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Montville Town Council flips to Republicans

Montville — The Town Council, held by a Democratic majority for much of the last two decades, has flipped to Republican control.

The town's Republicans, who waged a campaign urging voters to either "drain the swamp" or "keep it" if they were satisfied with the five incumbent Democrats on the Town Council, got their answer: they weren't. The Democrats, who started the night with a 5-2 majority, ceded two seats to Republicans Tom McNally and Wills Pike. Voters kept incumbent Republicans Joe Rogulski and Kathy Pollard in their seats.

Democrats failed to replace a seat formerly held by Democrats Laura Tanner with another Democrat, also losing Democratic member Chuck Longton, who was running for a fourth term.

Based on unofficial vote tallies, Democrat Tim May lost his bid for a third term on the council, losing by one vote to former Democratic mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz. That race will be subject to a recount.

Though both Jaskiewicz and May won fewer votes than Republican Ray Coggeshall, one of them will keep a seat on the council because of state minority party representation laws.

A fifth Republican seat on the council could also be subject to a recount: Jeff Rogers and James Andriote nearly tied for a seat with a one-vote difference, with Coggeshall three votes behind Andriote.

"They just wanted a change in the town, and they got it," Jaskiewicz said to a near-silent Democratic Party gathering at the Uncasville Diner Tuesday night. "It was obvious what they wanted."

The town's school board will have a new face on it in Dana Ladyga, a Republican newcomer to town politics who was the top vote-getter in the school board race.

Sandra Berardy, a veteran school board member who returned to the board to fill a vacancy after losing an election in 2013, was re-elected, as was Republican Steven Loiler, who's running for a third term, Democrat Monica Pomazon, who filled the seat left vacant in January when her husband, Todd Pomazon, died suddenly, and Republican Joseph Aquitante III, who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in February.

Gary Murphy, the recently retired chief of the Oakdale Fire Department and a member of the Water Pollution Control Authority, won a seat on the Board of Assessment Appeals, which considers individual appeals of the assessed values of properties in town.

Two people — Democrat John MacNeil and Republican Robert Yuchniuk — ran uncontested for two open seats on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

m.shanahan@theday.com

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