Profiles of the Democratic Party's Candidates for Board of Selectmen
Linda Groppo Linda has always been a strong believer in Winsted. She grew up in Winsted; attending St. Anthony School and the Gilbert School. Linda returned back to our town in 2014. She is giving back to our community by volunteering to clean up our Main Street and the Highland Lake area. Linda participates in many town activities. She led her neighborhood in efforts on blight, working with the Town Manager and staff. Linda is a graduate of the University of St. Joseph, West Hartford. She is retired from the State of Connecticut, Office of the Attorney General. Linda has two daughters and two grandsons. She is the oldest daughter of John G. Groppo who served as Winsted Mayor from 1965 - 1967 and elected State Representative for the 63rd District from 1959 -1985.
Melissa Bird Melissa has resided in Winsted since May 2008. Growing up primarily in Connecticut and a graduate of UCONN, she has a strong knowledge of this region. Melissa has worked in residential/commercial real estate and property management in CT., NYC, and the U.K.. She discovered her entrepreneurial spirit while living abroad for nearly a decade. Melissa created New England Cheesecake Company and nurtured the small business from infancy. This company went on to win Gold Medals at The Great Taste Awards of London. New England Cheesecake Company flourished under its slogan “if you are what you eat, why not be delicious.” The business refined Melissa’s creative and commercial flair. Melissa has served on the Home and School Board for St. Peter/St Francis School for several years and has been a volunteer at the St. Peter/St Francis School in many capacities since 2007. She was the recipient of the 2016 H.O.P.E.S John Neumann Award for her continued support and volunteerism of Catholic school education for the Archdiocese of Hartford. Melissa is involved as a volunteer for Junior Achievement Financial Literacy, National Real Aloud as well as a chairperson for many fundraisers and advancement for St. Peter/St Francis School. Melissa has pursued social action and volunteerism wherever she has lived including the GMHC in NYC and the Hackney Homeless Shelter in London. She believes that it is important to think globally while acting locally. A lifelong democrat, Melissa is an independent thinker and believes that effectively communicating and collaborating are key components to working on any board. Having served on the board of selectmen in Winsted for the past two years, Melissa continues to believe that Winsted truly is the hidden gem of Litchfield County, a vibrant, active community alive with a sense of common purpose.
Jack Bourque – Jack was first elected to the Board of Selectmen in 2015. He is a member of the Finance Committee and a liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission, and a liaison to Friends of Main Street. He has served on the Soldiers’ Monument Commission for nearly 30 years and currently is its chairman. During his two years as a selectman, Jack has also been a member of several board subcommittees. He and his wife Pat are homeowners who have lived in town since 1969 and raised four children in the public school system. For more than 30 years Jack owned and managed his own professional recruiting business before recently retiring and beginning a new career as a voice actor. With an undergraduate degree in English, Jack taught at Northwestern Regional High School, then worked for a decade as a reporter while earning a Master’s degree in corporate and political communication at Fairfield University. Jack’s community volunteer involvement also centers on developing improv programs at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, in local senior centers, and through the Foothills Adult Education program , EdAdvance. Jack believes that improving the quality of life in our community and increasing the value of homes or businesses takes a willingness to see beyond the immediate investment. He believes that progress requires a vision, a belief, and a willingness to openly and honestly dialogue with others to achieve understanding and success.
Candy Perez Candy has been elected to seven terms on the Board of Selectmen serving as Winsted’s Mayor for 2009-2011 and again 2015 - 2017. Candy has been "#BelievinginWinsted" all of her life and actively shares her energy through all of her municipal work and volunteer time toward improving Winsted’s overall economic development. Since that time, she is a strong voice of leadership on the Board of Selectmen making sure as Mayor that we included both BOS Democrats and Republicans on committees and in the decision-making process. She has contributed by creating a revenue map of the town, working with DPW to streamline the capital plan and street repair documents, inventorying Main St. businesses as recommended by consultants, creating a group to update ordinances, working with a focus group on the new town website and implementing the design and content of a new tourism section, working with partners to give the town a presence on CTVisit.com, and coordinated the town wide participation in the NHCOG survey, She is concerned with sustainable municipal budgets and its impact on the services provided to the entire community. She has been a proponent for investing in our community to attract and retain businesses that will enhance the grand list. She is unafraid to voice her support for the process and procedures needed to keep the work of the selectmen transparent. Candy has attended and volunteered at town-wide events including Laurel Festival, Veteran's Day and Memorial Day ceremonies, openings at Whiting Mills and the American Mural Project, Soldiers’ Monument programs, Highland Lake Watershed Association events, ribbon cutting ceremonies, and Fireman’s parades. She has in particular supported the senior center and programs that benefit of all of our citizens. In her professional work, she recently retired as the Principal of Northwestern Middle School Regional #7 and had been a professional educator for 37 years. In 2014 she was honored with the Women's Leadership Award for the First Congressional District by the Connecticut State Democratic Party.
Steven Sedlack Steve is a lifetime resident of Winsted. With the 2015 election he will now serve as the town's 2nd Selectman and in the absence of Mayor Perez as Mayor. He has long been involved in civic affairs beginning with Assistant Cub Master, CCD teacher, member and Chairman of Winchester Board of Education, member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and currently Chairman of the W. L. Gilbert School Corporation. He is entering his 52nd year in public and private education as a teacher, administrator, board member and supervisor of student teachers.
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