Orange Board of Education Member Challenging Klarides

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Feb 222020

Mary Welander of Orange officially launched her candidacy on Saturday for State Representative in the 114th House District, serving the towns of Derby, Orange and Woodbridge. Mary enters the race with the goal of representing and fighting for comprehensive educational opportunities for our children, advancement for families, and stronger support for seniors in the district.

“For too long we have been waiting for someone to put our needs and priorities first, and it hasn’t happened,” said Welander. “Opportunities have been missed, families are being left behind, and people aren’t being helped. And that is what this is all about: helping people. It’s not about building up a name for yourself; it’s about building up our communities. The truth is that things aren’t going to get better for the everyday families in our communities until we have more people from those families involved in making the decisions that affect our everyday lives. We feel the effects; we should be part of the conversation.”

“Mary Welander is a dedicated community advocate who is committed to addressing the challenging issues in education, economic improvement, the environment, and a better quality of life for all our citizens.” said Paul Davis, former State Representative and Selectman, and current member of the Amity Board of Education. “Mary’s focus is on people, not politics.”

“Mary understands what our community is facing and is ready to work so that our families have the best chance for success in their futures,” said Beth Heller, First Selectwoman of Woodbridge. “Her commitment to our towns and real-life problem solving is clear and we look forward to Mary truly representing Woodbridge in Hartford.”

Mary is a member of the Orange Board of Education and currently serves as the Vice Chair of both the Finance and Personnel, Policy, and Transportation subcommittees. She is also Co-President of the Race Brook School PTA. Mary is an Ambassador for Connecticut for Sandy Hook Promise and regularly promotes education-based, common sense solutions for gun violence prevention programs both within the state and through bi-partisan outreach trips to Washington, DC. Mary has recently joined the team of Pirie Associates, an architecture, landscape, and interior design firm in New Haven committed to sustainable and equitable built environments.

Marc Garofalo, former Mayor of Derby, said, “Mary shows true commitment to bipartisan problem solving every day with her work on the Orange Board of Education. She has dedicated herself to making better futures for families in her town and I know she will do the same for the families of Derby.”

Mary and her husband Matt (a college professor, small business owner, and volunteer Scout leader), live in Orange with their three children and their dog, Bauer. These days Mary is often found at High Plains Community Center and other various pools cheering on their daughter and the rest of the ARAC Swim Team, or attending meetings for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or other various organizations she and her family are part of.

“My dedication to the Orange Board of Education will not change; serving on the board and working in a bi-partisan way to help our children is a huge honor for me,” Welander said. “My commitment to all of our towns hasn’t wavered, in fact it has grown. This district, my neighbors, our schools, and our state deserve someone who will do the work and fight for them. Problems aren’t solved by pointing fingers and I am tired of hearing the same arguments while nothing changes and families continue to struggle. Orange, Derby, and Woodbridge deserve more. I hope I can earn their trust and support.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about Mary or her candidacy for State Representative can visit www.welanderforct.com or @welanderforct on Facebook.


Word On The Street: Lenz Vs Zeoli in November — We’ll See

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Apr 192013

Ken LenzRumors are a jumping point for reporters, some take everything they hear as truth and run with it, others ask questions before posting a story.

Today at the grand opening of the Stony Creek Urgent Care Center, someone nudged me and asked… “Have your heard?”

The rumor was that Ken Lenz, an attorney, member of the Orange Lions Club and the Orange Players and a longtime friend of mine, is going to challenge First Selectman Jim Zeoli in the November Municipal Election.

Seeing that Ken was attending the ribbon cutting ceremony, I figured there’s no time like the present, and I asked him directly… “Are you?”

Ken would not confirm nor deny if the rumor was true, but did tell me that he’d been approached by the Democrats and he had spoken to the nominating committee. BUT he would not make any statement or announcement until the proper time — after the Democrats have completed their slate and officially release it to the public on Monday night.

I do like Ken as a person and as a valued friend, and I get along with Jim very well and I respect both of them, but let me make it clear that I stand by the statement I made on Orangectlive.com after I opened the site last year — I do have a political policy in place and I will not endorse any candidates for any office State or Municipal.

That said, let’s wait until Monday to see who is on the Democratic slate for 2013.

Originally Published on: Apr 18, 2013 @ 2:22 p.m.