Sunday, May 16, 2021

Local News

Several Key Contests Coming in Westbrook Municipal Elections

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, Westbrook voters will have a say in who does the work of running their town.

Hiram Fuchs, a Connecticut state marshal and small business owner is running on the Democratic ticket against First Selectman Noel Bishop, a Republican, who has served in the top spot since June 2007. The Harbor News will print profiles on both candidates in next week’s issue.

Running for selectman are incumbent John Hall, Republican, and George Pytlik, Jr., Democrat, a small business owner and alternate member of the Zoning Commission.

The losing candidate in the first selectman race will compete with the two selectman candidates for second and third selectmen. Of the three, the two with the most votes will serve on the Board of Selectmen alongside the winner of the first selectman race.

The candidates for town treasurer and tax collector (Jane Spanilo Butterworth and Kimberly Bratz, respectively), are running for re-election unopposed. Both are Republicans.

The Board of Finance race is a competitive one, with two available seats and four candidates. James Dahl, a Republican, is running for re-election; fellow Republican William Cummings is running, as well. Two Democrats, Chris Ehlert and Katharine A. Sullivan, are also running for the two spots.

Four candidates are running for three seats on the Board of Education. Democrat Sally Greaves is running for re-election. Also running are Democrat Michael P. Susi and Republicans Christine Kuehlewind and Michael Esposito.

Two incumbents are running for re-election on the Planning Commission and will be seated: Chair Marilyn M. Ozols, Democrat, and Tammy Niedzwiecki, Republican.

The Zoning Commission has two seats available, both currently held by Democrats, and two Democrats are running and will be seated: Michael J. Engels, Jr., an incumbent, and Vincent John Gentile.

Similarly, for the Zoning Board of Appeals, two Republican incumbents, Bonnie Hall, chair, and Vincent Neri, seek re-election unopposed.

Democrat Kevin F. Sarr is running unopposed for a seat on the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA). The BAA a three-member board that already has two Republicans; thus, the remaining seat must be held by a Democrat and Sarr is a lock.

Four candidates, two from each party, are running for three seats on the Library Board of Directors. The are Democrats MaryJo Noonan (the current chair) and Deborah Jean Lepine and the Republicans Katharine Bishop (the current vice chair) and incumbent Megan Ruppenicker.

The website for the Connecticut secretary of the state,, allows residents to check whether they’re registered to vote and to register to vote online. Voters who are unsure whether or not they are registered may also call the Town Clerk’s office at 860-399-3044 or the Registrar of Voters office at 860-399-3042.

The regular voter registration session ends on Tuesday, Oct. 29; hand-delivered registration cards must be received and mail-in cards must be postmarked by that date. It is also the last day to register online.

There will be limited registration on Monday, Nov. 4 in person at the Registrar’s or Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall for those who turned 18, attained citizenship status, or moved to Westbrook since Oct. 29. On Election Day itself, those who are not yet registered or are registered in another town but have moved to Westbrook may register in person.

Applications for absentee ballots can be found on the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s website at or in person at the Town Clerk’s Office, where voters can fill out the ballot and turn it in during regular office hours, Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p,m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Mailed-in absentee ballots must be received by the town clerk by the close of polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The ballot may be delivered in person by a designee of the voter by the close of polls on Nov. 5. Voters who turn in their own absentee ballots in person must do so by the close of business on Monday, Nov. 4.

According to Town Clerk Joan Angelini, registered voters can fill out an absentee ballot application and vote up until noon on Monday, Nov. 4.

“We do accept the absentee ballots until 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, if they’ve already been issued,” she said.

In a case of emergency—such as if the voter is hurt, ill, hospitalized—the office will issue an absentee ballot that afternoon.

Aviva Luria covers news from Old Saybrook and Westbrook for Zip06. Email Aviva at

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