First Selectman Race 2023 - Greenwich Moms

On Election Day in Greenwich, one of the most closely watched races will be between Fred Camillo, a Republican incumbent seeking a third term, and Democrat Laura Erickson. To help Greenwich Moms get to know these candidates, quickly, we asked both the same four questions (below), plus where voters can find more information. Read their responses, below:

FRED CAMILLO

Can you please tell us a bit about your personal and professional background, including how long you’ve lived in Greenwich and positions you’ve held in town relevant to the First Selectman role?
A lifelong resident of Greenwich, I am a former small business owner, and was involved with the creation of Greenwich Recycling Company, among other businesses. I was also a real estate professional for many years, focused on the listing, sales, financing, and managing of properties in town.

I am also a former high school History teacher, and an 11 year state legislator, where I served as Assistant Minority Leader.

Locally, I served on the RTM and was the chairman of several boards, committees, and also served on task forces.

I have been a member of dozens of local organizations, including multiple neighborhood associations, the Greenwich chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, the Greenwich, Junior Babe Ruth League, the Greenwich chapter of the American Red Cross, and Adopt-A-Dog.

 

Why have you decided to run for this office again?
Serving the past four years as First Selectman of my hometown has been the honor of a lifetime. Our focus on environmental protection, energy policy, public/private partnerships, pedestrian safety, and public safety, has led to Greenwich being ranked as the safest town in Connecticut and in the top 10 nationally, as well as the first town to receive an age-friendly designation, and dementia-friendly designation in the state of Connecticut.

Our downtown area is more vibrant than ever with no store vacancies and the restaurants thriving.

With all that’s been accomplished, I am running because I want to continue the progress we’ve made on parking, public/private partnerships, active transportation and physical activity, addressing town assets that are underutilized, and continuing to marry what is great about our town with a bright, bold future.

 

What are your main priorities as a candidate?
Addressing underutilized assets like the Havemeyer building, which is a $100 million property in the middle of our business district that is falling into disrepair and not open to any of our residents, unless they have business with the Board of Education ( BOE ).

The BOE has signaled to the town their desire to work with us to find them a more suitable location, which would allow us to then go to the next step and build upon the progress that’s been made by the committee that I put together to look into this beautiful location and work towards making it a beautiful venue in the heart of the Avenue.

 

What separates you from your opponent?
I have been fortunate to serve my hometown on all different levels of government and my fellow residents  know that I am the same person that I was long before I entered into public service. I don’t come at them every election time as a candidate, I come from them. I know the town, I know it’s history, and the people know where to get me as I regularly give out my cell number to anybody that has an issue that they want or need resolved ASAP.

As the first person to ever serve on the RTM, the state legislature, and as First Selectman, the relationships I have established over these years have come in handy in my first two terms and that has only grown stronger.

My hands on approach has helped the town when dealing with state mandates, or severe weather events, and even one hundred year pandemics. Being on the front lines of these historic events, many of which did not come with a “how to do “manual, allowed me to put all of my passion, skill sets, institutional knowledge, and vision to work.

Where should people go to find more information about the election and/or you as a candidate?
My record and vision are all over the Internet and can be found on social media pages, the town website, where the First Selectman has a dedicated page, or doing something as simple as googling my name seeking an answer to whatever it is that you need to research. Or, you could just call me at 203.536.5659!

 

LAURA ERICKSON

Can you please tell us a bit about your personal and professional background, including how long you’ve lived in Greenwich and positions you’ve held in town relevant to the First Selectman role?
My husband Dave and I first moved to Greenwich in 1993.  We raised our three kids here who each attended Greenwich Public Schools K-12 and have since graduated college.  I’m currently in my second term on the BET, serving on the Budget Committee.  I’m a former Chair of the BOE and also served on the RTM for thirteen years. I’ve served on non-profit boards as well.   Professionally, I was a commercial banker in the technology sector.

Why have you decided to run for this office?
I’ve been very frustrated in my four years on the BET and have voted against every municipal budget.  Decisions are being made that are shortsighted which is going to end up costing taxpayers more money.  Delaying priority projects in an inflationary environment increases costs and exposes the town to more risk.   We need to be more proactive in our approach to capital planning to keep our taxes low.  We also need to protect local control by using the tools we have to diversify our housing stock, which will provide hard evidence for our state delegation to continue to advocate for local solutions.

 

What are your priorities as a candidate?
Public safety is always the first priority.  Traffic and speeding is a risk to pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  We’ve had 4 pedestrian fatalities since early 2020 and I’m on record stating that officers should not have been removed from the Ave without a plan in place for traffic flow and pedestrian safety.  Recommendations from the police and fire chief have not been properly funded which is inexcusable.

What separates you from your opponent?
Fred and I were both elected to our respective offices in 2019 and I believe we have mutual respect.  However, elections are about the contrasting vision for our town’s future and selecting a leader with the ability to make progress towards common goals in a fully transparent manner.  I have a financial background and am a strong proponent of our public schools from my time on the BOE and as a parent for 17 consecutive years.  I’ve been a locally elected official for over 20 years and am deeply concerned with the extremist views that are infiltrating and influencing our municipal government.  Greenwich needs a reset, and I am the right person for the job.

Where should people go to find more information about the election and/or you as a candidate?

www.greenwichdemocrats.org

on facebook:  Laura Erickson 4 First Selectperson

on Instagram:  @laura_erickson_greenwich

on X:  @LauraErickson

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