Bielik to be her running mate
BEACON FALLS — First Selectman Susan Cable, a Democrat, announced her candidacy for an eighth term as first selectman by the Depot Street Bridge Friday morning.
Standing beside her on the swelteringly hot day, current Board of Finance Chair Chris Bielik announced his candidacy for selectman.
Along with her eight terms as first selectman, Cable was also the minority selectman for three terms.
“During those years I have worked tirelessly for the town and will continue to do so with fiscal responsibility and a vision for the future,” Cable said.
Even though the pace is not always as fast as Cable would like it to be, she said she will continue to move the town forward and provide services to its citizens.
Cable said Beacon Falls faces a lot of the same fiscal challenges as state and national governments. Despite the poor economy, Cable pointed out some of her recent accomplishments.
“Take a look around you my friends. Depot Street Bridge—over $3 million of grant money. That was a completed project,” Cable said.
Cable said she also secured nearly $1 million in grants for the streetscape project, which will create a greenway along the Naugatuck River from the Depot Street Bridge to Route 42, as part of a 2002 plan for downtown development. The walk is part of a long-range plan to build a greenway from Torrington to Shelton.
“Yeah, we have to put up with a little inconvenience, but when it’s beautifully done, the economic growth in this community will be phenomenal,” Cable said.
Bielik said the streetscape, which will connect communities along the Naugatuck River, is beneficial for everybody in the region. He said it would be irresponsible to back away from projects already underway.
“I plan to see these types of growth-type projects though to the future so we can make this town better than it is,” Bielik said.
Cable said she holds her running mate in high regard.
“Once again Chris is stepping up to the plate,” Cable said. “Chris and I have a shared vision.”
Bielik agreed that his vision and Cable’s vision are in sync.
Bielik recently assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Finance after former Chair Gerard Smith stepped down unexpectedly due to work obligations. Smith is now running for first selectman for the Republican party.
“Nobody was more surprised as I was when the chairman at the time decided to resign right at the time of the budget cycle,” Bielik said.
He said it was humbling to be voted chair, even though he was the most junior member of the finance board.
“I was glad to embrace the challenge, and I think that we achieved something positive in this past budget cycle,” Bielik said.
He said one of the main reasons he decided to run for selectman was because he wanted to be more involved in the town.
“I think that being selectman gives you a much broader range of opportunity than simply the Board of Finance aspect of it,” Bielik said.
Bielik said he moved to Beacon Falls seven years ago after leaving the U. S. Navy as a commander after 22 years.
“As a family we made a decision together to move to Beacon Falls because we thought that this town had everything that we were looking for—a nice, small tight community,” Bielik said.
This is Bielik’s first run for elected office after being appointed to the Board of Finance in September and serving on the Conservation Commission for two years.
While pledging to be fiscally responsible, Bielik said he would pursue growth in Beacon Falls.
“In a tough economic time like this is now, this is the time for growth. You can get deals that are out there now that will take you into the future, better at this time than at times of boom economies,” Bielik said.
He said now is the time to be smart and seize opportunities.
“I’m very proud of [Bielik],” said Sheryl Feducia, a member of the Board of Education, who was at the announcement Friday morning. “We served together in politics. We served together in church. And, he’s an honorable, amazing individual.”
Cable said current Democratic Selectman Dominic Sorrentino decided to take a break to spend more time with his family.
“The community will miss him,” Cable said.
Bielik said he would rely on Sorrentino’s council, even though he will no longer be in office.
“I plan on keeping him on speed-dial for a lot longer than he’d probably like,” Bielik said.
Cable dismissed rumors she said were already beginning to stir with the new election campaign.
“While many decisions I make are not popular, those decisions are based on the knowledge of facts and the impact those decision might have on the most amount of people,” Cable said.
She encouraged voters to come to her, Bielik, and Sorrentino to get the facts.
Democratic Town Committee Chair Kathy Grace said Cable is excellent at securing grants for the town.
“Susan just has a way of working with all the levels of bureaucracy to get that grant done,” Grace said.
She said Cable is a wonderful, caring person, who knows how to keep people’s personal business out of public conversation.
“There is no substitute, none, for proven leadership, commitment, and experience. And that’s what I bring to this community,” Cable said.
The Democrats are scheduled to endorse candidates for November’s election Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
The entire announcement, approximately 9 minutes of video can be on YouTube, click on the link below to listen.