“The voters have spoken,” was the phrase most frequently used to describe the results of the 2017 election in Shelton.
With Mayor Mark Lauretti running unopposed, which guaranteed him a 14th term in office, some residents were concerned of a possible negative effect on voter turnout leading up to the election.
Ultimately, the total voter turnout decreased from 2015’s 41%, when the city had a mayoral race, to this year’s approximate 31% voter turnout.
Arguably the most significant race on the ticket consisted of the battle for the three available spots on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
With the help of residents who also support “responsible development,” Republican candidate Mark Widomski was elected to the P&Z commission after receiving 5,111 votes. Both Incumbent Commissioners Jimmy Tickey (D) and Tony Pogoda (R) were also re elected to the P&Z after receiving 3,828 and 4,822 votes.
“I am very thankful to all voters for their support, and I️ will continue to work my hardest for all Shelton residents,” said Tickey.
Chairman Ruth Parkins, although she received 3,991 total votes, lost her seat to Widomski because of the rule that limited no more than two candidates from the same party being elected.
“It’s time to move on,” said Parkins.
“The residents of Shelton have spoken up for what they wanted and now we’re going to move forward,” Widomski said.
According to Anglace, Widomski winning the race has gained him support from the Republican Town Committee.
“He sure did,” said Anglace. “He’s going to be working with everybody and try to make things go in the best direction for the city.”
Whether or not Widomski gained that same support from Mayor Lauretti is unclear. Shelton’s mayor has made it clear that he is not in support of Widomski voicing his opinion on what’s considered to be “responsible development.”
No Lauretti victory speech
In a somewhat unusual fashion, despite earning an uncontested 14th term as the city’s mayor, Lauretti left Republican headquarters shortly after some of the final results of the election were posted to the display monitor.
“He got a phone call and he walked out not to disturb everybody and I’m not sure where he went after that,” said Anglace.
The Herald called Lauretti on Tuesday night but were unable to get a hold of him for comment on his reason for leaving headquarters or his current stance on the outcome of the election.
In Lauretti’s place, Anglace made a congratulatory speech to all of the winning and losing candidates.
More new faces
Joining Widomski in the column of new candidates elected, the city’s Board of Education welcomed Anne Gaydos (R), Jose Goncalves (D), and Amanda Kilmartin (D) who joined the board approximately a month ago when Arlene Liscinsky announced that she was resigning.
The second time was the charm for newly elected First Ward Alderman David Gidwani as he beat Democratic candidate Adam Heller by 620 votes. Gidwani’s victory came after losing a close race to former lone Democrat on the Board of Aldermen, Jack Finn, back in 2015.
“I put in more work than I did two years ago, I learned from my mistakes and I’m so thankful for that. At this point in my life all I want to do is serve the residents of Ward 1 and the entire city of Shelton,” said Gidwani.
With Gidwani joining the city’s Aldermen, Republicans now completely control the board eight to zero.
“We have eight Republican board members instead of seven, nothing changes,” said Anglace. “We’re going to continue to do what we have been doing and that’s what’s best for Shelton.”