Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz performed the official swearing-in ceremony for newly elected Bethel officials last night. The oath of office was also administered to First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker by Bysiewicz. His running mate, Selectman Rich Straiton, and Republican Brian Terzian make up the 3-member Board of Selectmen.
Following his election last month, Terzian resigned from the Board of Finance creating a vacancy. The Bethel Republican Town Committee recommended former state Representative Dan Carter fill the role. Another resident, Nick Hoffman, approached the Board of Selectmen to be appointed to the role. The former Board of Education member was unaffiliated until last month, but registered as a Republican with the Town Clerk on November 9th.
Knickerbocker recommended that Hoffman be appointed to fill the vacancy, which prompted a strong negative reaction from outgoing GOP Selectman Paul Szatkowski, the newly elected Town Treasurer.
Knickerbocker says Carter is highly qualified, is highly respected and served admirably. But he says Hoffman has more experience with town government having also served on two Charter Revision Commissions, including once as chairman. Hoffman holds a Masters degree in public administration and has extensive experience in public sector budgeting.
The Board of Selectmen voted 2 to 1 to appoint Hoffman to the vacancy on the Board of Finance.