The Farmington Democratic Party has endorsed twenty candidates for the upcoming Municipal Election on November 7. Leading the ticket is Rafeena Bacchus Lee, a member of the Town Council, who is now running for Town Council Chair.
“To navigate the challenges ahead, we will need a balance of experience and fresh thinking. Our slate is dedicated to collaboratively engaging with the community to analyze the issues facing our town and to develop and implement workable solutions.”
Vote Row A on November 7th!
Rafeena Bacchus Lee for Town Council Chair
- Town Council Member: January 2022-present
- Current Town Council Liaison to the Board of Education, Human Relations Commission, Conservation & Inland Wetlands Commission
- Current member of the Racial Equality Task Force
- Current board member of Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington Field Club and Friends of Farmington Crew
- Past Co-Chair Comprehensive FHS, Co-Chair Farmington Greater Together Funds Advisory Committee, President and Secretary East Farms School PTO, member of Concerned Parents of Color and Project Graduation volunteer
- 14 year Farmington resident
- Attorney and mother of three children who attend Farmington Public Schools
Rafeena Bacchus Lee wholeheartedly believes in service to others and leaving things better than when you found them. That is why she has served on Town Council since 2022 and why she is running for Town Council Chair now.
As a wife and working mother, Rafeena is especially attuned to how decisions made on Town Council affect the daily lives of residents. From her previous time as East Farms School PTO president, she is familiar with balancing a budget and ensuring that all programs and parent volunteers were supported.
As the past co-chair of both Comprehensive FHS and the Farmington Greater Together Community Fund Advisory Committee, Rafeena learned firsthand of the unmet needs of our high school students, teachers, and non-profit organizations, and how to find solutions to meet those needs. Through these experiences, Rafeena has devoted herself to the academic and cultural improvement of our Town.
There are things we can do better in Farmington, from engaging with all community members to understanding residents’ needs-and, importantly, ensuring those needs are met. Rafeena seeks to foster and support a community that inspires and propels us forward.
Your vote for Rafeena and Row A makes that happen. As your new Town Council Chair, she will do the important work necessary to get the answers we deserve and the solutions we need.
Let’s do this together!
Brian F.X. Connolly for Town Council – Incumbent – 1st District
- Current Town Council Member: January 2020-present
- Current Town Council Liaison to Historic District Commission
- Current member of Land Acquisition Committee, ARPA Ad-Hoc Committee, Rotary Club
- Past member of Land Trust, Farmington Village Center, Tax Relief, Scholarship and Legal Review committees, Farmington Library Board of Trustees, Knights of Columbus Deputy Grand Knight, St.Patrick’s Church Parish Council
- Past Chair, Farmington Economic Development Commission, member since 2008,
- Farmington resident since 1997 with two daughters who graduated from Farmington High School
- 35 years in broadcast, corporate media production, advertising and business-to-business marketing
As he seeks a third term on the Farmington Town Council, Brian FX Connolly can highlight a solid record of contributions to the town’s business. He supported the 2021 referendum to build Farmington’s new high school, and to appropriate $9.7M for the high school project to cover the budget variance and allow for several alternates to be included, which was approved in a December 2022 referendum. Brian knows that all residents will benefit greatly from the addition of this contemporary new facility serving the needs of the entire town. Most recently, Brian supported and voted for a 2023 town budget that reduced town and Board of Education spending and reduced Capital Fund spending, with an adopted budget that had no spending increase above the previous year.
Brian has served for four years as the Town Council liaison to the Farmington Village Historic committee. He is a member of the tax relief subcommittee, where he championed tax relief for eligible seniors, volunteer firefighters and veterans who live in Farmington. He also serves on the land acquisition committee to make sure Farmington continues to purchase available open space as appropriate at a reasonable price, the Farmington Village Center Committee which was established to help enhance the gateway to our community and create a more accessible and engaging village center, and the Alma Bailey-Taylor Selection Committee, which awards scholarships to eligible students in need who want to pursue higher education.
An avid civic volunteer and community leader, Brian is former chairperson for the Farmington Economic Development Commission and served on the EDC from 2008-2019. He also has served on the Batterson Park Development Joint Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Farmington and has served on the Farmington Library Board of Trustees, the Parish Council of St. Patrick Church and as Deputy Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus’ Rev. M. Ernest Wilson Council #20.
Brian and his wife Denise have lived in Farmington since 1997. They have two daughters, Caitlin and Shannon, who graduated from the Farmington public school system.
Brian has spent 35 years in broadcast and corporate media production, advertising, and business-to-business marketing. He was co-owner of Northern Lights Communications, Inc., a video production company in Bristol, CT serving the media needs of east coast corporations and the content production needs of ESPN. Brian is currently working with LiveWell in Community Engagement and is a member of the faculty at the new Resilient Living Center.
When Brian is not giving back to his community, you can see him running or biking on the Farmington River Trail.
“As I walk through your neighborhood during this campaign, I hope you will speak with me and share your concerns and ideas so that I can represent your comments at the Town Council. My continued expectation is that, with your support, I will champion effective solutions that will make our town even better. This is achieved when your concerns and ideas are heard and then shared. It is through inclusion and transparency that citizens will know they are not only being heard, but that they are being well represented in the issues that concern them. That has always been my goal, and is my continued promise when reelected for a third term.”
Dave Wlodkowski for Town Council – 1st District
- Current Board of Directors, Exchange Club and past President
- Past member Architectural Licensing Board, CT
- Past member of Retirement Board, Porter Memorial and Amistad Hall renovation committees
- First Church of Christ Council of Deacons
- 28 year Farmington resident whose children graduated from Farmington High School
- Licensed Architect, CT
Dave Wlodkowski is a planner. He’s meticulous, dedicated to noticing the smallest data, but also to maintaining an eye for the big picture. It’s no wonder, then, that the skills which serve him so well as an architect will serve him as well on Farmington’s Town Council.
Dave and his wife moved to Farmington 26 years ago. Their children attended and graduated from Farmington’s public school system, so he understands the importance of having a strong school community, and how critical it is to improve our town. “If Farmington is to continue to be a strong community for future generations,” he notes, “we must continuously position ourselves to meet new challenges.” As a member of Town Council, he hopes to focus on ensuring the new high school project is completed on time and on budget, as well as prioritizing infrastructure improvements with a focus on walkability and sustainability while also maintaining a solid, healthy tax base.
Dave will bring a careful, finance-oriented eye to the Town Council operations. He has served on the Town Retirement Board, overseeing investments for funding Farmington’s town employee retirement accounts. He believes strongly in the importance of community engagement and transparency in local governance. “Everyone deserves a voice in local government,” he notes, “I will be a responsive and effective leader and work toward solving our current challenges, as well as those ahead of us, while listening to the ideas and concerns of all town residents.”
Dave has been an active volunteer and participant in town life, serving on the Town Retirement Board, Exchange Club, Porter Memorial and Amistad Hall renovation committees, and First Church’s Council of Deacons.
Patti Boye-Williams for Town Council – 2nd District
- Current member, Board of Education
- Current member, BOE Personnel/Negotiations and Curriculum Committees, Chair of Green Efforts Committee
- Current Board member, Farmington Land Trust
- Past member, Town Council: 2018-2020
- Past Chair, Land Acquisition Committee
- Past Community Outreach Director, Comprehensive FHS
- Volunteer for Project Graduation, West District PTO and Girl Scout Troop Leader
- Attorney and mother of two children who attended Farmington Public School
Patti Boye-Williams moved to Farmington in 2011 and fell in love with the community, people, and schools. As a partner at Murtha Cullina LLP and an environmental lawyer who often represents municipalities, Patti’s legal experience allows her to critically evaluate issues that affect the Town while taking into account differing viewpoints and conflicting desires; her experience as a mother of two girls gives her insights into what makes Farmington great for families and future generations. She strives to give back to her community and help others achieve their full potential, including serving as a Girl Scout leader for her younger daughter’s troop from 2012-2019.
Elected in 2017 to Farmington’s Town Council, Patti fostered a collaborative and inclusive environment during her first term. By compromising and listening to residents, Patti and the Democrat-led Town Council passed two unanimous, fiscally responsible budgets that were overwhelmingly approved by Unionville and Farmington residents. By critically evaluating the budget, she did more with less. These budgets improved Town services, addressed aging infrastructure, and supported our first responders by providing them with necessary equipment.
Patti prioritized resident concerns regarding traffic, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and increasing “green” efforts in Town. She partnered with Farmington and Unionville residents to hear fresh perspectives and enhance transparency and communications. As a result of her actions on Town Council, the number of Town newsletters has been increased and Town staff have more resources to communicate upcoming events and other matters of concern to residents.
As chair of the Green Efforts committee, Patti spearheaded a waste reduction newsletter. She understands the importance of open space while encouraging responsible development that minimizes impacts to existing traffic. As chair of the Land Acquisition Committee, she has coordinated the review of potential open space available for town acquisition, ensuring the preservation of these valuable spaces.
Patti Boye-Williams has demonstrated her commitment to fiscally responsible budgets that address ongoing infrastructure needs; to ensure residents of Farmington and Unionville are heard and included in town initiatives and to focus on best practices to support the town’s needs in a cost-effective way. Patti will ensure that Farmington continues to be a warm and welcoming place for all to live and raise a family.
Matt Hutvagner for Town Council – 2nd District
- Current Commissioner, Town Plan and Zoning
- Current Co-President, Union School PTO and PTO liaison to Town Council
- Current Chair, Farmington Democratic Town Committee
- Past Commissioner, Farmington Board of Assessment Appeals
- Past Field Director, Comprehensive FHS
- Past Treasurer, and Den Leader, Unionville Cub Scout Pack 170
- Justice of the Peace and Member of St Mary’s Church, Unionville
- 20 years of finance and accounting experience at Walt Disney Company, supporting ESPN
- Father of twin boys who attend Farmington Public School
Matt Hutvagner wants to give families and taxpayers a fresh perspective and the benefit of his expertise as he seeks a seat on the Farmington Town Council. With nearly 20 years of finance and accounting experience in the sports media field, he leads a team through the fast-paced long-term as well as day-to-day finance and accounting activities, and is responsible for budget planning, cost control efficiencies, and key stakeholder strategy and advice. He is an advisor and collaborator to executive leadership, has developed many creative workflow improvements and implemented major cost efficiencies throughout his career.
Matt’s professional experience in budget management, cost efficiency and cost control will be an asset for the Farmington Town Council as he collaborates with town staff and other elected officials to ensure Farmington continues to have a competitive mill rate. Matt also will make certain that town resources are managed effectively and efficiently, providing key oversight for the town’s finances.
Matt‘s belief in the value of community and civic engagement already has been a resource for Farmington through his work advocating for the new Farmington High School facility as a volunteer with Comprehensive FHS, and his service as a member of the town’s Board of Assessment Appeals. He also has volunteered as Co-President of the Union School PTO, PTO Liaison to the Town Council, Treasurer for the Unionville Cub Scout Pack #170, and is a member of St. Mary’s Church in Unionville.
Matt earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut, and lives in Farmington with his wife Liz and their twin boys, who attend Farmington schools. That excellent school system, the town, and the natural and historic landscapes that set it apart are all important to Matt and his family, and he looks forward to preserving and strengthening them as a town council member.
Board of Education
Beth Kintner for Board of Education – Incumbent
- Current member, Board of Education
- Current member, BOE Policy and Communications Committees and liaison to Farmington Public School Foundation, FHS Building Committee and Noah Wallace Fund
- Current Registrar of Voters
- Past member, Town Council: 2018-2020
- Volunteer: Noah Wallace and West Woods Upper Elementary PTO, Farmington High School Boys’ Baseball, Soccer, Track and Field and Crew Booster Clubs, Farmington Little League
- Past member, Irving Robbins Parent Advisory Committee and Superintendent’s Parent Leadership Forum
- 25+ year Farmington resident with two sons who attend and one son who graduated from Farmington Public Schools
- Over 15 years in the non-profit sector as a case manager, program director and grants administrator
Beth has served on the Board of Education since 2020, following a term on the Farmington Town Council.
A resident of Farmington for more than 25 years, Beth has a long history of community involvement and volunteer work, including a decade with the PTOs of Noah Wallace and West Woods Schools. She served on the Irving Robbins Middle School Parent Advisory Council, and the Superintendent’s Parent Leadership Forum. While leading Farmington Future, a nonpartisan group that advocated for Farmington’s schools and town services, she informed the public of key issues and the priorities and actions of local elected officials, and encouraged residents to be active and engaged in the budget process and other important town issues. On the Board of Education, Beth chairs the Communications Committee, serves on the Policy Committee, and is liaison to the Farmington Public School Foundation and the Noah Wallace Fund. She has been involved with the new high school initiative and building project since 2016, and serves as the liaison to the FHS Building Committee. She is past liaison to the Community Council for Equity and Inclusion.
Beth has volunteered with the Farmington High School Boys’ Baseball, Boys’ Soccer, Track and Field, and the Friends of Farmington Crew booster clubs, as well as Farmington Little League, Friends of Farmington Music, and Project Graduation. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work, and has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector as a case manager, program director, and grants administrator. She currently serves as a Registrar of Voters in Farmington. Along with her husband Thomas, she lives in Farmington with their three sons, the oldest a FHS graduate in his senior year of college, and their two youngest students at FHS. In her free time, Beth enjoys photography, reading, and cheering her sons on in sports and in life.
Erika Nowakowski for Board of Education
- Current Board Member, Farmington Public School Foundation, North Central Region Mental Health Board
- Current Director, Tow Youth Justice Institute, University of New Haven
- Volunteer, Farmington Mudhogs Football
- Past member, Superintendent’s Parent Leadership Forum
- Past PTO President, West District School
- Experience in juvenile justice policy, planning and oversight, quality assurance, emergency psychiatric services, foster care best practices and recruitment
Erika Nowakowski has a Master’s degree from the University of CT School of Social Work with a focus on Policy and Planning. She is the Executive Director of the Tow Youth Justice Institute at the University of New Haven and oversees the operations of the institute. She has extensive experience in managing the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee (JJPOC), the legislatively created body that oversees reform in the Juvenile Justice system in Connecticut. She works with Senators, Representatives, State Agencies, non-profit organizations and many other partners on goals to reduce recidivism, reduce incarceration and increase diversion. Prior to arriving at TYJI she worked for 8 ½ years for the State of CT Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division as a project manager for several statewide initiatives, Quality Assurance, implementation and ongoing adherence to Gender Responsive Services, contract compliance, and training coordination. She also worked for 4 years with the Council on Accreditation in New York City and provided Technical Assistance to private nonprofit and state agencies seeking accreditation. She also has six years’ experience in non-profit direct services from case manager with the Emergency Mobile Psychiatric services, managing and coordinating system of care community efforts, and developing and implementing foster care best practices for recruitment of foster parents. Erika began her career working in family homeless shelters, and continues to volunteer in homeless programs and advocates for housing needs.
James Rackliffe for Board of Education
- Current Town Plan and Zoning Alternate
- Current Board Member: Farmington Public School Foundation
- Volunteer Coach for Farmington Soccer, Baseball, and Mudhogs Football
- Past Comprehensive FHS Community Outreach Volunteer
- 14 year Farmington resident, married to Carolyn, Co-President Union School PTO, with two children who attend Farmington Public Schools
- 17 years of experience in the insurance industry
James Rackliffe is seeking a place on the Farmington Board of Education to advocate for the town’s children and ensure Farmington students are supported in becoming self-aware, confident, collaborative, and resilient individuals. James is fully committed to promoting an inclusive, safe learning environment and attracting and retaining top talent within our school system.
Working with Comprehensive FHS to help pass the 2021 Farmington High School referendum motivated James to run for the Town Plan and Zoning Commission in 2021, on which he currently serves as an alternate. Reflecting on his motivation to engage in helping shape the town’s future, he says, “I felt an incredible amount of satisfaction advocating for my children, the education they receive, and the town that I love to live in...I felt like I could do more for our town and that is why I wanted to get involved.”
A 17-year veteran of the insurance industry, James has held various leadership roles throughout his career. He has lived in Farmington since 2009 with Carolyn, his wife of 14 years and current Union School PTO President, is a proud father to Finlay and Weston, who both attend Farmington Public Schools, and is a loving dog owner to Leo, the family schnauzer/terrier rescue pup. In addition to his work with Town Planning and Zoning, he is a board member for the Farmington Public School Foundation.
In his free time, James can be found on the golf course, ski slopes, at Fenway Park watching his beloved Red Sox, or grilling in his backyard. You may also run into him on the sidelines of the local soccer, football and little league fields coaching his children's sports teams.
Town Plan and Zoning
Matthew Bandle for Town Plan and Zoning
- Veteran, United States Marine Corp
- Current Director at a site acquisition company with focus on telecom and solar development
- Past Volunteer Coach in youth soccer and wrestling
- 16 year Farmington resident, currently lives in Unionville with his wife. Their son is a graduate of Farmington public schools, and is pursuing his graduate degree
As the director of a site acquisition company focused on telecom and solar development Matthew Bandle has been involved with zoning and development for over a decade of his career, and brings a keen understanding of both what it means to be an applicant and regulation knowledge. As a member of Town Plan and Zoning, he will use that expertise to help deliver results that improve the town’s future.
A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he holds a bachelor's degree in management and accounting as well as a master's in technology management, all from CCSU. Alongside his wife, son, 2 dogs and an old gray cat, Matthew is a 15-year Farmington resident who looks forward to continuing to give back to the town he calls home.
Liz Sanford for Town Plan and Zoning – Incumbent
- Current Commissioner, Town Plan and Zoning and past Alternate
- Current Land Steward, Farmington Land Trust
- Current Chair and past Vice-Chair, Stanley-Whitman House, Board of Directors
- Past member, Farmington Village Center Committee
- Volunteer: Farmington Community Chest, Boy Scout Troop 68 and Farmington Lacrosse
- 20 year Farmington resident whose two children graduated from Farmington High School and are 14th generation Sanford/Wadsworth family members
- Building Substitute, Farmington Public Schools, Noah Wallace School
Liz Sanford has called Farmington home for nearly 20 years, and lives in town with her husband Ted and their children, Will and Libby. She currently serves on the Town Plan and Zoning Commission. Liz grew up in Granby and attended Drew University, earning a degree in Political Science.
For the past several years, Liz has worked for Farmington Public Schools as the building substitute at Noah Wallace School. A longtime volunteer in the Farmington community, she serves as board chair of the Stanley Whitman House Museum and on the stewardship committee at First Church of Christ Congregational, where she has held many positions over the years. In addition, Liz is a trustee for the Farmington Village Green and Library Association (FVGLA) and a member of its Finance Committee. She also volunteers as a Land Steward for the Farmington Land Trust. Liz served the town as a member of the Farmington Village Center Committee. She has also volunteered with the Farmington Community Chest, Boy Scout Troop 68, and Farmington Youth Lacrosse.
Liz sees Farmington as a diverse, creative, and vibrant community; uniquely positioned to grow while maintaining the charm and attributes that distinguish its history. Her desire to serve her community as an elected official stems from her love of the town and a desire to see it continue to thrive, prioritizing a balance of growth and tradition as we move together into the future. Liz’s involvement in many aspects of the Farmington community, from the schools to community groups to religious life, has given her an appreciation of many of its assets and strong values. Her husband is co-owner of a business that has been in town for over 135 years, giving her an understanding of the history of Farmington as a business environment. Liz seeks to empower Farmington to continue its dynamic growth, while respecting and honoring the past.
Liz and Ted’s children are the 14th generation of the Sanford/Wadsworth family to live in the Farmington community. As a Plan and Zoning commissioner, she is following in her father’s footsteps, as he served on the Granby Planning and Zoning board for over 25 years; more than 10 of those as chair. Liz is proud to carry on his great example of service to his community.
Dave St. Germain for Town Plan and Zoning (Vacancy Term)
- Current Library Media Specialist, West Hartford Public Schools
- Educator with experience in curriculum and professional development, teacher supervision and evaluation, district department budgeting, grant writing, and teaching students ranging from Pre-K through adult
- SCSU Information and Library Science Advisory Board
- Past Chair of Policy Board, Universalist Church
As a candidate for the Farmington Town Plan and Zoning Committee, Dave St. Germain offers a commitment to sustainable growth, preservation of natural beauty, and community inclusivity – qualities that will help keep the town strong and vibrant well into its future.
He brings a wealth of leadership experience and professional expertise to his candidacy. In addition to his work as the Library Media Specialist at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford, Dave's contributions extend to his leadership in developing and refining the district’s PreK-12 Library Media curriculum, and the planning and facilitating of district-wide professional learning for library media and other departments.
Dave formerly served as the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction for Media, Instructional Technology, Music, and Visual Arts at Milford Public Schools, overseeing curriculum, budgeting, professional learning and teacher evaluation. His diverse teaching experience spans various subjects and age groups, including roles at Quirk Middle School in Hartford, Bloomfield High School, The Bridge Youth Shelter, CREC Neighborhood Learning Center, and teaching ESL for adults.
Dave has enjoyed making Farmington his home for 7 years, alongside his wife, Kat, and their beloved part beagle, Daisy. With two grown-up daughters, Dave is deeply committed to creating a thriving and inclusive community that serves all its members. An outdoors enthusiast, he finds inspiration in the natural beauty Farmington offers, enjoying hiking and biking on the trails and kayaking in the Farmington River. He also is an avid baker, creating pizzas and sourdough bread in his outdoor brick oven.
Dave's community involvement includes active engagement with the Universalist Church of West Hartford, where he previously chaired the policy board and actively participates on several church committees. The commitments to community and collaboration fostered in those environments are qualities he intends to bring to the Farmington Town Plan and Zoning Committee.
Bruce Polsky for Town Plan and Zoning Alternate
- Current member, Farmington Retirement Board
- Current Treasurer, Central CT Radio Control Club
- MBA with experience in IT Services Business, managing over 2000 people and $125 million of IT services.
- Past instructor of Negotiation Skills and Relationship Management courses, University of Toronto
A Farmington resident for over 25 years, Bruce Polsky has recently retired from a successful business career. In his retirement, he plans to focus on giving back to the community that he loves and which has given him so much.
Bruce believes strongly in civic responsibility and public service. During his career he gave back through teaching others, spending time as an Instructor at The University of Toronto and teaching courses for both Negotiation Skills and Relationship Management.
He is married to Suzanne Polsky a Farmington realtor and proud father to daughters Rachelle and Caroline who are products of the Farmington public school system and are now leading successful careers of their own.
After earning an MBA, Bruce progressed to become an executive in the IT Services Business where he helped global financial services companies solve technology challenges and build state of the art systems. His role encompassed managing a division of over 2000 people and over 125 million dollars of IT Services.
He believes that he can leverage his deep experience in business and people management to help Farmington maintain its community strength and success.
Bruce is currently a member of the Farmington Retirement Board which manages town pension plan and is also Treasurer of the Central Connecticut Radio Control Club whose members fly their planes and helicopters on Meadow Road. An avid woodworker, his hobby is making reproductions of antique American Federal furniture.
Mike Tucci for Town Plan and Zoning Alternate
- Volunteer Firefighter, Farmington Fire Department
- Volunteer, Farmington Land Trust
- Past AmeriCorps volunteer
- Experienced in teaching, curriculum development, non-profit fundraising
Michael Tucci, a lifelong Nutmegger, moved to Farmington in 2019, purchasing his first home with his wife Dr. Melissa Cranford. The couple, lovers of nature, knew there is something special and unique about the town of Farmington. From the Metacomet, Farmington River, or bike trails, the majesty of Farmington’s natural beauty has been something to treasure together. You may run into Mike walking his beagle pup Brio along the Farmington River, biking along our many trails, or hiking the Metacomet.
Mike began his commitment to public service in high school, spending his last semester as an assistant environmental educator at Whitney Water Center. Where he taught youths about the environment. Mike continued his commitment to service throughout his studies at Bryant University where he led and organized fundraisers for Sweet Binks Rescue INC-- A local nonprofit animal rehabilitation center. Mike graduated top of his class with the distinction of Magna Cum Lade, studying Politics and Law alongside Business Administration. He then joined the AmeriCorps as a middle school S.T.E.M teacher in Providence Rhode Island and continued his passion for teaching at Achievement First Middle School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Subsequently, he was accepted as a Doctoral candidate in the Political Science department of University of Connecticut’s Graduate School. He continued his studies until his mother was diagnosed with very rare cancer and he elected to take an extended hiatus to care for his mother until her passing. He was able to find some semblance of peace through his yoga practice and becoming a certified yoga instructor. Directed by his desire to serve his new community, he joined the Farmington Fire Department in 2022, becoming State certified in 2023. Mike also volunteers his time with the Farmington Land Trust.
Zoning Board of Appeals
Elizabeth Gemski for Zoning Board of Appeals
- Past local, state and federal campaign volunteer
- 25+ years of experience in Federal and State Government Affairs, lobbying, policy, legislative and media analysis
- Resident of Farmington for 13 years with husband and 12-year-old daughter who attends Farmington Public Schools
- Current member, Alternate Commissioner of the Farmington Historic District Commission since 2019
- Government Affairs Professional with a strong belief in public service and civic engagement.
- I would like to put my strong work ethic and integrity to work for Farmington residents while ensuring transparency.
- Land use issues will impact future generations of Farmington residents and I will advocate for a balanced and sensible approach as a member of the ZBA while ensuring all viewpoints are considered.
Elizabeth Gemski is running for a seat on the Zoning Board of Appeals with the plan to apply her extensive experience and strong work ethic to the issues that face Farmington. Land use issues will impact future generations of residents, and Elizabeth will advocate for a balanced and sensible approach as a member of the ZBA while ensuring all viewpoints are considered.
A 13-year resident of Farmington alongside her husband, Philip, Elizabeth has a daughter currently in the 7th grade at Irving Robbins Middle school. This is Elizabeth’s first run for public office, but she has held many volunteer positions in the community. She has served on the Farmington Historic District Commission since 2019, ensuring Farmington’s rich history is preserved for future generations.
Elizabeth is no stranger to politics. She has more than 25 years of experience in Federal and State Government Affairs working in Washington, DC, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and for the past 15-years, in Connecticut. She serves as Vice President at Kozak and Salina, a government relations and lobbying firm. Her experience includes knowledge of direct lobbying, policy and legislative analysis, media analysis, as well as coalition and partner development for health, human service, energy, business and environmental clients.
Previously, Elizabeth was Government Affairs Consultant with The Government Affairs Group at Murtha Cullina LLP where she was responsible for state-level planning for clients. In her over 15-year Connecticut career, she has achieved many successes for her clients in legislative and regulatory arenas.
Elizabeth is deeply embedded in Farmington and appreciates the diverse, tenacious and dedicated people who live here. She has a strong belief in public service and would like to serve Farmington residents while ensuring the town remains a vibrant community in which to work and live.
Cate Grady-Benson for Zoning Board of Appeals
- Executive Director, Farmington Land Trust
- Current member, Green Efforts Committee; Town-Wide Clean Up Chair for 20 years, and Farmington Rotary
- Corporator, Bushnell Center For The Performing Arts
- Ambassador, Hartford Public Library
- Past Board of Directors: Farmington Land Trust, Farmington Food Pantry and Stanley-Whitman House
- Experienced ICU and Life Star flight nurse
- Farmington resident for 26 years while raising 2 daughters
- My volunteer projects have enhanced the town and its assets. I believe in a future that balances economic growth with environmental sustainability. I am committed to supporting initiatives that promote renewable energy, efficient infrastructure, and thoughtful planning.
As a candidate for the Zoning Board of Appeals, Cate Grady-Benson offers a strong record of making positive impacts on the town’s environment, economy, and the quality of life of all Farmington residents. A longtime resident who raised two daughters here alongside her husband, she has long demonstrated her commitment to the town’s welfare.
As a volunteer, Cate led Farmington’s annual town cleanup for two decades, helping make it a tradition for town residents. She has served on the boards of directors for multiple important town organizations, including the Farmington Land Trust (where she currently serves as Executive Director), Farmington Food Pantry and Stanley Whitman House. She also is a member of the Town of Farmington Green Efforts Committee and the Farmington Rotary, a Corporator for the Bushnell, and an Ambassador for the Hartford Public Library.
A consultant for Quality Care Apple Rehab, Cate’s career since graduating the University of Illinois with a BS in the Science of Nursing has ranged from work as a LIFE STAR flight nurse to work as an ICU nurse for neonatal, pediatric and adult patients.
Cate believes in a future that balances economic growth with environmental sustainability, and is committed to supporting initiatives that promote renewable energy, efficient infrastructure, and thoughtful planning. As the town considers its future, Cate considers Farmington a town that can be a beacon of inclusion, environmental stewardship, responsible economic development, and thoughtful, informed conversation.
Haritha Subramanian for Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate
- Organizer advocating for equitable housing policy and land use reform
- Sophomore at the University of Connecticut studying political science, music, and biology
- Farmington High School Graduate: Class of 2022
- Past student representative on the Farmington ad hoc Committee to Address the Mascot
- Secretary at the Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC) of CT
- Member of the UConn Asian & Asian American Studies Institute Curriculum Lab to implement K-12 AAPI education
- Multicultural & Diversity Senator, UConn Undergraduate Student Government
- Former co-president of the FHS Asian American Student Union, Co-captain and Co-lead attorney of the FHS Mock Trial team
- Past volunteer positions: Student Teacher at Hindu Sunday School, grades 4-12, Camp Counselor at Farmington Suzuki Strings Camp
Haritha Subramanian developed an interest in serving her community early in life, and is committed to helping guide the future of her town as a member of the Farmington Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate.
A graduate of Farmington High School now working on her undergraduate degree at UConn, Haritha applied her talent for mathematics throughout high school as a volunteer tutor, assisting students in grades K-12. Passionate about her community, she helped organize and facilitate discussions of cultural and social issues affecting her peer-group and high school community as a leader in the Social Justice Club, and she also served as a student representative on the Ad hoc Committee to Address the Mascot.
Her drive for civic equity has included working with a CT nonprofit focused on expanding the affordability of housing in the state. In addition to studying Political Science, Music, and Biology, Haritha plays the alto saxophone for the UConn marching band.
Marianne Dess-Santoro for Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate
- Past Volunteer Positions: President, Burlington Arms Condo Association, Union Vice President, University Health Professional, Local 3837, Vice President and President, UCONN Alumni Association for Health Management Systems, Special Olympics and Project Graduation.
- Retired, 35 years of experience as a healthcare management executive at UCONN Health and Yale University, Yale Medicine.
- 23 year Farmington resident with 2 sons who graduated from Farmington Public School.
With a background in healthcare management, Marianne Dess-Santoro brings a unique array of skills to her candidacy for Alternate on the Farmington Zoning Board of Appeals. She looks forward to the opportunity to meet with her fellow residents to make certain their voices are heard as she advocates for fair and equitable decisions. As a long-time resident with two children who went through the Farmington public school system, she hopes to give back to the community that has given so much to her and her family over the years.
Marianne’s professional career began with 13 years at UCONN Health, where she ascended to Director for Patient Accounts. Vice President of her union during some of that time, she played a vital role in negotiating maternity leave for women and working on the national “Willis Study" initiative whose goal was to value positions within State government while eliminating race and sex-based pay inequities.
Marianne later joined Yale University, Yale School of Medicine, as the Executive Director for Patient Financial Services, Yale Medicine, where she was responsible for the Departments of Patient Accounts, Clinical Finance and Clinical Information Systems. Promoted to Chief Operating Officer, Yale Medicine, she spent ten years with the additional responsibilities of managing clinical practice operations, managed care contracting, the project management office and provider credentialing, while also serving as a member or chair of numerous committees.
Marianne is also interested in the delivery of healthcare as it relates to our seniors and eldercare. Her late father, US Army veteran Joseph Dess, lived with her during an illness later in his life. She is grateful to the many agencies assisting them during this period, including the superior care and services provided by the Newington Veterans Administration.
In her free time, Marianne enjoys golf, indoor cycling and cooking for family and friends and has taken many cooking courses, including a month-long class in Calabria, Italy at the Italian Culinary Institute.
Marianne resides in Farmington, Connecticut with her husband, Glenn Santoro. They are the proud parents of two adult sons – Erik Santoro lives and works in New York City and Greg Santoro attends school in California.
Board of Assessment Appeals
Frank Gerratana, MD for Board of Assessment Appeals – Incumbent
- Current member, Farmington Board of Assessment Appeals
- Orthopaedic Surgeon
- Former municipal Board of Health chairman, Parks and Recreation commissioner, and Police Surgeon
Peter Bagdigian for Constable – Incumbent
- Current Constable
- Past Commissioner, Town Plan and Zoning and Zoning Board of Appeals
- Past Chair, Water Pollution Control Authority
- 7 year participant, Dream Ride Experience for Special Olympics
- Served in the US Navy Reserves
- Lifelong Farmington resident with three daughters who are FHS graduates
A lifelong Farmington resident, Peter has strong roots in town. Long active in local government, he served on the Water Pollution Control Authority (the first Democrat in 25 years to chair that commission), and is a past member of both the Town Plan and Zoning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He currently serves the town as Constable.
A US Navy veteran, Peter served six years in the US Navy Reserves (20 months on active duty), and is now retired from the UConn Health Center. He is a former race car driver (1961-1971), and while racing, he built the cars he drove. His three daughters are graduates of Farmington High School, and today he has two grandchildren who live in town. He has been active in his church for decades, and served as Chairman of the Parish Council. He has participated in the Dream Ride Experience for Special Olympics staged at Farmington Polo Club for the past seven years. He remains a vital member of the Farmington community and is committed to the place in which he raised his family.
Swapna Das for Constable
- Elections Moderator, Town of Farmington
- Justice of the Peace
- Farmington Public School volunteer
- Former UCONN Health Center employee, union member, past Vice President and auxiliary volunteer
- 40 year Farmington resident with 2 sons who graduated from Farmington Public School.
Swapna Das has seen firsthand the importance of individual contributions to the community. Her civic and political engagement in Farmington began with a matter of personal importance, when she and her neighbors organized and petitioned the Board of Education to advocate for relocating their children’s bus stop to a safer location away from the main road. She has since contributed to Farmington’s business in other ways, serving for the last several years as an elections moderator, managing polling places during elections throughout the year to ensure they run smoothly. She also was appointed by the town to serve as a Justice of the Peace in 2019.
A 40-year resident of Farmington, Swapna and her husband have been part of the community while raising two sons, who attended West District, IAR, and FHS. During their elementary and middle school years, Swapna was a classroom parent and school volunteer. Swapna is a retired UConn Health Center employee. At UConn, Swapna was a union member while also giving back to the university community, leading charitable and volunteer efforts for the campus auxiliary.