Lone Democrat Jack Finn says he’ll keep ‘asking questions’

Alderman Jack Finn said he is ready to continue his work to improve Shelton as the only Democrat on the city' Board of Aldermen.

“I’ll continue asking questions,” Finn said. “I’m not shy and I’ll speak up. I have no personal agenda.”

Finn was re-elected to his 15th term on Tuesday, and remains the only Democrat on the aldermanic board. Republicans have a 7-1 majority. All incumbents were returned to office in the election.

Finn was first elected in 1985 and now is the longest serving alderman in Shelton history.

He won 95 more votes than the third-place finisher in the election to secure his spot. He will continue to serve with Republican Anthony F. Simonetti from the First Ward (Elizabeth Shelton School).

“This was the first close one,” Finn said of his margin of victory.

He said he had felt good about his chances based on feedback from voters when campaigning door-to-door. “But I didn’t realize it would be so close,” said Finn, who also serves as Shelton’s elected registrar of voters.

Working with Republicans

Finn said he “naturally” is disappointed no other Democrats were elected to the Board of Aldermen.

“I have good friendships with some — but not all — of the Republican aldermen,” he said. “We’ve proven we can work together, and that’s what matters.”

Finn said he doesn’t interact much with Republican Mayor Mark Lauretti, who was re-elected in a landslide to a historic 12th term on Tuesday.

“He doesn’t reach out to me, but that doesn’t deter me,” Finn said. “I’m back, and I’m not going anywhere.”

‘Almost!’ shouted a GOP enthusiast

Every two years, the Republicans hope to knock off Finn. But they always fall short. This year was no exception.

When the results from Finn’s ward were announced at the Shelton Republican Party's celebration on election night, one woman shouted, “”Almost!”

“One-hundred votes!” said another person is a disappointed tone, referring to Finn’s approximate victory margin.

The results for alderman in the First Ward were (the top two finishers win):

Anthony F. Simonetti (R) — 1,663

John “Jack” Finn (D) — 1,395

Gene Kierce (R) — 1,300

SHS fire code fix and senior tax relief

Finn said a major goal in the near future is dealing with the Shelton High School fire code violations. More than half of the violations have been fixed in the past year or so but many remain.

“It’s an important issue that has to be addressed in a timely fashion, not in five years like the mayor is doing,” Finn said.

Another priority is offering more property tax relief for local seniors. Finn said while the economy is improving, the middle-class still is suffering and this has particularly impacted seniors living on limited incomes.

“The middle-class seems to be disappearing — and seniors are hurting,” he said.