Stating “We have a slate of excellent candidates,” Newtown Republican Town Committee Secretary Carey Schierloh released the names of residents seeking local office or reelection following an RTC caucus at Edmond Town Hall on Monday, July 22. Local Democrats plan to caucus July 23 and a list of the Town Committee’s nominations will be available following that meeting, set for 7 pm in the Edmond Town Hall gym.
First Selectman Pat Llodra won her renomination handily, as did her running mate, Selectman Will Rodgers. Mr Rodgers came to the caucus armed with a statement from Mrs Llodra, who was hosting family members at the Big Time Rush concert at neighboring Fairfield Hills.
“Thank you very much for considering me again for nomination as your First Selectman,” Mrs Llodra wrote. “Please know that I would very much like to be at this caucus with you and it is only these extreme circumstances that keep me away.”
The GOP Board of Finance nominees were incumbents John Kortze, Joe Kearney, Harry Waterbury, and John Godin, who previously chaired two recent Charter Revision Commissions.
Republicans hope to fill a two-year opening on the Board of Education with newcomer David Freedman, while candidates for the four-year openings include incumbent Chair Debbie Leidlein, Keith Alexander, and former Legislative Council Education Committee chair Kathy (Fetchick) Hamilton.
Ms Hamilton was recently appointed back to the school board to fill a seat vacated by Republican Cody McCubbin, and was voted secretary at the recent board meeting July 16.
Ms Schierloh stated in a release that the Republican Caucus was “pleased the school board acted on the recommendation of the RTC Candidates Committee and the unanimous approval of the full RTC, and approved unanimously the appointment of Ms Hamilton.
“Given the challenges the Board of Ed faces going forward, [RTC members] felt the school board could use a seasoned candidate, well versed in policy and having participated in the only other major building project recently completed, the high school addition,” the statement continued. “Kathy’s absence on the council will be difficult to fill but we are grateful she is willing to step up and serve where most needed.”
The three GOP incumbents seeking seats for Legislative Council District 1 are Bob Merola, George Ferguson, and Joe Girgasky. The RTC also nominated incumbent council Vice Chair MaryAnn Jacob, incumbent Dan Wiedemann, and newcomer Ryan Knapp for the Legislative Council District 2.
Legislative Council District 3 will see incumbents Phil Carroll and Neil Chaudhary, along with attorney Tony Filiato seeking seats on behalf of the GOP. Incumbent Republican Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia was also nominated for another four-year term.
Underticket GOP candidates include:
*Board Assessment Appeals: Marianne Brown
*Planning & Zoning: Frank Corigliano
*P&Z Alternates: David Ruhs and Fred Taylor
*Zoning Board Appeals: Barbara O’Connor
*Zoning Board Appeals Alternates: Roy Meadows and Jane Sharp
*Police Commissioner: Jim Viadero
Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers: Margot Hall
In her written remarks, two-term first selectman Mrs Llodra said she considers her service to the community “a calling of the highest order, not just in my position as the Chief Elected Official, but for every one on the ticket.
“I believe that it is our combined effort that makes a difference; that no single individual can do the work alone — that it takes commitment and perseverance of the ‘many’ to help our community find and follow the right and best path forward,” Mrs Llodra continued. “So, thank you, too, to every person who has put himself or herself ‘on the leadership line,’ whether as a member of a so-called lesser board or commission, or as a member of a high-profile board.”
Mrs Llodra also offered what she called “some glimpses into what I believe are the elements of focus for the near-term.”
“First and foremost, I believe we need to focus very deliberately on building our local economy and financial strength,” she continued. “There are many pieces to this: Planning and Zoning rules and regulations; Land Use boards in their work with applicants; economic development initiatives; Board of Finance policies; Legislative Council reviews and actions; and more.”
The incumbent first selectman added that, “most of all, I put forth the need to provide sewers for the Route 6 corridor in Hawleyville. That project may be the economic engine we need to generate a greater presence in our grand list of the commercial/industrial sector. “
Mrs Llodra also said the town needs to continue planning for significant space needs, including a community center, a police station, a senior center, and, of course Hook and Ladder, while at the same time calling for a review of the use of school facilities to align with a declining population over the next five years.
“It may be that some of the community ‘bricks and mortar’ needs could be addressed through repurposing existing buildings,” Mrs Llodra said.
“Finally, I believe we will need to work together carefully and in trust of each other to fully execute the plan for the rebuilding of the Sandy Hook School,” she continued. “The way in which we lead this effort makes a difference in how we are seen by the community, the state, and the world. I know we will not squander this opportunity and that we will achieve the greatest value from the gift of support by the state of Connecticut. Let us lead with honesty, with true reverence for those who have been so badly harmed, but with an eye to the future which is bright with promise and hope.”
Local elections will be held Tuesday, November 5.