Voters back Smith in Beacon Falls

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Beacon Falls Selectman Michael Krenesky, left, and First Selectman Gerard Smith campaign outside Laurel Ledge Elementary School in Beacon Falls on Tuesday. -ANDREAS YILMA

BEACON FALLS — First Selectman Gerard Smith on Tuesday won his second straight term, and third overall, running the town.

Smith received 1,317 votes while Democratic challenger Peter Betkoski received 507 votes, according to unofficial results reported by the secretary of the state’s office. Smith, 60, who is unaffiliated, formed the Beacon Falls First party this year and topped the new party’s ticket on Election Day.

“I’m just glad that the people re-elected me on my record,” Smith said.

Smith attributed his win to running a clean campaign and not being negative.

“I ran on my record and that’s what it was all about,” Smith said. “The people liked what they saw.”

Smith said he wants to finish what he started the last two years, including continuing with infrastructure improvements, updating some town equipment and streamlining the town’s financial processes.

Selectman Michael Krenesky, a Republican who was the only selectman candidate, was re-elected. Since Krenesky was the only selectman candidate in the race, Betkoski automatically won the second selectman seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Beacon Falls Democratic first selectman candidate Peter Betkoski, left, and his brother, Jack Betkowski, center, talk with voter Kathy Shugdinis at Laurel Ledge Elementary School in Beacon Falls on Tuesday. -ANDREAS YILMA

Betkoski, 60, who is chairman of the Beacon Falls Democratic Town Committee, said he will serve on the board. He said he ran a clean race for first selectman.

“They went low, I went high,” Betkoski said. “I’ll be here for the town of Beacon Falls and I’m proud of my legacy.”

Tempers flared after the results were announced at Laurel Ledge Elementary School. Smith and Betkoski got into a heated exchange and had to be separated. They both declined to comment on the matter.

Republicans Tiffany Lyga, a newcomer, and incumbent Christine Arnold were elected to the Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect.

Wendy Rodorigo, a Democrat who ran under the Beacon Falls First party, was re-elected treasurer.

Democrat James Carroll and Stephen West, a Beacon Falls First candidate, were elected to the Board of Finance. Republican Douglas R. Bousquet won a seat on the Board of Assessment Appeals.

Beacon Falls First candidates James Trzaski, Benjamin Smith and Bruce Richard Jr. were elected to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Democrat Marion Lennon Zollo and Rebecca Rubino, a Beacon Falls First candidate, were elected Library Trustees.

Editor’s note: This article was updated to include results reported by the secretary of the state’s office.