Confusion Over Recount Delays, but Does Not Change, Result in Colchester

COLCHESTER – A recount of the Board of Selectmen results affirmed the outcome of Tuesday’s election, with slight changes to the vote totals, but without changes to which candidates earned seats on the board. The recount Wednesday night at the Colchester Town Hall was long and uneventful, affirming that Deborah Bates, Denise Turner, Rosemary Coyle and Jason LaChapelle will have seats on the Board of Selectmen – while Taras Rudko will not retain his seat on the board. Despite the quiet evening, questions about why a recount wasn’t held sooner persisted. Rudko, who earned one more vote on the recount

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Recount on Wednesday for Colchester Selectman Seat

A recount of ballots for the Colchester Board of Selectmen election will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Colchester Town Hall. Colchester Town Clerk Gayle Furman said state statute requires a recount if candidates are separated by fewer than half of a percent of the total votes cast in an election. Incumbent Republican Selectman Taras Rudko earned 2,551 votes in the initial tally of the results from the election held on Tuesday, Nov. 2 – which meant Rudko was fifth in the election, and did not earn one of the four seats on the board. However,  Colchester

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‘I’ve Never Seen an Election Like This:’ Personal Attacks, Campaign Finance Allegations Mar Colchester Race

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COLCHESTER – In the quiet, southeastern Connecticut town of Colchester, voters are used to peaceful local races, with disagreements about where to build sidewalks and how to fill empty storefronts.  But this fall, the race for first selectman has been anything but civil.   “I’ve never seen an election like this,” said Rosemary Coyle, a Democratic member of the Colchester Board of Selectmen who has been in local politics in Colchester since the 1970s. “Republican or Democrat, we’ve always all worked together, there’s never been anything this divisive or offensive.”  Incumbent First Selectwoman Mary Bylone, a Democrat, is facing off against Republican

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Colchester Approves Budget on Third Try

COLCHESTER – On their third opportunity to vote on a budget for the 2022 fiscal year, Colchester voters approved the town’s budget by a vote of 1,119 in favor and 628 opposed. The approval comes nearly two months after voters rejected a budget for a second time this year by a margin of six votes, with 873 in favor and 879 opposed.  The mill rate for the year will be 33.05, an increase of 0.21 mills over last year’s budget. That increase is an entirely due to the Board of Education budget, approved by voters at a referendum on June

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Mary Bylone Makes Her Case for a Second Term as Colchester First Selectman

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First Selectman Mary Bylone is running for a second term in office, facing off against Republican challenger Andreas Bisbikos, a member of the Colchester Board of Finance and high school social studies teacher. Bylone unseated two-term Republican First Selectman Art Shilosky in 2019, winning with 54 percent of the vote.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Bylone about her goals for a second term, and what she’s proudest of from her tenure so far.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.   Your opponent has said that Town Hall has been “toxic,” and described you as a “bully.” I’d like

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Calling Town Hall ‘Toxic,’ Andreas Bisbikos Makes a Case for Colchester First Selectman

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Andreas Bisbikos, a member of the Colchester Board of Finance Member and high school social studies teacher, is the Republican candidate for First Selectman of Colchester. He is challenging incumbent Mary Bylone, who unseated two-term Republican First Selectman Art Shilosky in 2019, winning with 54 percent of the vote.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Bisbikos about what motivates his run, and what differentiates him from his opponent.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.   What inspired you to run for Colchester First Selectman?  This is an opportunity to give back to the town that has provided my family

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Small Town Connecticut Re-thinks the Drive-Thru

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Frank D’Andrea, who owns a Dunkin Donuts on Route 81 in Killingworth, and several others along the shoreline and New Haven area, applied to the Killingworth Planning and Zoning Commission last year to allow drive-thru windows in the town’s commercial areas. Last October, the commission unanimously approved the application, making drive-thru windows an accessory use in the town’s commercial district, so that now property owners can apply for a special exception, and Planning and Zoning can review and approve any plans to add a drive thru. Commission chair Thomas Lentz said that drive-thru lanes had been opposed in Killingworth for

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Colchester’s Board of Finance Debates Cuts Before Heading to a Third Budget Vote

COLCHESTER – In an effort to trim a tax increase from the latest budget proposal, the town’s Board of Finance debated $75,000 of spending cuts ahead of a third referendum planned for Sept. 21. In their first meeting since Colchester’s second failed budget referendum this year, board members agreed that cutting the town budget enough to fully eliminate a tax increase for local residents was not possible given that the school budget had already been approved with a tax increase. But they also agreed that voters should not be asked a third time to approve an additional position for a

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Colchester Votes Down Budget for Second Time in a Nailbiter

COLCHESTER — For the second time this year, voters have rejected their town’s budget proposal, voting down the second proposal by a margin of six votes on Tuesday – 873 in favor and 879 opposed. Colchester First Selectman Mary Bylone said on Wednesday that the budget will go back to the Board of Finance for the third time, and they will come up with a plan to bring another proposal before voters. “It’s a well-oiled machine at this point, because we’ve been practicing quite a bit this year,” Bylone said. In June, Colchester voters rejected the first budget proposal that

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Colchester Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Fire Department Bonding

COLCHESTER — Voters overwhelmingly approved a $4.5 million bond issue to replace aging equipment for the fire department on Tuesday night. The town will use the funds to replace three fire engine tanks, one tanker and one tower ladder, replacements First Selectman Mary Bylone said are long overdue. Three of the trucks, including two engine tanks, were purchased in the 1980s, according to the town. “We have men and women who put their lives on the line every day to make sure we have a safe community, and they deserve to be riding in safe equipment, and to show up

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