Waterford was voting Republican, especially for the Board of Education.
, Jessica McLaughlin and Chairman Donald Blevins, while all four Republicans, two of whom were newcomers, won. Going into the election, the Democrats had a 5-4 advantage on the board, now the Republicans hold a 6-3 advantage.
“I think the Republicans did well because they ran a very successful campaign, and you have to give them credit,” said Sheri Cote, the sole Democrat to win a spot Tuesday. “Luckily for the Board of Education, we don’t play politics, and we will be able to move the district forward."
Blevins has been on the Board of Education for 12 years, and involved in Waterford politics for 22 years. Blevins said he was “disappointed,” and said it was likely he would not run again any time soon.
“Maybe it was time to step aside,” he said. “I don’t think (I’ll run again in 2013), I had to think fairly hard if I wanted to run this time.”
, when he was the sole Board of Education member to vote against cutting $5,000 for conferences for Board of Education members. Other board members argued it was wrong to keep the money for conferences as programs and teachers were cut, but Blevins argued it was a necessity.
“I understand it is a symbolic gesture and we all to have to tighten our belts,” said Blevins, who said he would not change his vote. “But if we didn’t try to educate ourselves and keep abreast of developments in the field, we would be negligent.”
Blevins said he would continue to work with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, of which he currently chairman. He said he would continue to follow the Board of Education.
Over the past couple of weeks, board members Kathleen McCarty and Jody Nazarchyk, both endorsed by the Republicans, said repeatedly they want to to save programs like freshman sports. With a Republican-controlled Board of Education, that becomes more likely, McCarty said.
“I think that is where we are headed,” she said election night.
In March of 2010, Lee Goss and Barbara LaFever asked the Board of Education’s policy committee to change the rules to allow corporate sponsorships. Blevins opposed those changes, according to meeting minutes.
With Blevins gone, Goss is confident the policy can be changed, and corporate sponsorships allowed. Goss is even more confident he can get the money necessary to fund freshman sports,
“I guarantee I can get (enough money), you can write that,” Goss said. “With my eyes closed.”
Goss said he had enough money to fund freshman sports in 2010. However, Blevins, Cote and then-superintendent Randall Collins, when asked Wednesday, all said it was less money than needed.
Cote also worried about sponsorships coming and going. Businesses are looking for savings every year, and while they may donate once, it might not be every year, she said.
“What if we get the money to fund freshman sports this year, and then don’t get it next, are we going to cut freshman sports again?” Cote said. “We don’t want to be a yo-yo.”