[7/30/11]The Democratic Caucus on July 21 buzzed with excitement, when a surprise nomination was made from the floor in opposition to Ralph Averill, who was on the slate proposed by the Washington Democratic Town Committee (WDTC).
Mr. Averill was the WDTC’s obvious choice, because he has been a full member on the Zoning Commission for six years, and has proven himself to be a smart, hard-working commissioner. In contrast, the floor nominee, Phil Dutton, had no experience in zoning. Mr. Averill won handily and is running for re-election in November, along with Nick Solley, the other Democratic nominee for full membership on the Zoning Commission.
Both Republican Nominees Can't Win
Just days after the Democratic Caucus, Phil Dutton showed up at the Republican Caucus. There, although a Democrat, Dutton accepted the Republican nomination to run for Zoning Commission, along with Republican nominee Dave Werkhoven.
The Republicans' nomination of a Democrat, rejected by the Democratic Caucus, is odd enough. Odder yet, is the Republicans’ nomination of two candidates for full membership on the Zoning Commission. That’s because only one of them can legally be elected, regardless of what the voting results are.
Connecticut statutes require minority representation on municipal commissions. Thus, on a five-member commission, like our Zoning Commission, there cannot be more than four full members from one political party. Now there are three Republicans on the commission. So no more than one additional Republican nominee can be elected on November 8th.
Voters Play ‘Republican roulette’
“I’m not sure what the Republicans are up to,” said WDTC co-chair Andy Shapiro. “They are sort of making voters play ‘Republican roulette.’ If you vote for both their zoning candidates, you absolutely waste a vote on someone who can’t possibly win. If you vote for only one of their candidates, you stand a good chance of wasting your vote. One of the Republican nominees is running an absolutely futile campaign. Unfortunately for voters, they won’t find out which one until after the voting results are in.
“Of course, I think voters should choose our Democratic candidates,” Mr. Shapiro adds. “Nick Solley and Ralph Averill share over 30 years of experience in land-use regulation. The Republicans’ candidates have none. Zoning is too important to our property values and Washington's character to entrust to people with no experience.”
Vote for Solley and Averill
On November 8th, voters will be instructed to vote for any two out of four candidates for full membership on the Zoning Commission. The four names will include Ralph Averill, NickSolley, and the Republicans’ two nominees—only one of whom can win. To be sure that your votes count, and are not wasted, vote for both Nick Solley and Ralph Averill. Do not vote for either of the Republicans’ nominees.