Naugatuck Republicans have chosen a 21-year-old full-time student and part-time manager at Wal-Mart to run for burgess in the November election.
Alex Olbrys, a 2010 graduate of Naugatuck High School, is a senior a Southern Connecticut State University. He commutes every day back and forth from Naugatuck, where he is a customer service manager at Wal-Mart on New Haven Road.
“I look forward to representing the citizens of Naugatuck,” he said. “I believe that together, we can move this town forward. …This campaign is not about me; it’s about bringing the issues to light and moving our town forward so that it can be a leader in the Valley once again.”
The vacancy committee for Naugatuck Republicans chose Olbrys after Smokey Regan resigned from the race. There are six Republicans and five Democrats currently in the race; nine people get elected to the Board of Mayor and Burgesses. The Democrats are looking to fill a burgess candidate vacancy left by Peg Sheehy, who was forced to resign because of health concerns. The Democrats have not yet publicly announced a replacement for Sheehy.
The Naugatuck Republicans, on the other hand, believe they have found someone in Olbrys who can engage people, especially young people, in a discussion about how to move Naugatuck forward. Olbrys became known in local government circles in 2009, when he was a senior at Naugatuck High School. At that time, Olbrys led a group of students who were concerned because mismanagement of school funds threatened to hurt the school system through teacher layoffs and other school cuts. Olbrys spoke in front of the Board of Education, led student demonstrations and encouraged other students to care about what was happening in their school system. Eventually, town government and school officials came to a solution that avoided mass layoffs.
Olbrys said he got his first taste of local government during that time.
“There's no time like the present to get involved, and my biggest wish is that more people - whether they are younger or older - would become involved with the political process of the town and become informed citizens,” he said.
Note: Naugatuck Patch has decided to ask each burgess and Board of Education candidate five questions to help voters decide whether they are deserving of their votes. You will see their questions and answers on the site between now and the election, as well as much more election coverage. We decided to start this Q&A with Mr. Olbrys. Please click here to read the five questions and his answers.