South Windsor Democrat Again Denied Appointment To Vacant Council Seat

SOUTH WINDSOR, CT — For the second time, Republicans on the South Windsor Town Council did not seat an endorsed candidate for a Democratic vacancy at Monday’s meeting, an action the interim Democratic town chair called “reckless” during a difficult budget cycle.

Michael Paré, who served on the Board of Education for six years, was nominated by the Democratic Town Committee to fill the seat vacated in February by the resignation of Erica Evans. A resolution approving his addition to the council was on the March 4 meeting agenda, but failed to garner enough support with three votes in favor, two opposed and two abstentions.

During Monday’s meeting, interim Democratic town chair Linda Jeski presented the council hundreds of letters from residents supporting Paré’s appointment to the seat; however, a resolution again failed to pass, with voting resulting in a 4-4 deadlock.

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Republican Town Committee chairman Miguel Proano told Patch several GOP council members reiterated previous concerns about Paré’s opinions expressed on Facebook about some national issues, including a call for “a permanent cease-fire” in Gaza. Councilor Richard Balboni had previously stated he feared the council would shift its focus away from local issues if Paré was appointed.

In a written statement, the Democratic Town Committee declared, “Despite the duty to fill vacancies outlined in our town charter, the Republican-majority council has once again denied the highly respected, well-qualified Democratic nominee the opportunity to serve our town.”

Find out what's happening in South Windsorwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Jeski said, “Leaving our community upside down during budget season is a manufactured and unnecessary crisis brought on by our colleagues across the aisle. It’s reckless and stands in the way of the people of our community who expect us to work together on their behalf.”.

Paré said, “I am disappointed but not surprised that the majority has chosen to leave this important council seat vacant, silencing the votes of thousands of South Windsor residents during an extremely challenging budget cycle. Since the last vote, I have personally contacted all town council members to address their questions and concerns, something that, to my knowledge, no other nominee has had to do. I welcome continued conversations with those still concerned.”.

“We have serious challenges in our community that require serious people to solve those challenges,” former mayor Andrew Paterna said. “It appears the Republican majority on the town council are not up to the task even to do the easy things like seating Mike Paré. I shudder to think what will happen with more difficult choices, like our municipal budget.”

Proano said the Democrats have “valid frustrations,” and are currently in the same position Republicans were in last year when they were in the minority.

“Our nominees were repeatedly denied, and because of that precedence, [the Democrats] set a standard to scrutinize candidates a lot more closely,” he told Patch.

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