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Bellitto Promises Honesty in Fairfield's Top Post

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Robert Bellitto Jr.’s campaign pitch is something of a paradox. The Republican candidate says that should he become Fairfield’s first selectman , he’ll periodically cold call residents to ask what they think of his performance. But at the same time, he said this week that when it’s time to make a decision, he wouldn’t always go with a popular one.

“I don’t look at politics as a career choice. For me, it’s a call to duty,” Bellitto says. “I’m not afraid to do what’s necessary to protect taxpayers and prepare Fairfield for prosperity in the future. I don’t care if I get re-elected. I’m only looking to do what’s right for the town.”

Bellitto, vice chair of the Board of Finance , was born and raised in Fairfield and graduated from both Fairfield Prep and Fairfield University . He and his wife Maureen have three children: one a graduate of Fairfield’s public schools, one a current student, and a third due to enter the system in a few years.

Since 1996, he has co-partnered a Black Rock Turnpike-based law firm with his father, Robert Bellitto Sr. The younger Bellitto says his experience as an attorney would help him with the upcoming rounds of contract negotiations with town employee unions. He believes asking those unions for sacrifices is the only way to significantly trim the town’s spending and lower taxes — and he feels he can persuade the unions to accept compromises to ease the taxpayers’ burden.

“I think that people in this town are aware of what’s going on in the economy, and they’re not stupid,” Bellitto says. “I think if they’re just spoken to in a frank manner, and treated with respect and civility, then you can come to an agreement on things.”

Bellitto says he would work with the unions, other town bodies and Fairfield’s residents through honest communication. “You may not always agree with me,” he says. “But you’ll always know where I stand.”

Keeping Fairfield affordable is the issue Bellitto says he would most want to focus on if he took over Fairfield’s government on Nov. 8. He would do this by shifting the tax burden away from homeowners and by attracting more businesses to Fairfield.

His idea is to create designated commercial areas with a simpler zoning process, which would make it easier for large companies and small shops to get started. He also wants to update Fairfield’s master plan to set a clearer picture of the town’s future.

“Long after this election’s over, I’m still going to be here, and I’m going to have to answer for what I’ve done, and for what I didn’t do,” Bellitto says. "I want to be able to tell people, including my children some day, that I made the decisions I did for their best interest, not because it was politically expedient or popular at the time. ”

In case you missed it, check out our interview with Bellitto’s Democratic opponent, Michael Tetreau . And to find our five questions with Independent candidate Hugh Dolan, click here .

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