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Tetreau Wins Fairfield's 1st Selectman Race

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Michael Tetreau can now remove the word “interim” from his title. The Democratic candidate beat Republican Robert Bellitto, Jr. and Independent Hugh Dolan to win Fairfield’s First Selectman race Tuesday.

Tetreau earned 7,056 of the total votes cast in Fairfield, to Bellitto’s 5,341 and Dolan’s 878. Fellow Democrat Cristin McCarthy Vahey and Republican James Walsh will join him on the three-member Board of Selectmen , which manages the town’s executive branch.

Bellitto will continue to serve on Fairfield’s Board of Finance. His current term lasts through 2013. “I’m very proud of the race we ran,” Bellitto said Tuesday, thanking his family and his campaign staff. “We ran a positive campaign, and we stayed true to our values. I would not have changed a thing.”

Tetreau and Walsh were technically incumbents, but Tuesday marked the first time either was elected to the Board of Selectmen. Tetreau took over in June after the departure of former First Selectman Kenneth Flatto. Walsh was appointed in May 2010 to replace the late Selectman Ralph Bowley. McCarthy Vahey is a newcomer to the board. Most recently she served as the minority leader of the Representative Town Meeting .

“I’m ready to basically look at everything, from top to bottom,” McCarthy Vahey said. “I have some of my own priorities, but I’d also like to focus on some of the issues that I heard from taxpayers.”

Tetreau said that over the next four year he plans to focus on three main issues. Expanding tax relief and other services to Fairfield’s seniors, and working with the Board of Education to “provide quality education for our kids,” are both high on his list. But Tetreau said his first focus is keeping taxes down, and making sure Fairfield is an affordable place to live.

“This is a very tough economy. It’s not changing,” Tetreau said. “This is the new reality. This is the world we live in. We’ve got to make the appropriate changes to how we budget and how we spend our money to account for that.”

Walsh also mentioned maintaining low taxes as one of his priorities. But he also said he planned to focus on improving transparency in Fairfield’s government.

“I think that was lost a little bit over the last year and a half, with some of the things that came out about the Metro Center,” Walsh said. “I think we’ve got to do a lot so that the public can be on top of this, and active in the town government.”

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