Town Council to Select From Four to Fill Vacancy

During Thursday's meeting at the New Canaan Nature Center, the Council voted unanimously to fill the seat with a Republican, as recommended by Town Attorney Ira Bloom, based on his review of the town charter and applicable statutes.


The New Canaan Town Council will vote for four candidates put forth by the Republican Town Committee to fill the seat vacated by Tom O'Dea, who was elected to serve as state representative for the 125th District in the November election.

During Thursday's meeting at the New Canaan Nature Center, the Council voted unanimously to fill the seat with a Republican, as recommended by Town Attorney Ira Bloom, based on his review of the town charter and applicable statutes.

The Council has set Jan. 10 as the date to interview the four candidates, including RTC Vice Chairman Kevin Moynihan, RTC member Dan Radman, local real estate agent John Engel and resident Roy Abramowitz. Each of the candidates will be asked four questions and given two minutes to answer. The Council members agreed to send the questions to the candidates in advance.

The new member will be elected via a single vote. Should there be a tie between the top two vote-getters, First Selectman Robert Mallozzi will be asked to step in — in his role as ex-officio member of the Council — to cast the tie-breaker. Should Mallozzi exercise his option to abstain, the Council will then hold a run-off between the top two vote-getters. 

Two of the four candidates, Radman and Abramowitz, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Council during the local election two years ago, while Engel previously ran against Nick Williams in the Republican caucus for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Under the town charter, the 12-member Council can appoint an elector to fill a vacant seat until the next special or general election.

However during a meeting on Dec. 12 some Council members questioned whether the elector must be a Republican, or if the seat is in fact open to candidates from all political parties.

During Thursday's meeting O'Dea informed that he plans to submit his resignation to the Council before he takes his oath of office in Hartford on January 9.

A majority of the Council's members said they agreed with Bloom's interpretation of the charter that, as per due process, the seat should be filled with a Republican.

Elmcrest January 10, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Keep in mind that the DeWaele, Campbell, Murphy, Karl, Young, O'Dea crowd all actively and publicly supported a candidate for first selectman who lost soundly in that same caucus. No surprise. The current "cabal" sitting on Town Council has proved, time and again, that they are out of touch with most New Canaanites, so why should we let them hand-pick mystery candidates like Mr. Moynihan? By contrast, Mr. Radman and Mr. Abramowitz have 800 more votes for Town Council than the other two guys ever earned. When they ran, they had to get a petition signed by registered NC Republicans, had to campaign to various groups and places in town, had to raise funds, had to engage in televised debate, etc. Yet all Mr. Moynihan has to do is answer 8 questions and he's in. That is about as dismissive and disrespectful of the town's voters as you can get.
Doug January 10, 2013 at 01:43 PM
My recollection of the election is that it was not even close. The 5th and 6th vote getters were clearly 5th and 6th. The voters spoke pretty loudly. Is there any precedent of a situation like this where anyone goes back to the previous election to see who came in last or second to last? This is a pretty standard way to pick a replacement. Not sure that your comments about who the Town Council supported for First Selectman has any relevance. Sounds like you don't like the Town Council and you are throwing everything that you can think of against the wall to see what will stick. If the Town Council is so out of touch with most New Canaanites, why do they continually get so much support from the electorate?
Hawk January 10, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Doug: Apparently you are either a friend of the existing "cabal" on the Council or pro Walker-existing council. You are absolutely incorrect that the the votes for Mr Radman and Mr Abramowitz where not even close. Mr Radman received 896 votes out of about 2150, pretty good showing, and was only behind Ken Campbell by 108 votes. Mr Abramowitz received I believe 792 votes or 212 votes behind Ken Campbell. That is an excellent showing for first timers running against incumbents, especially when specific "current" 7/8ths members were posting false accusations against these two candidates with psuedonyms and to the electorate. I heard that Roy Abramowitz received 43% of the first early voting and when the Walker - 7/8ths realized this and falsely attacked his character. The same is true of Dan Radman. Additionally there are 6600 registered Republicans and only 2150 or so voted in the Caucus, about 32%. After all James O'hora appointed Penny Young as chair of the caucus election committee. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! How many millions of dollars are you going to allow the current 7/8ths to waste? Long Range Planning fiasco, Lakeview, Chiller fiasco, Pension fiasco. $132 million in bonded debt. The charade to night is is to replace a 7/8ths member with another 7/8s puppet - Moynihan. Can you honestly tell me that Mark DeWeale, Penny Young, Ken Campbell, Tucker Murphy and Chris Hussey will vote for either Dan Radman or Roy Abramowitz no matter how stellar their performance tonight.
S Tadik January 10, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Old Timer, the process is command and control with periodic audiences, not joint participation. Unless you get some bodies behind you, by the time you see the design, everybody will be fatigued and won't want to make changes. If you think either the project is important or you think you can make a difference, you need to organize a group of citizens and start making some noise.
Kendall L Owott January 11, 2013 at 09:24 AM
Financial Gentrification Thursday night, John Engel commented about the shifting of real-estate property assessments to the lower end of property valuation and Kevin Moynihan expressed disdain for a referendum dealing with “only” $500,000-$600,000. If these comments disturb you, contact newly-elected Town Council Member John Engel and others who support his views. This is a time for him and the Board of Selectmen to listen and act to improve fairness and transparency. A while back, a New Canaan citizen expressed deep devotion to New Canaan and its fiscal habits: . . . “Lastly, for those who claim that the town's financials are in disarray, New Canaan has the third lowest mill rate in Fairfield County and many could argue the most desirable downtown and most far-reaching community benefits in the entire state. The vast majority of residents want to see the town move forward and have its government continue to enhance the quality of life of its people. If it's not for you, there are plenty of "less resourced" towns for your choosing . . .” If you let the system push you around, apparently there are those who would like to nudge you out the door by financial gentrification. Don’t be apathetic; do something.


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