Lowe to challenge Cope in Sherman
First Selectman Clay Cope is seeking a third, two-year term as the Republican candidate in Sherman.
The incumbent is to be challenged in November’s municipal election by Democrat Don Lowe. Lowe was endorsed July 23 by Sherman Democrats.
Cope’s running mate is incumbent selectman Bob Ostrosky.
Lowe is teaming with Ashleigh Blake, who is running for a selectman’s seat for the first time.
“I will be my honored to continue serving the town I love,” Cope said. “Bob Ostrosky and I, along with town treasurer Eric Holub, have worked hard to stay fiscally conservative while maintaining town services for our fellow residents.”
Cope pointed to Sherman’s “improved fiscal position” under his administration. Moody’s Investors Services has given the town an AA2 rating, affecting the town’s $9.1 million debt, he said.
“The AA2 rating incorporates the town’s improved financial position following two consecutive years of surpluses, a modestly sized but wealthy tax base, and low debt and pension burden,” Cope said.
Ostrosky said he has enjoyed serving Sherman’s residents as selectman.
“If elected again, I would be honored to serve and continue building and maintaining a strong financial position for the town,” said Ostrosky, a senior finance director for a Fortune 50 company.
Lowe, 57, served as selectman in Sherman from 2004 to 2008. At that point, he didn’t run again in order to commit time to his family.
He currently serves on the Sherman Higher Education Fund, a seat he’s held since 2001, and the Sherman Ensemble Board of Directors since 2011.
Lowe also served on the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission from 2001 to 2003 and was chairman of the Land Acquisition Fund Board from 2005 to 2007.
He moved to Sherman in 1999 with his wife, Mary Lamb, and three children.
Lowe faulted Cope’s administration for keeping issues in the town “perpetually on the agenda.”
“There are things that have been on the agenda for over a year,” Lowe said, “like the septic fields inspections and the cross at Happy Acres. These are fairly simple things to act on.”
Lowe noted the present Board of Selectman wants to “step aside” and leave the issue of displaying a cross at the town-owned farm to the farmers now leasing it. That, he said, puts the farmers in an untenable position and shirks the selectmen’s responsibility.
“I’m running because the town needs someone who can answer questions, who doesn’t get back to you later,” Lowe said. “We’ve had four years with no resolution to the problem with cell service in the south end of not. That’s not just a convenience issue. That’s a safety issue and one I plan to work on resolving if elected.”
Blake agrees with Lowe that Cope’s administration has “a lack of action.”
Issues keep getting pushed along rather than resolutions being found, she said. She noted the emergency services facility still doesn’t have the financial books closed for the long-stalled project.
While it’s “moving along,” she said, Cope has to “be straight” with residents about where the project stands.
Blake previously served on the Conservation Commission for eight years, holding the seat of vice chairman during that time.
She was president of the Sherman School PTO for the last four years and actively involved with the Board of Education.
While on the Conservation Commission, she was actively involved with the Planning and Zoning Commission.