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Big stories of 2009: New London City Council

Published December 25. 2009 4:00AM

It didn't seem likely a year ago that Democrats would lose their majority on the New London City Council.

The Democratic machine, firmly in place for decades, had a rising young star with broad appeal in Councilor Michael Buscetto III, and a majority on the council to carry out an agenda of growth and change while curbing municipal spending.

But during 2009, Buscetto was at the center of several controversies, including a contentious campaign for a new police chief, a battle over the next city manager and an ugly campaign spat between him and then-Mayor Wade A. Hyslop.

So on Nov. 3 voters expressed their concerns and elected three Republicans and a Green Party candidate who was endorsed by the Republicans. They returned Democrats Buscetto and Hyslop to the council by the slimmest of margins and elected newcomer Michael Passero. They failed to return two incumbent Democrats. Republicans Rob Pero and Adam Sprecace were the highest voter-getters.

It was the first time in 20 years the Democrats lost a majority on the City Council. The Republicans, with the help of the Green Party, took control.

Pero, an eight-term incumbent, was elected mayor by his fellow councilors.

- Kathleen Edgecomb

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