Ballot bottomline: Seats up for grabs Tuesday
Updated 10:20 am, Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Fairfield voters may have their attention focused on the race at the top of the ticket for first selectman, but there are dozens of seats on municipal boards and commissions up for election Nov. 8.
"In that context, I think we will maintain our majority on the Board of Finance and zoning boards and RTM "because I think the people are going to essentially reject the past Democratic administration, and that's not personal to the fine candidates running for those other posts," Baldwin said.
"I have a very good feeling," Plotkin said. "We have a lot of energy, a lot of good candidates, a lot of smart candidates."
He expects the Democrats will pick up seats on boards where they are currently in the minority.
One thing that concerns Plotkin, however, is a lack of voter interest. "I think we're battling voter apathy to a large extent," he said.
"A lot of the candidates who are knocking on doors have found more than a few people who don't even know there's an election."
BOARD OF FINANCE
Three seats are open on the finance board, where the Republicans currently hold six of the nine seats.
Chairman Thomas Flynn, a CPA and member of the Board of Finance since 2005, and Chris DeWitt, both Republicans, are running for re-election. DeWitt has been on the board since 2007 and is employed at Sikorsky.
Democrats are putting up two new candidates: Elaine Gaffney, a People's United Bank employee who holds a degree in economics, and lawyer Patrick McCabe, who has experience with an international securities and finance law firm.
Laura Incerto is an Independent Party candidate for a finance seat.
The school board majority is held by Democrats, with five of the nine seats.
Voters can cast their ballot for five candidates, although the GOP has put up only two candidates.
Democrat Stacey Zahn, who has served for 10 years on the Board of Education and was on the RTM for two terms, is seeking re-election.
She is joined by fellow Democratic candidates Phil Dwyer former YMCA CEO; Neal Fink, owner of NRF Media Group and a member of the Fairfield Woods Building Committee; Jessica Gerber, a member of both the Osborn Hill and Roger Ludlowe Middle School PTAs, and Jennifer Maxon Kennelly, a school teacher and administrator for 21 years.
On the Republican side, patent lawyer and incumbent Paul Fattibene is seeking his first full term.
Fattibene was on the RTM from 1989-2009. Also running is John Convertito, a lawyer and former Town Facilities Commission member who spearheaded an ultimately unsuccessful referendum earlier this year to add money to the Board of Education budget.
TOWN PLAN AND
The 10-member TPZ is currently dominated by Republicans, who hold seven of the seats. Two four-year terms, one two-year term and an alternate to fill a two-year vacancy are on the ballot.
GOP candidates seeking re-election to a four-year term include lawyer Bryan LeClerc, the panel's chairman, and lawyer Matthew Wagner. Wagner first served as an alternate beginning in 2009 and was appointed to fill a regular seat in 2011 Incumbent David Soutar, also a lawyer, hopes to be re-elected for a two-year term. Looking for election as alternate is Gerald Alessi, who was appointed this year to fill the vacancy when Wagner was appointed to a regular seat.
For the Democrats, Sally Parker, currently serving as an alternate, is running for a four-year term. Also running for a four-year seat is Pat Jacobson, who served as a TPZ alternate from 2007-09; she also was an RTM member from 1997-07. Anita Rappoport, a real estate agent, is on the ballot for the two-year term; she was on the RTM for eight years and for two terms on the Board of Assessment Appeals. Local architect Marc Andre is running for the alternate's seat.
On the ZBA, the GOP holds sway with four seats out of eight seats. Democrats hold three seats while the Green Party holds the remaining seat.
Democrats are running current ZBA alternate Ed Cheffetz for a four-year term, along with incumbent Duncan Keith, who has been on the panel since 2001. Real estate consultant Sam Boyarsky is seeking the two-year seat, while looking to fill the two-year alternate vacancy is Megan Hannum, a controller at Firefly Millward Brown who was on the RTM from 2005-09.
On the GOP side, insurance broker Don Cafero is seeking re-election for four years; he has been on the ZBA since 2009.
He is joined by James Hamilton. Incumbent Kevin Coyne, a lawyer and the panel's secretary, is running for another two-year term. Real estate agent Margaret McKay is looking to fill the two-year alternate vacancy.
Daphne L.S. Dixon is a Green Party candidate for the two-year alternate vacancy.
The five-member Board of Assessment Appeals has a Democratic majority, with three of the seats.
The Republicans are putting up two candidates -- David D'Ausillo for a full four-year term, and Laura M. Devlin to fill a vacancy for two years.
Running for the Democrats are retired lawyer and former board member Steve Tower for the full term and Timothy Sheen, who is head of finance and accounting for a health-care company, for the two-year vacancy.
There are seven constable seats up for grabs this year, and currently, the GOP has four of those positions.
Democrats Joseph Gall, an RTM member since 1995; Eugene Short, and Ruth Smey, who has had 13 terms as constable and four terms on the RTM, are running for re-election. They are joined by newcomer David Peck, the former Fairfield police chief.
For the GOP, there are three incumbents on the ballot as well: Retired Fairfield Police Officer Joseph Peddle Jr., RTM member and small business owner Edward Bateson III, and Frank Rowe, who has served as constable since 1981. The fourth candidate is insurance agent Mark Dunlevy.
Daniel Jay Delventhal is a Green Party candidate for a constable post.
The town's legislative body is made up 50 people, with five representatives from each of the 10 districts. It is guaranteed that there will be at least 17 new faces on the RTM at its November meeting because of the number of incumbents who have decided not seek re-election. Among those not on the ballot are Democratic Minority Leader Cristin McCarthy Vahy, who is running for selectman as Tetreau's running mate, and GOP Majority Leader James Millington.