Tom Brockett – 1st Selectman

    Tom Brockett is presently serving his second term representing the 7th District on the RTM where he leads the Democratic caucus. A graduate of Branford High School, he is a lifelong town resident. After graduating from Wesleyan University and UConn Law School, he pursued a career in the practice of Labor Law and is now retired. Tom played baseball and shared his love of the game with generations of Branford children serving as coach, umpire, and President of Branford Little League. A Vietnam Veteran, he is a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Tom and his wife Carolyn raised three children who are all graduates of the Branford School System.

    Ray Dunbar – 2nd Selectman

    Ray Dunbar currently serves as 2nd selectman and has provided a lifetime of service to our town and country. Ray is a Navy veteran. He was one of Branford’s first EMTs, and a volunteer firefighter with Co. 5 in Stony Creek. Ray worked for the Branford Police Department for 34 years and recently retired as captain. Ray served as an elected member of the RTM from 1997-2005 and again from 2017-2019. Ray and his wife Cindy live in Stony Creek. They and their two daughters all graduated from the Branford School System.

    Eileen Poulton Cimino – Town Clerk

    Eileen Poulton Cimino has served as Assistant Town Clerk in Branford since 2015 and has achieved her Connecticut Town Clerk Certification. Eileen is a fourth generation resident of Branford. She and her husband of 32 years, Steve, raised their three children, Steven, Brandon and Francesca, in Short Beach – just down the street from the house she grew up in and where her great-grandfather owned the Short Beach Waiting Station. After graduating from Branford High School in 1977, Eileen became a goldsmith, soon training her own apprentices. She then sold real estate, became the Marketing Director for The Hearth at Gardenside senior living facility, and in 2009 founded her company – Funderful Face Painting, LLC – which she still operates today.

    “With my years of experience in the Town Clerk’s office I’ll be ready to serve the people of Branford on day one,” said Poulton Cimino. “My family has been in Branford for four generations so I understand the importance of a responsive and friendly Town Clerk’s office. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve the town I love.”

    Kurt Schwanfelder – Treasurer

    Kurt Schwanfelder currently serves as Treasurer for the town. He was an RTM First District Representative for 22 years, and during that time he held both the Majority and Minority positions as well as Chairman of the RTM Public Services Committee. He has also been a Police Commissioner, served as a member of the Board of Finance, and on the Board of Assessment Appeals. His more than 35 years of service has helped Kurt develop good relationships with town employees and leaders. Kurt is always available to listen to questions and concerns of Branford citizens and involve them in problem solving. Kurt was born and raised in Branford and has many family and business connections in the community. Kurt has been the owner and operator of Britain’s Automotive in Branford, for over 49 years and he also owns and rents residential and commercial properties in town.

    Roberta Gill-Brooks – Tax Collector

    Roberta Gill-Brooks, known as “Bobi,” was born, raised and educated in Branford. She is the first African-American female to run for, and win, an elected position in Branford. She is seeking a 3rd term in the role of Tax Collector, Branford. Prior to her career as Tax Collector, Ms. Gill-Brooks was employed by SNET/SBC/AT&T for 32 years, where she served as an Executive in Customer Service and Executive Training. In addition to her role as Tax Collector, she is a Notary Public and a Justice of the Peace, serves on the Board of Directors of the Branford Community Foundation, and is a Pioneer member of Awakening to Change. Roberta has 3 adult sons, and is the daughter of former Branford Police Chief Robert and Dorothy Gill of Branford.

    Walter Kawecki – Board of Assessment Appeals

    Walter Kawecki is the CEO of a Branford-based tech startup he founded in 2012.
    Since 2016, Walter has served as the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Short Beach. Additionally he serves as a mentor as part of the CTNext mentoring program, working with other experienced entrepreneurs, executives and investors to help accelerate the growth of Connecticut’s most promising early-stage ventures, and has served as an advisor to multiple startups, including several CT based companies.
    He also holds 4 patents encompassing artificial intelligence and machine learning technology for data analysis.
    A Branford resident for over a decade, Walter resides with his wife, Charlotte, in Short Beach.

    Judy Barron – RTM 1st District

    Judith Barron has been a Branford resident for over a decade with her two daughters. A graduate of Albertus Magnus College, she holds a Masters in Public Administration. Her current role is the Executive Director of the Community Dining Room. She has been active in the Branford community in many different capacities: serving on Branford youth girls sports boards and coaching for over ten years, currently the Vice Chair of the Orchard House Adult Day Center, a member of the Walsh Intermediate School Advisory Board, a former member of the Branford Festival Committee, President of Branford Cares, and more. Her volunteer work in a variety of organizations keeps her connected to many different entities in the surrounding communities that allows her to continue to network to support existing projects and identify community needs and resources.

    Kevin Coughlin – RTM 1st District

    Kevin Coughlin lives off Pine Orchard Road with his wife, daughter, and two dogs. He grew up in Hamden, went on to Boston College, did a spell at the London School of Economics, and received his Masters of Science in Teaching from Fordham University. A former educator, political campaign manager, and small business owner, Kevin now works at the Connecticut State Capitol as the Communications Director for the State Senate Democrats.
    On the RTM, Kevin will use his experience in education, business and government to strengthen Branford’s communications with residents and focus on attracting businesses and jobs to town.

    Cindy Kondziela – RTM 1st District

    Cindy Kondziela has lived in Branford since 1985. She graduated from SCSU with a degree in history and is a 20+ year veteran educator, working both as a paraprofessional and a teacher. In 2019, she served as Branford’s Paraprofessional Union (Local 222) Vice President, where she successfully negotiated a contentious contract with the Branford BOE. She played a critical role representing the best interests of workers by fighting for living wages and good benefits for 130 employees of the Branford School district.
    Today Cindy works for Madison Public Schools, is married to David, and has two grown children, Christina and Sarah. She enjoys reading, running and gardening.
    Cindy looks forward to giving back to her community and using her skills as an effective advocate to improve the lives of Branford families.

    Clare Torelli – RTM 1st District

    Clare Torelli is seeking her 8th term on the RTM. She was employed for over 40 years by the Branford Board of Education as a receptionist at the Branford High School. She is a former volunteer of MADD, Branford Compassion Club, Branford Community Dining Room, Walter Camp Foundation, and the Special Olympics. A lifelong resident of Branford, where she’s raised two children, Clare cares deeply about her hometown. Her top priority is to advocate for the citizens of Branford

    Joshua Brooks – RTM 2nd District

    Peter Hentschel – RTM 2nd District

    Peter Hentschel, AIA, represents District 2 on the RTM. Peter is Chairman of Branford’s Coastal Vulnerability Working Group established by the Board of Selectmen in 2020. He serves on the Rules and Ordinances Committee and was instrumental in the recent passage of Branford’s Blight Ordinance, as well as ordinances establishing procedures for enforcing all Town ordinances, and amendments to the Town Boating Ordinance. He acts as a liaison between the Stony Creek Association, the RTM and Town staff.
    A graduate of both Yale University and the Yale School of Architecture. Peter was the co-founder of one of the state’s largest architectural firms, Tecton Architects in Hartford, a multi-disciplinary firm embracing new design technologies. A US Coast Guard licensed Ship-Master, Peter has participated in several international underwater archeological shipwreck excavations. He and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Stony Creek.

    Adrian Bonenberger – RTM 3rd District

    Adrian Bonenberger is an Airborne-, Ranger-, Reconaissance-qualified, and valorously decorated two-time combat veteran of Afghanistan, a published author, and a native Branfordian who came home to raise a family after covering the Russo-Ukrainian war. He’s served as president of the Yale Veterans Association since 2017, after helping co-found it in 2012; co-founded a publication led by veterans and military spouses dedicated to publishing veteran fiction and poetry in 2013; and has served on Branford’s Conservation and Environmental Commission since 2018.
    Making Branford a top destination town in Connecticut is important to Bonenberger, who feels that more people should be staying rather than leaving for other towns or states. He feels that Branford is a town of beauty, history, and potential, and is looking forward to fielding suggestions from 3rd District on how to better connect neighborhoods and foster local businesses.

    Linda Erlanger – RTM 3rd District

    Linda Erlanger is an incumbent on the RTM in the 3rd District. She has been a resident of Branford for the past 18 years and a homeowner at Harbour Village since 2005, where she lives with her wife, Margret and their corgi, Mabel.
    She is a licensed dentist, and her career has spanned a variety of work experience, including dental practice, health care plan management, project leadership and consulting. Although mostly retired, she continues to work in a part-time capacity for a dental benefits management organization. In her spare time she enjoys travel, reading, cooking, and hiking.
    As an incumbent RTM member, she serves on the Ways and Means committee. As she noted in 2019 when she ran for her first term on the RTM, she remains committed to helping her district, and the Town of Branford, address our environmental concerns, improve our community infrastructure, enhance Branford’s economic development process, and support fiscal responsibility. The 3rd district has its own unique issues, and she is invested in working on all of them, including but not limited to, water quality at public beaches, rising sea-levels, repair of sidewalks and addition of bike paths, support of local small businesses, and the overall public safety of neighborhoods. As well, she is a member of the town’s Coastal Vulnerability Working Group.
    She is thoughtful, energetic, smart, responsible, and solutions-focused, and believes that her work ethic and character will continue to be an asset as a 3rd District RTM Representative.

    Maryann Amore – RTM 4th District

    Maryann Amore was born and raised in Branford’s Fourth district, and grew up “on the Hill.” After graduating from Branford High, she began her college and professional career in Philadelphia. She holds a BA in Psychology and English Literature/Theatre Arts from Arcadia University and an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology/Learning Systems Design from Temple University. Maryann worked for many years in the mid-Atlantic area as a career development counselor and as director of a number of youth and adult workforce development programs. She later worked for Columbia University and the US Department of Labor, travelling nationally to train workforce development professionals in best practices in program design, and in the delivery of effective instruction in “second-chance” settings. Returning to Branford Hills in 2004 to be closer to family, she worked as the Director of Lifelong Learning at St. Luke’s LifeWorks in Stamford, and as a director of HOPE Partnership, a non-profit affordable housing developer in Old Saybrook. Her diverse professional experiences include having her own business as a registered financial representative, working as a bookkeeper and tax preparer, and most recently as a tutor for blind and low-vision learners in the New Haven Public Schools.
    Wanting to know her hometown better as an adult, she ran for and served as a member of the Branford RTM for the Fourth District between 2009 and 2018, and served as chair of the Education Committee from 2011-2013. She currently serves as Vice President of the board of the Blackstone Library, and was recently appointed to the board of Branford Affordable Housing, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to securing support for affordable housing. Because of these experiences, Maryann is able to see Branford through many lenses, both personal and professional. She continues to be a strong and unwavering advocate for the best interests of her neighborhood, her District, and her beloved hometown.

    Derek Green – RTM 4th District

    Derek Green and his wife, Laura, have been raising their daughter in Branford for the last 18 years. A transplant from England, he moved to the US to work for a local company and later obtained his U.S. citizenship.
    As a resident of the fourth district, Derek is part of a diverse neighborhood and believes it is important that people from all backgrounds experience opportunities to participate in Branford’s town government. As a volunteer for Branford Soccer Club and a vocal education advocate, Derek recognizes the value of investing in public education and the role it plays in preparing our children for successful careers.
    Derek and his family chose to move to Branford because they were drawn to the diversity and amenities the town has to offer and he is running for RTM because he would like to see the town prosper. Having survived cancer, he realizes that you need to act positively and decisively.

    Ram Shrestha – RTM 4th District

    Ram C Shrestha is currently serving on the RTM representing the fourth district and serves on the Public Service Committee. He has been living in Branford for the past two decades. He was born and raised in Nepal where he also received his Bachelors degree in Economics and Political Science. He was the past president of the Society of Nepalese in America. As a part of the Society of Nepalese in America, he helped coordinate humanitarian efforts in Nepal when the earthquake struck the country in 2015. He is a successful small business owner. He is committed to the betterment of the Town of Branford.

    Shahida Soomro – RTM 4th District

    Shahida Soomro has lived in Branford for the last 15 years. She works at Cornell Scott Hill Health Center in New Haven as a Health Information Coordinator.
    She is a mother of two boys who attended the Branford school system. Her elder son is a Junior at UConn and her younger son is a sophomore at Branford High.
    As a Branford resident, she has always been an active member of community groups like the Food Allergy Network Group and Branford Action Network.
    She joined the RTM in 2018 to fill a vacancy. In 2019, she ran for a full-term and won. She is very passionate about education and joined the Education committee of the RTM.
    She is running for the RTM in District 4 and will continue to listen to the residents and be their voice on the RTM.

    Dan Adelman – RTM 5th District

    Dan is serving his second term on the RTM and sits on the Administrative Services Committee and the Rules and Ordinances Committee. An attorney in private practice in New Haven, Dan is the President of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven. He has three children: a 24-year-old son and 20-year-old boy/girl twins.

    Tracy Everson – RTM 5th District

    Tracy Everson is seeking her second term serving Branford’s 5th District as an RTM member.
    She enjoys living in the Branford Point neighborhood on Mill Creek, and is a member of the RTM Administrative Services Committee and Branford’s Coastal Vulnerability Working Group. Family ties and aging parents brought her home to Branford year-round in 2017; her family has summered in the Thimble Islands for four generations and she was baptized in town. Tracy is now a licensed agent at Century 21 AllPoints Realty. Her award-winning career as a journalist for 23 years focused primarily on covering politics in Westchester County, New York. In 2009, she changed course, doing communications work for two powerhouse female elected officials, a District Attorney (now Chief Judge in NYS) and a State Senator (now Senate President and Majority Leader). Tracy brings a fresh voice and a new perspective to issues in town, and looks forward to contributing even more to the community.

    Alex Larsson – RTM 5th District

    Alex is a recent transplant to Branford with his wife and dog, who he fosters for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He chose to move to Branford because of the beautiful landscape, but also the close-knit community feel that Branford offers.
    Alex currently works as an Academic Adviser/Credentialing Specialist and History Professor at Post University. Prior to Post University, Alex was an adviser at Western Connecticut State University. He also ran for the 66th District State House seat in 2018. When Alex isn’t working at Post, he helps run his non-profit, Connecticut Crossroads Project, which seeks to document the individual experience of people young and old to preserve the history of community through casual conversations.

    Lou Siegel – RTM 5th District

    Lou Siegel is Chairman of a national insurance risk control and international marine claims company, with staff working on projects across the USA and Europe.
    Since 2019, he has served as volunteer Treasurer of the Branford Food Pantry. Additionally, since 2017 he gives back as a volunteer with K9 First Responders, as a handler and dog team trained as an “All-Hazards Psychological Trauma Response Team.”
    Lou has lived in Branford since 2005. Married over 40 years, he and his wife have three adult sons and four grandchildren.

    Chad Edgar – RTM 6th District

    Chad Edgar moved to Branford in 2016. While relatively new to Branford, Chad grew up on the Shoreline (East Lyme) and has happily returned to his home state to raise two children with his wife and hopefully practice law at a less frantic pace than was the case in New York City. Chad views himself as relentlessly pragmatic and aims to find “win win” compromises in most situations, including the fundamental challenge of the next few decades for all small towns along the Shoreline: balancing rational growth against concerns for sustainability. Towns like Branford must grow in diverse ways in order to attract and retain talent, but in a manner that assures careful stewardship of the environment. Also, as an ex-teacher, a parent and surrounded by public school teachers at all of his family reunions, Chad is particularly focused on assuring that Branford children receive a robust education that not only imparts knowledge, but also good citizenship.

    Nancy McCormack – RTM 6th District

    Nancy is currently running for a seat on the RTM in the 6th District. She previously served as the first female Democratic Moderator of the RTM in the late 90s. Nancy was born and raised in New Haven and moved to Branford when she purchased her first home in 1978. She is the mother of one daughter, who was educated in the Branford public school system and is in her senior year of college. You can find Nancy backstage at the BHS musicals volunteering to do hair & make-up for the cast. She recently retired as a Chief Probation Officer after 31 years with the State of CT Judicial Branch. She holds a B.S. in Business and a M.S. in Criminal Justice Management. Nancy is environmentally conscious, has a great appreciation for the Police and Fire Departments and the public school system in town.

    Chris Sullivan – RTM 6th District

    Chris has served on the RTM for ten years – as Moderator, R+O Chairman, and most recently, Minority Leader. He is on the Rules and Ordinances committee. The father of two daughters who attend Mary T Murphy School and the husband of a science teacher at Walsh Intermediate School, Chris cares deeply about the environment. As an RTM member, he successfully spearheaded the efforts to protect Branford from fracking waste. Chris currently works as an environmental analyst dealing with water quality issues with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

    Donna Laich – RTM 7th District

    Donna Laich is a 21-year resident of Branford, currently living on Limewood Avenue with her husband, Bryan. Donna recently retired from her 35-year career in the Wallingford Public School system where she began her career as a high school teacher and coach. She coached the High School volleyball team for over 20 years and the boy’s tennis team for 11, winning the volleyball state championship in 2000. After earning her masters and 6th year in school psychology, Donna continued her career at Sheehan High School as the school psychologist working extensively with special education and regular education students, teachers, parents, and administrators in a variety of settings. Donna’s varied educational experiences provide her with an integrated understanding of how to maintain a healthy public school system.
    Donna was elected to represent the 7th district in 2019 and currently serves as the RTM clerk. In addition to her background in public education, Donna is a passionate environmentalist and serves on Branford’s Sustainable CT committee, volunteers time in the new pollinator garden at Foote Park, joins local beach clean-ups, drives an electric car, participates in the Blue Earth composting project, and is a contributing member of Save the Sound and the Sierra Club.

    Chuck Tiernan – RTM 7th District

    Chuck Tiernan is a lifelong Branford resident and graduate of Branford High School where he was a two sport athlete in baseball and football. Chuck attended Trinity College in Hartford where he received a B.A. in Political Science and also played football. He later enrolled at the Drake University School of Law in Des Moines, Iowa where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Drake Law Review.
    Since 1983, Chuck has been employed at the New Haven law firm, Lynch, Traub, Keefe, and Errante and became a partner in 1988. Chuck is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He has been voted to be included in the publication “Best Lawyers in America” since 2007 and has been listed in the “Super Lawyers” publication since 2006. Chuck previously taught law courses for over 15 years as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University.
    Over the years, Chuck has been a volunteer soccer coach as part of the Branford soccer league. In 2011, Chuck was inducted into the Branford Sports Hall of Fame. Chuck and his wife Marie raised their son Jack in Branford and are parishioners of Branford’s St. John Bosco parish. Chuck is treasurer of the Juniper Point Association executive committee.
    Chuck would be honored to serve as a member of the RTM representing the 7th district and to continue serving Branford as a Constable.

    Christy Cantu – Board of Education

    Cristy, a mother of two, has lived in Branford for 17 years, and currently serves on the Branford Board of Education. She attended Hampshire College, receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. After taking some time to travel around the world and live in Israel, Cristy completed a Masters of Science degree at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. Her chosen field placement was at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center as part of a multi-disciplinary team focusing on perinatal prevention of mother-to child HIV transmission. Cristy’s work in this area led to participation in health missions to the Dominican Republic as part of a treatment team providing health care to communities affected by HIV, including Haitian migrants. Having later worked with children and adolescents affected by HIV though the Yale Child Study Center Family Support Services home-based program, Cristy developed counseling skills rooted in family dynamics and interpersonal trauma. Currently, she works at Yale New Haven Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Services and is also a Counselor at Yale University’s SHARE Center (Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education Center) providing crisis intervention, advocacy, support, and counseling to people who have experienced sexual misconduct. She has also served as PTA Cultural Arts Coordinator and later vice-president at John B. Sliney Elementary School, which both her children attended. In 2013, Cristy also worked alongside parents and community leaders to revitalize and renew the Hammer Field/Community House playground.

    Brett Joly – Board of Education

    Brett Joly, a teacher for over 20 years, was nominated for a six year term on the Board of Education. He is currently a French and Spanish teacher at North Haven Middle school. He and his wife have lived in Branford since 2007. They have two children in the Branford School system. He has taught in Mexico, studied in Spain, and held a Rotary Club Ambassadorial Scholarship for one year to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Additionally, Brett holds a Masters degrees from the School for International Training and the University of California Santa Barbara. He has an extensive history of volunteerism, beginning with working with the homeless at the Immaculate Conception shelter for the homeless in Hartford in 1988, where he got his start learning Spanish.

    Neil Sullivan – Board of Education

    Neil Sullivan, an educator with over twenty years of experience as a classroom teacher and school administrator, was nominated for a 2 year term. Neil is a proud husband to Karyn, father of two wonderful boys, Daniel and William, and a coach, volunteer and congregation member in Branford. Neil believes in the connectedness between school and community and looks forward to supporting the town he has called home for over a decade via the Board of Education. His educational background includes a BA from Fairfield University, Masters in Education from DePaul University and a Sixth Year Degree from Southern Connecticut State University in educational leadership. He is eager to hear from Branford residents about any and all educational matters.

    Marie Watson – Board of Education

    Marie Watson, a 26-year resident of Branford, served 7 and a half of those years on the Branford Board of Education from 2002-2009. During that time, she was proud to raise three children who all graduated from Branford High School. Marie has a background in early childhood education and worked in New Haven at an agency that focused on children and families with trauma. More recently, she worked at the Wheeler Clinic in congregate care, supervising teens who needed support to re-engage in school and community. While completing her Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) at Fordham University, Marie interned at the Yale New Haven Hospital Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program. Marie was nominated for a 6 year term and looks forward to bringing her past Board wisdom and experience to support our current endeavors.

    John O’Connor – Constable

    Married 53 years to Jean Charlotte O’Connor, John and his wife have two adult sons that attended Branford Public Schools K-12, two daughters in laws, and four teenage grandchildren. Growing up John was a summer resident of Branford and became a full time resident 53 years ago. He earned his undergraduate degree, Masters and Sixth Year Certification from Southern CT State University. Presently John is serving as Vice Chairman of the Branford Board of Education, spent many years on the Branford Human Services Board and is the past president of the CT High School Coaches Association. His professional career spanning over 33 years, included several years as a middle school teacher and 25 years as the School Psychologist at Branford HS and Walsh Intermediate. Also as the Branford HS swim coach for 32 years, John was recognized as CT coach of the year numerous times, five time New England coach of the year and in 2007 was named National swim coach of the Year. Has been inducted into Branford’s Sports and Education Hall of Fames and CT Coaches HOF. John believes the town of Branford, the Branford Public School system and the diverse students that attend are the best you could ask for, and he is proud to live in Branford.

    Charles E. Tiernan, III, Esq. – Constable

    Chuck is serving as Constable. A two-sport athlete, he was elected in 2011 to the Branford Sports Hall of Fame. A partner in the law firm, Lynch, Traub, Keefe, and Errante, he has been recognized in the publication, “Best Lawyers in America.” For over 15 years he has been an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University. Chuck and his wife, Marie, raised their son in Branford.

    Fran Walsh – Constable

    Fran is serving as Constable. Previously, he was elected to 5 terms as Branford’s Second Selectman in the administration of Unk DaRos. For 34 years, he worked as a teacher and administrator in the Branford Public Schools, retiring in 1994.

    Georgette Tootsie Laske