Dietch Ready To Face Off Against Zeoli

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Jul 162019

On Tuesday night, July 16, the Orange Democrats unanimously voted Jody Dietch as their nominee for First Selectman.  

Here is the context of her acceptance speech:

I am honored to stand here before you to accept the nomination as the Democratic nominee for the First Selectman of the Town of Orange, a town that I have lived in nearly my entire life.

I moved to Orange when I was 4 years old and attended Race Brook School, then Amity Junior High School, as it was called then, and I graduated from Amity Regional High School.  Coincidentally, these are the same schools my sons, Howie and Mike, also attended and graduated from.  Yes, I am a product of our great public school system.

I attended Keene State College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and minored in business. I then went on to graduate from American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington, DC with a Master’s Degree in Public Relations. For the past 12 years, I have been an Executive Director in the non-profit sector.  Recently, I became a trained mediator through the Quinnipiac University Law School’s Center on Dispute Resolution.

After I got married, my husband, Jeff, and I moved back to Orange in 2001.  I became involved in the Race Brook PTA serving on the Playground Committee and eventually the executive board as Co-President with Jackie Esposito.  I went on to serve two elected terms on the Orange Board of Education in a bi-partisan manner. 

As a former owner of the Little White House Learning Center in Milford, I understand the importance of early childhood education.  During my time as the owner of Little White House, I joined Kids Count of Milford, which among many things, offers scholarships for children to attend preschool, because we know how important preschool is to a child’s future success.  I eventually served as its president, as well.

After leaving the Orange Board of Education, I became more involved in the Orange Democratic Town Committee serving in various capacities including Treasurer, secretary and, currently, chair.  My desire to serve my town is what has driven me to work diligently in these positions.

I have often considered a run for First Selectman, and as they say, timing is everything.  It is time to move Orange into the future, while respecting our past.  But our farming past is not the basis for our future.  Nearly every year that the current Republican First Selectman and his administration have been in office, our taxes have increased.  We need to look at more ways to control expenses including, but certainly not limited to, sharing resources with our neighboring towns. Yes, we do some of that now but there is more to be done.

We need to look at alternatives for the large empty big box stores that haunt the east end of Route 1 where LA Fitness, Lowe’s and Sam’s used to be. It is time to resurrect the Post Road Study Committee to present new ideas that will help lead us into the next decade with significant economic development and not economic stagnation.

Over several elections, we have talked about helping our seniors stay in their homes but what has been done to help them? My parents moved in with me recently.  I understand the challenges our seniors face. It took the campaign 2 years ago of Democrat Margaret Novicki to get new chairs at the High Plains Senior Center.  It is time to look at meaningful ways to work with our seniors and not just provide them with lip service.

We need better communication and transparency in government.  How is it our Orange Community Nursery school didn’t even know they were going to be forced out of their home last year?  They heard about it second hand. That is unacceptable.  Why was our pool not ready for our paying campers this summer? Our First Selectman needs to be on top of these situations and pay attention to issues that affect our residents.

Orange is a great town and I think we can make it better. We need to be a sustainable community.  Our current administration doesn’t even talk about ways to help the environment.  We need to make Orange green.  I want the residents of Orange to work with the administration to make this a reality and become a Sustainable Town.

I ask you to join me over the next 3 ½ months to work to elect this slate for the future of the Town of Orange.  I humbly accept your nomination as the Democratic candidate for First Selectman and ask you to be with me on this journey to victory November 5th.