This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published October 17, 2019
Zip06/The Sound asked North Branford Republican Town Committee (RTC) chair Mike Downes to discuss why he feels voters should support the slate of Republican Town Council and Board of Education (BOE) candidates on the ballot in the Nov. 5 municipal election.
The Nov. 5 election will fill nine Town Council seats and three open BOE seats (for terms expiring in 2019). Currently, Republicans hold the majority on the Town Council with six of nine seats; and will seek to retain that majority with six Town Council candidates including four incumbents and two new candidates. On the BOE, Republicans currently hold four of seven (staggered-term) BOE seats, with one BOE incumbent candidate seeking election on the Nov. 5 ballot.
"In the 2019 municipal election here in North Branford, voters are being given a clear choice between continuing with our proven team that has restored fiscal stability and accountability, or going back to the ways of the Democratic majority that gave us a 7.8 percent tax hike and a mill rate that spiked from 31.08 to 33.51 when they were in control from 2015-17," said Downes.
On the education side, prior to current Republicans heading up the BOE,"...the Democrat Board of Education instituted 'pay to play' sports for students and eliminated foreign language study in our middle schools," said Downes.
He said the current Republican team leading the Town Council and BOE "...has worked effectively to course-correct from those days, bringing the mill rate back down to 33.46, while continuing to fully fund services and town departments, eliminating 'pay to play' and restoring foreign language study. More work needs to be done, and the Republican team will continue this work."
In addition to "restoring tax stability," Downes credits the town's Republican leadership with several accomplishments in the past term, and work underway that will continue on a positive course.
"The Republican team has reinstated proactive capital budgeting that provides consistent allotment projections for each town department, has approved feasibility studies for much-needed renovations and new construction at the Police Department and North Branford High School, provided funding for the reconstruction of the Northford Park tennis and basketball courts, and installed overdue park signage throughout town. They are also hard at work finding savings by consolidating services for the Town and the Board of Education," he said.
North Branford Republican Town Council candidates in the 2019 municipal election are incumbent candidates Michael Doody, Rose Angeloni, Bob Viglione, Tom Zampano and new candidates Ron Pelliccia and Walter Goad. Republican BOE incumbent candidate Cynthia Rice is running to resume her seat in the new term.
Downes encourages the electorate to vote Row B on Nov. 5 to support the 2019 Republican ticket. He echoed the sentiment of the party's tagline, "Neighbors Serving Neighbors," saying all of members of the Republican team are "... dedicated neighbors serving neighbors, who will work hard for all of us."
North Branford Republicans will host a "Meet the Candidates" free event for the public at Rose Vineyards & Winery, 2 Valley Road, on Wednesday, October 30, 6 – 8 p.m. For more information about North Branford's Republican candidates and the RTC, find North Branford Republican Town Committee on Facebook.
North Branford's 2019 Town Council candidates will participate in a Town Council Candidates' Forum on Wed. Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m. at the Stanley T. Williams Community Center in Northford, 1332 Middletown Ave. The forum is being hosted by the League of Women Voters of the East Shore (see related story).