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Kepple appointed to Stonington Board of Selectmen

Stonington — The Board of Selectmen on Wednesday appointed Democrat Jocelyn Kepple to fill the vacancy on the board and voted to restart the work of the Permanent Committee to Study the Needs and Uses of Town Public Buildings.

First Selectman Rob Simmons and Selectman John Prue, both Republicans, voted to appoint Kepple, a Democrat, to fill the remaining term of state Rep. Kate Rotella, D-Mystic, who resigned this month.

The board also continued to fine-tune a proposed ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags and straws, with plans to hold a public meeting on the final draft of the ordinance next month before submitting it to a town meeting vote. On Wednesday they discussed several draft revisions with Town Attorney Jeff Londregan.

The Democratic Town Committee had recommended that Kepple, a Mystic Middle School teacher whose father, Nick, once served as first selectman, fill out Rotella’s term, which expires Nov. 19. Kepple has said she only plans to serve out Rotella’s term and does not intend to run for the position in November.

Prue called Kepple “an excellent choice” to fill out the remainder of Rotella’s term.

The Permanent Committee to Study the Needs and Uses of Town Public Buildings was formed in 2006, after a small group of residents successfully opposed a state-funded expansion of Town Hall. The committee began looking at the needs of town buildings but never produced any reports or recommendations and has been inactive for the past nine years.

With the closing of the School Administration Building in Old Mystic and West Broad Street School, the town now will have to decide what to do with the buildings, which is why the seven-member committee is being asked to begin work again.

The Board of Selectmen is seeking residents who wish to serve on the committee. At their next meeting, selectmen said they will discuss defining the scope of the committee’s work.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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