Newly elected state Rep. Joe de la Cruz resigns from Groton Town Council

Groton — Joseph de la Cruz, who was elected Nov. 8 to the state representative seat in the 41st House District, said Tuesday he would resign his position on the Groton Town Council.

“It’s just too much to do both for sure,” he said. “And actually my mailbox is already filled up with groups wanting to meet with me. I want to get ready for the next job. I want to hit the ground running."

“I was also thinking about the person replacing me," he said. "I don’t want them to sit on the seat and get the budget book in their lap the second they’re there. I want them to be able to ease into it a little.”

The Groton Democratic Town Committee will nominate former Town Councilor Rich Moravsik to fill the seat, according to committee Chairman Conrad Heede.

Moravsik was one of four Democratic town councilors who lost seats in the 2015 election, when Republicans seized back control of the council by winning eight of nine seats.

"I know I'll be the lone Democrat on that team, but I still have things that I'd like to see done," Moravsik said. He said he wants to create a written agreement among the town, various fire departments, police department and Groton Ambulance Association Inc. regarding how they respond to emergencies. The agreement is required under state statute, he said.

Moravisk said he's also bothered by how the town allocates state pilot money for fire protection of state-owned property. The state gives the town about $1.1 million, but the town takes more than 50 percent, he said. "The state had been increasing that money, but the town hadn't been increasing it to the fire districts," he said.

As a former councilor, Moravsik served as chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee and was active in this role. In July 2015, he began investigating Groton Ambulance Association Inc. after hearing complaints it failed to staff ambulances.

The association later corrected its staffing issue, but the state Office of the Attorney General opened an inquiry into the use of charitable funds by the nonprofit association. The new association president has since been rebuilding the organization.

Moravsik also supported discussing whether the Poquonnock Bridge Fire District carries an unfair share of the cost of fire protection in Groton.

d.straszheim@theday.com

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