As she starts her second term as Killingworth’s first selectman, Democrat Catherine Iino will do so with a Board of Selectmen that is now controlled by her party.
Iino was handily re-elected on Nov. 8 to another term. Also elected to the board was fellow Democrat Louis Annino Jr. This is Annino’s first term on the Board of Selectmen. He previously served on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Rounding out the three-member board from the election is Republican Fred Dudek, who was the highest vote-getter among all the candidates in last week’s municipal elections. Dudek garnered 1,231 votes, compared to Annino’s 1,125 and Iino’s 1,017.
Killingworth, like many small towns in Connecticut, separates their Board of Selectmen into elections for first selectman and the board.
Iino this year easily fended off three rivals for the first selectman’s job, in particular the candidate for the vocal group Better Choice, a political action committee that formed in the spring and which unsuccessfully waged primaries against both the Democrats and Republicans.
“They got trounced in the primaries,” Iino said.
The PAC also got trounced in the general election. The group’s first selectman candidate, Steve Hollander, got just 97 votes, the lowest of the four selectmen candidates by far and the lowest of any candidate on the entire ballot.
Iino overwhelmingly defeated the other two first selectman candidates as well. Republican William Romero got 649 votes and unaffiliated candidate Richard Pleines got 173.
Some of the newly elected and re-elected officials were night in ceremonies presided over by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman at Town Hall. All of them will officially take office on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
Despite her party taking control of the Board of Selectmen, Iino said party politics have never played much of a role here and won’t under her administration. Most of the time, she said, leaders in small towns like hers are just grateful for volunteers who serve on local boards and commissions, regardless of their party affiliation.
“We’re just happy to have the help,” she said.
In her next two years in office, Iino added, she wants to continue to work on moving the town forward as frugally as possible and she wants to continue building the town’s “social capital” by getting people involved in community events, such as last April’s Community Conversation on Education, and volunteer efforts, such as the group seeking funding for Parmelee Farm.