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Slate of Candidates

Ryan Curley

Portland First Selectmen


Ryan is the incumbent candidate for First Selectmen. First elected in 2021, Ryan previously served six years as Town Clerk and four years on the Board of Selectmen. Ryan’s professional background is in accounting, and he also holds a master’s degree in public administration from UConn. Ryan is a lifelong Portland resident and is committed to running for a second term to see many of the ongoing projects in town through to completion. Goals for the next two years include continuing to increase economic development (including overseeing the Brainerd Place development), continuing the Town’s search for water independence, continuing to improve technology and town services, and continuing to invest in capital improvements. Ryan also remains focused on bringing in as much grant revenue to town as possible. Ryan is proud to run alongside this slate of candidates and grateful that every member of the 2021 team came back to run for reelection and that we were also able to also bring in some terrific newcomers as well.


Michael "Julio" Hernandez

Board of Selectmen

Michael is an incumbent, in his second term on the BOS. Professionally Mike is a Project Manager at Environmental System Corp. Mike is proud to be a lifelong resident of Portland. His desire to improve our town is the reason why he has decided to run for reelection to this position. His goal is to help Portland to become a town where people not only want to come and visit but make it their home. His passion for Portland is evident in all that he does.

Robert Hetrick Jr.

Board of Selectmen


Bobby is an incumbent on the BOS in his first term. Professionally Bobby is a Corrections Officer for the State of Connecticut for 17 years.  He sees the key issues as Infrastructure improvements, deciding which schools remain open, and expanding the tax base by attracting new businesses or expansions in town.  Bobby believes he has shown voters that he cares deeply about the town and is fiscally responsible with spending taxpayers money.

Michael Pelton

Board of Selectmen

Mike is an incumbent on the BOS who has served over 3 terms on BOE while his children were going to Portland schools. He believes this experience helps with his BOS duties and decisions.  Mike  is currently running for a fifth term on the BOS. Mike's children are now in their twenties and had a great experience in the Portland school system. Professionally, Mike is a small business owner in town and actively involved with many families through his studio, coaching at the middle school and his volunteer efforts with various groups including the Lions Club.  He believes the most important issues we face are realigning our school system (closing at least one school and streamlining our K through 12 educational system) as well as bringing more businesses into town and continuing to improve the quality of life for all residents.  Mike feels confident that he’s represented the wishes of the town with passion and focus and hopes to receive continued support for an additional term. 

Shaun Manning

Board of Selectmen

Shaun is an incumbent, in his first term on the BOS.  Shaun runs his family-owned business located in Portland, Manning Home Builders Inc. He is running for reelection for the Board of Selectmen. His goals for the next term are to continue to work with his fellow board members to fund capital improvements, continue to work on improving the town's infrastructure and work on bringing new businesses into town to increase the tax base. Shaun is confident about his chances for reelection and is looking forward to continuing his work on the BOS.

Michael Tierney

Town Clerk

Michael was appointed Portland Town Clerk in January of 2022, filling the vacancy when Ryan Curley was elected First Selectman. Michael is a fifth generation, lifelong Portland resident. He is involved in many Portland community activities including being Scoutmaster of Boy Scout
Troop 2, serving in multiple roles at St. Mary’s Church, and a volunteering at the annual town holiday tree lighting parade. Prior to his appointment as Town Clerk, Michael’s professional career was in Client Service/ Project Management in the retirement services industry for several
insurance companies. Michael’s focus is to continue to strive to provide the most efficient services to Portland’s residents and taxpayers while maintaining the high level of customer service that has always distinguished the office of Town Clerk. Michael plans to keep innovating and looking to make improvements in the office. One coming challenge is that in 2024 his office and the Registrar of Voters will be implementing an early voting process. A successful implementation will require much work and coordination between the two offices, and other town departments. Michael feels confident that he can meet this challenge, and that his prior project management skills will be of benefit. He looks forward to a successful campaign, and that having over a year and a half of experience in the position, coupled with his involvement with multiple community organizations, helps strengthen his candidacy.

Karen Renner

Board of Education


Karen is a newcomer to public office; she has had three children in the Portland Public Schools from 2005 to 2023. Professionally she is a realtor and an Administrative Assistant for a nonprofit organization. Her interests in running for the BOE are fiscal responsibility, parental rights, improving student achievement and curriculum. Karen has a keen interest in special education and she sees that the most serious issues facing the BOE are the significant facilities, capital improvement needs and a decision on new construction and the possible closing of one or more of our schools. She believes that decisions must balance the learning needs of our students and fiscal responsibility to our community. Karen is confident she can connect with Portland voters and have a successful candidacy.  

Angela Hammond

Board of Education

Angela previously provided distinguished service in Portland in an appointed seat on the Economic Development Commission and Portland Beautification Committee. Angela grew up in Portland, attending the Portland Schools and raising two boys in Portland. Presently she is a retired IT project manager, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, artist, musician and volunteer. She is a natural leader who listens and asks questions and is engaged in her community.  She feels the most serious issues facing the BOE are the significant facilities, capital improvement needs and a decision on new construction and the possible closing of one or more of our schools.  Her additional interests in running lies in these major areas:  a passion for public education for all children (regardless of backgrounds, disability status or ethnic background), her belief that our children are our greatest asset for our future, the encouragement for and making available career and technical programs because all children learn differently; recognizing that physical and mental health programs are key for students both in-person and home-school options. Lastly, Angela feels safety should always be our number one priority, giving both students and parents peace of mind.  Regarding school Infrastructure, Angela believes these decisions must be supported by the widest group of Portland residents and be ones that  the community can sustain for years to come, essentially decisions that balance the learning needs of our students and fiscal responsibility to our community.

Peter Castelli

Board of Assessment Appeals


Peter is a lifelong resident of Portland, a 9-term member of the Board of Assessment Appeals and is a candidate for reelection. Peter is retired from a career as an archivist in digital communication and software technology. Peter has a longtime record of community service, is Portland Justice of the Peace and while on the BAA has provided excellent service and a fair process for citizens seeking assessment appeals. Peter feels confident in his candidacy and believes that his work ethic and long history of dedicated service on this board will lead to success. 

William "Bill" Donahue

Board of Assessment Appeals

William (Bill) is an incumbent serving his first term on BAA and is endorsed for reelection.  Serving on BAA Bill found he really enjoyed meeting Portland residents and working with them on issues regarding individual assessment concerns. He looks forward to hearing concerns and working to resolve those issues.  Bill's focus has been to successfully bring his business experience and common-sense approach to the appeals process. Professionally, Bill is Director of Sales for Magner Corporation of America in Middlefield, CT.  Bill and his wife Michelle have lived in Portland for 21 years.  They have a son, Connor (30) and two daughters, Emily (28) and Erin (22).  Bill shares that in his first term, during a revaluation period, everyone got a fair hearing, and they resolved those issues. He feels confident that voters will recognize these accomplishments and re-elect him to serve for an additional two years.

Robert Casati

Zoning Board of Appeals


Robert Casati is a current member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and is a candidate for reelection.  Robert is a 21-year Portland resident and a retired Captain in the Hartford Police Department, having served for 33 years.  Robert feels confident in his candidacy because he takes the time and makes a commitment to perform his role effectively and efficiently.  Bob thanks everyone who has voted for and supported him in the past and asks for continued support.

Kurt Peterson

Zoning Board of Appeals


Kurt is presently serving as an appointed Alternate on the ZBA and has served on the ZBA as an Alternate and seated member (for 1 term) for over 20 years.  Kurt is a proud, long-time resident of Portland and professionally he is a Product Photographer.   Kurt shares that the ZBA works as a commission to hear applications for property variances unique to property in the Town of Portland. This requires a consensus on 5 board seated members based on each request. Kurt feels he has a good chance with his candidacy because his long experience on this commission shows his dedication and ability to work with a committee to make reasonable decisions based on the scope of this commission. He believes that running with a strong and dedicated team focused on the well-being of the Town of Portland is an asset as well.

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