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Fairfield Board Of Selectmen Seek Town Attorney's Advice On Vacancy

The Fairfield Board of Selectmen vote to submit questions to the town attorney.
The Fairfield Board of Selectmen vote to submit questions to the town attorney. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Fairfield Board of Selectmen submitted six questions to the town attorney this week, in a effort to decide whether a special election is needed to replace former Republican Selectman Laurie McArdle.

McArdle resigned effective Dec. 1. The board voted to fill the vacancy with Ed Bateson, a Republican, in December. GOP leaders believe he can serve until the next general election in November, said Selectman Chris Tymniak, also a Republican.

“The town charter is very clear. The vacancy was filled Dec. 7,” Tymniak said.

However, Democratic leaders, including First Selectman Michael Tetreau, disagree. They have collected more than 3,200 signatures on a petition for a special election they would like held June 6.

Town Clerk Betsy Browne certified the signatures, but the Board of Selectmen did not vote to confirm a special election date.

Tetreau believes the board is violating the town charter in not scheduling the special election.

“The Board of Selectmen went far beyond its authority in making a decision that there was no need for a special election,” he said.

Board members hope Town Attorney Stanton Lesser, a Tetreau appointee, will add some clarity to the issue when he returns his answers to their questions on specific sections of the town charter.

They hope to hear from him at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.

“Everything that comes out of that is where we are today,” Tymniak said.

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