I think I have neglected to mention that longtime Republican Registrar Ellie Klapatch is going to retire this year.
She's such an institution that it seems scarcely possible that she would move on, but that's what she's doing, years after she began talking about the possibility.
The GOP is backing Sharon Krawiecki, an assistant registrar who's gotten high marks, to take Klapatch's post.
The Democrats are once again supporting Bob Badal as their registrar.
I'll have a lot more to say about Klapatch's departure in the weeks ahead.
Here, though, is a story from July 2000 that provides a little bit about her background:
Klapatch says next term is last
The longest-serving elected official at City Hall -- Republican Registrar Ellie Klapatch -- plans to step down in two years from the post she has held since 1971.
"Time does fly by fast," Klapatch told local GOP leaders Monday after they unanimously endorsed her for what may prove the last time.
"If anybody deserves a vacation, it's this young lady," said former Mayor Stretch Norton, who has known Klapatch since their jitterbugging days at Lake Compounce.
In GOP circles, Klapatch serves as a sort of mother hen, the expert to rely on for information on
decades of city politics and arcane election rules.
She;s met every Republican president and presidential contender since Thomas Dewey in 1948 and is friends with governors, senators and scores of people across town.
Klapatch said she is determined to give up the registrar's job in 2002 so she can spend more
time with her family, including a son in Oregon.
She said, though, she'll keep up her politicking until she can't do it anymore.
"I could never stay home," Klapatch said.
The city has two full-time registrars, one from each party, who are elected every two years in what amounts to an uncontested election. The registrar's office's major job is to keep tabs on who is eligible to vote, about 30,000 people locally.
The city's first woman registrar, Klapatch shattered many of the traditional male bastions over the years.
In 1987, Klapatch was the first woman to run for mayor locally for a major party. She lost a three-way race.
She was also instrumental in bashing down the doors at the annual Crocodile Club dinner at Lake Compounce.
Klapatch and a small group of women marched into the formerly all-male dinner and sat down for a meal with the nation's oldest eating club. The sex barrier fell on the spot.
Norton said the GOP has "no harder worker" anywhere than Klapatch.
He said it's going to be "very hard to replace her" at City Hall when the time comes.
Klapatch said she's always tried to give everyone who walks into the registrar's office, of whatever political persuasion, the best service possible.
She said the toughest task in the next couple of years will be to revise local records to reflect whatever redistricting is dictated by the state in the wake of the new census.
"Redistricting will be a big challenge," said Klapatch, who has already dealt with it after the 1970, 1980 and 1990 censuses.
Much as she loves the work -- and the challenges -- she said she's about ready to have the chance to take summer vacations and spend her autumns outside the office for a change.
Klapatch said, though, she's not done yet.
"For the next two years, you know where you can find me," Klapatch said, in her familiar office on the first floor at City Hall, in a room decked with pictures of her standing with political bigshots and a bookshelf weighted down with all manner of Republican elephants.
When the time comes, she said, leaving won't be easy.
"I'll miss it. I really will," Klapatch said.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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