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New Canaan Dems will challenge Republicans for Town Council seat

Updated 1:12 pm, Wednesday, July 24, 2013
  • The New Canaan Democrats' 2013 candidates: From left: Arnold Karp, Cindy Franco, Ed Vollmer, Penny Rashin, Sheri West, Beth Jones (front), Kathleen Corbet, Sven Englund and Jeanne Rozel. July 23, 2013. New Canaan, Conn. Photo: Tyler Woods
    The New Canaan Democrats' 2013 candidates: From left: Arnold Karp, Cindy Franco, Ed Vollmer, Penny Rashin, Sheri West, Beth Jones (front), Kathleen Corbet, Sven Englund and Jeanne Rozel. July 23, 2013. New Canaan, Conn. Photo: Tyler Woods

 

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New Canaan Democrats nominated three candidates for November's Town Council election, meaning they will challenge one seat currently held by Republicans.

Kathleen Corbet, Jeanne Rozel and Sven Englund were nominated Tuesday evening at the Lapham Community Center, site of the caucus organized by the Democratic Town Committee. The three candidates will run against four Republicans for the six open seats, of which Democrats are guaranteed at least two under the town charter's mandate for minority representation.

Corbet was introduced by Town Council member Kit Devereaux, who is stepping down this year.

"Every once in a while, a small town is given the gift of the talent of a remarkable resident. In Kathleen Corbet we see extraordinary talent, profound intelligence and astounding business skills," Devereaux said.

Corbet is the former president of the financial services firm Standard and Poor's and is the co-founder of Municipal Enterprise Solutions. She previously served as the interim finance director for the Town of New Canaan. Englund serves on the Fire Commission. He grew up in town and has lived here for more than 50 years.

"I'm running because I'm worried about my little town," he said. "I fully support Town Audit Committee and making those audits public. I believe in a clean and safe environment."

A longtime realtor, Rozel has lived in town for 38 years. She serves on the Board of Assessment Appeals and volunteers for the Girl Scouts.

"When I think of Jeanne Rozel, I think of a quiet, calm woman with a good sense of humor, and if you've watched the Town Council, you know you need that," Christine Hussey said in her introduction of Rozel. Hussey is retiring from the Town Council after 28 years. "She is not one to be intimidated. That is very, very important."

The Democrats did not endorse a candidate for first selectman, treasurer or town clerk.

For the Board of Selectmen, the Democrats nominated incumbent Beth Jones, who has served in that position for one term. Jones was given a glowing introduction by Devereaux.

"Beth is one of the finest and most principled people I've ever known. I've watched her take difficult stands when it's the right thing to do. Beth is the embodiment of integrity," she said.

The Democrats endorsed incumbents Penny Rashin and Sheri West for the Board of Education. Rashin has served since 2007; West since June when Jim Kucharczyk moved to the Board of Finance.

"Education is a changing business, so we can't rest on our laurels," Rashin, a former commercial attorney and graduate of the University of Virginia Law School said. "The education we're delivering today is not the education we need to deliver to our students five or 10 years from now. That's the reason it's so exciting. I thank you for continuing to allow me to work for the 4,100 students in the district."

Board of Education Chairman Alison Bedula introduced West as someone who has the right skills to serve on the board. West has a degree in finance and a master's degree in human resources and labor relations. She worked for 15 years for General Electric in finance and human resources.

"Given the importance of the budget and the six unions with which we must negotiate," Bedula said, "West is just the right person."

The Democrats also nominated incumbent Wendy Fog for the Board of Assessment Appeals. They nominated incumbents Ed Vollmer and Cindy Franco and newcomer Arnold Karp as constables.

twoods@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6582; @Woods_NCNews