Environmental Protection

I am passionate about protecting our natural resources and the environment. Under my leadership, Simsbury became a member of Sustainable CT, which is giving us access to resources to develop a strategic roadmap of sustainable projects. We often find that sustainability goes hand-in-hand with saving money, giving us additional impetus to adopt environmentally friendly practices that help our town and the Earth.

The Tobacco Valley Solar Project is a good example of how we can champion the environment and promote sensible economic development. For more than a year, the Board of Selectmen and Town worked hard to ensure that the interests of neighbors would be protected. The agreement we negotiated protects public health and safety, the aesthetics of the area, and ensures the land will return to farmland once the project is decommissioned.

It is also vital that we effectively manage our water supply, one of our most precious resources. That’s why we passed an ordinance that gives our Board of Selectmen the ability to protect our water supply in the case of a drought. I am proud that we proactively developed a plan while supply is plentiful, rather than doing so reactively after a drought takes hold.

Actions like these, and those put forward below, are what is necessary now and in the future to keep our planet a viable place to live. In Connecticut, and in particular the Farmington Valley, we are fortunate to live in a beautiful, nature-filled ecosystem. That comes with responsibility, though; we must care for what we have been given, never taking it for granted.  

I am proud of what was accomplished under my leadership as First Selectman, and the actions taken recently as a member of the Board of Selectmen:

Clean Energy

  • Supported solar panel installation at the town’s ice rink.
  • Supported changing over our lights in town buildings to energy efficient LEDs.
  • Negotiated what was, at the time, the largest solar deal in Connecticut’s history (Tobacco Valley Solar). Currently it produces enough energy to power 5,000 homes (half of Simsbury) and generates approximately $1M a year in taxes to the town.

Environmental Preservation

  • Chaired Simsbury’s Open Space Committee 2017-2021
  • Advocated for the preservation of Meadowood
  • Passed a Natural Stewardship Policy, outlining how we intend to care for open space parcels
  • Codified environmentally friendly mowing practices for open space and town-owned properties
  • Successfully deterred logging in Massaco Forest
  • Passed a water shortage ordinance to ensure a plan is in place to respond to future droughts
  • Named Belden Forest an Old Growth Forest, the first forest with this designation in Connecticut 

Pollinator Protection

  • Created a partnership between the Town and the not-for-profit Simsbury Pollinator Pathway
  • Passed a proclamation declaring Simsbury a Pollinator-Friendly Community
  • Facilitated quarterly meetings with Town staff and volunteers to move projects forward
  • Secured $25,000 to create pollinator-friendly areas on Town property
  • Helped create Best Practices for care of pollinator meadows and other spaces

As Simsbury’s State Representative, I will support:

  • Incentives that make clean energy technology affordable to more people (electric cars, charging infrastructure, home upgrades, solar panels).
  • The state’s 2040 goal for a zero-carbon electric grid.
  • The ability for homeowners to put larger solar arrays on their homes than are currently allowed
  • Pollinator-friendly initiatives, including harmful pesticide and environmental practice bans.

Endorsements

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