2021 Burlington Democratic Town Candidates

First Selectman – Ted Shafer – Ted Shafer is running for re-election as First Selectman of Burlington. He has served as First Selectman since 2012. Prior to being elected First Selectman, he served four terms on the Burlington Board of Selectmen from 2003 -2011. Through his hard and tireless work as First Selectman, he has supervised and managed many projects within our town including the Burlington Public Library Expansion, the Farmington River Rails to Trails, the Town Center Streetscape Sidewalk and the Vineyard & Barnes Hill Road Bridge Reconstruction. Ted also served as chair of the Burlington Village Center & Development Commission which produced a Town Center master conceptual plan. Ted has spearheaded the creation of Burlington’s first Conservation Commission, the creation of a new community group, Safe Harbor Youth Services and opened Burlington’s first teen center. In addition to his many accomplishments, Ted has led Burlington to win the award for top residential real estate market in CT in 2020 by SmartMLS with 50% increase in sales. Burlington was also awarded the “Democracy Cup” from CT Secretary of State for municipality in the small-town category having highest voter turnout (91.94%) in the 2020 general election. Ted is a Trustee on the Bristol Hospital Development Board and a member of the Board of Directors of the Northwest CT Economic Development Corp. He also serves on the Bristol/Burlington Health District Board of Directors, the YMCA Farmington Valley Board of Directors and is the Treasurer for Sustainable CT. Ted is an active member Burlington Chamber of Commerce and the Central CT Chambers of Commerce.  He also serves as Burlington’s representative to the United Way of West Central CT TRIAD group that focuses on protecting seniors against fraud and promotes their safety within the partner communities. Ted is a member of the Burlington Historical Society, the Burlington Land Trust and Region 10 Community Health Coalition. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business Administration and Public Policy. Ted has three children, educated in Region 10 schools and has coached soccer teams for the Burlington Junior Soccer Association. To learn more about our First Selectman visit: https://www.facebook.com/tedshafer2011
Board of Selectmen (4yr) Tom Zabel – Tom is seeking re-election to the Board of Selectman. Born and raised in Burlington and as a previous member of the Planning & Zoning, Inlands Wetlands, and Zoning Board of Appeals Tom’s unique perspective on Burlington’s history and sense of community creates an understanding of the life style which makes Burlington “Burlington”. Listening to the concerns of the residents Tom authored the motion to create the Johnnycake Farm Park Commission, which was unanimously approved, to address the views of all the residents on the development of the Park. Also in authoring the Library Lane Development Commission motion he believes in the voice of the residents to determine the future.
 
Board of Selectmen (2yr) Dr. Carl Salsedo – As Burlington resident with his wife Beth, since 1977, Dr. Carl Salsedo, considers it an honor to serve Burlington on the Board of Selectman (BOS). He is running for re-election to help ensure that our quality of life in Burlington is preserved and development is proactively planned to conserve the natural beauty of our community.  As a BOS member since 2013, he has worked cooperatively across the aisle in a respectful and efficient manner, ensuring that Burlington functions well in a professional and effective way. Carl has constructively engaged in many issues that impact the current quality of life and future well-being of our town. These include his support for our schools as places of educational distinction, the planning and development of Johnny Cake Mountain and Library Lane town properties, the successful management of invasive plant species and the promotion of sustainable local farming. As an active member of the Burlington Historical Society, he began Bluegrass Night on Wednesdays at the Elton Tavern, where residents can attend and listen to his bluegrass group perform.  Carl’s experience, knowledge and insight are necessary to meet the future challenges of our town.
Board of Selectmen (2yr) Dave Goshdigian – Dave asks for your vote so that he can continue to volunteer for Burlington as a member of the Board of Selectmen.  He moved to Burlington with his wife Ashlee and three children in 2014 and soon after started volunteering for the Town as a member of the Ordinance Committee.  When the Town Charter needed revision, Dave volunteered and was elected as the Chairman of that committee.  Although the pandemic made completing that work difficult, under Dave’s leadership the members pressed on, and their proposed revisions were adopted by a town referendum in November, 2020.  His volunteer work for Burlington continues as the Chairperson of the Tavern Day committee, a member of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, and a member of the Ethics Commission.  Dave prides himself on carefully and patiently listening to his fellow Burlington residents so that he can best serve their needs, and he will continue to do so as a Selectman.  Dave is a lawyer and works as the Deputy Chief Staff Attorney for the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts.

Planning and Zoning Commission – Vince Lambri – Vince has been a resident of Burlington for twelve years.  He currently serves as a member of the Burlington Economic Development Commission and is an active member of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, the Burlington Historical Society and the Burlington Land Trust.  Vince also serves as Chairman of the Library Lane Advisory Commission that is carefully developing a strategic plan for the creation of a new town center that will bring services and benefits for all residents of Burlington.
Planning and Zoning Commission – Robert Wilson – Rob is running for re-election to the P&Z Commission. He has worked to promote residential and commercial development in Burlington while preserving the town’s rural/suburban character. During his time as Commissioner, zoning regulations have been revised to better reflect current needs and goals. Rob has lived in Burlington with his wife Donna, since 1985. They appreciate Burlington’s rural character and charm with its mixture of small businesses, residential, agriculture and forest land. Their two children, were educated in the Region 10 school system and are Lewis Mills graduates. If re-elected, Rob hopes to continue this work to preserve our town and make it better.
Planning and Zoning Commission – Mitchel Kvedar – Born and raised in Burlington, Mitch is enthusiastic to serve his hometown as a member of the P&Z Commission. He attended the Burlington Academy of Learning, Lake Garda, Har-Bur and Lewis Mills HS. Currently, Mitch is the Co-Director of Sunrise Movement CT. He is also an active member of the CT League of Conservation Voters and the CT Climate Crisis Mobilization. Previously, Mitch served as Chief-of-Staff for Governor Lamont’s Energy Policy Transition Committee and participated in Senator Chris Murphy’s 2018 “Fight Back CT” campaign. He also volunteered as a Special Projects Intern for the Burlington BOS. Mitch will bring a fresh perspective to meet the future challenges of our town’s development and preservation.
Planning and Zoning Commission – Robert Legagneur – Rob is honored to seek your vote to serve on the P&Z Commission.  He brings strong technical experience with a lengthy career in engineering as well as a deep respect for mindful growth as a small business owner. He has lived in Burlington for nine years with his wife Val, and their three children. Rob believes Burlington has untapped potential to build its tax base and enhance the quality of life for our residents, while respecting and maintaining our beautiful rural setting.

Board of Finance John (Skip) Achilli – John (Skip) Achilli, is running for re-election to the Burlington Board of Finance. John has been a member of the Burlington Board of Finance for over 25 years.  He has lived and raised a family in Burlington since 1966 and has been a member of the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department. John worked in engineering for 22 years and started his own machine shop company, which employed over 80 people. It has been John’s pleasure to have volunteered his time for the benefit of Burlington and its residents.
Board of Finance Mark Klepacki – Current Vice-Chairman of the Board of Finance, Mark is looking forward to continuing his active participation in the shaping of the town’s budgets that reflect the needs of Burlington and its taxpayers. Mark started a successful Dental Practice in 1981 and retired to Burlington 2 years ago to be closer to his family. Currently he is a member of the Executive Committee of a $1.6B Mutual Savings bank and Trustee for a Mutual Holding Co. with $3+Billion in assets. Mark is grateful for the opportunity to serve his community.
 
Board of Finance John Kirschner – John is a currently a member of the Board of Finance for the town of Burlington Connecticut, serving since 2017.  He has been an active member of the Board of Finance making numerous contributions to the Board in the way of financial guidance and oversight.  John is looking forward to serving another term on the Board of Finance in order to keep the taxpayers of the town of Burlington best interests in mind.
Board of Education (Full Term) – Rachel McFadden – Rachel is excited to be a candidate for the Region 10 Board of Education. Her goal is to ensure a safe environment where all students can excel, contribute to their community, and build successful futures. As an experienced educator for 22 years in West Hartford, and as a parent of three children in Burlington’s schools, Rachel knows that students face different challenges today to prepare them for college and career readiness. Burlington should, and can be among the best school districts in the state. She will support improvements that will enable our students to do their best work, attract and retain our most talented teachers, and maximize the impact of every dollar included in our school budget.
Board of Tax Assessment Appeals James Millerick – James is seeking re-election as Chair of the Board of Tax Assessment and Appeals.  As your current board chair, he has served on the BAA for four years.  James bring years of knowledge, experience and most importantly, an open ear and mind to the residents and business owners of Burlington who come before the board to appeal their tax assessments. Applying our tax regulations fairly, conducting research, and working together as a board to reach the fairest and most satisfactory outcomes are his goals everyday as chairman. Previously, James served for five years on the Burlington Senior Citizens’ Commission, two as the commission’s chairman.  In that role, he led a major initiative to earn grant funding that enabled the commission to provide computers and other technology resources in the Senior Center, offering our seniors valuable access to this technology.  An active parent and coach in the Burlington Junior Soccer Association for 12 years, James had the amazing opportunity to coach both recreational and travel soccer and meet and become friends with countless other parents and players. A Plainville native, James has lived in Burlington for 23 years with his wife Susan and have raised three children in our town (five if you count the dogs). They are proud to live in and support our beautiful community.  
 
Zoning Board of Appeals Sharon Farmer – Sharon has enjoyed living in Burlington since 1991. Recently retired from her certified public accounting practice, she is currently a member of the Burlington’s Economic Development Commission. Sharon is committed to the promotion of new and existing businesses in Burlington while respecting the natural beauty of our residential neighborhoods. Sharon is a fair-minded person who will thoroughly consider all opinions before making decisions. She will be a valuable member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Zoning Board of Appeals Jake Poppel – Jake is a local small business owner who grew up in Burlington. He cares deeply about our town and its residents. Jake is running for re-election to the Zoning Board of Appeals so that homeowners can continue to get the most use out of their land while preserving the unique character of our wonderful town.
Zoning Board of Appeals John Derewonko – John is running for re-election to the Zoning Board of Appeals. He is an experienced Systems Engineer and Project Manager.  His extensive knowledge and familiarity with Burlington’s zoning regulations are invaluable in providing thoughtful and fair judgement. His continued service on the Board will be an effective benefit to our town.

L to R: Dave Goshdigian, Ted Shafer, Carl Salsedo, Tom Zabel, Mark Klepacki, Robert Wilson, John Kirschner, Rachel McFadden, John (Skip) Achilli, Jim Millerick, John Derewonko, Vince Lambri