We-Ha.com offers our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running in the municipal elections of November 2, 2021.
Compiled by Ronni Newton
We-Ha.com offers our readers the option to “Meet the Candidate” – designed to help them get to know the candidates for the 2021 municipal elections.
Identical questionnaires were sent to all candidates, and each profile received was submitted directly to We-Ha.com by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign leadership. Responses have not been edited but have been formatted to match our post style. Questions left blank have been deleted.
As profiles are received, they will be published on We-Ha.com under the “Government” tab. We-Ha.com does not endorse any political candidates, but we are releasing this information to help voters be informed and prepared when they go to the polls on November 2.
If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] as soon as possible.
Name: Mark Zydanowicz
Party, job search: Republican, City Council
Family information: Mark Zydanowicz and his wife Nella have lived in West Hartford since 1998. They have three children, Jenna, a sophomore at UCONN, Ryan in sophomore, Julia in sophomore at Hall High School.
Other occupation, if applicable:
Political experience: Mark was a commissioner at the Zoning Board of Appeals in West Hartford, 2sd Vice-president – 1st District for the State Party and has been currently an elected member of the West Hartford Education Council since 2012 where he served on the Policy Committee and Financial Reviewer as well as the Union Contract Denial Team.
Other relevant experience: Professionally, Mark is currently a business and marketing consultant. Previously, he was the owner and third generation family member of Guida’s Dairy, one of New England’s largest independent dairies, founded by his grandfather in 1947. However, they sold the business where Mark helped with the transition with the new owner. Zydanowicz’s business background provides him with the keen sense to understand the importance of strong leadership and accountability to staff and customers; characteristics he considers critical in any role. He’s a retired Connecticut Army National Guard engineer officer. A veteran of the Iraq War where he earned the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star.
Why are you running for office? After 9 years of fruitful work in the Board of Education and our school system, I wish to bring my experience of working across the islands to the municipal committee developing ideas and deliberations with all opinions heard and taken into account. . With three children still living at home, I want to ensure a future where our children can come back after college while having the means to live in this great community.
What problem (s) is your main area of interest? I want a West Hartford that works for everyone. So we have developed a simple 4-pillar platform that addresses many issues in the city today;
- Improve transport infrastructure and support local businesses
- Keep local zoning
- Allocate funds to improve our local roads
- Treat businesses equally, not by area
- Provide separate funding to handle MDC’s sewer / water issues
- Improve support for schools
- Reduce crime and promote community safety and security in our neighborhoods
- Support the police with the appropriate resources to reduce crime
- Reinstate the city-wide parking ban
- Allocate resources to DPW to maintain parks, athletic fields and safe sidewalks
- Fiscal responsibility
- Develop a property tax structure that is fair and equal for all residents
- Protect the city from the addition of new debts
- Don’t Just Provide Affordable Housing – Make West Hartford Affordable.
What do you think is the biggest problem West Hartford faces today and how do you plan to solve it if elected? Ensuring the safety of the community is a priority, not only in the center, but throughout the city. Take for example the recent gun-hijacking near Bishops Corner, officers call it a ‘catch and release’ issue, released just hours after detaining them and often see the same young criminals over and over again. In addition, West Hartford Police have investigated several complaints about a large number of ATVs and other vehicles driving recklessly throughout the city. In fact, state law prohibits the use of tire deflating devices and roadblocks police cannot prosecute for vehicle violations and property crimes.
Allowing juvenile criminals to be released after 6 a.m. with extended court dates and stopping motor vehicles with reasonable devices and tactics is something that needs to be changed. It is essential for a safer community. These laws offer criminals no consequences or deterrents. To ensure a safer community, we must have an open dialogue with the legislators in our states and urge them to change the laws that will make our community safer. It is essential for a safer community.
In your opinion, what sets you apart from other candidates who are also candidates for this position? This question is often asked, however, there are so many applicants and I think it is more appropriate to tell you what I bring. I have a 9 year history of voting, experience and negotiation under my belt. I have participated in some of the most difficult deliberations. After Sandy Hook, it was particularly difficult, not as a vote but as a subject. How do we, as a school board, ensure the safety of our students and what measures do we take? While it is hard work, it is often one of the most rewarding, ensuring that the administration has the tools, finances and flexibility to make our schools considerably safer was our only charge. The progress we have made as a school system has been remarkable.
I also bring a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge on how municipal and investment budgets are planned, designed, allocated and executed by position. Currently, as the board’s financial reviewer, we review more financial details on a monthly basis, not just during budget season.
After 9 years of public service on the board of directors, I am proud to be proud of my record. I hope people know how passionate I am and that I brought a reasonable and sane approach to my years of public service. I hope to continue this precedent as a city councilor.
Anything else you would like to share? I think it is essential for our local authorities to keep marijuana dispensaries and consumption areas out of our city. The unknown is too great and the potential exists to negatively impact our community. Often times it’s time to lean forward and lead, marijuana is not the answer or the time to lead the charge. The local tax generated would be so minimal, making an argument for a bigger tax base to our big list would be dishonest and a bad argument. Keep it in private homes and out of the public.
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