Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Former school board chairwoman announces mayoral bid

By Max Bakke
Journal Inquirer
Published: Thursday, June 25, 2009 11:59 AM EDT

VERNON — Democrat Michele Arn called for an end to the discord that has dominated local politics recently and said she could usher in a new era of civility, as the former school board chairwoman announced her candidacy for mayor Wednesday before the Democratic Town Committee.

Arn, who served on the Board of Education from 1989 to 1999 and as its chairwoman from 1995 to 1997, did not cite specifics, but alluded to partisan rancor that has blocked the town from moving forward with common goals.

“A lack of civility impedes us from working towards a common goal,” said Arn, 56, a mother of three who manages a surgeon’s practice in Manchester. “I want to restore that civility and respect in local government.”

Local Democrats expect Arn will be fully endorsed, along with the rest of the party’s slate of candidates, during the party’s July 28 convention.

Democratic Town Chairman Tom DiDio said he expects Arn to be a hit with local residents, and praised her for what he called “a progressive vision for the future of Vernon.

“We’re very excited about Michele’s candidacy,” he said.

With municipal elections still more than four months away, and while more vigorous campaigning likely won’t gear up until the end of summer, DiDio said local Democrats hope to bring common sense solutions to town problems.

The town needs a comprehensive energy policy, DiDio said, that looks at all energy sources, and must follow the lead of other towns that have implemented basic things such as single-stream recycling.

“I know that Michele will get these things done,” he said.

Arn likely will face Republican Mayor Jason L. McCoy.

Republican Town Chairman Hal Cummings said this week there are indications McCoy will seek another term. The party also will unveil its slate of candidates July 28.

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