First Selectman Dr. David Bindelglass spent the past two weeks since the November election getting to know the inner workings of Town Hall.
Easton has no charter and no honeymoon period. Elected officials immediately take office as soon as they are sworn in. That meant the next day for Bingdelglass, a Democrat; Selectman Kristi Sogofsky, a Republican serving her first full term after filling a vacancy; and Selectman Robert Lessler, a Democrat who is starting his 11th term in office.
Former Republican First Selectman Adam Dunsby chose not to seek a fourth term. Republican Wendy Bowditch, former treasurer and Republican Town Committee chair, was nominated to replace him. Republican Dwight Senior ran as a petitioning candidate in a tight rate with a higher than usual turnout of voters.
Dunsby began his first-term with a pledge to work the part-time-paid first selectman’s job on a full-time basis. Bindelglass, an orthopedic surgeon, is working both jobs, like previous selectmen before him, including Republican William Kunpinse, who maintained his law practice as first selectman.
Bindelglass has experienced people in Town Hall and the Board of Selectmen to help him, especially Janet Haller, assistant to the first selectman, and Lessler, an attorney has served as a selectman for more than two decades.
Democratic first selectmen are rare in Easton history. Democratic majority boards of selectmen are even rarer. There was a one-term Democratic First Selectman in 1931, according to Lessler.
The next one was Fran Merilot in 1973, who served for one term. Next came Lois Stueck in 1981. All of them served with two Republican selectmen.
Stueck was re-elected in 1983, together with a Democratic selectman, thus forming the first Democratic Board of Selectmen in Easton history,
“In 2003, Emmett Wallace and I somehow managed to take both selectmen seats with Bill Kupinse as the Republican first selectman,” Lessler said. “It seems that David Bindelglass and I have created only the second Democratic Board of Selectmen with a Democratic first selectman! Emmett actually passed away in that horrible accident in December after we lost our majority in 2005.”