WEST HAVEN -- Five candidates are seeking election to three seats in the West Haven City Council race.
Incumbents Blaine H. Holmes, Stephanie Carlson and Dawnell Musselman are being challenged by Dennis L. Dallinga and Gary J. Stimpson.
Musselman believes that monitoring the city's planning and growth well is the most important issue currently facing West Haven. She describes the city as peaceful, quiet and neighborly and wants it to stay that way.
"I would promote smart growth and try to maintain the quality of life we have in our community now," Musselman said.
She believes her experience as a real estate agent qualifies her to oversee city growth.
Carlson said she has worked hard the past few years to make sure the city's emergency plan is in order, and she hopes to continue that work, among other things. Carlson served for six years on the planning commission and believes her experience and dedication make her the best candidate for office.
"I've worked very hard at it," said Carlson. "I've got the background needed to build a good community."
Carlson wants to preserve open space and continue her work on the new cemetery for which the city recently purchased land.
Dallinga is a retired banker who served in the Army Reserve. He thinks there are two big issues facing the city: having elected officials who care and developing West Haven's commercial property.
Dallinga believes elected officials should stay in office only for a short period of time. He also believes that bringing businesses to West Haven would help the city's budget.
"I take a personal interest in talking to people that take an interest in coming into West Haven, and I'm willing to go out and talk to people," Dallinga said.
Stimpson is a retired business administrator who currently drives a school bus. He has worked with city governments all over the United States and in Asia, Europe and the Middle East as a construction manager and believes his experience qualifies him for the city council seat.
Stimpson wants to ensure that the city's budget is carefully guarded.
"I would watch the outgo, and I wouldn't take on any big projects right now because of the economy," said Stimpson.
Stimpson says he has lived in West Haven for a long time and wants to do what's best for his neighbors.
Blaine H. Holmes is seeking his fourth term on the council. He could not be reached for comment.