Old Saybrook has a wonderful downtown area that attracts residents and visitors alike. In addition, it has an abundance of stores offering convenient retail shopping and businesses offering employment opportunities. But much can be done to increase Old Saybrook’s appeal without losing it’s small town charm. Planning and zoning are key to this effort.
We believe Old Saybrook must:
- Legalize duplexes and multi family houses to increase the housing stock and make in-law apartments available
- Review zoning regulations to make less buildings and uses non-confirming. This would enable more citizen development without ALWAYS requiring engineers and architects like we have done with accessory apartments.
- Streamline special regulations for cannabis retailers balancing the necessary level of review with the benefits of attracting new business
Michael Bender (Check Out My Video)
Drawn to Old Saybrook because of its vibrant small-town Main Street, excellent schools, and proximity to the water, Mike and his wife, Kate, have lived in Old Saybrook since 2016, and are happy to be raising two children here.
In addition to having 20 years of professional experience in the Information Technology sector, Mike is an emerging leader on the town’s boards and commissions. He was appointed as an alternate to the Old Saybrook Planning Commission in 2021, the Regional Planning Commission in 2022, and the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission in 2023. He is also a consistently active volunteer with the Goodwin Elementary PTA as the race director for the Goodwin Gallop 5K.
Mike is running for the Planning Commission because he believes it will benefit from a fresh, forward-thinking perspective. Having been an alternate for the past two years, he has observed that there has been a tradition of inaction on plans for the town’s conservation and development. If elected, Mike will be an advocate for adherence to and action on those plans, and will be focused on coastal resilience, the Mariner’s Way development project, investing in more equitable housing for seniors and working families, the responsible development of local businesses, and the addition of more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly ways to get around.
Laura and her husband, David, have lived in Old Saybrook since 1996, when they bought an 1805 “fixer upper” in the North Cove area of town. There, they raised two children while working full time and renovating their home.
Laura has worked in scientific sales for over 30 years and is currently employed by a Swedish biotech company. After her children graduated from high school, she began to volunteer and participate in community service; she currently serves on the Historic District Commission, the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, and sits on the executive board of the Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee. She is also the founder/admin of Historic Saybrook Facebook group.
Laura is running for a seat on the Zoning Commission because she cares about our community, the people, historic preservation, the environment, and the future of Old Saybrook.
For example, if elected, she would like to work in tandem with other commissions on a demolition delay ordinance, continued awareness of Old Saybrook’s historic inventory, and funding for the protection of historic places.
As a Zoning commissioner, Laura would be a proponent of responsible building away from flood zones and beach areas, and would work toward making Old Saybrook more bike- and pedestrian-friendly. She would also support inclusionary zoning policies to encourage development and availability of workforce and senior housing.
Justin grew up in Madison, and after living in a variety of places throughout New England, he and his family settled in Old Saybrook seven years ago. Since moving to town, he has been an active leader on many local boards, organizations and committees, from the Greater Old Saybrook Chamber to the Democratic Town Committee.
Justin’s run for the Zoning Commission and Board of Finance is informed by many years of work experience and civil service. For the last six years, he has served as an Alternate on the Saybrook Zoning Commission (prior to that, Justin served three years on the Zoning Commission in Madison).
During the pandemic, Justin was a member of The Small Business Success and Employment Subcommittee of the Old Saybrook Long Term Recovery Committee. Meanwhile, Justin’s professional career spans 24 years in sales, marketing and business ownership. In his current role, as senior director of Madison Logic, a software company, he leads a team that develops marketing programs for Fortune 1000 clients. Even so, his heart is deeply rooted in small business—if elected, he would tirelessly advocate for the small business community’s best interests. Overall, his goal is to help Old Saybrook grow in a strategic, focused, proactive, and fiscally responsible way, with clearly defined priorities to ensure that our children have a vibrant community to call home.
Zoning Board of Appeals
C. Marston “Marty” Ladd
Marty and his wife, Suzanne, have lived in Old Saybrook since 1983. Their two married sons also reside in Old Saybrook and Marty’s two grandsons attended Old Saybrook schools (one is currently a senior at the high school). His professional experience includes 23 years as a Lead Forensic Treatment Specialist at the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services at the Whiting Forensic Institute. Marty has been a dedicated public servant to the town of Old Saybrook, once serving as a Parks & Rec Commissioner and currently serving on the Municipal Cemetery Committee. He also holds the role of Treasurer for the Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee. Marty is running for a seat on the Zoning Board of Appeals to make the process as simple and easy as possible for Old Saybrook residents and, if elected, will work with fellow Board members to offer the greatest transparency possible.
Alfred “Chub” Wilcox (Check Out My Video)
Ever since moving to Old Saybrook in 2016 with his wife, Marcia, Chub has emerged as one of the town’s most recognized—and highly-regarded—voices when it comes to civic involvement. He has served on the Police Commission since 2018, and has been its chair since 2021. He has also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for approximately three years. He is seeking re-election because he believes that the ZBA sits at the intersection between law and reason, informed by compassion—it’s his goal to try to bring all three to bear in a consistent way. As such, he hopes to bring a steady, principled, informed, and compassionate approach to the many unique issues confronting the ZBA. Chub’s candidacy is reinforced by his professional background as an attorney who has been practicing throughout the country for 40 years.