From the News Times
The top of the Danbury Democrats' fall election ticket Mayor: Gary Goncalves
City clerk: Eileen Coladarci
Town clerk: Lori Kaback
Common Council at large: Jose Agosto Jr., Barbara Baker, Ernest Boynton, Thomas Dyer Jr., Warren Levy, Oseas Mello and William Totten Jr.
First Ward Council: Frank Anders and Barry Rickert.
Second Ward Council: Daniel Abrantes and Paul McAllister.
Third Ward Council: Barbara Carey and William Tanner.
Fourth Ward Council: Peter Nero and Thomas Saadi.
Fifth Ward Council: Duane Perkins and Frederick Visconti Jr.
Sixth Ward Council: Benjamine Chianese and Paul Rotello.
Seven Ward Council: Philip Cervone and Joselyn Cotillo.
Goncalves tagged to run for mayor spot
By Dirk Perrefort
DANBURY -- Members of the Democratic Town Committee unanimously nominated Gary Goncalves as their mayoral candidate for the fall election.
"Gary has really turned out to be a great candidate," said Joseph DaSilva, chairman of the Danbury Democratic Town Committee. "He's not afraid to take a position or look you straight in the eyes and tell you what he thinks. He has a lot of plans with specific details that I'm sure he'll roll out throughout the upcoming campaign."
Goncalves, a longtime city resident who works as vice president of global finance for the General Reinsurance Corp. based in New York City, announced his intentions to run for mayor earlier this spring. He was nominated during a meeting of the Democratic Town Committee on Thursday.
"I've stepped up into this arena to make a difference," Goncalves said. "I'm sacrificing a very good corporate career to make this run, so we can make the changes we all believe have to be made."
The mayoral candidate added that issues of pressing concern in the city include the education system, the local tax burden, and excessive bonding by the city's current administration during the last seven years.
He said the city has bonded more than $228 million in that time frame, while increasing the city's budget an average of about $7 million annually.
One of the biggest recent bonding issues that concerned him, Goncalves said, was funding needed for the recently completed police station.
"While the police needed a new station after working in such cramped quarters, I believe the station that was built was a bit of an overkill," he said. "We could have built a great station for $5 or $10 million less and not have had to eliminate 21 teaching positions."
Mayor Mark Boughton, who will be seeking his fifth term in office this fall, said Goncalves will have to do his homework "if he wants to be taken seriously."
Boughton added that many of the projects that have been paid for through bonding during his tenure, especially school projects, were reimbursed by the state at rates of between 50 percent and 70 percent.
"You have to look at the net amount that we actually borrowed," he said, adding that the city is in great fiscal shape. "Last summer, in the middle of an economic crisis, the city's bond rating was actually increased. It was because of our strong financial management and our low debt burden."
Boughton added that he will lay out a plan for leadership Monday when the Republican Town Committee meets to nominate its candidates.
"I look forward to executing that plan in the next term, if the voters elect me," he said.
DaSilva said the Democrats have a strong front-runner going into November, but he's excited about the entire slate of candidates and is hopeful the party can pick up additional seats on the Common Council.
The council is currently led by Republicans with a 14-7 split.
"We have a full complement of 21 for the council and some really great candidates," he said. "Some are new candidates and some have been around for quite a while."
The only Democrat incumbent on the council who will not be seeking reelection, DaSilva said, is John Esposito, who has been on the board for approximately 28 years.
DaSilva said he hopes the thousands of additional Democrats who registered to vote during the run-up to last year's presidential election will also help the party this fall.
Sal Chieffalo Jr., chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said members are still putting the finishing touches on their ticket but they are also excited about their candidates for the fall.
He added that the ticket will be led by a popular mayor who is well liked in the city and has been doing a good job for its residents.
Chieffalo said he isn't surprised by DaSilva's hopes to gain more seats on the Common Council.
"It's like a baseball team during spring training," he said. "Everyone is optimistic before you go out there and start playing the games.
"We are also hoping to pick up more seats than we already have."
Contact Dirk Perrefort at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (203) 731-3358.
The top of the Danbury Democrats' fall election ticket Mayor: Gary Goncalves City clerk: Eileen Coladarci Town clerk: Lori Kaback Common Council at large: Jose Agosto Jr., Barbara Baker, Ernest Boynton, Thomas Dyer Jr., Warren Levy, Oseas Mello and William Totten Jr. First Ward Council: Frank Anders and Barry Rickert. Second Ward Council: Daniel Abrantes and Paul McAllister. Third Ward Council: Barbara Carey and William Tanner. Fourth Ward Council: Peter Nero and Thomas Saadi. Fifth Ward Council: Duane Perkins and Frederick Visconti Jr. Sixth Ward Council: Benjamine Chianese and Paul Rotello. Seven Ward Council: Philip Cervone and Joselyn Cotillo.