Everyone’s a winner in Guilford elections this year

Guilford Town Hall

GUILFORD — With four candidates for four Board of Education spots, three candidates for three Board of Finance spots and two candidates for two Board of Assessment Appeals spots, none of the open seats in Guilford’s upcoming municipal election is contested.

The party make-up of each board is also set to remain the same. But with several incumbents out of the race, the town will still see changes in government.

Democrat William Bloss, current chairman of the Board of Education, isn’t on the ballot. Neither is his vice-chairman, Republican Gary Kaisan.

Incumbent Democrats Kathleen Balestracci and Richard Hersh are poised to serve another term, alongside newcomers John DellaVentura, a Democrat, and Republican Kristen Marottoli Peck.

Peck is concerned about decreased education funding from the state, she said in a CTInsider candidate survey. Balestracci and Hersh both said they want to maintain the excellence of Guilford’s schools, while DellaVentura described investment in the school system as “an investment in our future.”

In terms of future leadership, both the Board of Education and the Board of Finance will elect their chairmen once Election Day passes, First Selectman Matthew Hoey said, adding that the position typically goes to a member of the party that holds the majority.

Though it depends on each board’s discretion, chairmanship tends to last for a two-year period, Hoey said.

Current Board of Finance Chairman Michael Ayles and his fellow board member Meghan Scanlon, both Democrats, are on the ballot again this year, alongside Republican newcomer Robert Hartmann Jr.

All three candidates described their top issues for the town in CTInsider’s survey. Both Scanlon and Hartmann cited a wish to plan for the town’s financial future, with Hartmann noting that that must be done as the town faces “declining” state support.

Scanlon also said she wants to keep providing the services residents want for a reasonable price.

Ayles’ top issue was “maintaining the value Guilford taxpayers expect from their leaders.”

Republican Kenneth MacKenzie is not seeking reelection.

Also on the ballot are two candidates for the Board of Assessment Appeals, Democrat Brian Wiley and Republican Cindy Cartier, who will replace outgoing members Amanda Sansone Popplewell, a Republican, and Democrat Dennis Dostert.

In CTInsider’s survey, Wiley said residents have the right to question their taxes, “and each town has the obligation to listen and respond,” adding that the process “must be conducted fairly, consistently, and reasonably.”

Cartier declined to respond to the survey because of the uncontested nature of the race.

Connecticut Media Group