Woodbury First Selectman William "Bill" Butterly has passed away. He suffered a heart attack early Saturday morning and died at the age of 75. He had just finished the first year of his third term as First Selectman.
Acting First Selectperson Barbara Perkinson says Butterly's legacy was to always put Woodbury first. She called him an advocate for the town and always wanted to solve problems, and if he couldn't, he'd pass them along to someone who could. He was remembered for his decades-long career of public service in Watertown and Woodbury.
Before winning the town’s top seat as a petitioning candidate in the 2013 election, Butterly was chairman of the Woodbury Board of Finance; a state representative for the 76th district; chairman of the Watertown Town Council; a Woodbury fire commissioner; a Watertown police commissioner; Woodbury deputy fire marshal and a member of Woodbury and Watertown fire departments. He was proud of the town acquiring the coveted former Aquarion reservoir property, renamed the Trolley Bed Preserve, with one of the state’s largest open space grants of $1.1 million.
A special meeting is being held today for the Board of Selectmen to seek legal advice for filling the position. State statute does not clearly outline what to do when an unaffiliated official passes away so the remaining board members, a Democrat and a Republican, are trying to figure out what party will fill the role--whether there will be two Democrats, two Republicans or an Independent.
Acting First Selectperson Barbara Perkinson, a Republican, is able to serve for 30 days.