A picture perfect July day was the backdrop for the Swearing-in Ceremony of Woodbridge’s new First Selectman Beth Heller and all incoming board members. Several hundred residents and state dignitaries, including Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman and State Senator George Logan attended the event at the town’s gazebo, which concluded with a reception down the road at the firehouse.
Attorney Gerald Weiner and the Reverend Shephard Parsons kicked off the ceremonies, with Weiner calling the event one of the happiest days of the year for Woodbridge. Rev. Parsons invoked a prayer to empower the new officials to “lead with compassion, truthfulness and dedication…defend the rights of children and the poor… purge corruption and let righteousness prevail”. Lieutenant Governor Wyman, in her signature sky-high platform shoes, took the podium and recounted her days in local government as the most refreshing and satisfying and also the most difficult. “You can’t go anywhere in town without someone telling you what they want,” she said.
Outgoing First Selectman Ellen Scalettar conducted the last official act of her term, welcoming her “good friend” Beth Heller to the post and thanking the assembled town residents and employees for their support throughout her term.
Taking the podium, newly elected Heller opened her speech by saying she is privileged to live in this “charming and bucolic town”. “Life is good,” she said. Heller vowed to operate an “open and transparent government that values civility and is inclusive of all its constituents”. She plans to build on her predecessor’s commitment to welcoming diversity in town, applauding volunteerism, valuing education, enriching library programs, protecting open space, supporting first responders and furthering ways to use clean energy. Expanding the commercial tax base, fiscal responsibility and supporting investment in town is also high on Heller’s agenda. “I am optimistic and committed that every vote and every voice is heard as we work together,” she said.
New board members and officials include:
Board of Selectmen: Mica Cardozo, Joseph Crisco Jr., Joseph Dey III, David Lober and Teri Schatz.
Woodbridge Board of Education: Steven Fleishman, Maegan Genovese, Nancy Yao Maasbach, Paul Testa, John Vultee.
Board of Assessment Appeals: Ann Rubin, Beth Walter.
Zoning Board of Appeals: Jeffrey Atwood, Aldon Hynes, Henry Nusbaum.
Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate: Yonatan Zamir.
Regional Board of Education: Robyn Berke, Patricia Cardozo.
By Laura Fantarella – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent