Leadership Elections and Caucus Results

At our regular business meeting last Thursday, the Bolton Democratic Town Committee voted to retain Christopher Davey as chair, Adam Teller as vice chair, and Mary Terhune as secretary. Former treasurer Sandra Pierog returns to that role after a six-month hiatus (she had stepped down while running for office last fall). Congratulations to all!

Also last Thursday, at a caucus of Bolton Democrats, the following individuals were endorsed as delegates to the upcoming state and local political conventions:

2nd Congressional District Convention

  • Christopher Davey
  • Adam Teller
  • Mary Terhune

State Convention

  • Christopher Davey
  • Sandra Pierog
  • John Toomey

State Senate District 4 Convention

  • Christopher Davey
  • Sandra Pierog
  • John Toomey

State Assembly District 55 Convention

  • Christopher Davey
  • Anne Decker
  • John Toomey

Judge of Probate District 13 Convention

  • Emily Bradley
  • Adam Teller
  • Mary Terhune
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Republicans Appoint Miller to BOS

About an hour ago we learned that Kim Miller has been appointed to fill the vacancy on the Board of Selectmen seat.

We express our appreciation to Republicans Bob Morra, Mike Eremita, and Kay Petersen  for that action, which we feel to be in the best Bolton traditions of cooperation and common sense for the good of our small community. The appointment of Ms. Miller means that the two candidates who went before the voters in the last election and received equal voter support will join the board as equals and colleagues.

By joining in appointing her, the remaining Republicans on the Board of Selectmen have extended their hands, and we intend to work with them for the best interests of the Town, without regard to party affiliation.

In response to the board’s initial inability to agree on an appointment, some members of the community have been circulating petitions for a special election to fill the vacancy.  We believe that the overwhelming sentiment expressed by the community has been that the post be filled either by Ms. Miller based on her equal vote total, or by a new election.  Since the former has now occurred, we believe that the latter is now unnecessary and would be counterproductive in allowing the BOS to move on with the important business of the Town. Therefore, we call on the circulators of those petitions to withdraw them at this time.


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Reminder: Caucus in One Week


The caucus will be preceded at 7:30 by the monthly BDTC meeting.

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How to Replace a Selectman

Yesterday, Liz Krueger resigned as a member of the Board of Selectman. Today an article appeared in the JI that states the Republican Town Committee “has the right to choose a replacement to fill the seat.”

Not quite. The town charter (ch. 2, sec. 2.5, par. A, or page 9 here) states,

A vacancy occurring in the office of First Selectman or on the Board of Selectmen, the Registrars of Voters, the Judge of Probate and the Justices of the Peace, shall be filled pursuant to the processes set forth in the General Statutes.

Chapter 146, sec. 9-222 of the Connecticut General Statute (see here) reads,

When a vacancy occurs in the office of first selectman or in the office of selectman it shall be filled within thirty days after the day of its occurrence by the remaining members of the board of selectmen. Said remaining members may appoint one of themselves to fill a vacancy in the office of first selectman, if they so desire, and shall then fill the ensuing vacancy in the office of selectman as herein provided. If such a vacancy in the office of first selectman or of selectman is not so filled within thirty days after the day of its occurrence, the town clerk shall, within ten days thereafter, notify the elective town officers enrolled in the same political party as the first selectman or selectman, as the case may be, who vacated the office, or all elective town officers, if such first selectman or selectman who vacated the office was not enrolled with a political party, and it shall be filled by such elective town officers within sixty days after its occurrence. Any person so appointed shall serve for the portion of the term remaining unexpired or until a special election called as hereinafter provided upon petition of a number of electors of such town equal to five per cent of the names on the last-completed registry list thereof, but not fewer than fifty such electors. Such petition shall be filed no later than fifteen days after the appointment by the remaining selectmen or such elective town officers, as the case may be. Such a special election shall forthwith be called by the town clerk upon the filing of such a petition with him and shall be held in accordance with the provisions of sections 9-164, 9-450 and 9-459. The term “town officers”, as used in this section, shall not include state representatives or town officers who serve on town boards whose members are not all elected at one town election for the same term.
Thus, the sequence of events is
  1. Selectman resigns.
  2. Remaining members of the Board of Selectmen have 30 days (until January 3, based on the date of Liz’s resignation) to fill the vacancy with anyone they choose. The board currently has two Democrats and two Republicans, so minority representation rules don’t come into play. The board could agree on a Republican, a Democrat, or someone unaffiliated with either party.
  3. If the BOS can’t agree on a replacement, the Town Clerk, starting January 4, has ten days (until January 13) to notify the elected Republican town officers of their right to appoint Liz’s replacement.
  4. The Republican town officers then have 20 days (until February 3) to appoint someone (20 days because the language says the appointment must be made within 60 days of the resignation).
  5. As soon as Liz’s replacement is appointed, voters have 15 days to submit a petition requesting a special election. Five percent of the electorate (approximately 170 voters) are needed to call a special election.
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Caucus Date Set

The biennial caucus of the Bolton Democratic Town Committee will be held January 16, 2018, at 8 pm at the Notch Road Municipal Center in Bolton. The caucus will be preceded at 7:30 by the regular monthly BDTC business meeting.

The caucus is held to determine the slate of town committee members who will serve for the next two years. Terms run from March 7, 2018, through March 6, 2020.

The caucus is open to all registered Democrats in Bolton.

For more information, please contact BDTC Chair Christopher Davey.

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Thank you, Gwen!

Tonight’s Board of Selectmen meeting (7 pm, Town Hall) is the last for the current board. The new board, led by Sandra Pierog, will take office next week.


Gwen Marrion

Tonight’s meeting is thus the last for Gwen Marrion, who is retiring after four years of service. Fortunately for Bolton, Gwen doesn’t plan to disappear from public life. She remains president of the Bolton Land Trust and plans to refocus her efforts there.

Gwen and her husband, Tom, have lived in Bolton for thirty years, and Gwen has been active in town almost since their arrival. Her work on behalf of the Inland Wetlands Commission, the Heritage Farm, the Open Space Acquisition and Preservation Committee, the 2008 charter revision commission, the Bolton Land Trust, and, most recently, the Board of Selectmen has been exemplary, and Bolton is much the better for it.

Thank you, Gwen, for your service to the town. We’re sorry to see you retire from BOS but excited to see what you do next!

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On the Removal of Campaign Signs

I wrote this after the 2017 municipal election, and although this year someone else took down the signs (thanks, Gwen!), and nearly twice as many of us voted, and our votes were for different (I won’t say more important) offices, the thoughts I offered then seem no less valid today.—Chris, Nov. 7, 2018

Yesterday, as I drove around Bolton taking down the Democrats’ campaign signs, I was struck once again by how beautiful our town is.



My path led from Bolton old to Bolton new. From our historic Town Green and the pre-revolutionary stone walls of Heritage Farm past much newer buildings and the promise of buildings yet to be. Up winding lanes past pond and marsh. Down straighter thoroughfares where colonial-era houses mingle with neighbors of far more recent vintage. Past farmland tilled for generations and sites of commerce undreamed of by Bolton’s earliest residents.

I count myself lucky to live here. Like so many, I came for the schools but quickly realized Bolton offers so much more. I marked them off as I drove around: the Hop River Trail, Bentley Memorial Library, Herrick Park, Pesce’s Farm, Bolton Lake, Fish Farm, Tinker Pond.

img_1820.jpgAll of these places (and many more) form the tapestry that is Bolton. Threaded through that tapestry, bringing to life its scenes, are the people who built these places or made them possible, the people who frequent them today, the people who care for them, and the people who dream or worry about their future.

This past Tuesday, 1,500 of us made our way to Town Hall, a biannual pilgrimage to express, not with weapons and epithets but with marks on paper, our frustrations and hopes. In voting we further enriched the tapestry that is Bolton. Not because of any particular outcome but because voting itself is an act of hope, a reminder to ourselves and to our neighbors that what we have is worth continuing, worth preserving, worth building on.


The removal of campaign signs is both an end and a beginning. Having served their purpose, these bald appeals for votes are overnight rendered little more than litter across the landscape. Their removal, the symbolic end of the campaign, restores Bolton’s familiar landscapes and vistas.

This clearing of the fields, as it were, also signals that the time has come to begin anew, to sow the seeds of rejuvenation, to roll up our sleeves and begin with our neighbors the hard work of making democracy work in this small town we love so dearly.

Thank you, Bolton. We are humbled and honored and excited to begin the hard work that lies ahead.

—Christopher Davey, Chair of the Bolton Democratic Town Committee


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