Smith to run for first selectman in Beacon Falls

Former Beacon Falls Selectman Gerard Smith, left, and David D'Amico, a lifelong resident, announced last Saturday they will seek the Republican endorsement to run at the top of the GOP slate in the 2011 election. Smith, 49, said he will run as first selectman, with David D'Amico, 47, his running mate for selectman. RA ARCHIVE

BEACON FALLS — Former Selectman Gerard Smith wants to lead this town as its next first selectman.

Smith, 49, who has switched his party affiliation from unaffiliated to Republican, announced last Saturday morning at Volunteer Park he will seek the Republican nomination to run for the town’s top post in the November election.

Smith introduced a proposed Republican slate, with lifelong resident David D’Amico, 47, whose father, Leonard D’Amico, served as first selectman, as his running mate for selectman.

Serving the town for 22 years in both elected and appointed positions, Smith said every decision he has made has been based on what is best for the town.

“I have, on occasion, taken what I’ve known were unpopular positions, even playing the fall guy when necessary, simply to move the town forward,” Smith said. “Always a team player, frequently the team coach, I’ve been blind to party affiliation.”

He said he switched his party status because he believes Beacon Falls has a few serious issues that haven’t been addressed, and the town needs a vibrant two-party system to grow.

Smith most recently served on the Board of Finance before he resigned as its chairman earlier this year due to work obligations. He also served a term as selectman from 2005-07, and served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, which is by appointment, from 1988-98, eight of those years as chairman.

He said his proposed team has years of experience with a few political newcomers. Its slogan will be “Beacon Falls First.”

David D’Amico, who hasn’t held public office, but has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, said he is pleased to run for selectman.

“Let me assure you that I will work tirelessly for this campaign, for the entire ticket, so that we can share a great victory in November,” said D’Amico, who works in the paving industry.

Selectman Michael Krenesky will run on the slate as treasurer. He said he told the town committee his ability to serve would be based on his work schedule.

Last Friday, he accepted a new job and is no longer unemployed, he said.

It’s time for a change, and it’s time to put in an administration that is willing to work with the community, Krenesky said.

The Republican Town Committee will have its caucus July 20.

The following also are on the proposed slate: Ed Groth, tax collector; Jack Levine, Board of Finance; John Blesse and Charles Edwards, Board of Education; Douglas Bousquet and Joe Kemetz, Board of Zoning Appeals; Katheryn Brown, Board of Assessment Appeals; and Jenn Warren, library director.

First Selectman Susan Ann Cable declined to comment on her plans last Saturday, but said she will make an announcement July 22. The Democratic Town Committee will hold a caucus July 26.

Selectman Dominick S. Sorrentino, a Democrat who attended Smith’s announcement, said he wanted to see who the competition is, but will not seek reelection so he can spend more time with family.