BERLIN — Mayor Mark Kaczynski was elected to a second term as mayor in Tuesday’s elections, which also saw all of the other Republican Party’s candidates achieve victory.
“I felt like we were running on a record of what we’ve done for the town. They believed in what we’ve been doing,” said Kaczynski, also a Republican.
In an email statement, Democratic mayoral candidate Karen Pagliaro said, “It is my genuine hope that the Republican majority will govern with transparency, accountability and a strong desire to put partisan politics aside, putting the best interest of the town first.”
Kaczynski received 3,134 votes, while Pagliaro tallied 2,150 votes.
Kaczynski attributed his win to economic development, road repairs and replacing aging infrastructure, while reducing the town’s debt.
During the coming two year term, he would like to complete projects that are ongoing or being considered, such as a new senior and community center, police department renovations and a development planned next to the train station.
Republican Town Party Chairperson Sandra Coppola said she believes voters supported the Republican ticket because they’ve seen an effort to improve the town in a financially responsible manner.
“I think they see we’re trying to move the town in a positive direction and not increase taxes,” she said.
Coppola hopes to see elected officials from both parties working side-by-side.
“Both the Republican and Democratic parties want to do what’s best for Berlin,” she said. “ … We both want the same outcome...and we just have different ideas of how to get there.”
Most candidates in safe seats
Out of the five boards and commissions with elected members, only the Board of Assessment Appeals and Police Commission had competitive races. Since the Town Charter stipulates a maximum number of seats one party can hold, all of the Town Council and Board of Finance candidates were guaranteed election.
The three Republican candidates running for Town Council won by a significant margin, with newcomer Donna Veach having the most support overall with 3,444 votes, followed by incumbents Brenden Luddy, who received 3,349 votes, and Charles Paonessa, with 3,205. The Democrats trailed behind, Peter Rosso drew 2,606 votes, Mike Urrunaga, received 2,464 and JoAnn Angelico-Stetson had 2,404 votes.
Three seats were up for election on the Board of Education, however only two candidates registered to run, guaranteeing re-election for Jaymee Miller and Matthew Tencza, who was president of the board during its last term.