Bielik wins first selectman race

Beacon Falls Democratic Selectman Peter Betkoski, left, and Democratic First Selectman Christopher Bielik celebrate after winning re-election on Tuesday. –LUKE MARSHALL

(Full Beacon Falls election results)

BEACON FALLS — Voters backed Democratic First Selectman Christopher Bielik for a third term in office.

Bielik defeated Republican challenger Ken George, 894 votes to 700, on Tuesday, according to unofficial numbers. Roughly 37.2 percent of voters turned out to the polls.

“I am pleased that the town believes that the direction we have chartered for the last four years is a good one. I am looking forward to continuing with the programs we have in place already,” Bielik said.

Bielik said he is going to keep his “open door” policy to hear ideas from residents.

“I am always looking for new ideas. God knows I don’t have them all. Over the next two years, anything we can do to improve upon anything we can do already, I am down with it. So for four years my door has been open for Town Hall and that will not change,” Bielik said.

George, a political newcomer who never ran for office before, said he’s pleased with the effort he put forward.

“I ran a clean campaign. I did what I did. I kept them on their toes,” George said.

The makeup of the Board of Selectmen will remain the same. Selectman Peter Betkoski, a Democrat, and Selectman Michael Krenesky, a Republican, were re-elected to the board.

“I am very happy that the voters feel I have done the job that allows them to vote me back into office again,” Krenesky said. “Now it is rebuilding the Board of Selectmen team, who we have sort of split apart based on this whole election cycle. We need to rebuild that level of, I don’t know if trust is the right word, but working together. We have to do this. The people in Beacon Falls have spoken, and now it up to us to do what is right for the town.”

Republican Christine Arnold was re-elected to the Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect. Arnold will be joined by school board newcomer Democrat James Huk. Huk and Arnold received 936 and 889 votes respectively to earn seats over Democrat Eric Dey, who received 813 votes.

Huk previously served as the chairman of the Board of Finance and believes his background will be beneficial to the board.

Beacon Falls Republican First Selectman candidate Ken George campaigns in front of Laurel Ledge Elementary School Tuesday. –LUKE MARSHALL

“Having people bring their own personal experience matters. I think now, especially with what is going on at the state, having a financial background has to be a help,” Huk said. “I think the balance is making sure that we meet the needs of the kids while also being fiscally responsible. I know we can do it.”

Democratic incumbent Town Treasurer Wendy Rodorigo defeated Republican challenger Doug Bousquet.

Republican incumbent Town Clerk Len Greene and Democratic incumbent Tax Collector Mary Anne Holloway were both unopposed and will return to their respective positions.

Stacey Betkoski and Donna Taylor, both Democrats, won seats on the Library Board of Trustees.

Democrat Sheryl Feducia won a seat on the Board of Assessment Appeals, defeating Republican David Dlugos.

The Board of Finance will see the return of Democratic incumbent Thomas Pratt and Republican incumbent Marc Bronn.

Republican incumbents William Mis and Benjamin Smith and Democratic newcomer Brian Horgan won seats on the Zoning Board of Appeals.