Peg O’Donnell nominated to take open selectman spot

Margaret "Peg" O'Donnell

Margaret “Peg” O’Donnell

The Redding Democratic Town Committee voted Thursday, Nov. 17 to nominate Margaret ‘Peg’ O’Donnell to take over a selectman spot that will be vacated by Democrat Leon Karvelis on Nov. 30.

Her nomination will now go before the current Board of Selectman: First Selectman Julia Pemberton, a Democrat, and Selectman Michael Thompson, a Republican. If the DTC’s nomination is accepted by the Board of Selectman, O’Donnell would remain on the board until January, 2018.

According to Mark Lewis, chairman of the Redding DTC, someone could challenge the DTC’s nomination and force a special election by petition — but such an event is unlikely, given the short duration of the nominee’s potential term.

“If they got a certain number of signatures, they could force a special election, but it doesn’t make sense because [that person could] run for the spot next November,” Lewis said.

O’Donnell said Monday evening she was prepared to take on the nomination, and believes she has the municipal experience to be a valuable member of the Board of Selectmen.

“I’ve been involved in town government for more than 15 years,” she said by phone, “So I’ve got a pretty good handle on what goes on, and I think I could be useful.”

O’Donnell spent 14 years  as the town’s elected treasurer, and currently serves on the Board of Finance. She is a CPA who manages a private practice and is also involved at the Mark Twain Library.

The selectman she would be replacing, Karvelis, was well known for his background in municipal finance, and O’Donnell says she could continue to represent Redding in that mold.

She said she would be a good fit for the position “with my experience as treasurer and experience with the Board of Finance,” she said.

In the finance area, “Leon has been so great and his one biggest strength has always been the financial end, and think I can contribute on that same end,” she said.

In terms of the town’s priorities, she says she believes making Georgetown a more successful hamlet is on the top of the list, as is planning for future school enrollment.

If she were accepted into the position, O’Donnell said she thinks she would run for the spot again in late 2017.


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