The Realistic Balance party nominated its slate of candidates for municipal offices Tuesday in a sometimes confusing yet genial meeting that kept everyone who turned up at the New England Emporium on their toes.
Six voting members and two by absentee ballots cast their votes for Middletown Board of Education, Common Council, Planning and Zoning and mayor in the hour-long meeting attended by candidates and most of the Republican party.
Realistic Balance party secretary John Kilian, who moderated the caucus, earned his party's nomination to run against Democratic Mayor Dan Drew in November's election.
"I am looking to focus on the proposal to tax drive-throughs," Kilian said, referring to the controversy earlier this year when Centerplan Co. proposed a retail-restaurant drive-through in Middletown's historic and residential Washington, High and Pearl streets area.
Kilian also wrote a book over a six-week period, "Downtown Drive-Thru," which he admits sold less-than-stellar copies, that deals with the Middletown drama that resulted from the proposal.
Nominations, which at points were confusing to follow, and subsequent vote tallies were based upon "proportional representation," something Kilian wrote into the Realistic Balance's bylaws in response to what took place during the 2000 Presidential election in Florida, he said.
Phil Pessina and Joseph Bibisi, longtime councilmen whose Republican failed to nominate them at their party's convention and who subsequently earned enough petition signatures to appear on the November ballot, secured the Realistic Balance nomination for Common Council, along with Republican David Bauer and Realistic Balance Chairman Fred Carroll, who ran unsuccessfully two years ago on the same ticket.
The two are still seeking the Working Families endorsement but being nominated as RB candidates, according to former Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano, supersedes their unaffiliated status.
Giuliano stood up at the start of Tuesday's meeting, after being authorized by the Middletown GOP slate of candidates to put forth the entire Republican slate for RB consideration. "We are all of one mind. If you would see fit, we would accept, if not, none of us will accept the nomination," he said.
"When the eight of us accepted the nomination for the Republican party, we pledged to run as one slate," naming Deb Kleckowski, David Bauer, Linda Salafia, Ryan Kennedy, Angel Fernandez, himself, and two members not present — Nick Fazzino and Sandra Russo-Driska.
Linda Szynkowicz, Sheila Daniels, Brian Kaskel and Bill Wilson were chosen for Board of Education and Stephen Smith, Jeremy Clark and Stephen DeVoto, who forced a Democratic primary for the third Planning and Zoning Commission seat, were endorsed Tuesday as well.
Kilian accepted the entire Republican slate's request to deny the nomination for Common Council, with the exception of David Bauer, who was not at the meeting.
Nominations will now go to Connecticut's Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's office for review.