January 25, 2022

Democrat Edmund Meehan Elected First Selectman by a Wide Margin, Democrat Larry Sypher and Republican Tom Englert Re-elected

CHESTER— The town will have a new first selectman serving with two returning selectmen as Democrat Edmund Meehan won the top job by a wide margin in Tuesday’s election.

Meehan, who currently works as the town planner for Newington, received 706 votes, defeating Chester Common Ground Party candidate Andrew Landsman with 180 votes. Incumbent Democratic Selectman Larry Sypher won a second term with 498 votes. Incumbent Republican Selectman Tom Englert won a second term with 317 votes. Common Ground candidate Glen Reyer has 115 votes.

Englert has been serving as interim first selectman since August, when former three-term Republican First Selectman Tom Marsh left to become town manager in Windsor, Vt.

Meehan said he was pleased with the outcome of the election, particularly with Sypher and Englert winning new terms. “Having two incumbent selectmen coming back to the board is a great help to me,” he said.

Meehan said he will discuss his departure date with Newington officials this week, and hopes to use accumulated vacation and sick days to begin working full-time in Chester soon after the Thanksgiving holiday. “I’m looking forward to this new adventure in life,” he said. The new terms for board of selectmen begin on Nov. 22.

Reyer, a founder of the Common Ground Party, said the group was pleased to have given “Chester voters a choice and to ensure that we have a contest that is truly decided by the voters.” Reyer said the Chester Common Ground Party would continue, noting the party had achieved ballot status for all contested positions in future town elections.

In a major upset in the election, the longtime planning and zoning commission chairman, Democrat Michael Joplin, was defeated for a two-year vacancy term by Republican Doreen Joslow. Joplin had 413 votes, while Joslow polled 488 votes, including 279 on the Republican line and 157 on the Common Ground line. Joplin has chaired the commission for nearly a decade.

Democrats won two seats on the board of finance, with incumbent Virginia Carmany receiving 487 votes and Robert Gorman 494 votes. Reyer had 269 votes running on the Republican line, with 292 votes for Republican Charles Park and 205 votes for Common Ground candidate Susan Wright. Democrat Lori Ann Clymas was elected board of finance alternate with 558 votes to 268 votes for Common Ground candidate Richard Nygard.

Incumbent Democrat Elaine Fitzgibbons won a second term on the Region 4 Board of Education, with 603 votes to 252 votes for Common Ground candidate Michael Hotkowski.

Democrats David Fitzgibbons and Laurie Rubinow were elected to the Chester Board of Education, with 529 and 481 votes respectively. Also elected was incumbent Wendy King with 446 votes, 292 on the Republican line and 154 on the Common Ground line. Lisa Tollefson, running on the Republican and Common Ground lines, had 331 votes. Incumbent Nicole Sypher was elected for a two-year vacancy term on the local school board, with 598 votes to 223 votes for Common Ground candidate James Gordon.

Elected for full terms on the planning and zoning commission were incumbent Democrats Peter Kehayias with 577 votes, Jon Lavy with 613 votes, and Sally Murray with 506 votes. Murray also has 193 votes on the Common Ground line. Republican and Common Ground endorsed candidate Mel Seifert has 436 votes. Democrat Henry Krempel was elected for a full term as planning and zoning commission alternate with 528 votes to 295 votes for Common Ground candidate Patricia Bisacky. Democrat Sarah Jensen was unopposed for a four-year vacancy on the commission.

Democrats Margaret Carter-Ward and Edith Prisloe were elected library trustees, with 617 and 627 votes respectively. Common Ground candidate Mathew Sanders had 311 votes.

Other uncontested candidates include Incumbent Democrats Carol Horner and Mark Borton, and Common Ground candidate Al Bisacky ,for zoning board of appeals, Common Ground candidate Lisa Tollsfson was elected ZBA alternate. Democrats Sally Sanders and Kim Senay, along with Republican Kris Seifert and Bisacky were uncontested for inland-wetlands commission. Democrat James Pease was uncontested for water pollution control authority. Republican Bruce Watrous, a former selectman, was uncontested for board of assessmen5t appeals.