Woodbridge voters head to polls Monday in first selectman race

Voters in the town of Woodbridge will head to the polls Monday to elect a new first selectman. Voters in the town of Woodbridge will head to the polls Monday to elect a new first selectman.
WOODBRIDGE -

Voters in the town of Woodbridge will head to the polls Monday to elect a new first selectman.

There is no incumbent for the seat, since current First Selectwoman Ellen Scalettar decided not to seek a third term. Instead, two members of the Board of Selectmen are facing off to succeed her, and both have a long history of community service in town.

Democrat Beth Heller is the current deputy first selectwoman. She raised three sons in Woodbridge and says she's dedicated to preserving excellence in the Amity and Beecher Road school systems.

"I've been working for this town passively and and actively for 25 years, and I love this town, and I'm ready to lead," she says. Heller says she believes Woodbridge's schools are its most important asset and that they must be maintained.

Republican candidate Tony Anastasio also wants to uphold the standard. Anastasio is an Amity High School alum, and his family roots in Woodbridge go back for generations to 1905.

One of the biggest issues the town faces is what to do with the Country Club of Woodbridge property, which the town purchased back in 2009.

Heller says she favors preserving and protecting the property, and exploring a community center or recreation center at the site.

Anastasio says he'd like to see the center be preserved as open space or a golf course.

"We believe there still is an opportunity for a national golf course company to come in. If that's true, I would want a conservation easement," he says.

Both candidates say Woodbridge needs to cut residents' taxes by commerical revenues.

Anastasio says he doesn't want zoning changes and says the town's designated commericial area is underutilized.

"Every town is out there marketing themselves to bring in business. It's clearly a competitive market with other municipalities. We need to do the same," he says.

Heller is vowing to partner with the business community to promote success if elected. She says she also wants to try creative ways to manage resources and eliminate redundancies.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Centre School gymnasium. The winner will take office on July 1.

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