Election season unusually quiet in New Milford
It seems to be a quiet election season so far in New Milford.
It’s surprising because the municipal election is just a little more than two weeks away.
To date, I haven’t heard much from the candidates, there are minimal political signs posted and just a few letters to the editor have been submitted from residents advocating for their candidates.
This year is an important one in New Milford, especially when it comes to the town’s top post — the mayoral seat — and the Board of Education.
Murphy defeated Democrats Sheldon Pruss in 2003, Joe Ribeiro in 2005, Dr. Larry Stillman in 2007 and Bob Coppola in 2009. In August 2011, Democratic candidate Jeff Winter withdrew from the race after sensing a lack of party support, leaving Murphy to run unopposed. Murphy also ran unopposed in 2013, although Independent candidate Doyle Lian managed to pick up nearly 50 votes.
The Board of Education has been in the spotlight for some time, mainly because of its decision to close John Pettibone School and to turn the building over to the town.
Earlier this year, other board decisions about the school calendar also sparked ire and were said to have decreased morale among teachers.
Officials elected to the Town Council also play a crucial role in making decisions in town, so casting a vote for council members carries plenty of weight.
In fact, every elected official — no matter the seat or board — plays an important role in government, albeit on the local, state or national level.
That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with all candidates, not just those running for top seats.
Many New Milford residents feel some of the decisions made by current elected officials — including the JPS closing and its uncertain future — have not been in the best interest of the town and its future.
As we prepare for an election, I expect there to be open conversations about the issues.
Perhaps some residents are too frustrated by what has unfolded in recent months. Or maybe people are satisfied with how things are going.
Either way, the bottom line is this is the time to speak out, raise concerns, ask questions of the candidates and show support for those who are willing to step up and run for office.
Educate yourself. Learn about the candidates.
Candidate profiles will be published over the next few weeks and there will be a New Milford mayoral debate at New Milford Public Library at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Be sure to exercise your right to vote on Nov. 3.
In keeping with Spectrum policy, letters to the editor regarding the Nov. 3 election will not be published in the Oct. 30 edition. Those political letters received by Monday, Oct. 19 at noon and not published in the paper will be posted at www.newmilfordspectrum.com. All letters received by The Spectrum not concerning the election will be printed in coming editions, or posted on our website.