New first selectman’s plan: Stay the course

Middlefield officials announced earlier this month that Robert Yamartino was the town’s new first selectman, replacing Edward P. Bailey, who died Dec. 8.

Yamartino served alongside Bailey on the Board of Selectmen. “When we lost Ed, I lost a friend. We worked closely together for many, many, years. It was so sad,” said Yamartino, a Middlefield resident for more than three decades.

Yamartino, a Republican, indicated that he isn’t looking to shake things up as first selectman.

“Ed and I had been working on the Board of Selectmen since 2015, as we were in agreement that our town has been run very well,” he said, pointing out that a survey regarding Middlefield's fiscal health ranked it in the Top 10 among Connecticut towns.

Yamartino indicated the key to Middlefield's success are its municipal employees and community volunteers.

“When I view my role, it is to make sure that our employees, staff, elected officials, and volunteers all have what they need," the new first selectman said. "We give them the tools and resources and let them go. That is how our town works.”

Along with his work on the Board of Selectmen, Yamartino also has spent time on the Board of Education and the Board of Finance. He will serve out the remainder of Bailey’s term and could run for the seat in 2023.

With Yamartino taking on the role of first selectman, a vacancy was created on the board. That spot has been filled by James Irish, who had been chair of the finance committee. Al Rusilowicz is now finance committee chair.




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