Category Archives: election

Election Night

I can’t post the results so I hope somebody can jump in here and let us know the burning question…. Did Joe Visconti go down in flames?

In the end, I have to admit, I couldn’t fill his bubble. I hemmed. I hawed. And, finally, I passed him by. I wound up voting for a couple of Republicans, but mostly Democrats, including all three of the Board of Education candidates. They impressed me.

I miss the old voting machines. Filling in bubbles reminds me of high school.



Filed under Board of Education, election, Politics, town council, West Hartford

Courant endorses six Democrats for town council

Here’s the Courant’s editorial today:

October 19, 2007


The decay of inner suburbs has foretold regional ills in some parts of the country. That hasn’t happened in Connecticut, by and large, but it is in the state’s interest to keep its inner suburbs strong. West Hartford has been one of the state’s best-run inner-ring communities, even drawing residents from outer suburbs. The town has gained momentum in recent years, and the town council incumbents responsible deserve re-election.

They withstood lawsuits and withering criticism to support Blue Back Square, a smart growth project in West Hartford Center. Now that the $158.8 million entertainment, shopping and residential project is opening, their resolve is being rewarded.

Development efforts are also underway in Elmwood, on Park Road and elsewhere. The town’s schools remain strong and cannot be shortchanged. The Democrat-led council has undertaken an array of other initiatives, from green energy to traffic calming and a bicycle task force. By contrast, the Republican challengers offer few new ideas beyond unspecified budget cuts and efficiencies.

Residents can vote for six council candidates. Nine will be elected, with a maximum of six from one party. The Courant recommends:

Scott Slifka, 33, is a Democrat and a lawyer. Mayor since 2004, Slifka has emerged as one of the top municipal leaders in the state. He is a poised, he listens and he thinks creatively.

Carolyn Thornberry, 59, a consultant, is a Democrat running for her third term. She was behind elderly tax relief, a new senior center and new playing fields, among other things.

Chuck Coursey, 44, is a Democrat who runs a public relations agency. He is seeking a third term, and has been responsible for project oversight of Blue Back Square. He has championed smart growth development in commercial centers and a number of quality of life issues.

Joseph Verrengia, 43, is a Democrat and West Hartford police officer seeking his second full term on the council after being appointed to complete a partial term. Mr. Verrengia switched parties after bucking GOP leadership to support Blue Back Square. He is a budget hawk and has a strong interest in the Elmwood neighborhood.

Shari Cantor, 47, also is a Democrat seeking her second full term. She is an accountant and has played a key role in budget matters.

Tim Brennan, 37, is a Democrat seeking office for the first time. He is a lawyer and the son of two local teachers, and has a strong interest in schools, senior issues and energy policy.

Also worthy of consideration are:

Leon S. Davidoff, 45, a business owner and lawyer. A Republican, Davidoff brings considerable experience, having served on the Newington town council in the 1990s as well as on West Hartford’s plan and zoning commission.

Steven Adler, 46, is a Republican and an insurance operations manager. Currently a member of the zoning commission, he would emphasize fiscal discipline and economic development.

Kelly A. Clark, 29, is a lawyer and a Republican seeking her first term. She is attuned to issues involving younger residents, and has a concern for traffic safety, among other things.

Also running are:

Peter Martin, 30, a lawyer and Republican seeking a first term. He stresses an open budget process and concern about taxes.

Michael Seder, 65, is a Republican seeking his first term. An industrial salesman, he has served on the Ledyard town council, and is focused on fiscal restraint and responsive government.

Joseph Visconti, 50, is a Republican and general contractor seeking his first term. An activist known for his opposition to Blue Back Square, Visconti says he champions fiscal discipline and public involvement in government.


Filed under campaign, election, Hartford Courant, town council

Let’s focus on education for a bit

With the election fast approaching, there’s on issue I care about more than any other: education. I want to know what each of the candidates will do to ensure proper funding of our schools and how they’ll maintain the quality programs offered to our students.

I want to hear what they’d do differently than the current occupants of the Board of Education and Town Council, if anything, and where their priorities lie. That includes knowing whether they will give the education budget the money it needs not just to maintain what we have, but to make our schools better than ever.

Will they restore Middle School Quest? Keep foreign language for all elementary school children? Scale back or at least not raise the fees that students pay to participate in activities?

Tell all, candidates. And for everyone else, feel free to leap into the fray with your own questions and comments. 


Filed under Board of Education, education, election, Schools, town council

Election news

Don’t miss the comments on this thread, which is where the election action is. Some very fine reporting and analysis from readers who are doing a much better job than I am at staying on top of everything!


Filed under election

So who should we vote for?

There’s no news in the papers and not much going on.

So let’s debate who should serve on the next town council and Board of Education. Tell us why you think the way you do — and try to convince us that you’re right without being mean-spirited.

I’m sure I’m not alone in having no idea who should be elected.


Filed under campaign, election, Politics, West Hartford

Don’t leave, Kevin, et. al.

Former Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan wrote in another post that “all candidates and candidate spouses” should stop posting here until after the election “or the ‘dialogue’ will soon become mostly just a bunch of ill-disguised political pitches.”

While the intention is honorable, it’s mistaken.

One of the best things about a blog that works is that it provides a place for the community to talk to itself, to have candidates and residents discussing issues, to focus on problems and solutions. For the most part, that’s been happening here, no thanks to me. We have a highly educated, interested town that has taken advantage of this little gathering spot.

As newspapers dwindle into irrelevancy — something that saddens me — blogs and the like are the only thing that can take their place with any effectiveness. But they won’t do much good if officials avoid saying anything on them out of a misplaced sense of honor.

I admire Kevin for thinking about this. But I do believe he’s wrong to leave and I hope that other candidates stay, although if Joe Visconti feels the need to go….


Filed under blog, campaign, election