HARTFORD — Elections in May marked a time of change in Hartford.
The town elected its first new mayor in 10 years. The former incumbent mayor, Sam Anderson, did not run for re-election, leaving voters to choose from a new set of candidates. Anderson had been in office since 2005.
Gordon Spencer won the election and began his term July 1. He was officially sworn in July 6. Spencer said he ran for office at the suggestion of the previous council because they felt he would be able to help complete upcoming projects in the town.
“I did a couple terms as mayor in the mid-1990s and the council that just went out asked me if I would do it because of the water project,” he said. “They needed someone good at writing and certain things for that, and one of my degrees is in language arts, so I thought about it and said I would run.”
Spencer says his first goal as mayor is to complete the water system project. He said the project will be a joint effort with the town of New Haven.
“Right now, our water project is very, very old and we have tremendous problems. We have constant leaks and breaks and we have homes that (must) have additional pumps. It’s a constant expense to keep the old lines fixed,” Spencer said. “For the new project, we’re teamed with the town of New Haven. The two of us together are doing a water project with one giant tank that will furnish everyone with water and no pumps needed to get them water pressure. It will be totally new lines which, in the long run, will give people dependable water.”
While the water project is the mayor’s main goal, Spencer also says he feels it is important to hear the needs of the residents of Hartford.
“What I liked to do when I was mayor before was have small-town government the way it used to be and should be, and I would just like for it to be where if someone has a problem they can say something to someone on the council or to me and we will take care of that problem without all the modern day maneuvers,” he said. “I would just rather have a friendly group of neighbors working for a common goal. What I like to do is take care of things right there on the spot and end of story. As long as we can deal with things that way, it makes government run a lot easier.”
Spencer said although it has been several years since the first time he was elected mayor, he has had no trouble adjusting in his first month back in office.
“It hasn’t been that big of a problem because I’ve still lived in the community the whole time, plus I was appointed to council to spearhead the water project, so it really hasn’t been that big of a transition,” he said. “The only thing is I get to fish a lot less than I did.”
Spencer said he is also glad to have his town council to help him adjust to the position.
“I have a fantastic council and that should make my job very easy,” he said.
At Monday night’s town council meeting, Spencer and the council voted to change the town council meetings to one meeting per month on the first Monday of every month. The next meeting will be 6 p.m. Aug. 3.