By Elizabeth F. McNamara
In an impromptu interview Friday with councilors-elect Mike Donegan, Renu Englehart and Mike Zarrella Friday, Englehart and Zarrella expressed surprise with the election sweep but all three said they thought it had to do with the voters desire for change.
“I was amazed how many people knew what was going on in the town. People really were paying attention…. But I still never thought we’d sweep,” Zarrella said.
“We were known to the voters,” said Donegan, citing various members’ town board involvement and community longevity. “So people voted for the individuals. They definitely wanted a change.”
Zarrella also credited Democratic Town Committee head Christa Thompson (and former chair Hilary Friedman) for the big election win. In particular, he noted the Democrats decision in 2017 to videotape the Town Council meetings, keeping the public informed.
All three were unhappy with Corrigan’s decision to announce that the town has a $2 million deficit for 2018 on the Dan Yorke Show after months of refusing to release financial information.
“I have a hard time with the fact that Ms. Corrigan chose to go on Dan Yorke to tell us about the town financial situation when she hadn’t given the courtesy to any of us who were newly elected to give us that same information. I really think that’s inappropriate,” said Englehart.
“Even after the election, a sitting council member [Mark Schwager] hasn’t seen these numbers. We’re elected and we haven’t seen these numbers. The first time they’ll even give us a snapshot is when they tell us the catastrophic financial situation we’re in on the Dan Yorke Show,” said Donegan.
As far as Corrigan’s tenure, Donegan and Englehart both said she had to go. Zarrella said he wanted to look at her contract before taking action.
Even with that, they said they hoped for an orderly transition. The interview took place before news of Dykeman’s departure.
“What we would expect is that a transition will be professional and orderly,” said Donegan. “We would expect the outgoing council, the solicitor and Gayle and her team to be professional in helping us transition so that we would be in the best possible place to operate the government…. I live in hope on this issue. I am expecting that she and everyone will behave professionally in this process.”
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