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RTC chooses its slate for Town Council

Updated 1:02 pm, Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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  • The following Republicans were endorsed for seats on the Town Council by voters at Tuesday night's Republican caucus. Clockwise from top, left: Kevin Moynihan, Bill Walbert, Penny Young and John Engel. Photo: Tyler Woods
    The following Republicans were endorsed for seats on the Town Council by voters at Tuesday night's Republican caucus. Clockwise from top, left: Kevin Moynihan, Bill Walbert, Penny Young and John Engel. Photo: Tyler Woods

 

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Two newcomers topped the ballot count, joining the two incumbents for the four spots up for grabs at the Republican caucus for Town Council.

At Tuesday night's caucus, about 730 voters went to Saxe Middle School to participate in the most elemental of democratic institutions, a town caucus.

The Republican-endorsed candidates for Town Council are Kevin Moynihan, Bill Walbert, John Engel and Penny Young.

Dionna Carlson, Jennifer Richardson and Sangeeta Appel were endorsed for the Board of Education.

Moynihan is a newcomer to town office. The vice chairman of the Republican Town Committee, he ran unsuccessfully for the Town Council in January. Tuesday, however, he received 489 votes, more than any other candidate.

"When you're involved for a lot of years, people turn out and I appreciated people coming out," he said. "We had 10 percent of the Republican electorate come out. I think it's a very good sampling of sentiment in town."

A novice to the political scene, Walbert finished second with 425 votes. Walbert has spoken of the need for efficient government and new thinking. He runs Walbert Capital Management in town, and is the former president of the New Canaan Community Foundation and Rotary Club.

"Walking in and seeing all the people that came out tonight was very, incredibly humbling," he said.

Engel, just six months into his council term, has spoken of the need to balance the competing demands of the school system while keeping taxes low. Engel, who received 379 votes, had to leave the caucus before the results were in but commented later by phone.

"I'm thankful for the support and I think the Republicans are fielding a slate that can work well together and earn the taxpayers' trust."

Young, who has served on the council for 16 years, has been a frequent advocate for seniors' issues, including a role in the development of Lapham Community Center.

"We've got a lot of work on our plate and some really good energy coming in to the council. The community will be better for it," she said.

There was a small amount of frustration with the way the evening was orchestrated. Voters who packed the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. were unaware they'd have to wait through the parliamentary procedure of party business before they could vote. Several people left before voting was opened up around 8 p.m. and an estimated 12 or 13 ballots were found in the trash.

"It happened. It's a sad thing," Republican Registrar of Voters Kathleen Redman said. "People are very impatient and they don't want to wait. They think voting is you come in, vote and leave, and didn't understand the difference between a primary and a caucus."

Of the remaining candidates for Town Council, Paul Foley received 315 votes, Dan Radman received 257 and Roy Abramowitz received 165, all of whom have been critical of the sitting body.

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