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Catherine Iino (D) has been serving as Killingworth first selectman since 2009 and is running again in the 2019 election. In 2003, she started participating in town government on the Pay-as-You-Throw Committee. She was involved in several other committees over the years before becoming a selectman in 2007 and first selectman in 2009.
“Killingworth is really special and I want to keep it that way,” said Iino. “Both its natural beauty and its strong community are rare and precious in this day and age. I am ready and willing to continue to work 14-hour days and weekends to preserve those qualities and to make sure that all of our townspeople can enjoy them.”
Throughout nearly a decade in office, Iino notes the following as some of the town’s top accomplishments: adding playing fields, including Killingworth’s first public tennis and pickle ball courts, an ADA-accessible walking trail, and the Parmelee Farm; streamlining town staffing while improving services; overseeing improvements like the first bus route through Killingworth, weekly senior lunches, and a war veterans monument garden; obtaining grants for an Emergency Operations Center, ADA-accessible pathways, and more as well as assisting local nonprofits in obtaining grants; increasing communications with townspeople through a range of mean; putting in place a data-based planning process that allows the town to set priorities and prepare for the future; and promoting environmental monitoring and recycling.
Iino also saw the agricultural and business sectors grow through her time in office. New businesses include Bishop’s cranberry farm, Lavender Pond Farm, Chatfield Hollow Farm, Running Brook Hemp Farm, La Foresta, Rustic Barn, SoConn Winery, and Andie’s Cookies.
“I don’t accomplish anything by myself—Killingworth runs on volunteers and every successful project is the result of collaboration and I am so grateful to these generous souls for all they do,” said Iino. “With all that we have accomplished, we have managed to keep taxes down. Our per capita property taxes are 14 percent lower than those of similar towns and we have not raised our mill rate in three years.”
If re-elected, Iino’s priorities are finding ways to allow seniors who are downsizing and young families who are just starting out to live “in our beautiful community”; strengthening the commercial district, agricultural sector, and home-based businesses; and preserving the rural environment and historic legacy of the town. She also plans to raise the tax abatements for first responders, amend the Town Charter, and upgrade operations at the transfer station.
“I have shown that I can bring people together, with diverse interests and across party lines, to do good things for Killingworth,” said Iino. “I believe in fair, open, and honest government and I have shown that government can be responsive and productive.”
Iino grew up in New York City and Croton-on-Hudson before attending University of Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in the humanities. Iino spent several years living in New Haven and Washington D.C. and working in the writing field before settling in Killingworth in 1996. She and her husband have two daughters.