Democratic Town Committee Vice Chairman Scott Nolan told the Journal Inquirer the committee was under the impression that Whitten’s term had expired Dec. 8, 2021. He had been appointed when Stephen Brown resigned from the Board on Aug. 8, 2017.
Members also take issue with Whitten remaining as an alternate member of the Board of Finance after a June 2021 incident when he had a heated dispute with board member Lori Quagliaroli during a meeting and then appeared to have made a threatening gesture toward an audience member, Nolan said.
The dispute, Boucher said, is that the Democratic Town Committee is saying it’s a term for Whitten. “It’s not a term,” he said. “It’s an appointment by the board to hold office for a period of six years.”
Board of Finance Chairman Norman Boucher said Whitten was already appointed as an alternate so it wasn’t necessary to discuss another candidate at the recent meeting. He referred to the town charter, saying a section of it states an alternate can be appointed by the Board of Finance to hold office for a period of six years.
At issue is whether Mark Whitten Sr., who holds the seat, or Jacob LaValley, the committee’s recommended candidate, will serve as the Democratic alternate on the board.
The committee questions why its recommendation of LaValley was not considered Tuesday night, Nolan said.
Boucher said he is waiting to hear the opinion of Carl Landolina on whether Whitten’s appointment has expired.
At its Tuesday meeting, the Board of Finance appointed Lacinda VanGieson to fill a Republican seat left vacant by Paul Riedi, who is resigning. VanGieson, who was serving as an alternate, resigned from that position, which was filled when the Board appointed newcomer Nicole Tomasik.
For more coverage of Somers and Ellington, follow Susan Danseyar on Twitter: @susandanseyar, Facebook: Susan Danseyar, reporter.