EAST LYME — Democrat Camille Alberti, a member of town’s board of finance since 2013 and chair for two years, announced her second run for first selectman to an audience of about 25 people on Thursday evening.
She will compete against Republican Kevin Seery, who has served as a selectman since 2011 and as deputy first selectman since 2015. He previously served on the Board of Education for 14 years, including six years as board chair.
In 2019, Alberti was a late entrant to the race against First Selectman Mark Nickerson, replacing a candidate who needed to drop out. Nickerson announced last year that he would not seek re-election. She said she lost in the 2019 race by 180 votes, or three percent.
“I had only six weeks to campaign in 2019 but this year I have 16 weeks,” said Alberti, who stood at the podium with her husband, Mark, and son, Chase, flanking her on each side.
She said that her husband recently retired from Pfizer after 29 years and that milestone could have been a traditional turning point.
“I know this is a time where we could travel and explore, but I have never stopped wanting to be your first selectman,” she told the crowd.
Alberti touched briefly on her four platform issues: professional management of town hall, thoughtful development, protection of the environment and supporting quality education for all. She said she would delve into each issue in detail in the coming weeks.
“I want to hear ideas from people. I won’t stop talking to residents and small business owners until we uncover all of the issues that need to be addressed,” she said.
She said that she and her family moved from New York to East Lyme in 2005, when Chase was in the third grade, because her husband’s job was transferred to Groton.
Alberti has a degree in accounting from Pace University. She worked in management consulting for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and later started her own firm with Mercedes Benz and Volvo Car Financial Services as her biggest clients. When the family relocated to East Lyme, she started a design and staging business. She later served for about two years as finance director for the nonprofit Riverfront Children’s Center in Groton City. She is now a board member of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.
She pointed to some of her accomplishments as chair of the Board of Finance for the last two years, including the lowest increases in the mill rate — 0.6 percent in 2020 and .53 percent in 2021 — in the past decade.
“This was while making sure that the Board of Education had funding for remote learning during the pandemic. We also added $2.3 million, or 37 percent, to the town’s rainy day fund,” she said.
Alberti said there were many reasons why residents might vote for her.
“You may vote for me because I’m a woman. You may vote for me because I’m a Democrat and I’ll gladly take those votes. I’ll even take your vote if you like the color I dyed my hair last week,” she laughed.
But she said she hoped residents of East Lyme will vote for her because something she said truly resonates with them.
“Know that I am not in this race for me. I am in this race for the town and for you,” she said.