Voters say things are going well in Avon
Avon Town Council
Megan Burch: 605
Sarah Smith Hymes: 565
Matt Gennett: 544
Scott Prince: 471
Charlie Wolf: 347
Angelo Loria: 344
Peter Buckley: 300
Tab Bonidy: 292
Thomas Beaver: 288
John Minervini: 248
AVON — Voters sent a message to officials and staff on Tuesday: They approve of the way things are going in town.
Garnering the majority of votes in the Town Council election, according to early reporting Tuesday, were three of the most outspoken proponents of the current Town Council — Megan Burch, Sarah Smith Hymes and Scott Prince — along with the lone incumbent in the election, Matt Gennett.
As of press time, Burch was leading the group of 10 candidates with 584 votes. She said she thought voters were supportive of a positive message in town.
“Things aren’t going super awry in Avon,” she said. “I think a lot of my competition was focused on a negative message.”
As voters filled out their ballots over the weekend, a petition for referendum condemning a decision made by the current council was circulating. Candidate John Minervini is credited with the idea to start the petition, which asks voters if purchasing and remodeling The Skier Building at 140 Mikaela Way using millions of dollars in certificate of participation bonds should be put to a public vote. Early results showed Minervini generating the fewest number of votes of the 10 candidates at 228.
Wildwood Road resident Jamie Fisher, who turned in her ballot on Tuesday, said she was more motivated by the candidates she didn’t want in office than the ones for which she voted.
“I voted for people that are going to continue the progress we have going in town,” she said.
While Gennett hasn’t been supportive of many issues passed by the current council, voters said they appreciate his thoughtful approach to those issues.
Sunridge resident Melissa Waechter said Gennett was her top candidate in the election.
“I’ve been watching (Gennett) at the council meetings, he defends his position well without being combative,” Waechter said. “He doesn’t seem to be partisan, and I agree with a lot of his opinions.”
Gennett also ran for council in 2012 and was narrowly defeated. When council member Todd Goulding stepped down in May, the remaining members appointed Gennett. It would be one of the few big decisions on which he would agree with their judgment. Gennett voted against the controversial Pavilion project, predicting it would go over budget, and he also cast the lone “nay” vote in the recent decision to purchase and remodel The Skier Building.
“It probably helped quite a bit to be an incumbent,” he said Tuesday. “Overall I had positive backing.”
Gennett and Burch both agreed that they’re looking forward to the furor over the Nottingham Park Pavilion dying down now that the project is approaching completion.
Burch said in looking forward, her main goal will be to engage “the whole” community.
“There’s a large population that doesn’t feel represented here,” she said, in reference to the estimated 50 percent Hispanic population in Avon. “I want to start looking at ways to engage that community.”
Gennett said he’s excited about being able to put his many years of planning experience working for local municipalities to work in Avon.
“Now that we’ve kind of moved on from the big-ticket items, we can look at the core of the town, what I call the meat-and-potatoes planning issues,” he said. “Services, seeing what’s working and what isn’t, tying the Village at Avon into the core and making it one cohesive town.”