Launch party hosted at Colony Grill, Malloy makes appearance
By Mike Lauterborn
(Posted to Fairfield.Patch.com 6/28)
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Fairfield, CT – The Dems packed ‘em in for pies and pop and to make a very special announcement.
Monday evening at Colony Grill, 1520 Post Road, Interim First Selectman Michael Tetreau and Representative Town Meeting Minority Leader Cristin McCarthy-Vahey formally announced their joint candidacy for the Board of Selectmen. Several town dignitaries and Governor Dannel Malloy attended the informal gathering.
Tetreau, a native Fairfielder, left town to attend Princeton University and to start his career, but returned in 1995. Since, he has served on the Town Planning & Zoning Commission, the RTM and Board of Finance. He was also a realtor with William Raveis before being sworn in as First Selectman June 9. Democrats Tetreau and McCarthy-Vahey will go up against Republicans David Becker, an RTM member, and Robert Bellitto Jr., a Board of Finance member, in the November election for First Selectman and Board of Selectmen.
McCarthy-Vahey, sharing pizza with her daughter Emma, 13, and Kylie Fawcett, 13, State Representative Kim Fawcett’s daughter, said, “I’m really excited. I love being able to get out and talk to folks. It helps you know what to do for the town by knowing what’s on people’s minds. This is an amazing community. Today, I was talking to a man in the military who had helped people fleeing Hungary. I was reminded of my neighbor across the street who fled Hungary with just the clothes on her back. This is a small town with amazing stories, and makes you realize how connected we all are.”
For Tetreau’s part, he was over the moon. “We’re pumped,” he said. “This is really a launch, a blastoff. I’ve had a chance to get to meet folks and have received a great welcome and support. When you think about the job, it’s one position in town with 35,000 bosses – friends, family, high school pals. You feel a greater responsibility knowing they’re counting on you. My alarm goes off at 6 a.m. but I have yet to be in bed for that. I’m excited to get to work. It’s Day 17. The first RTM meeting is tonight.”
About his running mate, Tetreau said, “Cristin’s phenomenal. She grows in front of my eyes. She cares about the community, and provides great balance. Cristin moved here 10 years ago and has kids in the school system. She’s stepped up in leadership positions. She’s not my running mate because we agree but because we have balance.”
With an eye to the town, Tetreau added, “We have new parents, seniors, empty nesters. The challenge is bringing the community back together. The Blessing of the Fleet in Southport is an event that pulls the town together and celebrates our heritage. Bonding different neighborhoods adds another dimension. Bonding with neighbors and different generations is what makes Fairfield special. You have to love all the kids activities, cultural diversity, vibrant downtown, senior center. You have to have a multi-generational approach to how the town is managed.”
Speaking about Gov. Malloy, Tetreau said, “Having a governor from Fairfield County is key and the Governor coming down here makes a statement that Fairfield hasn’t been forgotten. I’m thrilled he’s coming so we get a chance to talk. His brother ran a real estate office in town a number of years ago and I met the family then.”
The pair’s Communications Director Maureen Whiting said the duo is a dream team for Fairfield. “Mike brings 30 years of corporate experience and has served on many local boards,” she said. “Cristin adds a female perspective, is younger and they’ve worked together a lot. We’re entering a challenging period. Mike will be dealing with the budget and the opening of the new train station.”
Tony Jannotta, legal counsel for Gov. Malloy, was on hand with his father Al, and introduced the keynote representatives. “What a great turnout,” he said. “I think the last time we had this much excitement was when Tom Foley conceded the governor’s race.”
Echoing Whiting to a degree, Jannotta added, “These are difficult economic times and we have a job to do. Fairfield is a microcosm of Connecticut. We need people with experience like Mike and Cristin who can put us on the road to recovery. Gov. Malloy was the CEO of one of Connecticut’s largest municipalities. He has a record of incredible growth. It’s the same type of service Mike and Cristin have performed. They are willing to work on a grassroots level.”
Malloy told the packed house he was proud to be there to support the candidates. “They have great cross-section representation and a good track record,” he said. “This is the time to make sure Fairfield stays in local Democratic control. You’re doing a great job here. Stay the course, stay the great community you are. Fairfield has done an outstanding job, keep it up. You couldn’t have two better candidates. All you have to do is make sure they win come November.”
McCarthy-Vahey’s remarks were brief, unusual for a politician someone pointed out. “We’re here to meet, greet and eat,” she said. “We’re thrilled to have this support. Mike and I are ready to lead and are so thrilled to be here tonight.”
Tetreau, stepping up on a short stepstool that wobbled initially, joked, “This is kind of like balancing the budget.” Then, on a more serious note, Tetreau added, “We have to knock on every door, talk and listen to people. There’s nothing easy about what’s coming up. We have to take care of schools and seniors and see that everyone’s accounted for.”