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Berlin election decided as no write-ins emerge

(Oct. 3, 2014) In a not-so-stunning turn of non-events, the write-in candidate deadline for Berlin Town Council passed Tuesday, without any new developments.

Three candidates filed for the three available seats on town council before the Tuesday, Sept. 9 ballot deadline, and all three remain officially unopposed.

Troy Purnell and Dean Burrell filed to keep their District 1 and District 4 seats, respectively, and businessman Thom Gulyas filed to take over the at-large seat vacated by retiring councilmember Paula Lynch.

Due to a rule change passed last year, the Town of Berlin will cancel the election and declare a winner if a candidate has no opposition. Those not registered to run by the ballot deadline may still run a write-in campaign, but must declare their intent to do so by a certain date in order for the election to not be cancelled.

With no write-in candidates coming forward as of Tuesday, Purnell, Burrell and Gulyas have essentially already been elected. Berlin will swear in candidates on Oct. 27.

“I’m excited,” Gulyas said. “The campaign actually went quite well. I had a lot of people say that they’re glad that I have taken the time to throw my hat in to serve the town. I’ve not seen anyone who said, ‘Geez, I can’t believe you’re running.’ I really haven’t. I actually talked to a couple of friend who had wanted to run, but decided against it once they saw that I had stepped up. They were glad that somebody stepped up and we’re going to continue with the really good work that this council has been doing all along.”

Gulyas unsuccessfully ran for Berlin council six years ago against District 2 Councilmember Lisa Hall.

“Obviously there was much less competition this time,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot more being in town longer.”

Although he moved his family inside the town limits in 2006, Gulyas’s business, ACE Printing and Mailing, has been a staple of Berlin for nearly three decades.

“I’m third generation Gulyas in Berlin,” he said. “I can remember going to vote as a business owner long before we moved back here.”

Asked about taking over for Lynch after 26 years of service, Gulyas said he hoped he could do her seat justice.

“I’ve talked to Paula privately and I’ve asked her, if I ever have any questions can I come see her? Just in Paula’s way she said, ‘well I don’t know what good I’ll be, but sure you can come down,’” Gulyas said.

“As I’ve said since the beginning, I’m not running on the pretext that I have all the answers and I know everything – by far I do not. But I do know where to go find them, and I think that’s more important.”

“I intent to sit down, do my homework, vet everything that I possibly can before a decision is made,” Gulyas continued. “I may not always be with the rest of the council – I don’t know, and I won’t know until that vote comes to fruition. But I will do my homework, and I’ll make sure that before I make a decision on anything that I’ve done the best I possibly can to ferret out all the information to make that decision. And that’s important.”

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