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GOP Endorses Rodolico; Allyn Still in Race

Mayor Announces He Will Run as Petitioning Candidate

Republican candidate John Rodolico received his party’s endorsement for mayor of Ledyard Tuesday at a packed GOP caucus in Gales Ferry, but Republican Mayor Fred B. Allyn Jr. is still planning to be on the ballot come November.

More than 200 party members attended the caucus, held in the Ledyard Middle School auditorium in anticipation of a showdown between endorsed candidate Rodolico and Allyn, the incumbent who was snubbed by the RTC nominating committee earlier this summer.

The showdown never materialized. After Rodolico was nominated and caucus chairman Stan Juber asked for additional nominations from the floor, there was only silence.

When the caucus adjourned, Allyn passed around a prepared statement announcing his intention to run as a petitioning candidate.

“I believe very strongly that the residents of Ledyard deserve to have a choice of candidates,” his statement began. “Therefore… I am submitting the requisite Nominating Petition which, when certified, will secure my position on the November ballot.”

Allyn said he made the decision about 10 days earlier to run as a petitioning candidate. He said he has already collected the necessary signatures – 1 percent of the town’s registered voters – that would allow his name to appear on the ballot.

Asked if he plans to mount a full-scale campaign for re-election, the mayor said yes. “I plan to win,” he said.

Until the moment of Allyn’s surprise announcement, the night belonged to Rodolico.

“I am honored to be here this evening representing all five Republican members of the Ledyard Town Council in support of John Rodolico as your Republican candidate for mayor,” said Town Councilor Linda Davis, who nominated Rodolico. 

“We are recommending a change in leadership because we know Ledyard deserves better,” she said.

Davis said Ledyard deserves a mayor with a good working relationship with the Town Council. “A mayor willing to take advantage of (the council’s) talents and regularly attend council meetings would go a long way in building relationships.

“Ledyard deserves a mayor who is well-organized, who represents the community professionally, and whose only agenda is what is best for the town of Ledyard,” she added.

The nomination was seconded by former mayor Susan Mendenhall and Council Chairman Terry Jones.

“Having served in the mayor’s office, I can tell you there is no time for ‘my way or the highway,’” Mendenhall said. 

Jones said Rodolico, as former council chairman, was able to reach across the aisle on the town’s behalf. “He is a team player and an organizer who works harder than everyone else,” he said.

Rodolico said he was humbled by the nomination. He vowed to run on the principles of fiscal responsibility and communication with all of the town’s stakeholders.

“We won’t always agree, but I will always listen,” he said. “I believe the people will respond to that, and that I will be the next mayor of Ledyard.”

Asked about Allyn’s announcement, Rodolico said he was pleased voters will have a choice.

“I think the citizens of Ledyard deserve a choice, and now they will have a choice over the government they’ve had for the past three and a half years and the potential for change that was spoken about this evening.”

Heather Hunt, organizer of the Ledyard Tea Party Patriots, said she also was pleased with the way the day’s events had played out. “So far there are no other candidates, so it’s good to have a choice,” she said.

At the caucus Republicans also endorsed candidates for Town Council and Board of Education. They are:

For Town Council, Linda Davis, Sean Sullivan, John Marshall, Kevin Dombrowski, Steve Eichelberg and Mike France.

For Board of Education, Julia Cronin, Gordon Strickland, Mimi Peck-Llewellyn, Bob Beaver, Joan Disco and Tom Malone.

Sharon Pealer July 20, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Julian, I am in complete agreement with you that John Rodolico is not a good candidate for the office of mayor, but my reasons are different than yours. The town has a charter that calls for a council and a mayor. Nowhere in that charter does it call for the mayor to fall to the absolute bidding of the members of the council and that is the reason that the Republicans on the council bash and openly lie about the mayor at every opportunity. The bonds I refer to were not voted for by any majority of registered voters, they were quietly passed in a council meeting that was not even attended by all the council members. About those lawsuits, I have seen enough in this state to know that it takes an average of a minimum of three years for most cases to crawl through the system and I am fully aware that much of the time that our mayor is tied up with court things right now is a case that began years ago. You are a democrat and sit on the council, I understand that you really dislike all things republican and that won't change, but the idea of a town manager is one that has come and gone. Most cities and towns that have had town managers have now gone back to the mayoral system. The state does not allow for any requirement that an employee reside in the town to be hired and in emergencies I would like to know some one is familiar with the town and will be here.
Julian Lupienski July 20, 2011 at 02:40 PM
the council and mayor share power with the mayor running day to day operations. a couple of areas number one i do not now or ever sat on the town council. i have have volunteered and have on a number of committees or commissions. i do not dislike all republicans and for a matter of fact i do not dislike anyone. i do have opinions that may, on many occasions, run counter to a different philosophy. again bills are debited in the fiscal year the services or products obligated. there are times when the book from the previous year may not be completely closed for two or three months. if there is any activity on a particular case then it is billed to that year. im not sure what bonds you are a referring to but the charter dictates what one can or can not do. populations 20k and under have or in the process of changing to a manager type govt. the complexities of the job have gotten such one needs to have someone who has knowledge in the in and outs of state and federal govts. 48 percent of cities and towns in this country have gone this route. you can't fire a mayor, no provisions in this state for removable, but you can fire a manager. keep a open mind
Sharon Pealer July 20, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Mr. Lupienski, I do apologize for accusing you to be a member of the sitting town council and applaud you for being a concerned enough citizen to have volunteered on commissions I am an unaffiliated voter so I have no favorite side with the single exception of what is good for the town as a whole. I never said that the bills were not paid as they come due, I said that the court system moves at a snails pace and the current mayor is confronted with many long standing cases. I maintain my stand on a town manager for this town. Many years ago Ledyard was victim of a powerful ice storm and the mayor at the time spent many hours attempting to get power restored quickly to the citizens. I said in a previous post that I lived in a town with a town manager. What I failed to disclose is that the town manager was a relative. I know for a fact that the job description calls for a 40 hour work week. The manager then went home some 50 miles away. Many of the problems encountered in a rural town happen in bad winter storms and if state roads are closed who then will be here to oversee town functions?
Mimi Peck-Llewellyn July 20, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Ms. Pealer - As Mr. Lupienski said, keep an open mind. Do not claim to know the facts when you apparently don't. Wait until you DO see the facts contained in the committee's report. By the way, the contract under which your relative was hired is not necessarily the contract that the Town Council would negotiate with a Town Manager. You also should check the Town Charter about what the responsibilities of the current Mayor are and are not. It is a business -- an administrative function that can't be based on influence by the town's citizenry.
Sharon Pealer July 20, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Ms. Llewellyn, as a voter I am entitled to whatever opinion I form and elected officials like yourself should be well aware of that fact. I have read the information provided already by the investigating committee and certainly am not in favor of more spending of taxpayers dollars than is already being done.

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