A Statement from the Easton Democratic Town Committee

Racial justice is a human right that continues to be violated in our country. The Easton DTC is grieved and outraged by the countless murders of black men and women, and collectively mourns the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks. . . and of so many more Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as a result of systemic racism. We unequivocally condemn these injustices and will continue to join our voices and actions in protest to demand change. 

BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

As Easton Democrats we will:

  • Adamantly condemn white supremacy and systemic racism
  • Do the work within our town, community, state, and nation to end violence and police brutality against people of color
  • Engage in open dialogue with law enforcement, elected officials, town boards, as well as local and state policy makers to assure zero tolerance for racial harassment or harm
  • Educate ourselves and provide community education, resources, and events that promote racial justice, and help us reach the promise of Liberty and Justice for ALL
  • Listen to and amplify the voices of people of color in our community, town, state, and country while standing with them in solidarity and support
  • Recruit and support candidates who are committed to fighting for racial justice on all fronts—educational, social, economic, medical, environmental—and will hold all elected and appointed officials accountable for their positions on systemic racism

BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

We commit to confronting racism openly, honestly, and to champion equality, fairness, and justice. These are not new beliefs, but ones that have been held quietly; that ends now. Our collective voice and power will be used as catalysts for change in Easton, Fairfield County, and across Connecticut.

In solidarity, The Easton Democratic Town Committee

Easton’s Xenophobic Elected Official

EASTON'S XENOPHOBIC ELECTED OFFICIAL

May 25, 2020

Easton, CT —The Easton Democratic Town Committee disagrees strongly with Easton Board of Finance member Michael Kot’s April 29 letter about COVID-19. 

Among many outrageous comments, we are most alarmed by Mr. Kot’s mention of the “Chinese-created pandemic.” These inaccurate and xenophobic words show complete disregard for Easton’s Asian and Asian-American residents. Mr. Kot’s opinion is intentionally divisive and is unacceptable in our community. Discrimination from town leadership can create or enable conscious and unconscious bias in others, putting members of our community at risk. 

Easton resident Ya-Ching Liu told us that she’s “been subjected to many ignorant comments, including people calling the Chinese culture disgusting, or casual mentions of how they stay away from businesses where there are Asian people because they probably are carriers. It’s been hurtful to see the vitriol directed at people of Asian descent.”

We are dedicated to safety, equity and inclusion. We expect our public officials to uphold these most basic ideals, yet Mr. Kot is clearly prejudiced against some of the citizens he governs. 

A properly functioning and inclusive town like Easton must not tolerate bigotry and racism. We ask for Mr. Kot’s apology and an assurance that he will conduct his public responsibilities without discrimination. If he refuses to do so then we ask him to resign his position on the Board of Finance.

Sincerely,

The Easton Democratic Town Committee

Contact:
Sarah Lehberger
Easton Democratic Town Committee
Email: contact@eastonctdems.com
Phone: 646-425-7696

Historic Democratic Win and Many Firsts in Easton, CT

HISTORIC DEMOCRATIC WIN AND MANY FIRSTS IN EASTON, CONNECTICUT

November 8, 2019

Easton, CT — David Bindelglass, an orthopedic surgeon from Easton, Connecticut, has been elected as the Town’s first Democratic First Selectman in 36 years.  Along with Selectman Bob Lessler, who was re-elected to his eleventh term as Selectman, they will form the first Democratic majority on the town Board since 2003.  Bindelglass and Lessler will be joined by Kristi Sogofsky, who was elected to her first full term on the board. The election is also historic because it is the first time since 1983 that Easton has elected a Democratic First Selectman as well as a Democratic majority to the three member board.

“I’m proud to lead the Town of Easton with a Democratic majority,” Bindelglass said today. “We will work hard for all the people of Easton in maintaining our excellent school system, protecting our open spaces, and seeking new sources of revenue.  It’s time for Easton to plan for the future with energy, innovation, and an open, responsive government.”

Bindelglass, 60, specializes in hip and knee replacements and has been doing them for the last 27 years at Orthopedic Specialty Group, where he also manages the practice as a member of the Executive Committee.  He has a long history of involvement in the town, coaching soccer for years and serving on the Easton Board of Education since 2015.  David and his wife, Gloria, are 25-year Easton residents.

Contact:
Sarah Lehberger
Easton Democratic Town Committee
Email: contact@eastonctdems.com
Phone: 646-425-7696

A Public Response from David Bindelglass Regarding Recent Letters & Your Vote

Dear Easton voters,

Tom Herrmann, Adam Dunsby, and the Republican Town Committee, in a letter dated October 30th and another dated November 1st, seek to divide our town with scare tactics and misrepresentations about your Democratic neighbors. 

The Republican leadership on the Board of Selectmen, including Kristi Sogofsky, refused to allow discussion of the April gun safety ordinance, proposed by Selectman Bob Lessler. As Bob stated at the time, this first draft was meant to encourage important dialogue about a heated topic so that the Board of Selectmen could modify and improve the ordinance to ensure the safety and peace of our community.

Many residents of Easton want to prevent the disturbance of the town’s peace and quiet, and unintentional danger caused by firearms. For example, one resident found a bullet lodged in her bed’s headboard, another in his car, and another’s dog was shot by a stray bullet. I know this is a difficult topic, but good leaders conduct challenging conversations with their constituents by providing ample opportunity to share different perspectives and engage in respectful debate.

Our goal is about what is best for our town.

We don’t believe in divisive tactics that scare and enrage people. It’s important that we discuss safety and quality of life concerns and that our Board of Selectmen be allowed to make decisions in the best interest of our town. Neither party should pressure elected officials about discussing – or not discussing – important topics. As your First Selectman, I will consider all proposals and will make decisions on legislation only after open discussion with the public, attentive listening and sharing of opinions, and careful thought.

Easton voters know our issues in this campaign. Instead of trying to mislead and instill division, we pledge to search for new sources of revenue, preserve open space, protect our seniors, and ensure the high quality of our schools. Achieving these goals will attract home buyers and subsequently increase our property values.

We will continue to present our vision to the town in a constructive and honest campaign.

I urge all of Easton to vote Democratic on November 5th for honest, open, thoughtful, and energetic new leadership for Easton.

Sincerely,

David Bindelglass

Clear Differences Between Easton’s Candidates This Municipal Election

Vote Row A for Easton Democrats

There are very clear differences between the Democratic and Republican candidates. The Democratic candidates want to work with the town’s citizens to responsibly move our town forward. We will lead with transparency as we seek to find additional revenue sources so we can improve our Senior Tax Relief Program and fund our schools. 

We believe that with your support and VOTE on Tuesday, 11/5, we can drive long-term prosperity for all households, and protect all that we hold dear to us in this town. 

What We Learned in the Recent Debates About the Differences Between Democratic and Republican Candidates

There is a lot at stake in this election, and it’s important to know the issues and the candidates’ positions. The Q&A debates for Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance demonstrate clear and important differences in the positions held by Republicans and Democrats on important issues that matter to Easton residents.

Republicans have made it clear that they believe Easton should continue on in the same manner as we have in the past. Easton Democratic candidates are dedicated to Easton, and we recognize that we must have clear plans and foresight to protect our town’s future. We aim to protect our seniors, and fund our schools, which will subsequently attract home buyers and increase our property values. Our goals are in support of the following initiatives…

1. Educational Excellence

Attracting new families to Easton depends on maintaining our excellent schools. Our Democratic candidates support funding our schools to ensure excellence in education and strong social, emotional, and academic programming. If you have lived through the last few budget cycles, then you have experienced how the Republican-controlled Board of Finance has continued to reduce funding for our schools resulting in significant cuts to faculty and staff. And you may have even noticed that they removed an individual from a critical board in which he was in favor of supporting school funding. That didn’t go unnoticed by us, and we think that speaks volumes about their priorities.

The bipartisan Board of Education has presented reasonable budgets to the Board of Finance, but its Republican members have repeatedly suggested large cuts to those budgets. The Republican Board of Finance nominees have supported $400,000 of cuts as well as tax credits for households that send their kids to private schools. The Democratic candidates support reasonable budgets to maintain small classes, ensure adequate educational support staff, and fund professional development. We will approach the Board of Education budget looking at what we NEED to better educate our children, rather than arbitrarily reducing BOE budgets as they are presented. Learn more in the closing remarks by Tara Donnelly Gottlieb and Devon Wible.

2. Revenue Generation & Senior Tax Relief

The Democratic candidates are committed to finding more revenue from sources other than individual property taxes. One example is ensuring that Aquarion property is assessed and taxed appropriately.

The Easton Democratic Town Committee has found that the land under the Hemlock Reservoir, which is owned half by Easton and half by Fairfield, is appraised at $30,000 per acre in Fairfield, but at $3,652 per acre in Easton. As a result, and as is clear in the tax bills, Fairfield collects over $167,000 per year in taxes from their half of the reservoir, while we collect less than $17,000 per year from the other half. It also appears that Easton has undervalued other land under reservoirs for decades, resulting in potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost tax revenue. 

Democratic candidates have addressed this issue multiple times, but the Republican candidates have neither noticed nor investigated this disparity. In the recent debates, we have been accused of spreading “disinformation” by bringing up this topic. As stated above, we are presenting the facts and information and will seek a fair assessment on the lands under town reservoirs.

Starting on November 6th, Democratic leadership will examine and research the record to determine if these lands under reservoirs should be reassessed. It is the town government’s job to ensure that all of its land is fairly assessed and taxed so that one taxpayer constituency is not unfairly (under or over) taxed. Democrats are determined to get Easton taxpayers a fair deal, and if this discrepancy is of interest to you and you’d like to be a part of the team moving this research forward then we welcome your volunteerism on the Easton Democratic Town Committee.

The Democratic candidates also believe that the roughly $400,000 per year that we pay in debt service to own land on South Park Avenue is not what more than 75% of our town voted for in 2008. On the purchase price of $6 million, about $3 million remains to be paid. Easton taxpayers have invested too much in this property already, and there is still no plan to responsibly use this land. It is a lost opportunity for revenue, tax relief, or even community use. The annual debt service could pay for vital town services like improving our Senior Tax Relief Program, provide funding for a new ambulance for our EMS, and/or reinstating important faculty positions and programs in our schools. Whatever the future use of the land — Democratic leadership will proactively research and transparently discuss how to end this enormous expense and use South Park so it benefits our town and its citizens. We will welcome your input and ideas as well.

3. Promoting Community & Connection

We will keep Easton’s unique rural character in tact! There is no place like Easton, and preserving our open space is paramount to keeping Easton attractive to others and maintaining our town’s character. People want community and connection, and with imaginative thinking and careful planning to protect our land and farming community aesthetics, we can make things happen in a way that honors Easton’s history and celebrates all that we are as a community. We can responsibly add to our town by adding one or two small establishments – places like the Easton Village Store and Greiser’s — where neighbors can come together.

The small area near Silverman’s Farm already has (and has always had), several small businesses operating there. The Democractic Town Committee met with Planning & Zoning recently, and have a clear understanding of the regulatory control that is ensured for any possible expansion as evidenced in this FAQ pdf they shared with us. We understand that many individuals have concerns over any possible development in this area, and we recently addressed some of those concerns via social media as well. Our team of leaders will continue to be transparent about our vision, promote our farms, and look into opportunities for community and connection in this small 15 acre area. These efforts will make Easton even more attractive to home buyers, which will support increasing property values – a goal for so many of our residents! Your talents, input, and innovative ideas are welcomed on any of these initiatives as we seek qualified and committed community members on our various town boards and commissions.

All of Our Goals Will Lead to Improved Property Values

When elected, the Democratic government officials will take action to address and improve our property values. Easton’s Democratic candidates are dedicated to finding nonpartisan solutions. Let’s think, plan, research, engage in open and honest dialogue, and explore our options – together – for Easton’s future!

We look forward to seeing you at the polls and earning your VOTE on November 5th! Polls are open from 6am – 8pm at Samuel Staples Elementary School!

Pictured left to right: Devon Wible (Candidate for BoF), David Bindelglass (Candidate for First Selectman), Bob Lessler (Candidate for Selectman), Tara Donnelly Gottlieb (Candidate for BoF)

Spotlight Feature Series: Meet Gloria Bindelglass, Candidate for Constable in Easton, CT

You’ve Been Involved in the Community for Some Time Now. Can You Share More About Your Work and Service?

I’m currently a member of the Library Board, and the healthcare consultant for the Easton Community Center. I’ve served as Commissioner for the Easton EMS, and spent the majority of my career as an emergency department nurse and critical care instructor.

Most recently, I developed an App that guides health care providers in resuscitation, assists with critical tasks, and documents events. It has been an incredible experience to empower others in this new capacity and to see how this technology can improve the chances that patients will survive their cardiac arrest, as well as increase provider efficiency, and create positive environments for those in the healthcare workplace.

I’m running for one of the Constable positions for the town, and I hope to find solutions that will help to move Easton forward.

Do You Have Any Health or Wellness Related Information That You’d Like to Share with our Extended Community?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Year after year, we see the pink ribbons, hear the taglines about “Pinktober”, mammograms and self exams. For most of us, it sits on the periphery of our radar. Until it’s you or someone you love that gets the diagnosis.

Let me tell you about my journey…

“I am a breast cancer survivor. One year down and four to go... until I can say that I am cancer free.”

My annual breast health check ups were on February 14, 2018. I sighed my usual sigh of relief to hear that both my mammo and ultrasound were fine, and I got the “see you next year” from my doctor! 

Then, I started to notice small changes to my nipple that April, just two months after my exams. Having had a lumpectomy a few years prior, I chalked it up to scar tissue. As the weeks progressed, it became worse and sore. I thought to myself, “I have my next doctor’s appointment in July. It can wait until then.”

Did You Wait Until July to Get It Checked Out?

No. I mentioned it to my husband during a casual conversation. So he took a look, and (not surprisingly) knowing what a good doctor he is – said I should have it checked immediately.

On June 7, 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. David literally saved my life by urging me to go to the doctor when I did. I am a lucky breast cancer patient. I was told that I had the “best” type of tumor. I am confident that this will be a one and done incident, and I am here a year later to share my story because of early detection. Watch this video to learn more…

What Lessons Did You Learn Through This Experience?

Always get your mammogram yearly but don’t rely on that alone. Make sure you do monthly breast exams, and if you think that you notice something that makes you unsure or uneasy – do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor immediately! Also, if you have a partner, it is important to use them as your second line of defense. I say this as a nurse and healthcare professional, because these topics should not be taboo. From a clinical standpoint, it is often the partner that notices something different (before the patient). Breast cancer affects both men and women, although in the U.S. less than 1 percent of all breast cancer cases occur in men. Regardless of gender, we need to be vigilant about our (breast) health and empower each other to say something or to encourage a doctors visit.

And it’s important to “know your lemons” like the video above shows! I want to encourage you to talk openly about breast health, and the video above is worth sharing as it might just save a life!

My hope is that this October you’ll be informed… about your breast health and also about who’s running for municipal elections in Easton. I hope you’ll choose to take action on both. If I can offer any words of support or doctor recommendations, please feel free to reach out too. And I’d love to see you at the polls at Samuel Staples Elementary School on Tuesday, November 5th!