But before Kiley, 54, listened to questions and comments about the $3.95 million renovation of the Fern Street elementary school, the Republican was complimented by First Selectman Michael Tetreau and Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey, both Democrats, who voted to appoint him to the three-member board.
Vahey made the motion to add Kiley to the three-member board and Tetreau seconded the motion.
Vahey said Kiley had "certainly served with distinction" on the Board of Finance, of which he was a member from 1997 until Thursday. "I am thrilled and happy he is going to be joining us on the Board of Selectmen," she said.
Tetreau, who served on the finance panel before he was appointed first selectman last summer, said Kiley was an active and thorough member of that board and is "well versed" about the issues facing the town and how those issues affect the bigger picture. "I'm looking forward to serving with him on the Board of Selectmen," Tetreau said.
Former Selectman James Walsh, who served alongside Kiley on the Representative Town Meeting in the mid-1990s and whose seat on the Board of Selectmen was filled by Kiley, also offered kudos. "I could not think of anybody more prepared to take on the challenge of being on the Board of Selectmen than Kevin," Walsh said. He said Kiley "knows the town, knows the charter and knows budgets inside and out."
"I think he's going to fit well with you," Walsh said to Tetreau and Vahey.
Former Selectman Sherri Steeneck, who served with Kiley on the RTM, said Kiley has "always been a wonderful supporter of the town," always did his homework and "always loved the town."
Tetreau and Vahey then voted 2-0 to appoint Kiley to the board.
Moments later, Town Clerk Betsy Browne administered the oath of office to Kiley.
Kiley thanked fellow town officials for their compliments and singled out his wife and children for special thanks, saying he could not have served as a volunteer on the RTM and Board of Finance for a total of 19 years without sacrifices by his family. "It's important and I'm happy to do it, but I could not do it without them and their support," he said.
The Republican Town Committee earlier in the week had nominated Kiley to fill Walsh's seat on the Board of Selectmen. Walsh had abruptly stepped down two weeks earlier amid allegations he had a conflict of interest because he represented clients before land-use boards in Fairfield. The RTC, however, has nominated Walsh to take Kiley's seat on the Board of Finance.
Kiley didn't speak much during his first Board of Selectmen's meeting in Sullivan-Independence Hall. He asked a few questions of Richard Speciale, chairman of a building committee overseeing the renovation of Sherman School, and he seconded a few motions on other matters.
The only motion he made, though, at Tetreau's request, was to adjourn the meeting after 90 minutes.
The meeting, however, faced challenges getting called to order because of power problems in Sullivan-Independence Hall.
During the meeting, Town Health Director Sands Cleary had to bring a stand-alone air conditioner into the meeting room because the building's fire alarm was triggered about an hour beforehand and air conditioning in the building was knocked out. "This is our on-site air conditioner to help as best as we can," Tetreau said.
The first selectman said air conditioning in Sullivan-Independence Hall's first floor wasn't expected to be restored until Monday. Meanwhile, the building's parking lot was closed Thursday because of repaving.
The fire alarm had gone off about 3:30 p.m. while John Fallon, a land-use lawyer, was wrapping up a presentation to the town's Zoning Board of Appeals, and everyone in the building was evacuated. Fallon later joked that the board's chairman pulled the alarm to get him to stop talking.
Firefighters gave the OK to return about a half-hour before the selectmen's meeting began at 4:30 p.m.