Our endorsements for Nov. 7 elections

What’s the best thing about local municipal elections? They aren’t the national ones. We can rest assured (can’t we?) that there won’t be Russian intervention or intensely personal attacks on Twitter during this year’s town races. For that, we can only be grateful.

We can also give thanks that there are so many area residents who are willing to give up large chunks of their limited free time to take part in the governing of their towns. They give up a measure of their privacy, too, and can face some hostility from their fellow citizens in a very direct way at both official meetings and around town. In some ways, running the services in one’s own town can be more personally daunting than at other levels of government. Accountability is hard to escape when meeting one’s neighbors at the market or the coffee shop.

So in general, any of those people running for local offices this year should be commended for doing it, and will very likely bring enthusiasm and energy to whatever positions they win. Thanks to all of them for being willing to try to make their towns better places, whatever their visions of that may be. There will be disagreement on how best to fulfill the needs of their communities, but let’s hope there can also be compromise that leads to solutions for the problems facing them.

In Salisbury, First Selectman Curtis Rand is running unopposed. This town should be glad of his many years of service, during which a new firehouse was built, several bridges, including a span over the Housatonic River in Amesville, were repaired or rebuilt, roadwork was done and a new transfer station is now in the works, all of this while maintaining one of the lowest mill rates in the state. There are three people running for the selectmen’s seats, and only two will win places on the board. Voters can only vote for one on their ballots, and we endorse Don Mayland, who has given many years of service to the town in a range of positions and will govern with maturity and intelligence.

There is a changing of the guard at first selectman in both North Canaan and Falls Village, after long-serving heads Pat Mechare (Falls Village) and Doug Humes (North Canaan) decided it was time to move on. Thanks to them both for their tenures and the hard work they’ve put in for their fellow citizens.

Both the candidates who have stepped up to run in North Canaan will serve well. Susan Clayton and Charles Perotti know and understand the needs of their town, and have worked tirelessly over the years to improve life in North Canaan. It’s likely these two will serve together on the board however the voting goes for first selectman. We wish them both and their fellow selectmen the very best in bringing their town forward for the next generation.

In Falls Village, Republican Henry Todd and Democrat Joel Jones are currently serving together on the Board of Finance. They have become part of the community in a way that gives them the impetus to run for first selectman. Both could be eligible to serve on the board if they win the most votes, along with either selectman candidate, Democrat David Barger and Republican Greg Marlowe. We hope they will show the same level of commitment to their town that Pat Mechare has over her years at its helm.

In Kent, Cornwall and Sharon, first selectmen and selectmen are running unopposed. While it’s often good to have choices and more people who are willing to govern, for these towns, their leaders have been successful and have kept their communities stable. They face challenges, each town with its own, but it’s clear they will continue to work to address them. 

In Winsted, the current town officials have worked well together and with their very capable town manager, Bob Geiger. This gives voters good reason to maintain their leadership. Winsted has a lot going for it, with Northwest Connecticut Community College, the American Mural Project, Whiting Mills art spaces and downtown looking at a renaissance as a result of the vision of Marty Goldin, who is renovating some of the big old factory buildings on Main Street. Mayor Candy Perez has provided strong, balanced and inclusive leadership. We endorse her and the Line A candidates to keep Winsted moving in the right direction. 

You will find the candidates for the towns The Lakeville Journal covers listed in this newspaper this week. Use this information to know who is running where, and be sure to get out and vote on Election Day, Nov. 7. The efficient running of your town is as important to your life as any work done at the national level.