Suffield Democratic Town Committee

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Melissa Mack – First Selectman

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Melissa M. Mack

Town of Suffield
First Selectman (2015-present)

October 27, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for supporting me over the last six years. I am writing to ask for your support once again. This year, I am pleased to run for my 4th two-year term as Suffield’s First Selectman. As a 17-year resident, taxpayer, and having raised a family here, I am honored to call Suffield our home. I am proud of the hard work and accomplishments of Suffield’s municipal team under my leadership … particularly during a global pandemic. Under my administration, taxpayers’ dollars worked hard too with improved services, infrastructure and amenities, accountable governance, and enhanced communications. True to the adage “work hard, play hard,” we remembered to have some fun and celebrate together along the way too. We did this all while keeping tax increases at historic lows.

I operate the Town of Suffield like a town manager and bring 21 years of experience as a business and nonprofit attorney to my work, especially in protecting the town from liability and managing risk. Here are some highlights achieved by Suffield’s municipal employees and our volunteer boards and commissions under my proven leadership.
Fiscal ResponsibilityManaged finances effectively to make your tax dollars work harder


  • Mill Rate Increase over 6 years under Mack Administration: 0.44 mills; including a 0.86 reduction over the last three years
  • Mill Rate Increase over 6 years prior to Mack Administration: 4.63 mills
  • Maintained Suffield S&P Bond Rating of AA+ with improved outlook from stable to positive despite CT’s challenged economy resulting in the highest bond premium in Suffield’s history of $848,413 in 2020
  • Given uncertainty in Connecticut’s municipal solid waste industry, proactively renegotiated Suffield’s trash hauling, recycling and disposal contract in 2021 to avoid unprecedented. increases and assure a reserved location for Suffield’s future trash disposal.


Enhanced Amenities, Services & InfrastructureImproved stewardship of and investment in Suffield’s assets, enhanced customer service and more amenities for residents


  • Revitalized and reopened Babb’s Beach after nearly 20 years out of service
  • Added new playscape at Sunrise Park
  • Added two new outdoor basketball courts and renovated and added tennis courts at Suffield High School
  • Renovated Kent Memorial Library (started by prior administration; resolved PCB issue with Federal Environmental Protection Agency; completed projects delivering renovated as new library after extended closure)

  • Reinvigorated Parks & Recreation with visionary Director resulting in department’s highest program revenue
  • Expanded Youth Services and established a Teen Center
  • Hired new Facilities Manager and full-time Head Custodian to better maintain town’s investments/facilities


  • Secured grant funding to enable Mapleton/Thompsonville & Mountain Road Sidewalk Expansions (Spring 2022 construction)
  • Spearheaded Town Hall Renovation and Addition (completed on-time and $200,000 under budget)
  • Initiated Town-wide Facilities Master Plan – a multigenerational plan in collaboration with the Board of Education to strategically plan for the Town’s schools and buildings (in progress)
  • Purchased streetlights and converted to LED (Year 1 savings ~$87,000, with an anticipated $1.7M savings projected over the next 20 years)
  • Renovated and dedicated Dustin L. Doyon Memorial Bridge (f/k/a Remington Street Bridge) Paved and maintained many miles of roads throughout all of Suffield and West Suffield Purchased 3 New Fire Apparatus (Rescue, tower ladder and engine/pumper)
  • Invested in police officer/public safety (facility upgrades, cruisers, technology and equipment)
  • Purchased Virtual Net Metering Credits via Solar Farm (with anticipated $1.SM savings projected over the next 20 years)
  • Completed Phase 1 of the Route 75 Water and Sewer Main Expansion, which stimulated economic development, including new JSW Media Building and Broadleaf Gift Shop Completed Fiber Optic Extension Project, which connected Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association, Kent Memorial Library and Senior Center to the Town’s network vastly improving emergency communications


New Economic DevelopmentDiversified the commercial tax base to relieve the burden on the residential taxpayer and establish fiscal independence from the State of CT


  • Rug Pad USA: we supported the company’s relocation to Suffield (in vacant former Windsor Marketing Group building) bringing significant tax revenue and new jobs to Suffield
  • River Valley Animal Center: we negotiated a partnership with this new business to provide a much-improved Suffield Animal Control Facility
  • Champion Container: we supported the acquisition of the vacant building at 5 Firestone Drive by spearheading the successful use of a limited tax abatement now resulting in long­term economic impact
  • JSW Media Inc.: we negotiated the sale of a town-owned lot and the development of a new building, bringing MA business and employees, and a new local gift shop, to Suffield
  • Webster Bank Building: we supported new ownership of the building and tenants Bright Star, new cafe (in progress) and medical spa
  • Pride’s Corner: we supported acquisition of property on Mountain Road and secured vaccinations of employees during pandemic for continuity of farming operations
  • Babb’s water line project: we completed the backburnered 20-year-old $75,000 state grant project before expiration and moved the needle on reopening this beloved Suffield treasure)
  • Suffield Housing Authority Renovations: we applied for an $800,000 state grant and oversaw construction enabling necessary upgrades to the Suffield Housing Authority
  • United Gear: we served as a supportive resource as they doubled their facility with a 7,500 square foot addition and are now planning for another new building
  • 200 Mountain Road: we assisted the process to replace a dilapidated apartment building with an attractive new 4,600 square foot office building and six condominiums in the Town Center Village District
  • New Town Center Village District Signage: we reached out to local small businesses and paid for 8 new signs under the Town’s sign grant program, which was under-utilized over the prior 10 years
  • Tax Increment Financing District & Master Plan: we were entrepreneurial as one of Cl’s first towns to adopt this versatile economic development tool
  • Linde (Praxair): received approval for expansion of its facility at 50 Ucar Street renewing its commitment to its investment in Suffield (in process)
  • Some additional new businesses added to the Town:
    • Feather & Bloom- beloved local florist and shop
    • Broad Brook Brewery-great beer and food
    • Lily House & Moxie Boutique – back and better than ever
    • Pentimento – new ownership carrying on tradition of quality


Community Engagement & FunProvided joy and support to the community during the pandemic, before and beyond


  • Held community events, several of which are now annual traditions
    • Suffield Alight
    • Halloween Spooktacular
    • Ice Skating Rink
    • Fireworks
    • 350th Anniversary Celebrations, culminating with magnificent Big Parade featuring “Happy” Town Hall Float!
    • Scarecrow, Pumpkin and Holiday Door Decorating Contests
    • Family Fun Days & Fireworks
    • Boat-in movies at Babb’s Beach
    • Summer Movies and Concert Series on Town Green
    • Subsidized Grab-n-Go Meals for Seniors and outreach
    • Created Suffield Parks & Recreation Enrichment Program (S-PREP) – day care and virtual learning support for working parents during the pandemic
Leadership & Accountable GovernanceImplemented best governance practices, asked difficult questions, held people accountable and made informed decisions based on thorough diligence, free from conflict and in the best interests of all of Suffield


  • Safely and productively navigated Suffield residents and employees through the COVID- 19 pandemic
  • Reviewed and re-codified the Town’s Ordinances for the first time in 20 years
  • Instituted annual Town employee goals, objectives and performance reviews to strengthen accountability and to drive performance
  • Commissioned the management and operational study of the Suffield Police Department to assure police officer safety and public safety best practices and training, and to support investment in the Suffield Police Department
  • Expanded on-line services for convenience and transparency (Land Records, Building Permits, Dog Licenses, Ordinances, Town Clerk’s Public Records, Database for Boards & Commissions)
  • Improved and expanded the reach of Board and Commission recruitment and appointment process to encourage new voices and broad participation in our government
  • Reorganized departments to result in savings and improved customer service o Public Works Department ($225,00 annual savings)
  • Eliminated three positions (Director of Public Works, Facilities Director and 1 Highwayman)
  • Added Facilities Manager and full-time Head Custodian; utilized seasonal employees and expert outside contractors


  • Combined Town Planner with Director of Community Development roles with support of economic development consultant ($100,000+ in annual savings)
  • Emergency Management Office ($20,000 annual savings)
  • Assessor/Tax Collector’s Office ($17,400 annual savings)
  • Kent Memorial Library
    • Implemented Phase 1 of library director’s dream library- a multi-year plan to achieve optimal staffing; retained librarian jobs during the pandemic
  • Human Resources
    • Added an assistant to improve regulatory compliance, professional hiring processes and responsive service to public, commissions and employees o First Selectman’s Office
    • Added a Communications Manager for accurate and timely public communication
    • Senior Center & Minibus now reporting to the Senior Center Director for streamlined budgeting and management
  • Shared Services
    • Information Technology with Suffield Public Schools, including Director, staff and website platform; created economies of scale, streamlined resources, and enhanced safety and security with 24/7 IT backup ($51,000 first year savings)
    • Improved the quality of Animal Control Services shared with East Granby and the kennel facility in partnership with River Valley Animal Center
    • Collaborated in the multi-town Regional Hazardous Waste Collection Days (~$9,000 annual savings)
  • Enhanced Communication
    • Launched new Website: user-friendly, timely and accurate information
    • Capital Projects page -lnform residents, address questions, track progress and provide accountability for capital projects
    • Community Calendar – announces community events
  • Timely and transparent Town News, Newsletter and Social Media Presence
  • COVID-19 response and recovery
  • Supporting Equity and Inclusion
    • 14 years of advocacy for Suffield’s special needs community in the Suffield Public School System and beyond
    • Spearheaded Town’s educational lnclusivity Speaker Series
    • Supported $800,000 state grant-funded investment in Suffield’s Housing Authority for elderly and disabled residents
    • Supported and represented the Town at Suffield’s First Pride Celebration


New CommitteesOrganized and focused work on important issues


  • Veterans Appreciation Committee -established structure to assure proper acknowledgment of and support to Suffield’s veterans
  • Veterans Memorial Expansion Committee- expanded honor roll at Veterans Park
  • Joint Facilities Committee – diverse committee of stakeholders overseeing the long­term facilities master planning process for school and Town buildings
  • Ordinance Review Committee- reviewed and re-codified Town Ordinances for first time in 20 years
  • 350th Anniversary Committee- celebrated our beautiful town and its rich heritage
  • Environmental and Sustainability Task Force- formed to encourage and implement environmental best practices
  • Pedestrian and Traffic Safety and Infrastructure Committee- formed to analyze, plan, budget for and implement Town-wide pedestrian and traffic safety improvements
  • Suffield Local Prevention Council – formed to support youth and families by increasing awareness of substance abuse and mental health issues
  • Technology Committee (now dissolved)-this committee improved Suffield’s technology infrastructure, cybersecurity, and operations
Preserving Suffield’s Agricultural HeritageInvested in Su/field’s proud beginnings and supported economic sustainability of Suffield’s farming future


  • Since 2015, we preserved 348 acres of beautiful farmland supporting Suffield’s farmers to determine the future of their land
  • To maintain Suffield’s farming operations, we offered local COVID-19 vaccinations to all of Suffield’s agricultural community
  • Since 2016, we obtained approvals to expand Suffield’s optional municipal tax abatements for farming businesses contingent on revenue from new hydroponic greenhouse operation (status: financing and approvals in place; construction pending)
Honoring Suffield’s VeteransFormalized structure to assure appropriate honor of and support to Suffield’s veterans


  • Continued new annual Field of Flags Veterans Day Exhibit
  • Dedicated the Dustin L. Doyon Memorial Bridge
  • Created Veterans Appreciation Committee
  • Initiated the Veterans Memorial expansion -budgeted for plans and formed committee
  • Improved Memorial and Veterans Day observances; held a virtual Memorial Day observance during the pandemic
  • Appointed a dedicated Municipal Veterans Representative to enhance resources and support of Suffield’s veterans


Goals for Next Term if Re-electedContinue to move Suffield forward


  • Making sure the dollars received by Suffield under the American Rescue Plan Act work hard for taxpayers and are used effectively to continue to move Suffield forward
  • Continue public process for input and planning on the Town-wide facilities master plan and Bridge Street Park
  • Continue the planning, budgeting and implementation of Town-wide pedestrian and traffic safety and infrastructure improvements
  • In light of pending retirements of several 25-year municipal employees, work with department heads, boards and commissions to reorganize town departments to deliver efficient and innovative municipal services following the highest standards and best governmental practices
How Can You Help?


It has been a true honor leading our beautiful Town throughout the last six years. I am pleased by all we have accomplished together. There is still much more to do. Every vote will.matter in this election, and I ask that you please support me on November 2nd so we may continue moving Suffield forward with fiscal responsibility, better municipal services, accountable governance, and strong proven leadership.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best regards,
Melissa M. Mack

Town of Suffield

First Selectman (2015-present)