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Thursday, September 18, 2014

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DTC endorses new faces for Board of Education

Updated 12:35 pm, Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • Mike Burke is one of the two endorsed Democratic candidates for the Board of Education. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / Darien News Contributed
    Mike Burke is one of the two endorsed Democratic candidates for the Board of Education. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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The Darien Democratic Town Committee unanimously endorsed Tony Imbimbo and Mike Burke on Tuesday for the Board of Education in the November election, as Vice Chairman Heather Shea is not seeking re-election.

Shea, who has served for 12 years, "certainly served the town well in her extensive time on the Board of Education," DTC chairman Randy Klein said. "We want to thank her for that and hope that she continues to stay involved."

Shea could not be reached for comment.

In an email, Imbimbo said, "I consider it a tremendous responsibility and an exciting opportunity to serve on the Board of Education at this time. In recent months, the board and the administration have made great strides in addressing many key challenges, and that shows great promise for the future. I look forward to working with the board to keep the progress going, while striving to ensure that the Darien school district continues to meet the highest standards."

Imbimbo is the founder of Broken Window Books, which has published books and magazine articles on sports, music, history, science, religion, current events and specialized topics, according to its website.

"Tony has been involved in educational publishing, so he really brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to the board," Klein said.

The town benefits by having lawyers like Burke serve on town boards, as evidenced by former Selectman David Bayne's contributions, Klein said.

Burke is an attorney for Eckert Seamans in White Plains, N.Y., and serves on the Representative Town Meeting and the DTC. Imbimbo is also on the RTM. Both served on the education subcommittee.

Burke said he considered running for the Board of Education in the 2013 election as all of the special education concerns -- illegalities within the department that has cost nearly $1 million to remedy -- were brought to light.

"As I began to look at that situation I realized that the Board of Education is a lot more than this one albeit newsworthy and prevalent issue," said Burke, who has lived in Darien since 2008. "I became more interested in the goings on there and I thought to myself, coming from a background of a problem-solver and fact gatherer as a litigator, `Wow, this might be a great fit. I might be able to add real value to the board.'"

The term of office for the Board of Education seats is three years.

"It's always our desire to have contested elections because we want to give people a choice," Klein said.

The DTC also unanimously endorsed Kathy Hammell for another two-year term as registrar of voters.

"We certainly count on the support of the DTC members and the Darien Democratic family at large to become engaged and participate in the campaign in the fall," Klein said. "Not just the local candidates, but obviously we have an important state and congressional election, as well."

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews