Kiley lauded by fellow officials at final selectmen’s meeting
Kiley lost the Republican nomination to seek re-election this year, but even though his name will not be on the Nov. 3 ballot, he promised, “I’m not going anywhere.”
With his wife, Erika, and sons Aidan and Arron in the audience at the selectmen’s Oct. 21 meeting, Kiley was lauded by his two fellow selectmen, both Democrats, and Board of Finance Chairman Thomas Flynn.
Before being appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of Selectmen, Kiley serve on the finance board and at one time was its chairman. He was a member of the Representative Town Meeting prior to that.
“Kevin is the embodiment of a public servant,” Flynn said. “In the 10 years we have worked closely together, speaking, if not daily, every other day. Our conversations were wide ranging, funny, sometimes ironic, policy wonky, and, always ended with us trying to work our way through what each of us though was the best for Fairfield.”
When Flynn became a member of the finance board, he recalled, Kiley was his “political older brother and sometime mentor.”
Kiley, he said, “led by his example, his humility, his good nature, his humor and his common sense.”
First Selectman Mike Tetreau and Selectman Sheila Marmion presented Kiley with a key to the town in recognition of his service.
Marmion, like Kiley appointed to a selectman’s seat, said it had been a privilege to work with him. “I respect his judgment and thoughtfulness,” she said. “I will be very sad to see him go.”
Asked by Marmion what he thought was the most important vote he took while serving on a town body — whether on the RTM, Board of Finance or Board of Selectmen — Kiley said it was the decision to add money to the Fairfield Woods Middle School project so an auditorium could be built and bring it to parity with the town’s two other middle schools.
“It was easy to say ‘no’ to spending money,” Kiley said, particularly since it was in the midst of the recession. “I know it was the right thing to do ... It made sense, even in that economy, to make that investment.”
“You were the architect of our senior tax relief,” Tetreau said, crediting Kiley for taking the lead to expand the program to benefit more of the town’s older residents, and making sure it is reviewed every two years by the RTM. “That’s your legacy,” Tetreau said, as well as Kiley’s strong support for the education system.
Because Kiley has always taken the time to listen before taking action, he added, “Fairfield is a better place today.”
“In the big picture, there are priorities you must have,” Kiley said, and his priorities were the schools, keeping Fairfield affordable and helping the town’s senior citizens.
“Our school system is the foundation of our town,” he said, and drives property values. Senior citizens, Kiley said have “always been near and dear to my heart,” and he was glad he was given the opportunity to upgrade the tax relief plan.
State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, who previously served as a selectman, said Kiley has been a role model for all of the town’s citizens.
For his part, Kiley also thanked his family. “They’ve sacrificed a lot,” he said while he devoted time to public service. “I love them for that.”