New borough ward lines drawn

A map of the new ward lines in Naugatuck. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Changes to the borough’s ward lines will mean the senior center will no longer be used as a polling station.

The Democrat and Republican registrars of voters worked together to draw the new map, which had to follow the new state senate and house district lines. State senate lines remained the same in Naugatuck, but house lines shifted between the 70th and 131st districts.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved the ward changes earlier this month.

District 3-4 will now be part of District 1-3, in the north-western corner of Naugatuck. A small section of District 3-1 was incorporated into District 3-3 in downtown Naugatuck.

Some people who previously voted at Western Avenue School will now vote at Andrew Avenue, and those that voted at the senior center will have a new polling location as well.

The registrars will mail information on the new locations to residents affected by the changes before the next election.

However, Republican Town Committee Chair Dorothy Hoff encouraged all voters to double check their status.

With only seven polling locations, instead of eight, the borough will save a few thousand dollars come election time, according to Democratic Registrar of Voters Louise Sheedy.

The changes effected Democratic and Republican Town Committee caucuses, where committee members are elected by ward.

The Republican Town Committee elects 11 members for each of the town’s three wards, according to Hoff.

Burgess Mike Bronco said the changes would affect his family. Bronco, his wife, and his son were all committee members representing District 3-4. They had to face new challengers in District 1-3, which includes three committee officers.

“In one fell swoop, my family’s out of the town committee,” Bronco said, saying the changes were irrational.

Members are elected to two-year terms.

“You’re competing in an election every two years no matter what,” Hoff said. “Even if he hadn’t moved, anyone could challenge him.”

However, Hoff said the caucuses are usually not highly-contested.

“It’s not like people are beating down your door saying I want to be on the Republican Town Committee,” Hoff said.

Any registered Republican can vote to elect members in their ward.

As it turned out, the three Broncos were re-elected in their new ward. New members will become part of the committee after March 6, giving anyone left out a chance to primary.

On the Democratic side, the situation was similar. Some former members of the 3rd Ward had to compete against the 1st Ward, according to Democratic Town Committee Chair Leonard Cain.

Former Burgess Henry Kuczenski and his wife, Chris Kuczenski, both won seats in Ward 1 after moving out of Ward 3, according to Cain. There are 15 Democratic Town Committee members per ward, for a total of 45, Cain said. He said they were able to fill all the seats.

For more information, contact Registrar of Voters Office at (203) 720-7047.