Local electors on Tuesday voted in favor of four recommended changes to New Canaan’s major governing document, including one widely discussed and hotly disputed change involving the role of the town’s highest elected official.
By a 5,120-to-3,326 margin, locals voted in favor of updating the Town Charter so that New Canaan’s first selectman no longer serves as the chairman of the Board of Finance.
Instead, voters decided on an Election Day that saw unusually high turnout, the first selectman will remain an ex officio member of the finance board who casts tie-breaking votes but the group’s chairman will be elected from its ranks.
Here’s a chart that details the Charter revision results:
How New Canaan Voted 2016: Town Charter Revision
|#1||Electors can vote for 6 Town Council candidates, not 4.||5,708||2,702|
|#2||Board of Finance members are no longer required to be real estate taxpayers.||2,786||5,640|
|#3||First selectman is no longer chairman of Board of Finance.||5,111||3,323|
|#4||Add select boards and positions to Town Charter.||5,991||2,203|
|#5||Other technical and conforming changes.||7,095||1,138|
**Figures do not include absentee ballot counts
David Hunt, chairman of the Charter Revision Commission, which studied the Charter and interviewed municipal leaders in town to form its recommendations, said the group “would have liked five ‘yeses’ on one level, but we are very pleased with the result.”
“The Charter Revision Commission worked very hard to put together recommendations that we thought would improve the governance of the town of New Canaan,” Hunt said. “And the people of New Canaan largely agreed with the recommendations. It was unfortunate that there was some sense that there was an aspect to this that it was personal, because there never was any purpose other than the governance of the town.”
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said he was “disappointed that the ‘No’ vote on number three didn’t prevail.”
“Myself and all the members of the Board of Finance and many, many community members felt that we had a strong Charter in place with the requisite checks and balances that ensured good governance,” he said. “However, I knew it would be tough to overturn a recommendation from the commission. I do note that [Charter question] number three was the only one to garner over 3,000 votes, so certainly people investigated that issue and understood it and made the choice to vote ‘No,’ but in the end we just move on tomorrow. We start governing tomorrow under the guidelines set forth in the Charter that were accepted, and life goes on.”
Formed one year ago, the nine-member Charter Revision Commission following multiple meetings and interviews with municipal leaders formed five major recommendations for the Town Charter (its final report is available here).
New Canaan—a town where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 2-to-1—backed Secretary of State and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton over GOP candidate Donald Trump.
There were also elections for seats in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and state legislature.
Here are the overall results from Election Day:
How New Canaan Voted: Election Day 2016
|Office||Candidate & Party (winner in bold)||New Canaan tally**||Overall**|
|Democratic Registrar of Voters||George Cody||4,890||NA|
|John Amarilios, write-in||38|
|State House 125th||Hector Lopez, Green Party||680||1,099|
|Tom O'Dea, Republican||5,770||8,228|
|State House 142nd||Anna Duleep, Working Families Party||98||1,681|
|Fred Wilms, Republican||1,072||7,273|
|State Senate 26th||Toni Boucher, Republican||2,952||34,169|
|Carolanne Curry, Democrat||1,238||22,586|
|State Senate 36th||John Blankley, Democrat||1,486||13,887|
|L. Scott Frantz, Republican||3,295||21,809|
|Ed Heflin, Green Party||67||604|
|4th Congressional||John Shaban, Republican||5,161||101,053|
|Jim Himes, Democrat||3,860||133,630|
|U.S. Senator||Richard Blumenthal, Democrat||3,771||910,828|
|Dan Carter, Republican||5,057||513,343|
|Richard Lion, Libertarian||87|
|Jeffery Russell, Green Party||55|
|U.S. President||Hillary Clinton, Democrat||4,653||59,181,266|
|Gary Johnson, Libertarian||426|
|Jill Stein, Green Party||70|
|Donald Trump, Republican||3,929||59,043,559|
**Totals do not include absentee ballots