Election 2016: How New Canaan Voted on Charter Questions, Contested Races

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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

#1Electors can vote for 6 Town Council candidates, not 4.5,7082,702
#2Board of Finance members are no longer required to be real estate taxpayers.2,7865,640
#3First selectman is no longer chairman of Board of Finance.5,1113,323
#4Add select boards and positions to Town Charter.5,9912,203
#5Other technical and conforming changes.7,0951,138
*Source: New Canaan Registrars of Voters
**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).

The recommendation involving the first selectman has prompted some discussion and division among locals, and is at the center of a matter now before the state Freedom of Information Commission.

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

OfficeCandidate & Party (winner in bold)New Canaan tally** Overall**
Democratic Registrar of VotersGeorge Cody4,890NA
John Amarilios, write-in38
State House 125thHector Lopez, Green Party6801,099
Tom O'Dea, Republican5,7708,228
State House 142ndAnna Duleep, Working Families Party981,681
Fred Wilms, Republican1,0727,273
State Senate 26thToni Boucher, Republican2,95234,169
Carolanne Curry, Democrat1,23822,586
State Senate 36thJohn Blankley, Democrat1,48613,887
L. Scott Frantz, Republican3,29521,809
Ed Heflin, Green Party67604
4th CongressionalJohn Shaban, Republican5,161101,053
Jim Himes, Democrat3,860133,630
U.S. SenatorRichard Blumenthal, Democrat3,771910,828
Dan Carter, Republican5,057513,343
Richard Lion, Libertarian87
Jeffery Russell, Green Party55
U.S. PresidentHillary Clinton, Democrat4,65359,181,266
Gary Johnson, Libertarian426
Jill Stein, Green Party70
Donald Trump, Republican3,92959,043,559
* Sources: New Canaan Registrar of Voters & Hartford Courant
**Totals do not include absentee ballots

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