Democrats are hoping to return to an "even playing field" on the New Milford Town Council, courtesy of the Nov. 8 election.

Since the party's mayoral candidate Jeff Winter dropped out of the race in August, the party has been left without a standard bearer.

"We're hoping voters won't be apathetic and not turn out Nov. 8 since there is no opposition to Republican incumbent mayor Pat Murphy," said John Lillis, the Democratic Town Committee chairman.

Democrats admit they have found it difficult to move agenda items with the six Republican to three Democrat breakdown of the Town Council, said three-term councilman Peter Mullen.

"If we had a more even playing field, we could get things brought up and addressed, like questions with the audits, more thorough reviews on budgets and repairing our town roads and bridges," Councilman Mullen said.

"We're not getting adequate information in a timely manner," said Councilwoman Mary Jane Lundgren. "We get information too late to act on things at council meetings. This is what happens when the other party has a majority for too long. The members get arrogant."

Republican Town Council parliamentarian Ray O'Brien denies arrogance or "conspiracy."

He, too, said he would like to see a more timely dispersal of information from the mayor's office.

"As far as bringing up issues up, they always can," Mr. O'Brien said. "Moving an issue forward, that's another question. Democrats being in the minority on the council, that may be the case. They are in the minority because the voters elected more Republicans than Democrats on election day ... people of a different view of the situations in town than they have."

The Democratic slate for Nov. 8 shows three present Town Council members and three past council members as candidates: incumbents Mr. Mullen, Ms. Lundgren and Walter Bayer, and past councilmen Bob Coppola, John Lillis and Frank Wargo.

"We're knowledgeable about issues facing the town going in," Mr. Coppola said. "None of us have to have a learning curve. We can be advocate for change right away."

The New Milford Democratic Town Committee will hold a Meet & Greet The Candidates Nov. 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Richmond Citizen Center, located at 400 Main St. Visit for more information on the Democratic platform.