Election 2013


By Harlan Levy Journal Inquirer

WINDSOR LOCKS — The Board of Selectmen will have one or two new faces next year as a result of the candidate slates chosen Tuesday by both political parties.

The only contest for a slot on either ticket was among Republicans, where three people sought two nominations for Police Commission, leading to an incumbent’s ouster.

All other candidates were nominated unanimously.

Heading the Democratic slate and seeking a fifth term as first selectman is Steven Wawruck, who told the 20 town committee members that former First Selectman Ed Ferrari, who’s running for the Board of Selectmen, and he are committed to completing projects that have been started.

Those include relocating the train platform to the center of town, revitalizing business growth on Main Street, and installing bus shelters, sidewalks, and enhanced pedestrian crossings on Route 75.

“I still have the fire in the belly,” said Ferrari, who served on the board from 1985 to 1993 and 1999 to 2003, “and as to speculation I’ll retire halfway through, that is the farthest thing from the truth.”

Wawruck and Ferrari will face Republican incumbent Dennis Gragnolati, running for first selectman, and Republican Town Chairman Mike Russo, a first-time candidate for selectman. With four candidates vying for three spots, the board could have two new faces if Ferrari and Russo are among the top three vote-getters.

“The town of Windsor Locks deserves better, and we can do better,” Gragnolati told the other 30 Republicans who made up Tuesday’s caucus. “Mike and I will do that.”

Republican Selectwoman Denise Balboni will run for town treasurer against Democrat Daniel Squires.

“I’ve been on the board for 12 years, and I decided I’d like to take a break and continue to serve on the pollution control authority and, hopefully, as treasurer,” Balboni said.

Asked how the Republicans expect to triumph in a town where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin, Gragnolati said: “We just have to get out message out. It was close two years ago.”

Tuesday’s only surprise came in the race for Police Commission when the Republican caucus rejected 14-year member Roger Nelson for retired Det. Sgt. Rick Rachele, a 34-year Police Department member, and former Board of Education member Michael Royston.

“Maybe it’s time for someone new,” Nelson said after the vote.

“I think I can still contribute to the community, and there’s always room for improvement,” said Rachele, who opposed the 2013-14 police budget proposal, which voters approved this month in a third referendum on the total town package.

Rachele and Royston face Democratic incumbent George Hall for the two open seats.

In other races, for two spots on the Board of Education, Democratic incumbents Chairwoman Patricia King and Andrew Kulas face Republican incumbent Scott Storms and newcomer Gerard Weatherby.

For Board of Finance, Democratic incumbent Michelle Hill and alternate Steve Brown Jr. face Republican incumbent Norman Boucher and board alternate Paul Harrington.

Republican Tax Collector Joseph DeLisle Jr. is unopposed.

Democratic Town Clerk William Hamel faces Douglas Glazier, who also is running to fill a Park Commission vacancy.

The race for two other Park Commission spots pits Democratic incumbents Richard Labbe and Dan Squires against the GOP newcomers Paul Ciarcia and Daniel Flanagan.

For two open seats that start in 2013 on the Zoning Board of Appeals, Republican incumbent Curtis Ruckey and Glazier, who had filled a vacancy that ended last November, face Democratic newcomer Shane O’Connor, while Republican George Austin faces Democrat Ron King for the spot open in 2014.

For Fire Commission, Democratic incumbents Steve Brown Sr. and Patrick Courtney face Dennis Gragnolati.

Wawruck & Ferrari to lead Democratic Slate