Blue Wave Festival, Sunday, June 24th!

1 headerDemocracyBlue Wave Festival Celebrates the Rising Tide of Democracy on Sunday,

June 24, 2018 in Chester, CT

FREE-To-the-Public Event — Speakers, Musicians, Advocates, and Child-Friendly Activities

Chester, CT – June 1, 2018 – The Chester Democratic Town Committee (DTC) in cooperation with 14 Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline DTCs announced today they will host a Blue Wave Festival on Sunday, June 24, 2018, from 3pm – 6pm at the Chester Fairgrounds, Rt 154 and Kirtland Terrace, in Chester, CT.  The family-friendly Blue Wave Fest will feature local musicians, 20+ guest speakers, legislators, office-seekers and 35+ information tables offering valuable insight into how citizens, communities and organizations are taking action to face the most pressing challenges affecting our democracy today. This one-of-a-kind event will also celebrate the power of the individual vote. The Blue Wave Fest coalition of DTCs in the lower Connecticut River Valley includes Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Killingworth, Haddam, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook. There is no admission fee.  For the very latest updates to the event program, regularly visit the Blue Wave Fest website at, Facebook: Blue Wave Fest, and Twitter:@BlueWaveFest or Instagram.

“We are very, very excited about our democracy festival,” states Marta Daniels, Blue Wave Fest Chair. “This is a wonderful platform where citizens can come together for a constructive political dialogue across various views, ages, and gender. The Blue Wave Fest is a big tent event for exploring the issues impacting our democracy, and emphasizing the necessity of voting for every single Connecticut citizen.  Our diverse festival program includes political, musical, creative, and social voices and champions from every walk of life and age.  Our aim is to engage the vibrant citizenry in the Lower Connecticut River Valley with compelling conversations about democracy, equality, tolerance, and bettering our communities for everyone along the economic ladder.”

For more information about the Blue Wave Fest, please call 860-343-3191 or visit the website at

voting tips
Vote on the Town Budget, Wed., May 30, 2018, 7 p.m. at the Haddam Fire Station #1,
439 Saybrook Road, Higganum.  Full details here.
Endorsing Candidates,Conventions, May HDTC Meeting
From Chair Melissa Schlag:As predicted, the crowded field for Governor is starting to thin at an accelerated pace.  Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and former State Senator and Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection Jonathan Harris have both withdrawn their candidacies for the Democratic nomination.  Harris has joined outgoing Attorney General George Jepsen in formally endorsing the Gubernatorial candidacy of Ned Lamont.  On the Republican side of the race, Toni Boucher announced that she was ending her campaign for Governor to focus on reelection to her State Senate seat, while New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced Greenwich Mayor Peter Tesei as her running mate as she continues to seek the Republican nomination.The race for attorney General has also narrowed somewhat, as Democratic Representative Michael D’Agostino has ended his campaign and endorsed his fellow House member William Tong for the position.Meanwhile, the future composition of the General Assembly has seen additional changes for the class of 2018 as Representatives Kevin Skulczyck (R – Griswold, Lisbon, Plainfield, Sterling, Voluntown) and Lonnie Reed (D – Branford) announced their retirement, and liberal political activist Kennard Ray announced his candidacy for the vacant House seat left by the resignation of Hartford Democratic Representative Angel Arce.The updated list of legislators who have decided to retire from the General Assembly include:

  • Rep. Jeff Berger (D)
  • Rep. Linda Gentile (D)
  • Rep. Lonnie Reed (D)
  • Rep. Danny Rovero (D)
  • Rep. Kevin Skulczyck (R)
  • Rep. Diana Urban (D)
  • Sen. Tony Guglielmo (R)
  • Sen. Ed Gomes (D)
  • Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D)
  • Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D)


The following Representatives have declared their intention to seek a State Senate Seat:

  • Tony Guerrera (D) – replacing Paul Doyle (D) in the 9th District
  • Rob Sampson (R) – replacing Joseph Markley (R) in the 16th District
  • Pam Staneski (R) – replacing Gayle Slossberg (D) in the  14th District
  • Mark Tweedie (R) – challenging Steve Cassano (D) in the 4th District
  • Melissa Ziobron (R) – replacing Art Linares (R) in the 33rd District

The following legislators are running for statewide office:

  • Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R) (Governor)
  • Sen. Joseph Markley (R) (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Rep. William Tong (D) (Attorney General)
  • Rep. Michael D’Agostino (D)  (Attorney General) -ended campaign
  • Sen. Toni Boucher (R) – ended campaign
  • Sen. Paul Doyle (D) (Attorney General)
  • Sen. Art Linares (R) (State Treasurer)

Our next Haddam Democratic Town Committee meeting is Thursday, May 10, at the Community Center,  7 Candlewood Hill Road, so we can endorse candidates for the various offices in advance of the conventions.


Don’t forget to go to the Town Budget Meeting where we’ll vote on the upcoming Town Budget, Wednesday, May 30 at Firehouse 1 at 7 p.m.

Joint DTC was April 30 @ 7 p.m in Chester

The next Joint DTC meeting of area Democratic Town Committees is Monday, April 30th at the Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty St., Chester at 7 p.m. We will hear from more candidates planning to run for various offices on the State and regional level this fall.

solar-walk-up-jmc-2013-9960-350x265Update on the meeting below: The first proposal to rescind the ordinance waiving solar fees was carried by a hand-vote of 31 for to 22 opposed.The Sidewalk Ordinance proposal was denied by unanimous vote because it needed work on the verbiage to clarify the meaning of “maintenance”. A homeowner whose property abuts the sidewalk would NOT be responsible for the “maintenance” of the sidewalk. The revised ordinance with this clarification will be presented soon.From Selectman Melissa Schlag,Important request: Please come out to the town meeting and VOTE this TONIGHT: April 11 at 6:00 p.m. Firehouse, 439 Saybrook Rd Higganum

Two proposals

1. Solar Fees
Selectmen Milardo and Maggi want to undo an ordinance we passed four years ago that waives solar building fees. As our federal government (thanks to polluting Pruitt) rolls back environmental protections every day in this country, we should be making it easier and cheaper for people to install solar panels not more difficult and more expensive.
Haddam was on the cutting edge of solar installations in Connecticut during the Solarize CT campaign and should be proud of our accomplishments.

The permit fees are astronomical in relation to the type of inspection solar panels need–the inspection is very quick compared to other building projects worth $25-30K and does not justify the fees charged. Furthermore, it’s the principle that Haddam stands for clean air and a clean environment. Haddam won awards, grants, and free solar panels for a town building because of our efforts. These efforts should not be undone.

2. Sidewalks
Selectmen Milardo and Maggi also want to institute an ordinance that the folks along any sidewalk or path on a street/highway/etc have to remove snow AND maintain the sidewalk, as well as hold all the legal responsibility if someone falls etc.

There are lots of older folks along the sidewalks in Haddam center and they won’t be able to shovel snow off the sidewalks, nonetheless repair them. And along the main highway, the state trucks throw snow and ice onto the sidewalk that would sometimes be impossible to remove.

So please come out to the town meeting and VOTE this TONIGHT:  April 11 at 6:00 p.m.
Firehouse, 439 Saybrook Rd Higganum
Selectman Melissa Schlag


Submitted by Sean Moriarty:

There will be a public hearing at the Haddam Volunteer Fire Company Community Hall on Wednesday, April 11, at 6:00 pm followed by a Town Meeting at the same location to discuss and vote on two important topics. There is a proposal to repeal the Town Ordinance that waives the building permit fees for the installation of renewable energy sources on our properties. The waiver of the fees is an incentive for people to try to install renewable energy generators such as solar to help them reduce their personal energy costs and help reduce the environmental impact of non- renewable energy producing plants that we rely on.
The repeal is a short-sighted money grab by the first selectman. The town has not suffered in the four years since the ordinance has been enacted and in fact has become a better place to live as people are trying to make a difference in how we treat our environment.

If the ordinance is repealed your taxes will not go down in any measurable manner but it may very well deter some people from trying to install a renewable energy generation source on their property.

I am asking you to join me at the hearing and meeting on Wednesday, April 11 to stop this repeal from going through.

There is a second item on the agendas that deals with sidewalk maintenance after a winter weather event. The Town is going to require residents who have property the abuts a town owned sidewalk remove snow and ice from the sidewalk within 12 hours of the end of the weather event. While this is not a new idea in municipalities, I feel the twelve hours is not enough time, especially if those property owners have a lot of clearing to do other than the sidewalks. Many municipalities give property owners 24 hours to clear the sidewalks. This time frame is more than reasonable.

Joint Dem Town Committees Meeting Updates:

We had great Turn Out at the Joint DTC meeting we hosted on March 28th at Fire House 1.  The hall was filled and we heard from candidates Eva Bermudez Zimmerman for Secretary. Guy Smith, Mark Stewart Greenstein, and Joe Ganim for governor. The next joint meeting is Monday, April 30th at the Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty St., Chester at 7 p.m.

IMG_4906Double the Turn-Out at 2nd Joint Meeting with Area Towns! Haddam hosts next one Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Haddam Fire House 1.

Over 130 Democrats from area town committees met on Wed., Feb. 28 in Essex to hear from 12 candidates for governor, treasurer, attorney general at Essex’s town office building. This number from Haddam, Chester, Deep River and Essex, Lyme, Old Lyme and Portland is double the amount that met last month in Deep River to share ideas and collaborate on how to restore sanity and good sense in our local, state, and national government. The four chairs of the local committees, Lori Ann Clymas, (Chester), Lisa Bibbiani (Deep River), Brian Cournoyer (Essex), and Melissa Schlag (Haddam) began this collaboration in the new year. The purpose of these gatherings is to stand strong together to take back our towns, state, and nation by campaigning together, instead of as individual town committees. Right now we are receiving reports from local political dignitaries and pitches from future candidates.

Each Democratic Town Committee plans to host a joint meeting in the coming months. The next one is Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Haddam Fire House 1.  State-wide Candidate Presentations will be from:

  • Eva Bermudez Zimmerman (Sec)
  • Guy Smith (Gov)
  • Clare Kindall (AG)
  • Mark Stewart Greenstein (Gov
  • Joe Ganim (Gov)

Please take the time now to click and like the Chester, Deep River, and Essex Democratic Town Committees on line or visit their websites so you can stay informed at this crucial time!


Highlights from the First Joint Meeting

joint ds

Over 65 Democrats from Haddam, Chester, Deep River and Essex (with a few from Portland and Middletown) assembled at the Deep River Town Hall on January 24th to share ideas and collaborate on how to restore sanity and good sense in our local, state and national government. The four chairs of the local committees Lori Ann Clymas, (Chester), Lisa Bibbiani (Deep River), Brian Cournoyer (Essex) and Melissa Schlag (Haddam) lead the organizational meeting and encouraged reports from local political dignitaries and future candidates. Each Democratic Town Committee plans to host a joint meeting in the coming months. The next one is Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall.  Please take the time now to click and like the Chester, Deep River and Essex Democratic Town Committees on line or visit their websites so you can stay informed at this crucial time!


dem map

Democratic Town Committees from Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam are joining forces this new year with a series of Joint Democratic Town Committee meetings. The first takes place at the Deep River Town Hall on Wednesday, January 24 at 7 p.m. Come experience the strength in numbers as we share ideas and hear from:

  • Gubernatorial candidate Joe Ganim (Bridgeport Mayor)
  • AG Candidate Mike D’Agostino (State Rep. Hamden)
  • First Selectman Norm Needleman
  • Judge of Probate-elect Jeannine Lewis

The next joint meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall . We’ll host one in March, date to be announced.

Let us know if you can make it, if you need directions, or are interested in carpooling.

Nine New Members Added at Caucus

Congratulations to nine new and returning members!
We had a great caucus and now have 39 members on our committee. What a dynamic group! We will see third Wednesday of each month. After our February 7 meeting which will be at the Town Hall, we will be meeting at the Community Center, 7 Candlewood Hill Road, Higganum. Since we can get cell service at the community center, we will be able to offer live Facebook or Skype meetings for folks who are not able to make it.

Who We Are and Why You Should Join Haddam Democrats

We are a hybrid of Haddam, Higganum and Haddam Neck neighbors who embrace progressive values such as:

  • employment and economic opportunity
  • a healthy environment
  • quality, affordable health care
  • civil rights
  • affordable housing
  • access to good public education
  • and fair taxation

We insist on open and fair town government here at home. Read more.