New Fair Rent Commission established in Naugatuck

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BY ANDREAS YILMA

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — Borough officials selected members for the newly established Fair Rent Commission.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved at its regular May 2 meeting to select the appointments of Jean Sirica, unaffiliated, as a regular commissioner, Jesse Bendler and Nickey Kollie, both Democrat, as regular tenant commissioners and Domingos Branco and Kevin Gendron, Jr., both unaffiliated, as regular landlord commissioners.

The borough board also approved Burgess Jan Mizeski, Republican, as an alternate commissioner and Raymond Caruso Jr., Democrat, as an alternate landlord commissioner.

Terms for the commissioners expired either in May 2025, 2026 or 2027.

Former Burgess Carl Herb and his son former Burgess Chris Herb, both, recommended Kollie for a position as a commissioner.

“I’ve known her a number of years and she’s a fine outstanding person,” Carl Herb said.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said borough officials requested and gave an opportunity for members of the public to get involved and get on the fair rent commission, which is mandated by the state and the borough got some great candidates.

The legislature and Gov. Ned Lamont revised state law last year to require all municipalities with a population of 25,000 or more to adopt an ordinance creating a fair rent commission by July 1.

“I think it’s a great group,” Hess said. “As it turns out, it’s heavy on the unaffiliated side but you know what, that’s our biggest group of voters so it’s only logical that that’s the case.”

Hess said the borough is expecting that someone from the state will have a presentation on a few items including best practices, how to get started, things to look out for.

The new commission will have the benefit of getting any possible assistance from borough attorney Ned Fitzpatrick.

Borough officials have no idea if there will be a large workload or not but it’s expected that there will be some activity once the word gets out about the commission’s existence, Hess said.

“There are rules. It’s a question of following the rules and fairness and being inclusive and being Naugy strong,” Hess said. “I think we picked a good group of people so good luck and we’ll support the commission as best we can.”