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Ledyard Town Council vacancy filled on second try

Ledyard — The Town Council is back at full strength again, after the panel Wednesday night approved the nomination of Hilary Evans to fill a vacancy.

Evans is the vice chairwoman of the Democratic Town Committee, and will fulfill the remaining months of Anthony Sabilia Jr.'s term. The Democrat stepped down from the council June 24, as he moved out of town due to business reasons.

Evans' appointment to the council follows Monday's approval by the DTC for her to be on the party's slate of Town Council hopefuls for the November election.

Evans, who turns 38 next month, serves as chairman of Ledyard's Conservation Commission and treasurer of the town's Housing Authority. She also serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission. She'll be stepping down from Planning and Zoning, and taking a leave of absence from the other two commissions, while she serves on the council and runs for election.

Her appointment to the council was approved by six of the eight councilors. Republican Andra Ingalls was absent, and Democrat Bill Saums abstained. There was no comment about her appointment during the meeting.

The council vote comes a little over a month after the panel rejected the DTC's first nominee for the vacancy. Nicole Cruz-Glacken failed to win support, as councilors said she had little experience in town government. Cruz-Glacken had criticized some members of the council for inadequately addressing racial issues in the town.

Speaking by phone after the meeting, Evans said it doesn't bother her that she was the DTC's second choice to fill the vacancy.

"Nicole and I are very good friends," she said. "I kind of expected what would happen (with the council vote on Cruz-Glacken's appointment). We both have supported each other through this."

Cruz-Glacken has joined Evans on the Democratic ballot for Town Council.

Evans said she will focus on issues she has dealt with in her committee work while she is on the council. "Land use, and planning, as well as conservation and affordable housing," she said.

Her appointment follows the approval of Republican Tim Ryan to the panel in May, replacing Tom Malone, who resigned.

In other action, the council Wednesday night approved additional funding for installation of air conditioning in the agricultural science classrooms at the high school. It also decided to have the town end its relationship with Webster Bank. Saums said the town had been using the bank for its armored car services, but decided to sever its ties because the bank had closed local branches. Dime Bank will now be used for all town banking.

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