Borough Democrats regain majority on board

NAUGATUCK — Democrats reclaimed a seat from Republicans at the polls Tuesday to gain a 5-4 burgess majority on the Board of Mayor and Burgesses.

Nearly 24% of the 19,573 registered voters in Naugatuck cast their ballot in the election.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess, a Democrat who ran unopposed for a third term, gives Democrats another vote on the board.

“I think it proves clearly that in Naugatuck it’s about people and not about politics, number one,” said Hess about the results of the election. “Number two, it’s certainly not about dirty politics, and they (Republicans) took every arrow out of their quiver they had to shoot at us and it failed. It failed clearly and we gained ground. To me, it’s dead. I’m a nonpartisan guy. We’re going to continue on a nonpartisan basis.”

Democrat Laurie Taf Jackson was the top vote-getter among burgess candidates with 2,458 votes, beating out Republican Robert A. Neth by 77 votes to retain her role as deputy mayor.

“I’m very honored and pleased that the voters of Naugatuck voted me the deputy mayor again,” said Jackson, who added she’s looking forward to another two years of working with Hess and her fellow burgesses.

Democrats Carl J. Herb and Rocky Vitale, who are both incumbents, and Charles P. Marenghi and Fran Dambowski won seats on the board to give Democrats the majority.

Along with Neth, who is the longest sitting member of the board, Republicans Jack DeOliveira and Michael Bronko, both incumbents, and Jan J. Mizeski were elected.

Mizeski received 1,729 votes and edged out fellow Republican and incumbent Donald Wisniewski by 51 votes for the ninth and final burgess seat.

All of the seven incumbents running for the Board of Education were re-elected to the nine-member board.

Republicans Dorothy Neth-Kunin, who is chairman, Glenn Connan, Jeff Litke and Diana Malone were re-elected, as were Democrats Ethel Grant, James Scully and Jason Celozzi. They will be joined by Republican Marilyn O’Donnell, a newcomer to the board.

The mayor also holds a seat on the school board.

Democratic incumbent Tax Collector James J. Goggin defeated Republican challenger Kasdyn Click by 433 votes, 2,411 to 1,978. Republican incumbent Treasurer Judy Anderson beat Democratic challenger Gary Hughes by 882 votes, 2,482 to 1,600.

Town Clerk Michelle Dowling, who was cross endorsed, was re-elected.

Republicans Robert Pease Republican and Robert Clark won seats on the Planning Commission. Democrat Neil Mascola and Republican Richard Cool won seats on the Zoning Commission.

All eight bailiff candidates — Democrats Floyd Traver, Sally Jean Cyr, Michael Kuczenski and Michael Allison and Republicans Daniel Renzoni, Christopher Kiernan, Kimberly Kiernan and Seth Bronko — were elected.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add voter turnout and reflect vote totals reported Wednesday morning by the Town Clerk’s Office.