FAIRFIELD — The tension was palpable at Wednesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting as the fill pile issue took center stage yet again.

Discussion grew heated, with First Selectman Mike Tetreau at one point having to shut down personal criticisms from Selectmen Ed Bateson and Chris Tymniak of what they called a “lack of leadership” on Tetreau’s part. Tetreau said such criticisms violated Robert’s Rules of Order, which govern Fairfield’s parliamentary procedures.

Fairfield’s primer on Robert’s Rules states that it is “very important to never get personal in discussion, and that only the merits of the item be discussed, not the person who supports/opposes such item; if personal debates occur, the Chair can call the person out of order and ask them to remain quiet.”

Tetreau said the fill pile issue has been skewed on social media and other public forums by politicians who are taking advantage of the situation.

“Despite what some of my adversaries are trying to portray as a lack of leadership, I’ve taken the appropriate steps with each issue I’ve been presented,” he said. “It’s easy to criticize when you don’t have to make the decisions, but I’ve managed this issue during a campaign season where they may be some individuals politicizing this issue for personal gain and may not be interested in the actual facts.”

The Selectmen brought up Town Attorney Stanton Lesser, Police Chief Christopher Lyddy and Human Resources Emmet Hibson to question them about the investigation and how knowledge of it was disseminated.

This came in the wake of a similarly heated public forum the night before, where Tymniak came to the microphone to criticize Tetreau’s oversight.

“You’ve lost the trust of the residents of Fairfield,” Tymniak said.

rscharf@hearstmediact.com