By JOHN GORALSKI
Former registrar Ed Malczyk read off the candidates’ names as he dropped them into party hats and presented them to Southington’s registrars of voters. Republican registrar Michael Early pulled the Democratic names, while Democrat registrar Elaine Bedard drew the Republicans.
There were redundancies as each name was carefully logged, and the whole package was turned over to Southington Town Clerk Kathy Larkin to be certified.
On Friday, Sept. 6, a small group of candidates, town officials, and members of the public gathered in the downstairs conference room at town hall to conduct a public lottery to determine the order in which candidates’ names will appear on the ballots for the November municipal election.
It was quick. It was accurate. But just as important, it was clear.
“I liked the process, and I liked the room a little bit more, too,” said Early. “Last time we did it in the chambers, and there’s too much distance from everybody. It was hard to see what’s going on. Down here, it was all up front.”
During the 2017 municipal election, the process was very different. There was no controversy, but there was some confusion with the process when numbers were picked and matched up to names in a non-alphabetical list. The process drew some criticism, but this year’s ceremony went off without a hitch.
“This year, we changed it to pull names and made everything transparent. All the names were seen before and after they came out,” said Early. “I think everything went pretty well.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, registered voters will cast ballots for the town council, board of finance, board of education, planning and zoning and water board. The party order is dictated by the person currently serving as governor. Since Gov. Ned Lamont is a Democrat, the Democrat candidates will be listed on the row above the Republicans for each office.
The order of each party’s candidates, left to right, was determined by the lottery.
Democratic candidates for Town Council (in the order that they will appear on the ballot): Anthony Mazzarella, Valerie A. DePaolo, Christopher J. Palmieri, Christopher J. Poulos, Kelly Morrissey and John N. Barry.
Republican candidates for Town Council (in the order that they will appear on the ballot): Tom Lombardi, William Dziedzic, Mike Del Santo, Victoria Triano, Paul Chaplinsky Jr. and Jim Morelli.
Board of Finance
Democratic candidates for Board of Finance (in order): Susan J. Zoni, Ryan Rogers, Kevin Beaudoin and Donald S. Rinaldi.
Republican candidates for Board of Finance (in order): John Leary, Tony Morrison, Joseph Labieniec and Edward S. Pocock Jr.
Board of Education
Democratic candidates for Board of Education (in order): David J. Derynoski, Lisa Cammuso, Zaya G. Oshana, Lauren D. Johns, Robert Brown and George Doherty.
Republican candidates for Board of Education (in order): David M. Falvo, Terri Carmody, James Chrzanowski, Missy Cipriano, Joe Baczewski and Colleen W. Clark.
Planning and Zoning
Democratic candidates for Planning and Zoning (in order): Caleb Cowles, Christina Volpe and Valentino Guarino.
Republican candidates for Planning and Zoning (in order): Bob Salka and Peter Santago.
Democratic candidates for Board of Water Commissioners: Robert Berkmoes.
Republican candidate for Board of Water (in order): Ron Lamoreux Jr. and Erika Pocock.
In addition, Larkin will be running for re-election, unopposed, endorsed by both the Democrats and Republicans.
Finally, there will be one referendum question to determine if the town will purchase the municipal center: “Shall the Town of Southington appropriate $2,930,000 for cost related to the acquisition of the John Weichsel Municipal Center property and authorize the issue of bonds and notes, not to exceed $2,930,000, to finance the portion of the appropriation not determined by the Town Council to be defrayed from the Town’s general fund balance?”
Voters approving the ordinance will vote, “Yes,” and voters opposing the ordinance will vote, “No.”
To comment on this story or to contact Southington Observer editor John Goralski, email him at JGoralski@SouthingtonObserver.com.