Formica to run for re-election as East Lyme first selectman

East Lyme — Paul Formica said Thursday he intends to seek a fourth term as the town’s first selectman.

“It’s been an incredible honor and privilege to serve in this capacity, and I’d like to continue to move the town forward in a bipartisan manner without focus on party, but with focus on process and people,” he announced at a news conference.

Formica ran unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for the congressional 2nd District against incumbent Joe Courtney in 2012.

If re-elected, Formica, first elected in 2007, said he would continue to work on the interconnection project to carry water between the town and New London, finish repairing the Niantic Bay Boardwalk and further revitalize downtown, among other endeavors.

The town is using a Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant awarded last year to improve lighting and sidewalks on parts of Route 161 for better access to downtown and is anticipating another STEAP grant for the boardwalk, he said.

He is encouraging continued work on the town’s 20/20 Facilities Committee, which studies improvements for future town buildings. He said he would work to ensure a decision on elementary school facilities that is mindful of the tax base and best for the community.

Formica said he is proud to be first selectman of the town where he raised his family and where this year he commemorated the 30th anniversary of Flanders Fish Market, the restaurant and retail store he owns.

Reflecting on recent accomplishments, including finding a permanent location for the Care & Share food pantry and acquiring the Samuel Smith House and Darrow Pond property, he praised East Lyme residents for a town where “everyone is pulling in the same direction.”

He said that with Board of Finance leadership, the town has had about a 1.2 percent annual tax increase over the last five years.

Formica, the chairman of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, supported continuing to work with the council to improve regional transportation and cooperation among towns and cities, especially in light of the proposed Coast Guard Museum in New London.

The town’s Democratic caucus will take place 7:30 p.m. July 18 at Town Hall, and the Republican caucus will meet at 7:30 p.m. July 22 at the senior center.

k.drelich@theday.com

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