Thursday, April 25, 2024

Meet Your Elected Officials: Carl Glad

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Chairman of the Stratford Town Council

Representative of the 8th District

By Orna Rawls and Andy Byrne

Carl Glad’s affection for his hometown goes even deeper than his roots do. He grew up in Stratford, as did his late father, graphic designer Andy Glad, and his mother Karla Glad. His paternal grandfather was one of the first Sikorsky Aircraft employees and moved from Long Island to Stratford with the company. His maternal grandfather opened one of Stratford’s very first law offices in 1956, and Carl is a partner with his uncle, former Probate Judge Kurt Ahlberg, in the continuing law firm, now named Ahlberg and Glad, LLC.

Following high school, Carl left Stratford to attend college in Washington, DC, receiving his BA in Political Science from American University, and his JD degree from the University Of Baltimore School Of Law. He remained in D.C., working on Capitol Hill with think tanks, in lobbying positions, and in national security as an advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Carl and his wife met in law school, married and started their family while making their home in Alexandria, Virginia. It was when his uncle ran successfully for Probate Judge in 2014 that Carl, his wife and two children made the decision to come back to Stratford. His memories of a happy childhood here among strong family ties had a big influence on that decision. That was some ten years ago, and they definitely feel they made the right choice.

Like his father, Carl has been very involved with Sterling House Community Center. As Chair of the Board, he gained a new perspective on the town, which had changed in the time he’d been away. He saw an increase in the needs of under-served citizens, both children and adults. His work as Chair of the Town of Stratford Commission on Aging supported those findings within the elder population. He was instrumental in finding

solutions to many of those issues.

“The town is very different now,” he says. “I’d say half or less are people who’ve been here for a long time, as my family has, and with a similar sense of community about the town. Newer residents care about different things, different activities that aren’t necessarily related to the town itself. And there are those who just reside here in a more temporary way, and find their sense of community elsewhere. It is important that our community embrace residents new and old and find ways to bring everyone together.”

His volunteer work showed him the importance of emphasizing community within the town. When he finished his term with Sterling House, he was looking for new ways to be of service. It happened that the Town Council member representing the 8th District was stepping down. Carl was debating with himself about running for that seat when something occurred that solidified his decision. He received a gift.

The gift came from the wife of a friend of Carl’s father. It had been given to her husband years before. When Carl unwrapped this gift, he found an old piece of slate from the roof of Stratford Town Hall, and on it his father had etched an image of the town hall. How could he not run for council?

Carl is a gentleman, and believes that civility matters. It makes a difference. In his role as Chair of the Town Council, he strives for an air of civility, and believes that together this council can accomplish things. “Democracy is an agreement to work together,” he says. “Otherwise, democracy doesn’t work.”

When asked if there is a big contrast between Democrats and Republicans on the council, he replied that all are working for the betterment of the town. The differences come out of the geographic and socio-economic needs of specific districts more than party lines.

Carl believes his many hours of community service give him a unique understanding of issues that the town faces, and his years in D.C. working on legislative affairs have taught him the importance of finding the middle ground that can move things forward. His work as an attorney dealing with real estate gives him knowledge and understanding of zoning regulations, property values and development. He cites all of this experience as contributing to his usefulness on the council.

His goals for his time on the council, and beyond, involve helping Stratford to evolve and be the community where people want to live, participate, raise their families and enjoy the beauties of this town. “We’re like a little island,” he says. “We can’t really be compared to the rest of Fairfield County, or to any other surrounding county or town.”

He wants Stratford to build on its individuality, honor its remarkable history, and step into its bright future.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It is good to know we have a Council Chair with such an extensive background who will bring civility and unity of purpose to our Town Council.
    Having attended a Council session over which which Chairman Glad presided, I was very impressed with the positive feeling of respect for all. It was very uplifting. Thank you Councilman Glad! 😊

  2. Except we’re not an island, we are part of coastal Connecticut. Topographically we have one of the most beautiful places along the coast and all within an hour or so of both NYC and Hartford.
    It would be great if our leaders would proactively protect our natural and historic beauty instead of filling every crevice with storage units, dollar stores and cheap looking apartment and complexes. I don’t know of any islands that aim for the “big box store” aesthetic.

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