You Can't Have a Strong Community Without Unity
Born in New Haven in 1964, my parents moved us to North Haven, on Hartley Street, when I was eight years old. Living and growing up so close to the Hamden border, and attending Hamden Hall Country Day School, I spent most of my time in Hamden. I was fortunate to make life long friends in Hamden, and luckily met my future wife, Hamden native, Karlen Meinsen here. I always considered Hamden as my de facto home town. After graduating from Babson College in Wellesley Mass, I moved to Branford to start my own painting business. I frequented Hamden to visit friends and spent time with my then-fiancée, Karlen Meinsen at her parent’s family home in Spring Glen.
Marrying Karlen in 1994, there was little debate as to where we wanted to live and start our lives together. Hamden. Karlen, now a teacher with New Haven Public Schools and I, proudly rented a second-floor apartment on Gorham Avenue, located in the 2nd District. Living on Gorham Ave. for two years, making friends and interacting with neighbors, we soon decided that Hamden was not only where we wanted to live, but where we wanted to start and raise our family. With our first child expected in August of 1996, we made the decision to buy our first home. At that time, I also made the decision to close my business in Branford, and commit to working for an established business, closer to our home and our newly growing family. I was fortunate enough to be hired by Ferraro’s Painting in North Haven as a foreman. A decision that turned out to be a wise one. Not only did it ensure a steady paycheck and financial stability, but it also gave me the opportunity to help Ferraro’s grow. I remain with Ferraro’s Painting to this day.
Karlen and I bought our first home on Belmont Street, located in the 5th District in 1996. It was there on Belmont that we raised out first child, made fantastic relationships with our neighbors, and Karlen began her involvement in the Hamden PTA. Karlen and I always envisioned Hamden as being our forever town, and after twelve years and with our fourth child on her way, we decided to move one last time. Our current home on Santa Fe Avenue, in the 6th District, is where we have settled to stay.
As a homeowner in Hamden for 23 years, I, like so many Hamden residents have been watching the steady rise in Hamden’s property taxes. Busy with helping to raise four children and working 60 hours a week helping to run a successful business, I just accepted it as the cost for my wonderful life. As my children have grown older and more independent, I have had more time to get involved in this community. As a registered Democrat, like so many Hamden residents, I started to look outside the party for answers. Meeting with friends who are Hamden Republican’s, I attended meetings and began to see there is definitely an imbalance in the governing of Hamden, as well as decades-long patterns of poor decision-making.
Seeing the need for a change and wanting to be as effective as possible in my community, I made the decision to register as a Republican. This party change not only ensured that as a candidate I could get on the ballot, but also provides the voters of Hamden with a choice of candidate that brings the values of being socially moderate and fiscally conservative to the ballot. A combination I feel makes me an electable asset to all Hamden residents.
My campaign is not just about partisanship. My campaign is about focusing on Hamden’s strengths and identifying its weaknesses, by resolving the problems which have arisen from leadership with a cavalier attitude where cooperation and collaboration with the community have been ignored in order to advance personal agendas and preserve long-standing networks which have only hurt Hamden in the long run.
The current administration and fiscal authority of our town not only do not work together, but they also harbor animosities that have clouded judgment, delayed effective decision making, and ultimately led to the perpetuation of Hamden’s fiscal problems. This is inexcusable, and I pledge to reverse that course, starting on day one.