Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Steady as you go...

Sitting in the conferencre room at Preston Town Hall, one cannot escaqpe the thud and vibrations coming every 20 seconds or so as the metal door to the basement slams. There are no lines extending out the dorway this year like there were a year ago, but a fairly steady stream of voters nonetheless. At 8:30, 183 voters had caqst ballots.

"We're not going to break any records," election official Merrill Gerber told me.

But then again, Preston voters have become accustomesd to referendums, probably having participated in more over the past three years then voters in any of the other surrounding towns. And that's because of the Norwich State Hospital property -- the single issue in this year's municipal election.

In my opinion, Preston is probably the most exciting of all of today's elections.

"I would tend to agree with you on that," Parke Spicer Sr. told me as I stopped and talked with him after breakfast this morning at Parke's Place. Parke's son, Parke Jr. now runs the diner. The elder Parke, a former first selectman in Pfreston, is now the registrar of voters.

The Preston election for first selectman this year centers solely on the issue of developing the hospital property. Republican incumbent Robert Congdon and his Democratic challenger Tim Bowles have very different ideas of how the property should be developed...and today's vote could be an "unofficial" on ideas as much as it is a vote for the individual -- which is not bad at all.

And the slamming of the metal door suggests voters might agree with that.


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