GOP's Walter Upsets Incumbent Parker

Nov 7, 2007 Full story: Hartford Courant 12

After years out of power, the Republicans scored an upset Tuesday when challenger Mark Walter beat two-term incumbent Democrat Brad Parker. Walter, a 12-year resident, accepted hugs and handshakes after it was announced that he had handily defeated Parker. When he's sworn in this week, it will be his first job in government. He is a leader of the First Church of Christ Congregational, which has about 150 member families, and is a Boy Scout leader. He owns a printing business and works for a document management firm. 'I think they're just looking for new ideas, for new leadership,' Walter said of voters Tuesday night. First on the agenda, he said, is 'getting to meet all the employees and finding out what their priorities are.' Parker, a lifelong resident, served six years as a selectman and four years as first selectman. He also served 22 years as the chairman of the recreation commission. In 2003, he retired as a manager of a Portland behavioral facility. He had little to say on the way out of the old town hall other than that 'the people have spoken' and that he'll spend more time with his family. While campaigning, Parker cited a new senior center, new streetlights in Moodus, preserving open space and keeping the Summer Sounds concert series among his accomplishments. The construction of a new middle school was one of the issues that played a big part in the weeks leading up to the election. While Parker listed it as one of his accomplishments in office, Walter made it a point in his campaign to mention that the project ran $9 million over budget and is now the subject of an eminent domain lawsuit. Another point of debate was the town's tax rate. Walter said Parker allowed the town's expenses to exceed the rate of inflation. Town officials, he said, should do more for its small businesses and work to expand its tax base. The results were announced about 90 minutes after polls closed Tuesday night. Election workers said the new voting machines worked fine, but wanted to make sure the results were accurate, including the absentee ballots. Until the results were announced, it was standing room only in old town hall, with people gathered around the stove in the middle of the floor. Read more

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EastHaddamVoter

Old Lyme, CT

#1 Nov 7, 2007
WOW!
East Haddam Resident

New Britain, CT

#2 Nov 9, 2007
It was time for a change in East Haddam and I wish First Selectman Walter the best. I have only lived here for 12 years and did not like the way the Democrats highlighted "life long resident" or a family name as a reason to vote for someone. They had an arrogant attitude that suggested if you were not born here, or you did not have the right name, you were somehow not entitled to hold
elected office or have a say in how the Town is run. Well, most of us were not born here and we don't care what your father and grandfather did but we pay taxes just like you. We only care about what you will do. I am glad East Haddam Voters saw through this elitest attitude.
Onlooker

United States

#3 Nov 9, 2007
Iím glad to see a change and hope Mr. Walter has a good term. My fear is that the town has put so many Democrats over the last 30 years into prominent government positions that they will make Mark's term extremely difficult to accomplish his daily tasks. I hope I'm wrong.
jennifer felciano

United States

#4 Nov 9, 2007
Congrats mark!!!! I am thrilled for you. Now if you thought winning was hard you ain't seen nothing yet! Your work is cut out for you to say the least. It WAS time for a change here in Town and I for one am glad for it. Now remember that conversation we had a long while back????? Time to FIRE THAT BUMBLING MORON we call our Town Attorney!
Frmr Repub

AOL

#5 Nov 10, 2007
Congrats
During the Debate it was obvious that old beurocrats had more excuses for not doing things or procrastiating more than the proverbial "Carter had pills".
Parker's arrogance also showed while Mark came across as a man willing to work hard and try new things.
Now all we have to do is get rid of Deluca and Rell and it might be time to rejoin the GOP!
Badger

Bloomfield, CT

#6 Nov 12, 2007
Go Jenn! Good call, the Town of East Haddam does need a decent and competant Judge of Probate.
EastHaddamVoter

Old Lyme, CT

#7 Nov 12, 2007
Badger wrote:
Go Jenn! Good call, the Town of East Haddam does need a decent and competant Judge of Probate.
Is the Judge of Probate and the Town Atty. one in the same? Maybe I am wrong, but I thought John Bennett was the Town Atty. and the JOP was Paul Buhl. Am I wrong?
Frmr Repub

AOL

#8 Nov 13, 2007
Frmr Repub wrote:
Congrats
During the Debate it was obvious that old beurocrats had more excuses for not doing things or procrastiating more than the proverbial "Carter had pills".
Parker's arrogance also showed while Mark came across as a man willing to work hard and try new things.
Now all we have to do is get rid of Deluca and Rell and it might be time to rejoin the GOP!
Deluca finally gone!
Only Rell left to get rid of!
East Haddam Voter

Old Lyme, CT

#10 Nov 17, 2007
Watchful....how can you possibly think our Town Atty. has done a good job?? His advice and guidance have cost our town millions in various legal battles. However, you might have a point about the JOP. I have heard a lot of grumbling from the very clients he has served. I'd prefer he go away, but not into a telephone pole.
East Haddam Voter

Old Lyme, CT

#12 Nov 19, 2007
Watchful wrote:
I have alway had good solid dealings with John. His knowledge and demeanor have truly impressed me. I guess I don't know him that well if what you say is accurate. I apologize. Guess I have not been very watchful about this .
Glad you agree with me about the JOP. I am very tired of that guy. You're right, the telephone pole remark was uncalled for. Highway it is!
Hit the highway Paul.<quoted text>
I am glad to read you have an open mind regarding the Town Atty. While he may be a nice guy, he has screwed up so many times. The current land deal, the land deal at the high school etc...Did you know that according to the court decision two town officials lied under oath? I hope the first thing Mark Walter does is fire him. As for the JOP, I really am at a loss as to why he acts the way he does. How can people embrace someone as pompous, arrogant and bloated? Do you know when his seat is up? I hope both parties are looking for candidates.
Watchful

United States

#13 Nov 20, 2007
Thank you for this information. I hadn't heard about the lying under oath. I am curious as to who it was and will check this out. I am very distressed to hear about this. I am in complete agreement with you if all is accurate, he should be fired.

Buell has two more years as JOP. The Republicans should seriously think about endorsing him next time. He is an embarassment. They really should find someone else and hang that clown out to dry.
East Haddam Voter wrote:
<quoted text>
I am glad to read you have an open mind regarding the Town Atty. While he may be a nice guy, he has screwed up so many times. The current land deal, the land deal at the high school etc...Did you know that according to the court decision two town officials lied under oath? I hope the first thing Mark Walter does is fire him. As for the JOP, I really am at a loss as to why he acts the way he does. How can people embrace someone as pompous, arrogant and bloated? Do you know when his seat is up? I hope both parties are looking for candidates.
Badger

United States

#14 Nov 20, 2007
Brad had worked real hard bringing both parties together with the everyday operations of the Town. This will not be an issue.
Onlooker wrote:
Iím glad to see a change and hope Mr. Walter has a good term. My fear is that the town has put so many Democrats over the last 30 years into prominent government positions that they will make Mark's term extremely difficult to accomplish his daily tasks. I hope I'm wrong.

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