No official contests on RTM ballots; But still time for write-in candidates to register
Unlike the heated race for the Board of Selectmen this November, Darien's Representative Town Meeting, a "nonpartisan" body, has no officially contested races in any district. And some vacancies will not be filled come Nov. 8.
Have of the 100-seat RTM seats are up for election by district each November. The body is Darien' version of a legislature. Members are not elected based on party affiliation.
Its responsibilities include voting on the annual town budget, passing laws and ordinances, appropriating money, and approving collective bargaining contracts involving town employees.
While the ballot might have some empty squares on Election Day, residents can file to be write-in candidates. A write-in candidate requires at least 25 vote on Election Day to be elected.
In District 1, 10 out of the 17 seats are up for election. Three members — Lois Schneider, Peter Kelly and Edward Reilly Tierney — are seeking re-election. New candidates include I. Francis Huck and Thomas Brady Valentino III. With only five candidates, that leaves potentially five vacancies after Nov. 8.
In District 2, four out of the eight candidates up for re-election are seeking it, including Ted Hilton, Kirk Offman, Martin David Magida and Jeffrey Marston, leaving four unfilled vacancies.
District 3 will likely have no vacancies, with nine candidates seeking re-election and two petitioning candidates for 11 seats. The nine include Carolyn Bayne, Michael Burke, Gene Coyle, Maria Ferretti, Susan LeHan, David Byron Martens, Thomas W. Moore, Seth Morton and Robert Young. Petitioning candidates are Steven Anderson and Rose Ellyn Coyne.
District 4 features nine candidates for its 10 seats up this year — all incumbents running for re-election, including, Jim Cameron, Marilu Clearly, Lucy Fiore, Joseph Hardison III, Frank Kemp, Andrew Millar, Susan Morrison, William Peters III, and Sandra Savage, leaving one vacancy.
In District 5, five incumbents will seek re-election, leaving one vacancy, including Christopher Camuti, Adele Conniff, Bruce Orr, James Patrick, Debra Ritchie and Allison Stolar.
In District 6, there are seven candidates for seven vacancies, including two petitioning candidates. Incumbents include Emily Quinn McDermott, Christa McNamara, James Palen, S. Lloyd Pehaty and Gary Swenson. Petitioning candidates include Lisa Haas and Arden Broecking.
The last year the RTM had a contested race was in 2009, when, District 5 had nine candidates for seven open seats.
Darien's Town Clark Donna Rajczewski said there are also currently two write-in candidates for Nov. 8's ballot, Patti Baumgartner and Deepika Saksena. Write-in candidates must register with the town clerk by Nov. 7, the day before the election and must receive 25 votes in order to be elected to the RTM.