Planning and Zoning
Occupation: High school math teacher
Family: Spouse – Jeanine. Children – Christian and Jake
Relevant Experience: I have been a town resident for 14 years. I am new to the Planning and Zoning process but I was attracted to the position by the nature of Connecticut zoning laws and how they can help shape our town.
Reason for Running: I am running to uphold the current zoning laws and attract new businesses to our town. Planning and Zoning also needs to review the changes in marijuana legislation and discuss the impact of having this type of business in town. Ultimately, I think it should be up to the residents to vote on this issue.
Anita Blake (Alternate)
Occupation: Insurance Marketing
Reason for Running: I have lived in Connecticut for most of my life and been a Cheshire resident for 25+ years. Like so many of us in town, I love its quaintness and the true sense of community that exists. I am running for Alternate of the Planning and Zoning Commission so that I can do my part to build on the strong foundation that we all enjoy.
It’s important to me to listen to everybody and to approach opportunities with an open mind and strong understanding of the regulations. To me, serving the town is about supporting what’s best for it. The goal is to make Cheshire attractive to residents, new and established, as well as helping businesses thrive. I’m ready to serve and excited about the prospect.
Reason for Running: I am a third-generation resident of Cheshire. My grandparents bought our 18th century house in the 40’s. I live in this house and am proud to be a steward of our historic Cheshire property. My family has served this town in numerous ways for many years. My grandfather was a Selectman in town as well as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner. My grandmother served on the Board of Education. I am looking to be elected as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner Alternate to continue the Wolff family’s legacy of service.
I currently serve on the Cheshire Public Safety Commission and on the board of Bike Cheshire. I am an advocate for safer streets for bicycles and pedestrians. I look to ensure that all modes of transportation are considered in the planning and design of our town and transportation network. I have worked for the advancement of the Ball and Socket Arts project since its inception. This project is critical to advancing our place as a community focused on the future.
We can grow Cheshire, while at the same time maintain our current small-town charm. I will work to accommodate innovations in land use and economic development. I will be an advocate and encourage a dialogue between residents who are concerned that new development could encroach on their property and the businesses looking to build and expand via new growth and jobs in our town.
Earl Kurtz III
Family: Spouse – Tina. Children – Earl IV, Julia
Relevant Experience: Planning and Zoning Commission (18 years)
Reason for Running: I am seeking re-election to continue to be a part of enhancing Cheshire’s future development. It has been an honor to serve our community, and look forward to continue to do my part in keeping our town a wonderful place to live.
Occupation: Partner, managing member of Connecticut Firearms Auction and TSEL Group LLC
Family: Spouse – Sandra Selmont. Children – Allie Selmont, Teddy Selmont, and Cali Selmont.
Relevant Experience: Supported policy change to enhance housing opportunities in town and comply with state law; Voted in favor of zoning changes/enhancements to attract developers at Cheshire’s “Front Door”; Supported growth in specialty niches of business, such as breweries, restaurants and entertainment
Reason for Running: I am running for Planning and Zoning Commission because I believe in responsibly growing Cheshire on a stable long-term path. I believe I have that discipline and proper focus as well as the experience and history to guide this town. This includes not only maintaining an eye on infrastructure but investing in directions for our community which will benefit its future.
Occupation: Retired (Special education); Part-Time (Connecticut Beverage Mart)
Family: Spouse – Stephen. Children – Three sons
Reason for Running: I have served as a Planning & Zoning Alternate for the past two years, and this experience has prepared me to become a full commission member – an honor that I now seek.
Since retiring, I have felt more of a sense of duty and obligation to our town, and I now have the time to devote myself to the betterment of the Cheshire community. Combining my service in the public sector and experience in private business, I believe I can speak to the issues that come before Planning & Zoning. I believe we should be judicious and thoughtful about changing existing zoning regulations while allowing businesses to prosper and grow.
I am interested in making sure our community continues to grow in a vibrant and well-planned direction while maintaining its natural beauty and historic character. I believe in listening to all sides of any argument, and I have enjoyed that aspect of being an alternate. It is our duty and obligation to listen thoughtfully to the citizens who come before the board.
It takes courage to stand up and speak before any board or commission, and I applaud people who do so; it is an example of our great American democracy playing out on the community level. I want to be a voice for all citizens in the town of Cheshire. With your help, I would be honored to serve as your steward to ensure that Cheshire’s many attributes, both economic and natural, are preserved for future generations.
Note: Candidates Sean Strollo and John Hilzinger (Alternate) did not submit information.