Archive for ‘Wolcott Democrats’

June 6th, 2012

Council Approves Tax Hike; Increased Expenditures

by Christopher O'Brien

By Chris O’Brien
The Town Council approved an 11.4% tax increase on Tuesday night. The mill rate rose from 22.68 to 25.27 and tax bills will be mailed to taxpayers in early July. Declining overall property values, a recent revaluation and a 2.74% increase in Education expenditures all contributed to the tax hike. “We didn’t take this lightly,” Council Chairman Dave Valletta told the audience just before the vote was taken.

Six separate votes were taken for separate components

read more »

November 14th, 2011

Marsella Wins Recount, Council Seats Wednesday

by Christopher O'Brien

First term Councilman Charles Marsella won a recount against fellow Democratic candidate David Gentile for a seat on the Town Council. The recount for the First District seat was held Saturday morning and Marsella garnered 1600 votes to Gentile’s 1592. There was a two vote difference between the recount and the original numbers during the election.

This finalizes the slate of members that will be seated at Council’s organizational meeting Wednesday evening at Town Hall. Mayor Dunn will be sworn in for his fifth term as mayor and the Council will then be seated at 7 pm, in accordance with the Town Charter.

read more »

November 9th, 2011

Republicans Pledge To Work With Mayor; Landslide Against Dems; Turnout Low

by Christopher O'Brien

**Updated Thursday 8:30 am**
The VFW hall was filled with celebration as Republicans arrived from their Wolcott Rd. headquarters, learning what the next two years would bring. Across town at the East Street eatery, the mood was more somber as Democrats questioned what happened. For the first time in many years, long serving Democrats were ushered from office and replaced by a cadre of newcomesrs who pledged to work closely with Mayor Dunn. It is also the first time the Council has had a six member majority in at least a decade.

Dunn beat Democratic challenger Steven Olmstead 4180- 803.

The newly formed Town Council will be seated next Wednesday and have an entirely new dynamic. For the past two years, Council headed by four member minority Democrats Michael Santogatta and Steven Olmstead will see neither of the leaders. Fellow Democrat Michael Perrone lost re-election in a Row C gamble and even the fate of Charles Marsella hangs in the balance with a recount.

read more »

November 7th, 2011

Olmstead: I’ll Make Wolcott Better

by LonSeidman

Steve Olmstead

Two years ago, a picture ran in the Wolcott Community News featuring a dog, Steve Olmstead, and his mother. Above the photo were the words “My Mother Would Vote for Me”. Voters saw an honest, sincere and apolitical man intent on doing what’s right. “That ad is why people voted for me,” Olmstead explains. As folksy as it was, he won a seat to the Council with the second largest number of votes in town.

One day later, he was the newly seated Council’s Vice Chairman’s. The Council was a mix of factions, never seen before in Wolcott history. Four Democrats, one Republican and four Row C candidates all grappling to control the financial body. Olmstead didn’t align himself with any group of candidates in 2009 and was waiting for results on his home TV when a defeated councilman knocked on his door to congratulate him on his victory. The stocky moustached former pastor of Grace Living Church says he recognizes today’s financial difficulties and the need to guide Wolcott through it. “We’ve been here before three or four times since the 1970s and 1980s. Its nothing new,” he tells the Whisper. The local business owner and former pastor has had to balance payrolls, write checks and other tasks which he says will assist him to running the town like a busienss.

read more »

November 7th, 2011

Democratic Board of Education Candidate Profiles

by LonSeidman

Democrats are bringing five newcomers to the slate this year. Incumbent Teresa Pineau has only been on the Board for eight months. Currently, there are four members. Helen Audibert is retiring while James Pape and Tony Gugliotti have opted to run for Town Council.

read more »

November 6th, 2011

2011 Election Ballot

by LonSeidman

There are fifty two candidates running for seven offices this year. For some offices, you vote for two candidates, others three or six. (And more than that actually win, but that’ll confuse your job on Tuesday). You’ve seen the signs. Now here you can see where they are on the ballot.

Remember that in the last two elections, many offices have been decided by 7, 20, and 42 votes. As of this writing, not a single one has been counted. Our soldiers fought for this right – so do your research, and make sure you participate!

There are TWO sides to the ballot. Don’t forget to look at both!

2011 Ballot – Front Side

2011 Ballot – Back Side

November 4th, 2011

2011 Election Guide

by LonSeidman

Welcome to our coverage of this year’s election.

On Tuesday, we will have a bi-annual ritual of picking our local leaders to serve and lead our town. I’ve been fortunate to get to know many of these candidates, although some I am still unfamiliar with. But, like you, I will have to make my best judgement of whom I believe will best listen to the town’s needs, my neighbor’s needs, and even my needs.

——————————————————————————————–
Have you considered subscribing to the Whisper? It’s FREE!!! Sign up at the upper right hand corner of this page!
——————————————————————————————–

Here are our election articles organized by office:

1. Want to glance at theballot before going to the polling place? Don’t forget there are two sides
2011 Ballot – Front Side; 2011 Ballot – Back Side

2. Board of Assessment Appeals: You may select any two candidates. Joseph Santopietro is running on Row C. View his profile here. Republican candidates June vitiello and Adam Glasser profiles are here

3. Board of Education: You may select any six candidates. They may be in the same column or row, including above each other. Nine will be seated to the board.
Democrats
Republicans

4. Town Council: Wolcott has an unusual at -large voting method. You may vote for two candidates in EACH of the three voting districts – including the two you don’t live in. This year, there are six candidates running in each voting district. You may choose candidates that are above or below each other in the same column as well as in any row.

Democrats
Republicans
Row C

5. There’s a race for Town Treasurer this year pitting two longtime politicians.

6. The race for mayor will conclude between Democrat challenger Steve Olmstead and petitioning Mayor Tom Dunn.

7. Candidate Michael Perrone issues a challenge to the town to vote.

read more »

November 3rd, 2009

2009 Election Guide

by LonSeidman

NOTE: These articles have been compiled by one person and while we attempt to be as balanced as possible (except on occasion we’ll note our opinion), it is possible we may miss a piece of the story or make an error. If you find any, PLEASE contact the Whisper as soon as you see it. We will make every attempt to correct it in a timely manner. Also, if you can contribute to the discussion in your own words, feel free to add a comment! Contact: cobrien7@hotmail.com; (203) 558-5817

It’s down to the wire, and 60 candidates are overwhelming you and asking you for their vote. Your newspaper boxes and mailboxes are being filled, and you might be wondering: Who are these people? What are they running for? And how do I decide?

We here at the Whisper are committed to giving you as much information as possible about the races within town. Below are some lists and links and analysis on the various races to help give you insight. Most links are to other articles within the blog. Just click on “The Wolcott Whisper” at the top of the page to return to the main page. Also, feel free to click on “Add a Comment” to leave messages for discussion.

1. For a list of candidates and a description of the jobs they are running for, click here for the list of candidates by office.

2. The October edition of the Wolcott Community News has biographies of most of the candidates, as does the Waterbury Republican- American. Those biographies can be viewed at at www.rep-am.com/news/elections. Articles for the candidates appeared between October 19th and 23rd.

3. The Junior Women’s Club of Wolcott held a Meet The Candidates. forum last Wednesday. This was aired on Channel 96 on Saturday. Each candidate had two minutes to speak.

4. There are four groups of people running this year on three ballot lines. See who’s running with who, and who’s on their own.

5. The Tax Collector’s Race is heating up: analysis, including a reply by Ms. McQueen.

6. Did some Town Council members propose cutting Senior Citizen Bus Service? Read about the alternate budget proposal from June 2

7. There’s some confusing language in an ad on page 40 of October’s Wolcott Community News about a tax cut. What’s this about? Reintroduce a Tax Rate Reduction.

8. Charter Revision has prompted a large number of questions from residents asking: what is it? Here’s you question and answers. here for the Q & A as well as some of the proposals various candidates have to revise the Charter. (coming soon!)

9. The Board of Education recently approved an administrators’ contract for school principals recently. While not covering the candidates, it is recent news that highlights one of the most important roles of the Board of Education.

Wolcott could probably get an award for the most confusing ballot in the state. When you vote, be aware that there are TWO sides to the ballot! Also, most positions allow you to vote for more than one candidate. You can vote for that designated number of candidates no matter how the two or three or six names fall on the ballot. For instance, if you wanted to vote for a Republican, Independent, and Democrat in for an office whose names appear above and below each other, you can do so. If you have any questions, sample ballots are available at Town Hall in the Town Clerk’s office. Also, candidates and election moderators will be happy to help explain the process to you.

Do you have any questions or issues you would like us to help explain? Let us know! We’ll try our best to explain issues you have heard about.

June 3rd, 2009

Wolcott Republicans Pass No Tax Increase

by LonSeidman

There will be no tax increase in Wolcott this year. In fact, both the Board of Education and the Town budgets emerged virtually unscathed after a meeting filled with political fireworks. While last year’s hearing drew over 100 parents with many of them speaking before the Council began deliberations, no parent or member of the public spoke this year. While more attended than usual, there were still a few empty seats.

The budget meeting began with a Democratic proposal to reduce over $73,000 from the Mayor’s budget. This drew instant fire from Chairman Mark Wagner who questioned why such a large proposal covering 9 departments and 20 different line items wasn’t present sooner. Wagner argued that last week’s workshop brought a perceived agreement on the budget. David Gentile countered that there was no agreement. Mayor Dunn spoke against the proposal, stating that it would dramatically affect town services. “I agree with your opening statement, but find it hard to believe you went line-by-line of both budgets,” noting how the Board of Education budget was untouched by the Democratic proposal. The BoE budget makes up approximately two-thirds of the town budget.

Republican Chris O’Brien called the proposal ‘overreaching.’ “Your proposal reduces four line items for fuel -we don’t know where fuel prices will end up – already the price has gone up 50 cents over the past month.” He went on to contest most of their line items. Mike Santagotta defended the proposal by noting it will provide a tax decrease. “Approving the budget as it is will open the town up to a (funding) deficit- do you want that?” he asked. The Democratic proposal would have decreased taxes by 0.01 mills by figuring a 98.33% current tax and $750,000 back tax collection rate.

O’Brien noted that in past years mayors have taken money from the town’s rainy day fund as part of their budget proposals. According to the Town Charter, the Mayor must recomend a sum of money to be used from the reserve fund. The Council cannot do this on their own. The Mayor did not propose using any of the reserve fund this year. “If necessary, we can take money from the reserve fund to make up a deficit if there is one at the end of the fiscal year. Its taxpayer money too, and (a deficit) is what it’s supposed to be used for,” suggested O’Brien. Unaffiliated Councilman Mike Bokon joined Republicans in defeating the Democrats’ proposal 5-4.

Republicans first moved to vote to approve the budgets without any changes. But this vote also failed 5-4 after O’Brien voted against his party’s proposal.

“I wanted a $4425 adjustment to the Local Emergency Planning Commission allocation. I don’t believe the LEPC Commissioner justified his budget and some of his expenditures are questionable, including paying himself to write a standard report in addition to his annual stipend.” said O’Brien after the meeting. Democrats included this adjustment in their proposal.

Republicans held a caucus where an $1800 reduction to LEPC was proposed to satisfy O’Brien. They proposed increasing the back property tax collection rate, and kept the present 98.5% tax collection rate. Democrats argued that this collection rate is unrealistic in a difficult economic year. The budget was then passed 5-4. Democrats voted against the final mill rate which passed. The mill rate is 22.69 and tax bills will be sent out within two weeks. This is the same mill rate as this past year. A mill is assesed for every $1,000 of assessed personal property.