West Haven 2021 election: Meli Garthwait runs for city council

WEST HAVEN, CT – The 2021 municipal election is heating up in West Haven with many races on the ballot.

Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, November 2 and vote for the post of mayor, as well as seats on city council, the board of education and more.

West Haven Patch has asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and will post candidate profiles as Election Day approaches.

Meli Garthwait, 49, is running for West Haven City Council in Borough 2 as a Republican.

Occupation: Real estate agent, interior designer, founder of a non-profit organization

Family: Tommy (40), Caleb (10), Liam (8), Rori (13 senior French Bulldog), Lily (10 senior parakeet) and Maia (3 our foster dog thanks to the Green Fur Kidz dog rescue which was a serious medical case rescued from West Haven Animal Shelter).

To live: nothing

Family in government: No

The biggest problem in town is ______, and I plan to do this about it:

Right now we have a very serious fraud problem that has occurred in our current administration. There’s not much I can do but wait for the FBI to investigate and hopefully prosecute those responsible. The second urgent problem is economic development. West Haven has been extremely stagnant for too long due to the difficulty of trying to do business in West Haven. I hope to serve on the board so that we can work together to make it easier for businesses to enter – starting in our downtown area and branching out.

Critical differences between me and my opponents:

I am an active person, boots on the pitch and have a proven track record in my neighborhood of working with neighbors and other community members while my opponent does not. I am the creator of the Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary Facebook page and one of the current administrators. I am also the first founding member of Sandy Point Stewards (currently over 80 volunteers) to volunteer in the gardens and along the shoreline for all kinds of beautification projects. Stewards have been invited to attend major events across the state to share information about our grassroots organization, the Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary coastline, nesting and migratory birds. I often call on shop stewards to help those in need all around West Haven with projects as well. Since moving to West Haven, I have actively run the “Sandy Point Marsh & Shoreline Clean Up” events several times a year. In 2019, I received an official citation from the State of Connecticut for helping improve the quality of life for residents through my shoreline rescue and cleanup work. Recently, I am so proud to say that we have formed the first neighborhood association in West Haven of which I am the first founding member – the Sandy Point Neighborhood Association. Overall, I have very strong interpersonal communication skills and a real dedication to community building because I care deeply about improving the quality of life for all residents of West Haven. I am ready to cast my net even wider now and work for the rest of the citizens of District 2!

Achievements:

My education is long – Katharine Gibbs College, 1993 Graduated Summa Cum Laude in Information Processing. Western Connecticut State University, 1993-1997 attended general part-time education while working full-time. Fashion Institute of Technology, Manhattan, NYC, 2001 Cum Laude BFA Graduated in Interior Design.

My professional life has grown over the past decades as I have worked for many years in different facets of the interior design field and as a licensed real estate agent in the state of Connecticut. In addition to my real estate agent memberships, I am a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). I am also the founder of Green Fur Kidz, Inc., a public 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that is a rescue serving West Haven. I recently left the board of directors of Green Fur Kidz, Inc. so that I could help make West Haven a better place to live.

Other issues:

◦Economic development: maintain and develop activities starting with the city center and diversifying

Improve infrastructure: eliminate blight, repair potholes and improve the quality of streets and sidewalks

Improving the quality of life: allowing our families to flourish

◦Safer streets: protect citizens and improve crime prevention

Cleaning up West Haven: eliminating landfills and illegal waste

Develop riparian activities while practicing coastal resilience

Since walking and speaking with the residents of District 2 during my campaign, I have taken note of the issues that need to be resolved within our community and will work diligently to resolve them if elected. I plan to have two hours of public office on a weekend day either on my front porch or at the public library (location depends on weather) so residents of District 2 have the opportunity to come and meet with me. In addition, and I will always be available by phone to answer any problem or concern.

What would you want voters to know about you?

In February 2012, I founded the 501 (c) (3) non-profit charity, Green Fur Kidz, Inc. (GFK). West Haven a better place to live. I am a long time lifeguard who volunteer with several other rescues and 3 generations in rescue. I frequently contact other rescues and their founders for help with larger issues requiring many volunteers such as the recent bottle and I can overload at West Haven Animal Shelter. You may also remember my name as I fought for the little dog that was burned in the sanctuary parking lot while raising tens of thousands of dollars in pledges for a reward through Jerry’s Fund. GFK to help find the responsible people. I am not only an animal rescuer, I also save people. A program that I have developed within GFK called “Wendy’s Wish” is activated for those in our community in need of medical and food assistance for their pets. If elected, I have decided to donate any allowance given to council members at Wendy’s Wish to Green Fur Kidz so that I can donate the money to residents of West Haven who are in need of veterinary help. emergency for their pets.

The day I walked into my driveway and stood there on a cold and windy February day looking around what was an extremely run down neighborhood and a dirty shoreline, I felt a very strong call to be here. I made an offer to buy my interior view at home that day because I knew I could fix anything and that’s where I was supposed to be based on that feeling. Since then, I have worked tirelessly to make my neighborhood better and brighter. I also want to improve the rest of District 2, but we haven’t been represented for far too long and I’m ready to work to improve our community. I please ask for the confidence and vote of the residents of District 2 on November 2nd because I promise to work hard to make your voice heard and I will work even harder to improve the quality of life for all of us. We deserve better and I know we can bring this city back to life.


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