Former editor forms PAC to increase candidate choices in Granby municipal election
Sky-Hi Daily News
Former Sky-Hi News editor and publisher Patrick Brower has formed a political action committee in Granby to generate interest in the April 1 municipal election.
“This is my effort to encourage people to run for elected office,” Brower said, “to get issues out before the election rather than after.”
So far, his political action group is a committee of one.
The greater Granby citizen said he’s noticed others with local business interests recoil from being associated with the PAC for fear of future town-board retaliation.
Five Granby seats are up for election this spring, including the mayor and four trustees.
They are: Mayor Ted Wang, Trustee Charlie LaBrake (who fulfilled the term of former trustee Joe Cross), Trustee Deb Shaw, Trustee Kirk Arnold (recently appointed to the board after the resignation of Mark Bujanovich) and Trustee Robin Trainor.
Granby Town Hall reports that as many as nine potential candidates for trustee positions have picked up petitions at town hall as well as four petitions for the mayoral seat, including Ted Wang who has been in office four years and is seeking a second term.
Jynnifer Pierro, Joseph Fuqua and Kirk Arnold are his three potential mayoral challengers.
The only official candidate who has returned his petition thus far is Charles LeBrake, running for town trustee.
In the election, the three trustee candidates with the most votes will have four-year terms and the remaining candidate will have a two-year term.
The mayoral position is a four-year term.
Brower, who lives outside town limits so cannot run for office, said his interests lie in the fact that he’s been a Granby Agate Avenue business owner since Jan.1. He hopes his action committee can be a place where any non-incumbent candidate can find support.
“Their message can be anything they want,” he said, stressing that it is not his intent to influence platforms. He is available to help candidates “frame their message.”
“I’ve watched the town board many, many years,” said Brower, who covered Granby politics from the mid-1980s through last summer. “And in the last two years, I think the Granby town government has become dysfunctional.”
He highlighted the short-lived town manager positions, a perceived “anti-growth” bias on the part of the board that leads to tedious development processes and a government board that “has a hard time forging compromise with people who approach the board.”
Brower also noted incidents that point to a mayor who “antagonizes people for no reason,” as an example, the “needless debate that stemmed from the placement of a Masonic cornerstone at the new town hall last year.”
He’s filing the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State this week for his action committee and stresses that his committee should not be confused with a recall effort.
Recalls, by nature, reflect on the negative, he said.
It is his hope the Granby Political Action Committee, deemed non-partisan, facilitates “choice and an open discussion of town issues prior to the town election. It believes the best way to foster this is to encourage and foster competition for the seats on the Granby Board of Trustees and for Mayor,” according to the committee mission statement.
Nominating petitions for elected offices have been available at town hall since Feb. 11 and are due by Feb. 29.
” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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