Groton Town Council elects Bruce Flax as new town mayor

Groton — The Groton Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday to elect Republican Bruce Flax, a seven-year member of the council, as the new town mayor.

"I felt I was ready to lead for a couple of years," Flax said. "I've been watching and learning and wanted the opportunity to lead Groton." 

The experience of seeking the post and being chosen for it, "has been very humbling, and I take it very seriously," he added. 

Republicans seized back control of the Town Council on Nov. 3, winning eight of nine seats and ousting four incumbents.

Flax and Harry Watson, Dean Antipas and Deb Peruzzotti and were re-elected, along with newcomers Greg Grim, Diane Marley-Barber, Karen F. Morton and Bonnie Nault.

Councilor Joe de la Cruz was re-elected and won the sole Democratic seat. All were sworn in on Dec. 1.

Flax became active in Groton initially as president of the S.B. Butler Elementary School parent teacher organization.

He and his wife, Kathy, a math teacher in Ledyard, have five children; ages 18, 16, 14, 13 and 6, who now attend Southern Connecticut State University, Robert E. Fitch High School, Carl C. Cutler Middle School and S.B. Butler Elementary School.

Bruce Flax works full time as director of ticket operations and entertainment marketing for Foxwoods Resort Casino. 

He said his family and employer support his new role, though he may seek to have a deputy mayor fill in when he's unable to attend an event.

One of his goals is to see all councilors more visible in the community, he said.

For example, Grim, a former submarine commander, and Nault, a retired captain in the U.S. Navy, could participate in meetings for the yearlong Connecticut Submarine Century, which marks the 100th anniversary of the first submarines to arrive at Naval Submarine Base New London, Flax said.

Nault said Wednesday she plans to attend the 100-year celebration meeting on Friday as well as others, and also attends business- and chamber of commerce-related functions.

"I'm already very active in the community because of my business as a realtor," she said. "It's nice to be accessible to the people who have concerns in town."

"I want the councilors to be front and center in the town," Flax said. "I think it connects the citizens to the councilors and to the town government. I think it instills a pride and it instills a confidence."

Flax said he'd also like to establish a charter revision commission, which other councilors support, and "make sure the taxes in the town stay within reason." He defined that as an increase of no more than 2 to 3 percent.

"The town manager runs the day to day operations (of the town) and he reports to the nine councilors. I see my role as to be an effective leader, and to try to affect some change," he said.

d.straszheim@theday.com

Twitter: @DStraszheim

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