Tetreau, McCarthy Vahey win nod to lead Dems' ticket
Fairfield Democrats, as expected, have nominated interim First Selectman Michael Tetreau to run for the town's top elected office in his own right this November, with Representative Town Meeting member Cristin McCarthy Vahey as his running mate.
There were no other names placed in nomination for first selectman or selectman at the Democratic Town Committee special meeting Thursday night.
"Real leadership is about making a difference," said Tetreau, who until being appointed in June to fill the first selectman's seat was a Board of Finance member. The town's top job was left open when Kenneth Flatto, a fellow Democrat, stepped down to take the state post as director of special revenue.
"We're ready to lead, we're ready to build trust, we're ready to communicate and we're ready to make a difference," he told the town committee.
Tetreau said one of the first challenges he faced after taking over as first selectman -- his "interim" term runs through the November election -- was the Fairfield Metro Railroad Station project and cost overruns that could run between $2 million and $6 million. "That's the challenge I faced, and I gotta tell you, I'm loving every minute of it," he said.
Lawyer Joel Green placed Tetreau's name in nomination. "Fairfield needs Michael Tetreau now," he said. "He's the right person to guide Fairfield today, tomorrow and over the next four years." Tetreau, who works in real estate, has the experience the town needs and "cares deeply" about Fairfield, he said. "Michael Tetreau understands that Fairfield is one community," Green said, adding that it "needs someone who communicates openly and honestly with everyone."
McCarthy Vahey, the RTM minority leader, said the Democratic team is not only ready to take on today's challenges, but provide direction for the future. "We are the team who will lead the town in the years ahead," she said. "We're ready to ask the tough questions and do that work that needs to be done."
The Democrats did not nominate a candidate for town clerk, so Town Clerk Betsy Browne, a Republican, is likely to run unopposed in November.
"I think to some degree it points out that Betsy is well respected and that Betsy is someone who is perceived as doing a job and someone who has the best interests of the town at heart," Tetreau said.
There was a contest for the two Board of Finance slots on the Democratic ticket, with three candidates -- James Lee, Elaine Gaffney and Patrick McCabe -- vying for the nominations. After a paper ballot, Gaffney and McCabe got the nod from the town committee.