RTM moderator will likely succeed Bowley on Board of Selectmen

The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) moderator, Jim Walsh, R-1, appears likely to replace the recently deceased Ralph Bowley as the third member of the town's Board of Selectmen.

Bowley, who died of cancer on April 10, said before his passing that he wanted Walsh to fill his post, according to James Baldwin, chairman of the Republican Town Committee (RTC).

"I think that weighs heavily on everyone's mind when considering who would be appropriate to fill his seat," Baldwin said on Tuesday. "And no one but [Walsh] has, to my knowledge, thrown their hat in the proverbial ring."

If he were to take the spot, Walsh would have to give up his role as moderator of the RTM.

The town charter also stipulates that the vacancy must be filled within 30 days. As the RTC next meets on May 4, it's likely that members will vote that night on who to recommend to the Board of Selectmen to fill Bowley's spot. First Selectman Ken Flatto and Selectman Sherri Steeneck, both Democrats, make up the rest of the board. They will either confirm or reject the Republicans' recommendation, though Flatto has said that they intend to grant approval.

"I'd like to honor the consensus of the Republican Party," he said on Monday, adding that, unless someone overly partisan is recommended, he and Steeneck have agreed to affirm the RTC's pick.

On Thursday, RTC leaders from the town's 10 districts will hold an executive meeting and decide whether the recommendation process will go before the entire RTC for a vote. Baldwin said that he expects it will.

Attempts to reach Walsh before press time were unsuccessful.