Author Archive: Renee Davidson

Election Recount Results

Dear Easton Republican:

Re: Election Recount Results – Adam Dunsby and Scott Centrella confirmed as Easton Selectmen

As you likely saw in the media, the Superior Court in Bridgeport, on Monday, November 25nd ordered a recount of all votes that were cast for the office of First Selectman on Election Day, November 5, 2013 in our last Municipal Election. In compliance with the Court’s order the recount was held on November 26th, by our Election Officials, at Samuel Staples School.  Both candidates had representatives overseeing the recount.  Mrs. Valerie Buckley, a “write-in” candidate and registered Republican, ultimately received 1,026 votes, picking-up just 19 votes.  The cost to the Town for this recount has not yet been determined but it will exceed $10,000.   Adam Dunsby, Republican Party candidate for First Selectman, received 1,060 votes, picking-up just 3 votes.

Congratulations are extended to Adam as Easton’s new First Selectman as well as to Scott Centrella who was re-elected a member of the Easton Board of Selectmen for a 5th  consecutive term with 1,044 votes, along with Democratic Selectman Robert Lessler. The closeness of the vote once again underscores how “every vote really does count”.

Despite Mrs. Buckley’s claim that every vote should count, which in the end they were, her lawyers argued to make sure the Selectman’s race was not recounted as well – a decision which ultimately could have cost the Town over $10,000 more for an additional recount.  By strictly construing the Judge’s first ruling Mrs. Buckley’s attorneys fought efforts to recount Scott Centrella’s votes at the same time as the First Selectman’s recount.

Fortunately, the Judge did not order any further recount during the judicial hearing Friday morning.  In spite of claims in the media that Mrs. Buckley magnanimously decided to refrain from pursuing any further legal action because “…it would not be good for the community”, this decision was made when it was crystal clear that any further action on her part was fruitless.  At the hearing Mrs. Buckley’s attorneys had argued that certain ballots that had no name written in the write in section for the First Selectman’s race, and without any evidence of voter intent, should count for Mrs. Buckley.  The Judge ruled against this interpretation of voter intent.

With this court-ordered recount at last finalized on Friday by the Superior Court there will not be any lingering or unresolved questions in the minds of the voters as to the outcome. Sadly, only 46% of eligible voters cast ballots, far lower than races for state and federal offices.

It was certainly a very unusual election year to say the least and I will have additional comments in the near future. In brief, a number of factors came into play – some we could control and others beyond our control. Without a candidate from the Democratic Party on the ballot for First Selectman, it was essentially an unusual two-way contest between two Republicans, one party-endorsed and the other a “write-in” candidate, leaving over 1,200 registered Democrats without a candidate of their party and 2,200 unaffiliated voters without a two party choice. This resulted in an unusually high number of “no votes” – over 250 in the case of First Selectman. In short, any vote not for Adam Dunsby was, by definition, a “write-in” vote.

Former First Selectman Tom Herrmann unexpectedly withdrew from the race as our party-endorsed candidate in early September due to an untimely change of circumstances in his professional career just as the campaign was getting underway. By then, Easton Coalition candidate Valerie Buckley had declared her candidacy but, in her first law suit against the Secretary of State, was denied a place on the ballot by the Superior Court after unsuccessfully complying with state application regulations. This litigation created considerable media attention (and perhaps some sympathy) for Mrs. Buckley and moved the focus away from key issues facing the town and the electorate. Ironically, we believe that not being on the ballot in the final analysis may have actually helped Mrs. Buckley. These were all factors largely beyond our control.

I will have more commentary on the entire election but I wanted to apprise you of these positive results promptly. Again, my congratulations to Adam and Scott for their victories as well as to Mrs. Buckley for waging a competitive campaign resulting in a close decision for First Selectman. All other Republican candidates for Town Boards and offices were re-elected or elected for the fifth consecutive election cycle in a row. Go to our website – www.eastonrepublicans.org for complete election results.

For those of you who supported Adam and Scott, our sincere thanks. For those who did not, for whatever reason, let’s all pull together now for the benefit of Easton and give Adam and Scott a fair chance to make their own marks on the new administration.

Let me extend my very best wishes to you and your families for the upcoming Holiday Season.

BUCKLEY ALERTS DUNSBY TO MAGNITUDE OF IMPENDING CHANGES

BUCKLEY ALERTS DUNSBY TO MAGNITUDE OF IMPENDING CHANGES

As reported in a Decemebr 19, 2013 Easton Courier article outgoing Easton Town Clerk Derek Buckley alerted First Selectman Adam Dunsby of impending changes in the Town Clerk’s office: 

First Selectman Adam W. Dunsby may not understand the magnitude of the “impending change in the town clerk’s office” when outgoing Town Clerk Derek Buckley’s duties end.

That’s because Mr. Buckley said he developed the software that contains the town’s data storage “on my own time,” and “allowed the town of Easton to use it at no cost to the town during the years I served as town clerk,” he wrote in a letter to Mr. Dunsby dated Dec. 16.

“I am bringing this matter to your attention at this time since I am very concerned that you do not comprehend the magnitude of the impending change,” he wrote.

The full text of the Courier article can be accessed by clicking on this link: http://www.eastoncourier.com/8039/buckley-alerts-dunsby-to-magnitude-of-impending-change/

as reported in the Easton Courier, First Selectman Adam Dunsby reponded to Mr. Buckley’s letter as follows:

Derek,

At our meeting on Wednesday you requested that I put my requests into writing so that you could pass them on to your attorney. After consulting with the Board of Selectmen (BoS) at our Dec. 19 meeting, I am doing that. Please understand that my primary concerns are the smooth transition of the town clerk position and the continued functioning of the town clerk office itself.

Your letter of Dec. 16, speaks primarily of software and hardware, which you refer to as “my hardware and software programs.” Note, I will use the term “software” but point out that I don’t know the nature of this software, since you have heretofore declined to show or explain it to any town official.

You state that at their Oct. 3, 2002 meeting, the BoS allowed you to retain ownership rights of your software. The minutes to that meeting support that claim.

You state that the continued use of the software by the town is linked to your employment as town clerk. This claim is false. The same minutes to the Oct. 3, meeting (your only written support for you claim to ownership) state “. . . which software, hardware, and intellectual property he will make available for use to the town of Easton without charge . . .” There exists nothing which conditions this statement on your employment by the town as town clerk. Therefore, the town has a permanent right to use this software at no cost. Further, since there exists no executed agreement, the town asserts that standard software licensing terms will hold, including servicing and standard updates, provided by you, any company holding the rights to the software, and any successor company.

You state that certain hardware is yours and imply that the town has no right to use it. As with the software, no town official other than yourself knows what hardware, if any, you are referring to. In any case, as a starting point, please provide me with a list of any hardware you assert to be your personal property and documentation to support this assertion. Given your statement that you will “remove” hardware, I feel obligated to make it clear to you that, as would be the case with any town office, the taking of equipment from a town office will be interpreted as the taking of town property. (For clarity, the Easton Senior Center is a town office. Donations to the Senior Center are town property.)

Furthermore, the minutes of the Oct. 3, 2002 meeting state “. . . which software, hardware, and intellectual property he will make available for use to the town of Easton without charge . . .” Therefore, irrespective of initial ownership, the town has a permanent right to use the hardware. I note that the minutes state that you are able “test the software” in your office. This is valuable consideration provided to you by the town.

The next issue is the location and accessibility of town land records. As has been discussed at multiple BoS meetings, in the media, by the public, and by the town’s auditors no town official but you has access to the complete underlying digitized town land records or even knows where they are. You have treated this access as a personal privilege of your office. You must provide to the town access to these records (maps, etc.), provide instruction on how to access these records, and provide the records themselves. This must happen prior to your leaving office. I will certainly work with you to do this in an efficient manner that best serves the town.

Finally, I note that you have agreed to meet with Christine Halloran to familiarize her with the town clerk office. I appreciate you doing this.