Archive for November, 2009

November 6, 2009

Weekend Events Nov 6-8: WHS Football and Fairs


Boys and Girls a competing in the CIAC Open Champsionships starting at 2 pm today at Wickham Park in East Hartford.

Wolcott High School’s Football team will battle Seymour under the lights on Boundline Rd. tonight at 7:00 pm tonight. GO EAGLES!!

A Dessert Card Party wil take pace at the Charles Reitdyke Senior Center from 7-9:00 pm. Cost is $5


Wolcott’s Knights of Columbus is sponsoring an adopt-a-family Ziti Supper dinner from 5p- 7p. The benefit for a needy local family will take place in St. Maria Goretti’s parish hall. Adults are $8, senior citizens $7 and children $4.

There are a number of holiday fairs and bazaars taking place in the area this weekend, including:

Mill Plain Union Church, 242 Southmayd Rd., Waterbury.

St. Michael’s Church on Allen St. in Terryville

November 6, 2009

Letters: BOE Candidate Thanks Voters

My name is Greg Dandio and I was a Republican candidate for the Board of Education in the November 3rd election. I wanted to congratulate all of the individuals who were elected on November 3rd. Whether they ran as a Republican, Democrat, or petitioning candidate, the people of Wolcott have spoken and I sincerely wish them the very best representing our town over the next two years.

My candidacy was my first foray into town politics. I have been a member of the community for 4.5 years and I want to extend my genuine thanks to all of those in town who supported, worked so hard, and voted for me. I would also like to give special thanks to my wife Brandie, and my children Biagio and Mirella. They gave up their husband and father for much of the summer and fall, to allow me to be part of this process. My family and I have come to love the town of Wolcott, and we look forward to being active members of our community for many years to come.

While, of course, I was disappointed not to be elected, I was very pleased that so many people in our community showed their confidence in me and demonstrated that confidence by casting a ballot for me.

I would like to extend special congratulations to my running mates on the Republican ticket for the Board of Education. You are a great team of people and it was pleasure campaigning with you. I know our schools are going to be in excellent hands under your leadership. I also know many of the members of the Democratic Party who were also elected to the Board. They are good people also, and I know that these nine individuals who have been entrusted with running our school system will work well together in representing us all over the next two years.

I had the opportunity to meet more people in the last four months than I would have in the next four years, had I had not run for office. The experience was wonderful, and I enjoyed talking to so many people in our community. I look forward to continuing to be an active member of our town’s activities, events, and government.

Thank You,

Gregory J. Dandio

November 5, 2009

Election Results

I’ve been quite surprised at how many people have been looking for election results on this site. Well, I’m not that surprised, but I was afraid the formatting wouldn’t be too good. Please note that these are unnoficial results. There will be a recount in the 3rd Town Council District next week. So here they are:

R – Republican
D- Democrat
P- Petitioning
winners are in italics


D- George Babcock 692
P- Thomas Dunn 4332

    Town Clerk

R- Debbie Slater 3739

    Town Treasurer

D- Roger Levesque 3665

    Tax Collector

D- Lorraine McQueen 2482
P- Vanessa Lynn Malena 2343

    Town Council District 1

R- David Valletta – 1700
R- Jeffrey Lumia – 1190
D- Dave Gentile – 1524
D- Charles Marsella – 1718
P- Michael Bokon – 1929

P- Roy Balkus – 1228

    Town Council District 2

Rachel Wisler – 1544
Harry Fitzgerald – 1043
Michael Perrone – 1573
Frances Masi – 2196

Joseph Scaglione – 1148
Randy Petroniro – 1757

    Town Council District 3

*Note : Because only 22 votes separate Michael Santogatta and Christopher O’Brien in this race, a recount of the entire District race will be held Monday November 9, at 4:00 pm in Town Hall. State Statute states that an automatic recount may be called when the difference in votes is less than 1/2 percent of total ballots cast.

R- Carl Dambrauskas – 1398
R- Chris O’Brien – 1520
D- Michael Santogatta- 1542
D- Arthur Lerz – 1314
P- Steven Olmstead – 1743
P- Gale Mastrofrancesco – 1674

    Board of Education

R- Mary Kelly – 2144
R- Cynthia Mancini – 1903
R- Patricia Najarian – 2372

R- Gregory Dandio – 1632
R- Kimberly Lumia – 1901
R- Gloria Jean Gubitosi – 2390
D- Arthur George – 1861
D- Helen Audibert – 1813
D- James Pape – 2369

D- Teresa Pineau – 1659
D- Anthony Gugliotti – 2142
D- Mark Baldwin – 1600
D- Monica Morgan – 1288
D- Tammy Bastenbeck- 1538

    Board of Assessment Appeals

R – Adam Glasser – 1496
R – Roberta Leonard – 2655

D – Roy Howe – 1470
D – Donald Charette – 1936
P – Gerard Greco – 1157

    Zoning Board of Appeals

R – Steven Grant – 1720
R – Frances Mae Flynn – 1877
R – Kenneth Barnes – 1570

D – John Jack Kirschbaum – 1234
D – Brett Muccino – 1732
D – Paul Mazurek – 2132

P – Joseph Membrino – 1614
P – Steven Duva – 1056


R – Louis DuBois – 1921
R – James Natale – 1582
R – Paul Gallucci – 2089

D – Robert Castriciano – 1197
D – Theodore Storlazzi – 1160
D – George Leggio – 1025
P – Roland Dupre – 1418
P – Chris Champagne – 1358
P – Vito Santarsiero – 1311

November 5, 2009

Lacrosse Looking for Ziti Eaters

A ziti dinner will be held at the VFW hall Sunday November 8th from 4p -6pm to benefit Wolcott’s new Youth Lacross Club. All funds will go to the club. Take-out meals will be available. Raffles will be held.

November 4, 2009

Whispers In The Wind

From the Waterbury Republican- American this morning:
George Babcock was quotes as being “shocked” that David Gentile, blaming it on rumors that he wanted to cut senior bus service.

The fact is this. Gentile and Santagotta proposed cuts to the fuel budget for the senior bus. If you have no fuel, how do you expect it to run? I understand their intention to trim the budget as much as possible, but given the fluctuations in the price of fuel over the last 6 years on an annual basis, sometimes its wiser to give some more leeway in teh budget. Somehow Democrats also seemed confused when they also proposed a $10,000 cut to paving last year “because we didn’t use it”. True, the town didn’t use it for paving. The Town Council transfeerd that money to be used for plowing costs. Even after this fact was pointed out, Democrats Santagotta, Gentile, Masi, and Perrone still voted to cut the fund. Somehow they just don’t see connections between obvious facts very well.

But the election is over. The above should have been better pointed out by the Democrats’ opponents, and they weren’t.

Another issue on Election Day emerged early Tuesday as candidates arrived at polling places to campaign. As Chris O’Brien carried a lawn sign to hold with the other candidates at Wakelee School, James Pape told him he coldn’t do that. For some reason Mr. Pape continued by saying “we passed an ordinance that says there’s no signs on school property.” Later he said that I couldn’t put the sign on my car because it was on private property.

Wait a second…

First of all, the Board of Education can’t pass an ordinance

read more »

November 4, 2009

Youth Lacrosse holds Free Training

Boys and girls between the ages of 7-17 (high school students are welcome) interested or just curious in what lacross is like, are invited to Frisbie Field today and November 7th between 3 and 5 pm. This is a new sport to Wolcott and it is common at many colleges and is growing more quickly at younger ages.

Please go to to regiser.

November 4, 2009

Wolcott Shows Independence; Close Results

Commentary by a confused candidate:

This much is for sure. Tom Dunn was decisively elected mayor in a huge landslide.

Lorraine McQueen was re-elected Tax Collector by just over 100 votes in a very heated race.

Wolcott makes history by potentially throwing the Town Council into the control of canddiates who ran on the Row C line. Three petitioning candidates- Petroniro, Mastrofrancesco, and Olmstead won. Three democrats – Masella, Masi and Perrone won. Only one Republican was decisively declared the winner. While running together as citizens from both parties, we’ll need to give them a better name than the Row C!

THe Board of Edcuation has 5 Republicans and 4 Democrats.

Candidates roamed between four headquarters in town checking in double checking the tallies of two close races. In particular, it appears that Steven Olmstead led a surprise overwhelming victory in the 3rd Town Council Distict.

As of 11:30 tonight, only 8 Town Council candidates have been declared winners in a tight race where it appears Mike Santagotta bumped out Chris O’Brien by 21 votes. But as candidates roamed the four headquarters and recieved tallies from Town Hall. Republicans initially believed O’Brien won, but Row C candidates and Dunn headquarters had O’Brien down. Some confusion exists from the Town Hall moderators wheer the votes are. What is clear is that there will be a recount.

The Town Council is scheduled to meet Wednesday everning at 7 pm to select a Chairman. Expect a long meeting and some interesting fireworks.

Congatulations to all the winners, as well as those who put their names out in what was certainly a race filled with very committed people throughout town. I do hope that everyone will remain involved – especially those who were recently serving on commissions with difficulty.

November 3, 2009

Candidate: Chris O’Brien

Chris O’Brien is running for the Town Council in the 3rd District this year. He is running for his second term. He is also the publisher of this blog.

O’Brien is running for the Council because he feels that local government affects our lives more closely than any other that we hear about in the news. For instance, if you dial 911, you will have local responders come to your aide. The Town of Wolcott sands and plows your roads in the winter. Your children go to local schools which are funded mostly by your tax dollars. And the people who make decisions on these issues are usually living just up the road from you. Keeping you more informed as to what the Town of Wolcott is doing with your money and input is why he ran for office two years ago and why he started this blog. And whatever your point of view, feel free to post your views here.

Chris is a single 30 year old paramedic who usually works night shifts at Campion Ambulance in Waterbury. He has also volunteered at Wolcott Volunteer Ambulance for the past 13 years. On his days off, he actively thirsts for information about how things are run and how we can make things better in town and life in general.

In the past two years, he has learned quite a bit about the Wolcott Town Budget and openly shares that information with anyone who has questions. He meets regularly with Mayor Dunn in working on various issues in town. For the past two years he has worked to make sure services are efficient and cuts to the budgets can be made wherever possible without impacting services. He supported the Mayor in making $1,100,000 in spending reductions this past year and voted to freeze taxes. O’Brien became a deciding vote on this past year’s budget, refusing to vote for it twice until line items he thought were wasteful were eliminated.

At the same time, O’Brien has developed a rapport with many town employees and department leaders. In a year of recession, he has worked with the Mayor and reached out to town unions to attempt to reach fair agreements so that taxpayers can afford to live here. Communication is his highest priority.

Last month, O’Brien was successful in getting a Tax Abatement Ordinance passed to invite new businesses and jobs in town. He wants to ensure that the ordinance works and will change it if necessary. He also proposes to form a Charter Revision Committee that could make changes to the town constitution to improve how the town works. Please call O’Brien at (203) 558-5817 if you have any suggestions – or criticism – for him.

(If you are a candidate and want to include an introduction here, send me an e-mail:

November 3, 2009

Newspaper Corrections

Three clarifications should be noted in relation to things reported in local newspapers regarding this year’s election:

1. An article on Friday in the Waterbury Republican-American discussed a proposal to cut funding for the Senior Bus Service. The article may have given the impression that new candidate Charles Marsella could be partly to blame for that proposal. Yet, the fact should be made very clear that Mr. Marsella is not a current member of the Town Council, and was not one when the proposal was made at the June 2nd Council meeting. As a new Democratic candidate running for Council, it appears he became inadverdantly caught in the cross-fire over the issue.

The proposal on June 2nd during a budget vote was introduced by Councilmen Gentile and Santagotta. It failed 5-4 along party lines with Mr. Masi and Mr. Perrone also voting for it.

2. Secondly, a letter framed in what appears to be an advertisement is printed in the October edition of the Wolcott Community News on pages 7 and 31. It is signed by Tom Brundage, who is related to Tax Collector Lorraine McQueen through her daughter, Cherryl Brundage. It is unclear whether or not Mr. Brundage paid for the two ads. It is also unclear if the two letters – which are distinctly different but with the same focus to endorse Ms. McQueen – were meant to be published as letters or advertisements. There is no “paid by” attribution on either one.

So we wonder. Is the Wolcott Community News, published by the Moore family, endorsing Ms. McQueen? Or could it simply be a twice- made editing oversight? Here in Whisperland, we’ll accept any letters and publish them with attribution. In fact, we recieved a comment from Ms. McQueen shortly after publishing a story slightly favoring her opponent, Ms. Malena. Because we felt McQueen provided interesting insight into her job that is not commonly known, with her permission we pulled her comment off the comment page and onto the main website so that more readers could see it. While we would love to accept money in exchange for a prime spot advertisement, well written opinion from any source will dominate these pages for now. Besides.. even if we wanted to accept advertising, we simply wouldn’t know how to place it on the website. I’m lucky to know how to type. So we’re all better off.

3. Finally, we feel the need to take a third local publication to task – our own. The Wolcott Whisper recently published a story about the Board of Education approving a contract with the school administrators union. In it, the Whisper noted that administrators could make raises as high as $18,000 – $23,000 depending upon their job position. We were wrong. These figures assumed that each administrator would recieve step increases each year of the three year contact in addition to 0%, 3.5% and 3.5% increases through the contract.

We have learned that the actual facts are that the currently employed school administrators are already at the highest step levels available and cannot earn the large step raises. Instead, they will be subject to the 0%, 3.5%, 3.5% provisions. Even with these raises, administrators will earn an additional $7343 – $8855 in raises. The story has been revised and we regret the errors.

November 3, 2009

2009 Election Guide

NOTE: These articles have been compiled by one person and while we attempt to be as balanced as possible (except on occasion we’ll note our opinion), it is possible we may miss a piece of the story or make an error. If you find any, PLEASE contact the Whisper as soon as you see it. We will make every attempt to correct it in a timely manner. Also, if you can contribute to the discussion in your own words, feel free to add a comment! Contact:; (203) 558-5817

It’s down to the wire, and 60 candidates are overwhelming you and asking you for their vote. Your newspaper boxes and mailboxes are being filled, and you might be wondering: Who are these people? What are they running for? And how do I decide?

We here at the Whisper are committed to giving you as much information as possible about the races within town. Below are some lists and links and analysis on the various races to help give you insight. Most links are to other articles within the blog. Just click on “The Wolcott Whisper” at the top of the page to return to the main page. Also, feel free to click on “Add a Comment” to leave messages for discussion.

1. For a list of candidates and a description of the jobs they are running for, click here for the list of candidates by office.

2. The October edition of the Wolcott Community News has biographies of most of the candidates, as does the Waterbury Republican- American. Those biographies can be viewed at at Articles for the candidates appeared between October 19th and 23rd.

3. The Junior Women’s Club of Wolcott held a Meet The Candidates. forum last Wednesday. This was aired on Channel 96 on Saturday. Each candidate had two minutes to speak.

4. There are four groups of people running this year on three ballot lines. See who’s running with who, and who’s on their own.

5. The Tax Collector’s Race is heating up: analysis, including a reply by Ms. McQueen.

6. Did some Town Council members propose cutting Senior Citizen Bus Service? Read about the alternate budget proposal from June 2

7. There’s some confusing language in an ad on page 40 of October’s Wolcott Community News about a tax cut. What’s this about? Reintroduce a Tax Rate Reduction.

8. Charter Revision has prompted a large number of questions from residents asking: what is it? Here’s you question and answers. here for the Q & A as well as some of the proposals various candidates have to revise the Charter. (coming soon!)

9. The Board of Education recently approved an administrators’ contract for school principals recently. While not covering the candidates, it is recent news that highlights one of the most important roles of the Board of Education.

Wolcott could probably get an award for the most confusing ballot in the state. When you vote, be aware that there are TWO sides to the ballot! Also, most positions allow you to vote for more than one candidate. You can vote for that designated number of candidates no matter how the two or three or six names fall on the ballot. For instance, if you wanted to vote for a Republican, Independent, and Democrat in for an office whose names appear above and below each other, you can do so. If you have any questions, sample ballots are available at Town Hall in the Town Clerk’s office. Also, candidates and election moderators will be happy to help explain the process to you.

Do you have any questions or issues you would like us to help explain? Let us know! We’ll try our best to explain issues you have heard about.

November 3, 2009

Meet The Candidates

Below are most of the speeches of the candidates who attended last week’s Meet The Candidates’ forum at Tyrrell School. We have tried to include what each candidate said word-for -word whenever possible. In most cases, we caught most of what they stated, or at least their main points. When we couldn’t take in their exact wording or points, we drew whatever we could about the candidate so that you could get an idea for their ideas and background.
While not quoted, some have been approximated as closely as possible to their 2 minute presentation last week. We apologize this could not be done for everyone. We hope this gives at least some insight.

Note that Democrats went first, so they did not have an opportunity to reply to other candidates’ speeches.

read more »

November 1, 2009

Doctors To Give Flu Talk

Doctors from Bristol Hospital will be at the Senior Center on Monday at 12:30 to talk about the flu virus. All inteersted residents who would like to hear the presentation are invited. For more information, call Darlene Tynan at 879-8100.

November 1, 2009

Political Signs Defaced

Mayoral candidate George Babcock’s signs were defaced Friday night by vandals. The camping removed the signs along rt. 69 and 322 early Saturday morning as soon as they became aware of the vandalism. Profanity was sprayed on them, apparently carrying an obscenity, according to the Waterbury Republican-American. If anyone sees any more damaged signs, please call Mr. Babcock’s campaign or the Wolcott Police Department. Police are investigating.

It is sad that while parts of this year’s campaign have become tense, that it has stooped to this level. No candidate would tolerate this behavior regardless of affiliation. Ideas and proposals should be weighed on their own merit by individuals, but to degrade their right to present them in the public arena is disrespectful to all those running because the same could occur to them in the future. Mr. Babcock has served the town and its youth as a softball coach, concerned citizen and a Town Council member and Chairman for many years. If you have any information, please contact the police department or campaign.