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee Statement on Voter Suppression


A bedrock principle upon which our Democratic Republic stands is the right the people to free and fair elections, where every citizen has ability to cast his or her vote.  Recent attempts by Republican controlled states to restrict voter access, in particular, the recent law passed in the state of Georgia, raises grave concerns.


This law and similar efforts across the country are justified by the claim that “some” people are concerned about voter fraud.  Yet there is no credible evidence of such fraud having taken place.  The practical consequence of the Georgia law and others now being considered is to make voting more difficult, particularly for people of color.  It hearkens back to the Jim Crow era of voter suppression.


The Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee takes issue with States taking legislative actions to suppress people’s right to vote.   We support and applaud the actions of Major League Baseball, U.S Corporations, and the efforts of African American CEO’s and others, who are taking stands against these voter suppression tactics.  We call upon all citizens of Old Saybrook, including our Republican neighbors, to stand with us on this matter.  It is too important to the future of our Democracy to look the other way.


OSDTC 2021 Municipal Election: Democratic Incumbents


Boards/Commissions/Elected Officials Democratic Incumbents for November Municipal Elections
Assessment Appeals:  3 members     2 year term Jeff Gibson
Board of Education:  9 Members Eileen Baker

Karen Brodeur

Board of Finance:  7 members Bruce Carlson

One Dem. Position open (Barry O’Nell)

Harbor Management:  5 members Robert Soden
Parks and Recreation:  7 members Nancy Gatta

One Dem Position open (Steve Pernal)

Planning:  5 members Kathy Sugland
Planning:  to fill an unexpired term 2 year term  2023
Planning Alternates:* 3 2 year term:  elected at Nov. Annual Meeting
Police Commission:  7 members Renee Shippee

Chub Wilcox

Police Commission:  to fill an unexpired term OPEN  2 year term 2023
First Selectman OPEN
Selectmen Matt Pugliese
Tax Collector OPEN
Town Clerk OPEN
Treasurer  (part time position) OPEN
Zoning Board of Appeals:  5 members 1 Dem Alfred Wilcox, term expires in 2023
  ZBA:  Alternates* 3 2 year term:  elected at Nov. Annual Meeting
Zoning:  5 members 1 Dem:  Ann Marie Thorsen
  Zoning:  Alternates* 3 2 year term:  elected at Nov. Annual Meeting

NOTE: *Alternate position on the Land Use Boards (Planning, ZBA, and Zoning) are nominated but do not appear on the November 2, 2021 Municipal Election ballot.  Vote is taken at the Annual Town Meeting held on the 4th Monday of November:  November 22, 2021.


Town Democratic Openings and Appointments by Selectmen


Town Committee:  Two Vacancies.  Term to expire March 2022.  Candidates will be elected by DTC, after recommendations from the Nominating Committee.

If you are interested in applying or know of a good candidate for the Town Committee or for positions in the upcoming election ,  please send an email of interest to Colin Heffernan, Nominating Committee Chair at   or to John O’Brien, Town Committee Chair at :




 President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris! 


Proposal to Board of Selectmen: OSDTC Preamble and Resolution: “Racism as a Public Health Crisis”

To: Carl P. Fortuna, Scott Giegerich, Matt Pugliese From: Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee Date: September 30, 2020
Subject: Draft Resolution on Racism as a Public Health Crisis

Attached is a draft resolution declaring Racism as a Public Health Crisis for the Town.
In forwarding this to you, we would like to explain why we hold this to be an important matter. At first reading, some might see this as a statement of alarm or a mark on the character and values of our town. A declaration that our community is toxic and unsympathetic toward people of color. This resolution is the opposite. It declares that the Town of Old Saybrook is a community that values all people of color, and welcomes all to live and work in our town. It shows that our community is self-aware and committed to growing and learning and improving. It acknowledges that systemic racism has been in place across the nation, the state and yes even in our community. It shows that we understand the significant impact of racism on the health and well-being of people of color. It makes public an intent to reverse that course for the betterment of all. It shows we see the opportunity to make our community more healthy, more prosperous, more whole, and more welcoming and receptive; which can only mean an improvement in the lives of all citizens. The Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee sees this declaration as aligned with the First Selectman’s public support for Deed Restricted housing to help address matters of diversity in Old Saybrook. Racism is often embedded in our thoughts and in our actions – conscious and unconscious – “below the surface”. As a result, the experiences of people of color are unconsidered or misunderstood. The consequences for them over time are significant. Reversing past action and inaction is a course that will involve disciplined thought and considered actions. This resolution commits the Town to take into account our thought processes and our attending actions and make a commitment to take active steps to address this issue in our community in an on-going way. When implemented, this resolution will formally challenge and empower Boards and Commissions to consider the impacts of our decisions on people of color. It suggests that data and information-gathering about our town should provide insight into the welfare of our nearly 1,000 minority citizens. In this way, we can identify biases that would otherwise be hidden, and, once identified, rectify them. Old Saybrook will be a Town in front of issues, not lagging. It will boost the confidence of our minority community in town government and encourage more participation. In addition to the positive impact on people of color, there are other positive results. An important one concerns preparing our youth for their futures. Old Saybrook’s demographic makeup is largely Caucasian, the world our children will experience beyond our Town is and will continue to be, over time, decidedly more diverse. Living in a town that is proactively thinking and acting to address racism will equip our youth to better understand and contribute to society as well as live richer and fuller lives. We respectfully urge you to pass this resolution and communicate it as the genuine opportunity it presents the Town of Old Saybrook.

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Board of Selectmen of Old Saybrook
(1) Assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of
(2) Work to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization, by continuing to
identify specific activities to enhance diversity and to ensure antiracism principles across
our leadership, staffing and contracting;
(3) Promote equity through all policies approved by the Board of Selectmen
and enhance educational efforts aimed at understanding,
addressing and dismantling racism and how it affects the delivery of human and social
services, economic development and public safety;
(4) Improve the quality of the data our town collects and the analysis of that data. Qualitative
and quantitative data should be used to assess inequities in impact and continuously
(5) Continue to advocate locally for relevant policies that improve health in communities
of color, and support local, state, regional, and federal inequities that advance efforts to
dismantle systemic racism;
(6) Further work to solidify alliances and partnerships with other organizations that are
confronting racism and encourage other local, state, regional, and national entities to
recognize racism as a public health crisis;
(7) Support community efforts to amplify issues of racism and engage actively and
authentically with communities of color wherever they live; and
(8) Identify clear goals and objectives, including periodic reports to the Board of Selectmen,
to assess progress and capitalize on opportuni0es to further advance racial equity.

The Death of a Champion, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We are all beyond devastated by the death of this ferocious champion of human rights.  There have been many tributes paid to her since her death was announced yesterday, but Barack Obama was very eloquent in his statement:

Former President Barack Obama is paying tribute to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87 due to complications of metastatic cancer.

In a statement released shortly after news of her death, Obama praised Ginsburg for being “a warrior for gender equality,” adding that she “believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American.”

“Over a long career on both sides of the bench — as a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist — Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us,” Obama, 59, added. “It’s about who we are — and who we can be.”

Obama also urged the Senate to honor the late justice by respecting her “fervent wish” to not be replaced “until a new president is installed.”

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals,” Obama continued in his statement. “That’s how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored.”

He went on to say that when conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared it too close to Election Day to consider a replacement. The move ultimately blocked the nomination of Obama’s choice for the high court, Merrick Garland. At the time, McConnell, a Republican, said elected officials should “give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy” by waiting until the next president took office.




September, 2020

Dear Fellow Democrat:

Your friends and neighbors of the Democratic Town Committee in Old Saybrook (OSDTC) are gearing up for this November and the most critical election of our lifetime.

The challenges before our country are daunting.  We confront the consequences of a dreadful pandemic, economic upheaval, income disparity and persistent racism.  The Trump administration and the GOP have initiated a litany of affronts to our Constitution, the institutions of our democracy, and the rule of law.

We must stand together to take back the White House AND elect a team of leaders at federal, state and local levels to ensure the integrity of our government.  We need your help. In the past we have been substantially outspent by Old Saybrook Republicans.  We must expand our local presence in social media, mail and other print venues to deliver our important message.

Please stand with us to fight for our democracy by making your contribution to enable us to make November 3rd, 2020 a landmark BLUE year.  Any amount will help.  Please do what you can. The stakes are incredibly high.

Of course, we welcome enthusiastic volunteers to help make our case.

Thank you very much for your help.

Your neighbors of the OSDTC


There are two ways to donate:

1.  Click on the blue “donate” button on the upper right, complete the donor information form, and provide credit card payment information.

2.  Mail the required Donor Information Form  (go to Menu-Forms- OSDTC SEEC DONATION FORM) and your check of ____$20 ____$50 _____$70  _____$100  _____$250  Other  $_____  to:

Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee  

PO Box 281, Old Saybrook, CT 06475


Paid for by the OSDTC.  Donald Brodeur, Treasurer


Volunteers needed:  The OSDTC is seeking Registered Democrats to serve on the Town Committee, as well as on other Old Saybrook Boards and Commissions.


We are asking our DTC members to actively reach out to registered Democrats and are encouraging citizens of our minority communities to join us.  We recently had a vacancy occur on the Police Commission ,and we will be looking for candidates to fill that position in the 2021 Municipal election.


In view of the recent attention to concerns regarding inclusion of minority populations, starting with “Black Lives Matter”we are encouraging all Democrats to join us  and make our party stronger by focusing on equality, inclusivity, and diversity.


John J. O’Brien, Chairman, Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee


Contact John O’Brien for more information on how you can volunteer!

Email address:


Welcome New Executive Board and Nominating Committee


Congratulations to

Our New Executive Board

John O’Brien – OSDTC Chairman

Wendy Gesick- Vice Chairwoman

Nancy Walsh- Secretary

Donald Brodeur-Treasurer

C. Marston Ladd – Deputy Treasurer

Daniel Welch-At Large

Karen Prendergast-At Large

Matt Pugliese – Ex Officio

Our Nominating Committee

Colin Heffernan – Chairman

Lynn Dallas

Mary Kennedy

Carol Manning

Dorothy O’Nell

Steven Pernal

Dennis Tulmieri