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Montville Town Council elects Republican leadership for 2017-18 term

Montville — Newly elected Republican Town Council member Tom McNally, who served from 2012-2013 and was again elected last week, was chosen as chairman when the new council met for the first time Monday. 

The council's seven members, four returning members and three new ones, were sworn in at Monday's meeting by Town Clerk Lisa Terry. Republican Wills Pike, new to the council, will serve as vice chairman on a board controlled by a Republican majority for the first time in six years.

The council also unanimously appointed liaisons to 11 town commissions and boards, including a new liaison to the Commission on Aging, a position held for the past eight years by Democratic council member Billy Caron.

Director of Senior & Social Services Kathleen Doherty-Peck said Monday that Caron has been especially active as a representative to the commission and a near-constant presence at the town's senior center, and that people who frequent the senior center were upset by the news that Caron may lose his position. 

She said Caron had developed a relationship with many of the town's older residents that would be hard to replace.

"There's just a trust," she said.

The members of the Commission on Aging signed a letter to the council requesting that Caron be reappointed as the liaison to that commission.

"The elderly of the Town of Montville have benefitted significantly from his time, efforts, and contributions on their behalf," Doherty-Peck wrote in the letter. "He is supportive of senior issues and understanding of senior needs."

Instead, Republican Kathleen Pollard will serve as the liaison to the Commission on Aging while Caron will serve as the council's liaison to the Social Services department. He said he would remain active at the senior center.

"I'm not just a liaison there, I'm just a seniors' advocate," he said Monday. "Times are changed, so we'll work with it."

McNally, Pike and former Town Council chairman Joe Jaskiewicz serve on the council's Finance Committee, which reviews the mayor's town budget proposal each year before the full council votes on it. Jaskiewicz was absent from Monday's meeting.

Pike, a vocal critic of the town's education budgeting practices, will serve as the liaison to the Board of Education. 


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