Unaffiliated, petitioning candidate wins first selectman seat for a second time

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Union - posted Fri., May. 6, 2011
Election worker Peter Tiziani reads the vote count after the polls closed in Union on May 2. Photos by Lauri Voter.
Election worker Peter Tiziani reads the vote count after the polls closed in Union on May 2. Photos by Lauri Voter.

On May 2, 321 voters in the town of Union cast their votes in the town’s municipal election. The major focus of the election was on who would win the office of first selectman – incumbent First Selectman Albert L. “Andy” Goodhall, Jr., or challenger and Selectman Thomas L. Fitzgerald.

For a second consecutive election, Goodhall changed parties from Republican to unaffiliated and ran as an unaffiliated, petitioning candidate against Fitzgerald. On May 2, Goodhall defeated Fitzgerald by a vote count of 209 to 105.

In 2009, Goodhall pulled off the same party-changing, petitioning tactic when he initially challenged and defeated Fitzgerald, who at that time was the incumbent first selectman.

For Goodhall, winning by more than 100 votes this year was “a very unexpected, but uplifting result,” he said.

“It feels like a ‘pat on the back’ to keep on working hard for the town's best interests. I had no party or specific group following. I think they voted on individual, and very different, styles of running the government,” said Goodhall, who also said that since the election, he has received “lots of great feedback.”

“My plans are to reinstate my 10-year plan for roads. My plan is to finish the school building project and close it out... the well, issues, the roof issues, etc... I'm in the middle of soil remediation. I started the elderly bus program and I'm in the middle of getting a roof put over the transfer station,” said Goodhall. He is also interested in managing the health of the town's water systems by implementing a plan to identify invasive species and get a plan going for the lake area, and to work on regulations for sexually-oriented businesses, one of which is rumored to have its sights set on Union.

Goodhall says the boards and commissions in town “know where [he's] coming from.” He said, “I can't give a directive to anyone. I am a non-voting member of all the boards and commissions in town. I'm trying to get cooperation between the boards.”

Fitzgerald and incumbent Selectman Joseph L. Kratochvil, who ran unopposed, will both serve as selectmen for another term.

This year's ballot also included several first-time candidates, including Union resident Sterling J. Macpherson, who won a seat on the town's Board of Finance in this year's election.

“I didn't decide to run. [Tax collector] Maureen Eaton nominated me. I thought she was joking, then when it became obvious that she was serious, I just accepted it,” said Macpherson, who said that he does not have any specific issues with the current Board of Finance.

“I don't think there's any problem with the Board of Finance. We don't have any businesses in town to draw from, so everything [tax monies] comes from residents. Everyone's worried, and I don't blame them,” said Macpherson.

Another first-time candidate for the Board of Finance this year was Christopher J. Santucci.

“I decided to run after I was asked to join the Board of Finance because they needed help filling in for different people who had left the board. When it came time to fill those positions in the election, I decided to run. I hope to just be a reasonable voice to keep the town's budget in check. Obviously, the town has some financial issues at the moment. So I ran, and I'm now on the board. I hope to make a positive impact on the town's finances,” said Santucci.

Morgan Eaton, who is also a first-time candidate, ran for and was elected to the Board of Education.

“I'm excited about it. I chose to run for the Board of Education because there seems to be a disconnect between the school and our town, and I know that progress is being made, and I'd like to be a part of the solution,” said Eaton.

Eaton said that he would like to see the implementation of programs whereby teachers, board members and residents can interact. He stressed the importance of open and honest communication, saying he would like to “get everybody involved, and get it so there is transparency between everything.”

All winning candidates will assume their roles on July 1.

For more information about the town of Union, visit www.unionconnecticut.org or call the selectmen's office at 860-684-3812.

 

Contact Lauri Voter with comments and story ideas at lvoter@remindernet.com.


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