The nomination for Mayor was dispatched quickly, with Sebastian Giuliano receiving unanimous and enthusiastic support for a 3rd term. Giuliano accepted the nomination with brief remarks in which he spoke of the importance of winning over voters who are not Republican, "Fortunately, most of those, Democratic and unaffiliated [voters], share our values." He also spoke of the importance of taking the long view in decisions, "It's our job to look out for those that follow us."
For Planning and Zoning Commission, three seats are open, and the Republicans nominated two incumbents, Ron Borelli and Les Adams. The third nomination went to Nick Fazzino, who currently serves as a P&Z alternate.
Four seats are open on the Board of Education. Incumbents Sheila Daniels and Ryan Kennedy were nominated, together with Stacey Barka and Stephen Gaarder.
The Republicans saved the Common Council for last at their nominating convention. The Recruitment Committee considered 11 names for the 8 positions, recommending incumbents Joseph Bibisi, David Bauer, and Phil Pessina, but passing over incumbent Earle Roberts. They also recommended Deb Kleckowski, the P&Z Commissioner who recently switched her party affiliation to Republican, and nominated Tony Gaunichaux, Michael Marino, Matthew Scarrozzo, and Robert Stefurak.
Roberts was unhappy at being denied a nomination, and rose to make two points. He first asked whether there was any conflict in having another candidate for Common Council nomination (David Bauer) serve on the Recruitment Committee. Kennedy answered that all decisions were by consensus and thus there was no vote in which Bauer cast the deciding ballot. Roberts secondly asked why he was not told of the decision until many days after others had heard from the Committee. Kennedy said that he had phoned Roberts and left a message, so he could tell him the news "man to man" instead of electronically.
The vote for the Common Council slate drew two "Naye" votes, but still passed overwhelmingly.
Afterwards, I asked Roberts if he would be petitioning for a primary. He responded by pointing to the State statutes, which allow him to run as an independent if he gets 70 signatures by August 5th, or to force a Republican primary if he gets a required number of signatures by August 12th. Roberts told me that he was quite upset at being treated this way after all his years of service.
The "Republican Fullfillment Commitment"
The last 10 minutes of the convention were spent discussing two documents that were distributed to all RTC members. Like the work of the great philosophers, the documents discuss the tension between the individual and the party. One delineates in detail the expectations the party has of each candidate, in such areas as fundraising and the number of hours of door to door campaigning. The other discusses what a party member should do when they find themselves in disagreement with the majority of the party:
Disagreements and discord must be reconciled either in the party caucus or at town committee meetings; not on street corners or in the local pubs, and not at public town meetings or in the press.
Should a member, in all good conscience, find that they frequently favor the policy positions of the opposing party, he or she should resign their position recognizing they no longer represent the sentiments of the party that nominated them.Each of the documents has space for the candidate's signature, the date, and a "Witness". Several of the candidates objected to the rigid expectations of candidates, and questioned whether the documents would be legally enforceable.
After some discussion, most in the room agreed that the documents were really just guidelines, and should serve as internal reminders.
An earlier version of this post mistakenly used Gaarder's middle name as his first. My apologies, this has been corrected above; his first name is a nice one.