Towns are gearing up for 2019 municipal elections

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The election season is already underway. Plainville’s been quiet, but nearby towns already beginning to discuss referendum items or name candidates.

In Plainville, voting for town officials will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and there will be holes to fill on both the town council and board of education.

The council is comprised of seven members who are elected every two years. The BOE is comprised of nine members, and they serve four year terms that are staggered—in one election five seats would open up, and in the next election four seats would be open. But this year, there will be six openings on the BOE.

When BOE member Andrea Saunders resigned in July 2018, Lori Consalvo was appointed to finish out the term. Consalvo began the position in August to fill out the term, but if she wants to continue she’ll have to seek reelection.

On the BOE, the seats that will be up for grabs are those occupied by Consalvo, Foster White, Crystal St. Lawrence, Michael Giuliano, Deborah Hardy, and Laurie Peterson. The next set of seats to become available (2021) would be those held by Nicole Palmieri, Becky Tyrrell, and Kathy Wells.

All seven members of the town council—Kathy Pugliese, Deborah Tompkins, Ty Cox, Rosemary Morante, Christopher Wazorko, Jesse Gnazzo, and Danny Carrier—will need to seek reelection.

According to the town charter, a political party cannot have more than five members elected to the town council. Currently there are four Republicans (Pugliese, Tompkins, Cox, Carrier) and three Democrats (Morante, Gnazzo, Wazorko). Each political party will put forth five candidates during the respective caucus, typically held in July.

If for some reason a party member does not receive nomination at the caucus, they can petition for a primary. If an individual does not garner enough votes at the primary to get onto the ballot, there is a short window of time in which they can register and run as an independent or unaffiliated with any particular party.

Town councilors are not subjected to term limits.

Following the election of councilors, those members of the town council will vote on who will serve as the chair and vice chair. Currently, Pugliese serves as the council chair, and Tompkins serves as the vice chair. On the BOE, Hardy serves as the chair, and Palmieri serves as the vice chair.

Citizens who are not currently affiliated with a party, and those who are, are also eligible to run for seats on the council and BOE. Interested individuals should contact their party chair – Plainville Democratic Town Committee chair is Rebecca Martinez, (860) 803-6741, and the Plainville Republican Town Committee chair is Gayle Dennehy, (860) 416-4780  – or contact the town clerk, Carol Skultety, (860) 793-0221 ext. 246.

On voting day (Tuesday, Nov. 5), the town will once again have four polling locations: district one will vote at Linden Street Elementary School (69 Linden St), district two will vote at the Our Lady of Mercy Parish Hall (19 S Canal St), district three will at Toffolon Elementary School (145 Northwest Dr), and district four will vote at Wheeler Elementary School (15 Cleveland Memorial Dr).

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.