Posted: Friday, 26 July 2007
Republicans endorse Dubow, a former Democrat, for Board of Education seat

The Wilton Bulletin
Copyright 2007 by Hersam Acorn Newspapers
Published On 7/26/2007
By Justin Reynolds

Richard Dubow, a former Democrat who has since registered as an unaffiliated voter, was endorsed by the Republican Town Committee Tuesday for a seat on the Board of Education.

Mr. Dubow has past experience on that board, having served there from 1979 to 1987. He followed that service with a stint on the Board of Selectmen from 1996 to 1999, and currently serves as chairman of the Board of Finance.

The Republicans barely had a majority of town committee members in attendance, with 23 of the 40 members at the meeting held at the Wilton Library. Two of the 23 members attended the meeting over the phone on a conference call.

"Dick Dubow is the embodiment of the active and engaged citizen volunteer who makes Wilton a great place," said Harry Somerdyk, vice chair of the Republican Town Committee. Party affiliations are unimportant compared to how an individual will serve the town of Wilton, he said, when one member in attendance asked if Mr. Dubow was a Democrat.
The Republicans were unanimous in all of their nominations, and said they felt they had a great slate of candidates.

"I've been doing this for a number of years and I've never seen a slate this qualified," Mr. Somerdyk said.

The Republicans renominated a number of their candidates, including First Selectman William Brennan, and offered a few new residents into the mix.

Board of Selectmen

Michael Kaelin, head of the RTC, nominated Mr. Brennan before having to leave the meeting to attend a jury trial he was working on.

"We had high expectations when we nominated Bill for the first time," Mr. Kaelin said. The Republicans were looking for management skills and improved communication between boards, town officials, and town employees, he said.

"Bill has succeeded in doing all of that," Mr. Kaelin said, calling Mr. Brennan an "advocate for the town of Wilton."

Rep. Toni Boucher, Republican of the 143rd District, said Mr. Brennan has "stepped across boundaries and made great friends and alliances." Ms. Boucher pointed out that while Mr. Brennan is an opponent of the Super 7 idea, he has made friends with Richard Moccia, the mayor of Norwalk, who supports the project.

"I heartily endorse him, and feel that we're incredibly lucky," Ms. Boucher said.

Hal Clark, the town's second selectman, also supported Mr. Brennan, saying the first selectman anticipates and addresses problems before they become larger ones, and he is careful about the kind of people he works with. Mr. Clark called the town's recently approved ethics code "probably the best code any town in the state has."

After being unanimously nominated, Mr. Brennan thanked RTC members for their support.

"You've honored me again," Mr. Brennan said, adding that he doesn't take his responsibilities lightly.

Mr. Brennan said his objectives remain the same. He wants to improve the town as best he can while making it a great place to raise children, he said. "I'm open for ideas and suggestions."

The Republicans also unanimously endorsed Mr. Clark and Susan Bruschi, who both currently hold seats on the Board of Selectmen. Mr. Brennan and Mr. Clark are both seeking their second terms, while Ms. Bruschi, who took over for Marilyn Gould when she moved to the Planning and Zoning Commission in February, is seeking her first term.

Board of Finance

The Republicans approved three candidates for the Board of Finance on Tuesday.

Warren Serenbetz, who was appointed to the board in June 2006, will be seeking his first elected term.

The Republicans nominated Al Alper, who has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission since December, to the board as well. A member of the RTC, Mr. Alper has also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals in the past, and has been the town's representative to the Southwestern Regional Planning Agency.

For the third spot, the Republicans nominated Alicia Lindgren. While not a member of the RTC, Ms. Lindgren has served on the board of the YMCA, Friends of Ambler Farm, and the Wilton PTA.

Mr. Clark called those nominated for the Board of Finance an "incredibly impressive group of people."

Board of Education

The Republicans also had three seats on the Board of Education to fill, as Lisa Bogan chose not to run again and Dona Waskom had reached her term limits. Gil Bray, who replaced Ms. Bruschi when she moved to the Board of Selectmen, was nominated for election.

Mr. Dubow, a long-serving resident in town, received an endorsement from the Republicans, who said national political issues paled in comparison to Wilton issues. Mr. Alper said Mr. Dubow "aggressively gives up his time and energy" to serve the town.

"We are much more concerned with what people are going to give to this town than politics," Mr. Somerdyk said of Mr. Dubow's nomination.

Jim Saxe, a member of the RTC, also received a nomination. Mr. Alper said Mr. Saxe is "politically persuasive" and has the "ability to dissect the numbers and decompose them down to the minutiae." Mr. Saxe is "open to persuasion, and willing to persuade," he said.
Planning and Zoning

Michael Rudolph, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, presented the Republicans' nominations for the commission on which he serves.

Among those renominated are Sally Poundstone, who is currently the commission's chair, and Marilyn Gould, who left the Board of Selectmen in February to join the Planning and Zoning Commission. Ms. Gould is seeking election to the commission for the first time.

Dona Waskom, who has served on the Board of Education since 1999, was also nominated for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mr. Rudolph said Ms. Waskom is an environmental conservative, who understands that development is necessary in the 21st Century but also wants to preserve land. Ms. Waskom has lived in Wilton for 21 years.

The final member nominated was Eric Osterberg, whom Mr. Rudolph called an "extremely active member of the RTC." Mr. Osterberg, an attorney who works in Stamford, helped campaign for Judith Freedman.

Other races

The Republicans nominated Fred Sindel to the Board of Assessment Appeals, who will replace Tom Harris. Mr. Harris decided not to run again. Mr. Sindel has an "extremely good temperament," a quality that is vital when dealing with appeals, said a member of the RTC.

Mike Bilby, who has reached his term limit, and David Lattimer, whose recent change in employment location has caused him not to seek re-election, have given the Republicans two new positions to fill on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Two of the Republicans who already serve on the board will also be seeking election.

Miriam Sayegh is seeking a second term, and John Comiskey, who was appointed to the board in December, is seeking his first elected term.

The Republicans nominated Barbara Frees, who has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission since 1999, to the board. Ms. Frees is an attorney, but she isn't licensed in Connecticut, so there is no conflict of interest, Republicans said.

Peter Bell, a member of the RTC for two years, was nominated to serve as an alternate on the board.

The Republicans renominated all four of their candidates for constable. Richard Ziegler, Christopher Gardner, Christopher Dubrowski and Colleen O'Brien will all seek another term.

The Republicans selected their slate unanimously, with no debate or dissenting opinions.

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