By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
BEACON FALLS — Peter Betkoski wants to bring “neighborly love” back to Beacon Falls.
Betkoski, 60, received the support of the Beacon Falls Democratic Town Committee at a July 22 caucus to run for first selectman.
“It’s an honor to take this commitment to run for first selectman,” said Betkoski, who is chairman of the committee.
Betkoski owns Betkoski Bros., LLC, a paving company in town. He served six consecutive years as a selectman before not running for reelection in 2019. He also served 10 years on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Selectman Christopher Bielik nominated Betkoski in an emotional speech. Bielik and Betkoski served together for six years when Bielik was first selectman.
Bielik said Betkoski “busted his butt” and nobody in town cares more about Beacon Falls.
“The bottom line is we can be proud to have someone like Pete be our nominee for first selectman,” Bielik said.
Betkoski will challenge First Selectman Gerard Smith, who is unaffiliated. Betkoski said it wasn’t an easy decision to run and he talked about it at length with his family.
“It’s about family and Beacon Falls, and that’s what I want to bring back — neighborly love,” he said.
The committee did not endorse a selectman candidate to run alongside Betkoski.
Bielik is not running for reelection. Bielik has served the last 10 years on the Board of Selectmen, including six as first selectman. He said it’s time for someone else to have an opportunity.
“I think it’s time for somebody else to be the voice from our side,” Bielik said. “I think the town knows where I stand on a lot of things, and I’m OK with giving something else a chance.”
The committee endorsed incumbent Erik Dey and newcomer Dale Bodyk for the Region 16 Board of Education. The school board oversees public schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect. Each town has four seats on the board. This year, two seats are up for election in each town.
Board of Finance member James Carroll received the endorsement to run for reelection. The committee endorsed Sheryl Feducia for treasurer and Cody Muth for Board of Assessment Appeals.
The committee endorsed Kevin McDuffie and Bill Giglio for Zoning Board of Appeals, and Eva Newall and Marion Lennon Zollo for Library Board of Trustees.