August 5, 2009

Lawton submits mayoral petition papers

Independent mayoral hopeful Gary Lawton turned in petitions Wednesday with enough signatures to secure his place on the ballot, if the signatures prove valid.
Lawton said he collected 128 signatures – 13 more than he needed to meet the threshold set by the state for unaffiliated candidates.
“I just have to wait and see what they allow and don’t allow,” Lawton said.
Lawton, a 46-year-old welder, said he’s aiming to give voters the chance for “a total redo of what’s going on in the city.”
He said he was “generally well received” when he asked people to sign the petition papers so that he could take on incumbent Democratic Mayor Art Ward and Republican challenger John Gill.
Ward said that Lawton, who was known as Gary Graff in high school, has every right to run. “It’s the democratic process,” said the mayor, who’s meeting with Lawton Thursday morning.
Lawton said he is “not looking to bash” the mayor or anyone else during the campaign.
“Personal attacks are unnecessary, uncalled for and basically just trash,” Lawton said, adding that everyone deserves to have a personal life that’s off-limits.
Lawton said the race should focus “on what’s good for Bristol and what’s not good for Bristol.”
Lawton said he plans to call for the mayor and other top government leaders in Bristol, including school officials, to take voluntary wage reductions while the recession runs its course. He said they can slice their pay by 30 percent or more.
“We all have to give back,” Lawton said, and “share in the misery” that so many people are feeling as they watch their pay dwindle and jobs vanish.
He said he also plans to push for alternative power including perhaps “wind turbines on Chippens Hill or even maybe photovoltaic cells on the New Departure building.”
Mayors serve two-year terms for $100,000 annually. The election is November 3.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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inane said...

did lawton take a 30% pay cut? didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

Where did he come up with 30%?

This guy sounds like a ready shot aim type of person.

Anonymous said...


You ain't paying his salary, yet!

Anonymous said...

OK Gill, you can drop out now.

Anonymous said...

Why the change of name for this guy? (Graff to Lawton)

Liking Lawton said...

Pay cut for the mayor and no new schools?

I like this guy more and more.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Mr. Lawton but you are totally clueless if you think anyone is going to voluntarily take a 30% pay cut. Baseless statements like that are completely irrational. If this is your type of solution for improving Bristol then thank you very much for sharing how completely unqualified you are for the job of managing a city of 60,000 people.

Rip Van Lawton said...

wow, he really went all out - he actually collected 13 more signatures than he needed? - hope that he isn't so exhausted from the effort that he sleeps through the campaign.

Anonymous said...


You've got my vote!

I hate the new school project and I think we should cut their pay by 35%..

You're "hittin' on all cyliders" man

Gary Lawton said...

I would like to address inane 5:17pm,anonymous 7:22am and 10:17pm.
To inane , no i did not take a pay cut but of 30%, i did take one of 20% in the way of now i travel 1hr to work each way every day, also i said i would take ,if elected , a pay cut and ask the other city officials to do the same, me personally, no one else like i said we all are feeling the pinch and if I were lucky enough to get in office I would feel it is my duty to help in anyway i can in keepinig taxes down, maybe my cutting the salary would not help all that much but it certainly would not hurt it either.
To Anonymous10:17. the name change was out ofrespect for my stepfather, when i moved here from NY, my mother asked if we would enroll under his name so that if something happened at the school and he had to come and get us it would not be a real hassel to do if we had the same name, it was respect that i did it for, sorry if it was not for some super secret reason you were hoping for.
Finally anonymous 5:17pm, you are right I don't really expect anyone to do it voluntarily, thats why i said it , voluntarily, I feel as Mayor I should set an example to the citizens of Bristol and show that i am with them in these hard economic times. I f the other city officials don't want to fine they don' have to but if i were a private citizen and i saw my Mayor take a cut to help the city and other city officials don't, what would i think.Like i said it's voluntary i would do it to help any way i can, i can only ask others to do the same not force them and you are right you may not get very high caliber prospects then agian maybe you would you don't know.
Anonymous 6:10pm,30%, just picked it no real reasoning behind it i figure that the pay scale is good enough for me to live and provide for my family, if i remember correctly you dont enter politics to get rich.

Concerned Conservative said...

G. Lawton:

You don't need to take a pay-cut because you're not getting paid by the taxpayers.

But the mayor should. You are correct.

Good job.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lawton,
Many of the folks you suggest take a voluntary pay cut did not enter politics. They are paid professionals for the skills, talents and experience they bring to the table. I don't think it benefits Bristol to bring necessarily lower skilled talent in just to save a buck - in most cases that proves to be more costly in the long run. Have you done a salary study to determine what like positions pay in similar towns/cities? I am not suggesting that some alignment may or may not be necessary - but I recommend you do your homework before you make such broad statements.
As for community service - please list what boards, committees and community events you sponsored, organized, ran, participated in outside of coaching. How has your frequency at city meetings been and which ones have you attended?
Personally outside of having your own opinions, which we all have - just what makes you qualified to run this city? Working? Gee - most of us have done that? Were you a manager or supervisor? Did you lead others? What contributions to your company did you make? What cost reductions did you achieve?
Coaching? I appreciate that this is a great volunteer job and thank you for your efforts. One question, however - was your son/daughter in the league and would you have coached if they were not?
Outside of rhetoric - just what have you done that would make me support you?
BTW -- Mr. Gill, if you are reading this - I ask the same of you.
Please feel free to enlighten me.

Anonymous said...


The money has already been spent for the schools. They're being built no matter who is running the show - Ward, You, Gill, Stortz, Couture, or even Kosta (it's been a real, real long time since I've seen his name here!)

Additionally the mayor and council salaries are codified in our book of ordinances. To reduce them takes an act of council. You could collect your salary and then donate it back to the city as a gift I suppose - maybe you can get a park named after you then!

The way I see it, people are getting the ax- either city employees getting fired or city residents getting increased taxes - maybe a combination of both?

Anonymous said...

"The money has already been spent for the schools"

Are you kidding? No it hasn't!

Anonymous said...


Elected officials salaries are NOT in the Ordinances. They are set whenever the council wants to for the NEXT term, prior to that term.

They CANNOT be changed DURING a term for that term.

State statutes apply here.

Anonymous said...

Who is Gill and where is he???

Anonymous said...

August 6, 2009 1:27 PM:

Where in your simple little (or deceiving) mind do you find that "the money has already been spent on the schools"?

Have contractors been paid? Of course not. IT'S A LIE THAT THIS CAN'T BE STOPPED!

Odin said...

Sure, the two new K-8's could be stopped if Bristol wanted it - but the fact is, most Bristol residents accept the need for them. Proof: every member of the Board of Education supports the new schools, and every one of them won re-election. You need to accept reality and get on with your life.

Anonymous said...

Is Gill still running???

Anonymous said...

OMG...if Lawton gets voted in...the city will definately go down the drain...he is an arrogant fool, who thinks he knows it all, but in reality is a bag of hot air, who really knows very little. As for money, Ha Ha...that's all he's interested in...ask some people that know him personally... He is lazy and just complains and runs his mouth... That's about all he's good at. As for being responsible and handling finances..Ha Ha again...he can't even pay for his own mortgage. Ask all the boarders or a previous boarder who lived there at one point and had to have the police go with her to pick up her own things. Ya this guy can put on a good front, but he is worthless... After hearing so many different things about this man, I would do some more research before considering him to be any part of the city council, mayor, or any type of representative for the city of Bristol..we are trying to make it a better place, not run it into the ground...