By JOHN GORALSKI
Preliminary numbers have been counted, and the Democrats will continue to serve as the minority party on every town board for the next two years.
The Democrats were quietly watching the numbers being logged onto the spreadsheet at their Election Day gathering at the Mason Hall downtown when someone rushed in with the news. In an instant, the mood changed.
The preliminary numbers indicate that Paul Champagne (R) edged Anthony D’Angelo (D) in the Town Council race, but those numbers were tightly contested with vote counts fluctuating in two districts. Champagne is the likely winner, but the official vote could change. At the very least, the vote is close enough that D’Angelo may be able to consider a recount.
If the preliminary vote is overturned, the Republicans would still maintain control of the Council but the 6-3 super-majority would become a 5-4 simple majority.
Either way, Democratic incumbent Chris Palmieri led all candidates on the Town Council election.
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support from the voters, but it’s bittersweet,” said Palmieri. “I know we had a strong team, and I know that we could have done a lot of good for the town if we had a chance.”
Republicans Michael Riccio, Victoria Triano, Cheryl Lounsbury, Tom Lombardi, and Champagne were all re-elected, and former councilor Edwark Pocock III regained his position on the board. Palmieri, Dawn Miceli, and John Barry were all re-elected for the Democrats.
“Chris and I are in the top five, and we’re going to continue on our journey together doing great things for our community,” said Miceli. “I’m going to keep tackling my projects.”
On the other hand, both referendums passed easily. Palmieri said that it was a big, bipartisan win for the town.
“I’m very pleased about the Calendar House. I think the seniors have been really patient, and they deserve it,” he said. “I’m glad the electorate gave them this opportunity, and open space is a win for the community, too. I’m really excited they passed.”
Zaya Oshana Jr. led the Democrats on the Board of Education. He’ll be joined by Robert S. Brown and David Derynoski in the Democratic minority. Republicans Brian Goralski, Terri Carmody, Terry Lombardi, Patricia Queen, Colleen Clark, and Juanita Champagne will form the majority.
Oshana said that he wasn’t concerned. The board will continue to be bipartisan in its approach to education.
“Sometimes people lose track of why we’re doing this. We’re doing this for our kids and the next generation. If you’re not doing it for that reason then you have to get out,” Oshana said. “On this board, everybody cares about the kids. That’s why we do it, and that’s how we’ve been able to work together as a cohesive board. What we need to do is make sure that everybody supports each other and we hear all the issues. We need to make sure that when we spend money, it’s to educate our kids.”
Democrat incumbents Kevin R. Beaudoin and John P. Moise regained their seats on the Board of Finance, along with Republicans James W. Coleman, Joseph Labieniec, Edward S. Pocock Jr., and John J. Leary III.Democrat James Sinclair was elected to the Planning and Zoning Committee to serve alongside Republicans James E. Morrelli and Jennifer E. Clock.
Robert Berkmoes (D), Erika Pocock (R), and Michael S. Domian (R) were re-elected to the Water Commission.
According to Town Attorney Mark Sciota, official numbers will not be available until Wednesday morning.
Please visit us at SouthingtonObserver.com for all official counts.
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