The run down on Durham’s ballot

Election activity has been quieter in Durham than it has in Middlefield in recent weeks.

There are no selectman running for office in the election to take place on Nov. 5. First selectman Laura Francis’ term will not be up until 2015. In 2006, Durham revised its charter, changing the selectman’s term of office from two to four years. Selectmen John Szewczyk’s and Dr. Steve Levy’s terms will also end in 2015.

According to Durham Town Clerk Kim Garvis, since municipal elections are held in odd years and with Durham’s four year cycle, the first selectman, selectman, tax collector, and town clerk will be up for election in 2015.

In the upcoming election, there are four candidates for the Board of Finance running for four seats. Republican candidates Loraine Coe, current chair of the BOF, and Laurie Tuttle are running for full six year terms. Democratic candidates Martin Anderson and Molly Nolan are running to fill vacancies of four and two years, respectively.

Tuttle and Anderson are currently serving as appointees on the BOF, and now have to be elected to finish those terms.

“Unless anything else happens, those four are in,” said Garvis of the BOF race.

The race for the Board of Assessment Appeals is the first one with more candidates than seats. Republican candidate Debra DeFelice and Democratic candidate Elizabeth White Booz are running for that office.

Seven candidates are running for five seats on the Planning and Zoning Commission, which has nine members as well as three alternates, who are elected separately. Republican candidates Alana Adams, Lisa Davenport, Peter Cascini, and Bonnie Ryder are running as are Democratic candidates Joseph Pasquale, David Foley, and Christopher Flanagan. The candidates do not run head to head in this race and voters can select any five.

According to Garvis, Connecticut’s minority representation law puts an interesting wrinkle in this seven candidates for five seats race. State law forbids one party from having more than six members on a nine member board. Since there are four current Republican members of P&Z whose terms have not expired, Garvis said, “All four Republican [candidates] can’t get in.”

The top two vote getters on the Republican side will win the seats and the other two will not, regardless of where they finish.

Flanagan, Pasquale, and Davenport are currently serving on P&Z. Ryder is currently one of the alternates.

Four candidates — David Slight, Catherine Devaux, Chris DiPentima, and Teresa Opalacz — are running for the two seats available on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

During the Nov. 5 polls will be open from 6 am to 8 pm at Francis Korn Elementary School on Pickett Lane. Absentee ballots are available at the Town Clerk’s office.

(Next week: The Run down of Middlefield’s ballot.)



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