Democratic challengers Ann Speyer and Bobby Berriault are taking on incumbent Republicans Don Naples (R-4) and Robert Smedley (R-4) in the election for the two City Council seats representing New Britain’s Ward 4.
New Britain’s Ward 4 elects two members of the City Council. The ward includes Little Poland, the Belvedere neighborhood, the Little Warsaw neighborhood, the Stanley parks and golf course area and parts of the Farmingdale neighborhood. Voters in Ward 4, depending on where they live, vote at the St. John Paul II School at 221 Farmington Avenue, the Saint Francis Church Hall at 1755 Stanley Street or the Holmes School.
Berriault and Speyer, both on the slate of Democratic Mayoral candidate Merrill Gay, have both have been deeply involved in the local Democratic party and in the community.
Speyer has been a homeowner in Belvedere since 1978. She is married with two adult children. Holding a Masters degree in Music Education, she was a teacher in New Britain public schools for 22 years.
Speyer is widely known as advocate on education and other issues and as a community volunteer in many capacities. was a past member of the School Building Commission, is on Board of Trustees for New Britain Public Library as well as a member of Friends of the Library, has been a participant in Town and Gown meetings and serves as Secretary of the New Britain Democratic Town Committee.
“My priorities for New Britain are to grow the Grand List so that we have the funds to better support our schools and services while being able to provide tax relief to seniors and those who qualify,” said Speyer. “I am also committed to protecting our parklands and watershed. New Britain is my home and I would be honored to serve Ward 4 on the Common Council.”
Berriault is widely known for vigorous activism in the New Britain community and the state. He is active in Democratic Town Committee and served as President of Our Revolution Central CT Chapter, Vice President of Greater Hartford Young Democrats, and was a Field Organizer for the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns. His Bachelor’s degree is from Central Connecticut State University and is currently enrolled in Law School.
Berriault is campaigning on issues including a high quality public education, improving the city economic and creating good high quality jobs, opposing the sale of public lands, such as the Patton Brook Well, and opposing the plan to strip mine city watershed land. He says that he will advocate for equal opportunity and strengthening the city’s affirmative action plan. “We are a City for All people,” he said.
“I am deeply honored to be running to represent the great people in ward 4,” said Berriault. “If elected I will work hard to improve our schools, protecting the environment, and reduce our taxes in order to bring more businesses and more middle-class families into our city. I will work hard in the coming weeks with the goal of earning the support and trust of all voters, and if elected I pledge to be a tireless advocate for all the people!”
Ten of the fifteen members of the City Council are elected from five City Council “Wards”. Each Ward represents certain neighborhoods of the city. The voters in each Ward elect two Council members to represent them. In each Ward, each voter can vote for two candidates and the top two are elected.
Editor’s Note: City Republicans were asked for candidate profiles on their candidates and did not respond by the publication of this article.