Frenaye leads slate running in local elections this fall
By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Fri., Aug. 12, 2011
The field has been set for the upcoming fall election in Suffield, and First Selectman Tom Frenaye has received the endorsement from his party’s caucus to run for re-election. The incumbent Democrat will be challenged by Edward McAnaney, a former probate judge in East Granby and Suffield.
Frenaye won the first selectman seat from Scott Lingenfelter, a Republican who spent three terms in the position. Frenaye’s party holds control of the Board of Selectmen, with fellow Democrats Brian Fitzgerald and Eileen Moncrief currently sitting on the board. Both were nominated for re-election by the caucus. The caucus has the ability to nominate a third candidate for a regular seat on the board, but no other candidates came forward.
The same occurred on the Republican side, as incumbents Tim Reynolds and Joanne Sullivan were both nominated for re-election to the board.
Caucuses to nominate candidates occurred during the final week of July, the town clerk’s office reported.
Frenaye said in an Aug. 3 interview that he believes he should receive re-election to his position on the board simply because his record speaks for itself and the accomplishments his administration has made since he became first selectman two years ago.
He referenced a campaign postcard advertisement that stated some of his priorities when he ran for election in 2009.
“I often refer back to it when I’m looking for direction on what I am doing,” said Frenaye. “But these were the reasons I ran for this job.”
This year, Frenaye has attended a couple of groundbreakings for new businesses. Attracting new businesses to town was one of the priorities he stated in order to help add to the town’s property tax base.
During his tenure, the town has made at least one purchase per year of open space properties, and they are continuing to work at improving the infrastructure in town. “We are working as hard we can to get more funding for roads,” said Frenaye. “The roads are behind, and we may never fully catch up because the roads never seem to get better. But we certainly are doing our best to make improvements.”
During Frenaye’s tenure, garbage collection has become included in the property taxes paid by homeowners and is no longer a separate fee, and there was no increase in 2010 and only a slight increase this year in property taxes, all commitments Frenaye said he pursued in his campaign.
Frenaye believes his leadership skills also reflect his campaign promises. “The Board of Selectmen has gotten to work very well with one another during the past two years,” said Frenaye. “We have had a tough time and we don’t always agree on everything, but we worked together to come to a consensus as much as possible, and that’s the type of leadership we need to work with people on all issues.”
Frenaye agrees the “issues” for this year’s campaign can often be summed up into one area simply related to the economy.
For the next two years, Frenaye wants to work with the town to simply “weather the storm.”
“I just want to make sure that we continue to have what we have now,” said Frenaye. “Times are very tough for everyone, and we don’t want to move backwards.”
He did also mention he would like to work on creating more jobs in Suffield, after recently learning that more than 600 town residents are currently without work.
Frenaye also said he has worked to make town government more accessible and will still look to make more improvements to the town’s website to make it more user-friendly and make himself and other town employees accessible for residents.
The Republican party endorsed several other candidates for the fall election, including Mary Lou Sanborn and Scott Schneider for the Board of Education, Jill Schechtman for Tax Collector, Lingenfelter for Board of Finance, Matthew Joyal and Kenneth Pascoe for Police Commission, Paul Christian for Fire Commission, James Wood for Assessment Appeals, and Frank Bauchiero, Jr., Chester Kuras for Planning and Zoning.
Other Democratic nominees are: Lori D’Ostuni, D. George Beiter, Andrew Fish, and Michelle Zawawi for BOE, Joseph Sangiovanni, Muriel Coatti, and Kate Rietberg for BOF, Peter Hill, Linda Stevenson, and Joseph Quinn for Police Commission, Gerry Bland, Richard Leach, and Bob Quagliarol for Fire Commission, Steve McKeen for Assessment Appeals, and Charles Sheehan for Planning and Zoning.
Democrats Elaine O’Brien and Christine Davidson are unopposed for Town Clerk and Treasurer, respectively.