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At-large Cheshire Town Councilor Justin Adinolfi has resigned from the Town's governing body effective immediately, less than a year into the term.
Adinolfi notified his fellow Councilors and members of the Democratic party earlier this week of his intentions to resign, effective Nov. 15. Adinolfi will be taking a new job based in New Jersey, but will still be living in Cheshire. However, with his new consultant job, he will be traveling to New Jersey often and visiting clients all over the country. With this position, Adinolfi said, he wouldn't be able to give his full attention to Town Council matters, which would be unfair to the community.
"This clearly wasn't an easy decision, and I apologize to the people who have supported me. I don't take this decision lightly," Adinolfi said. "I just couldn't do this new job and serve on the Town Council at the same time."
Adinolfi said he wanted to give 110 percent to the Town Council, and anything less would be a disservice to the voters who elected him. He said his decision to leave had nothing to do with the Republican super majority or the current management team in place in Town Hall, but he "had to bite the bullet."
"I believe this is the right decision. This is about my job and it's something I needed to do," Adinolfi asserted. "This wasn't an easy decision, but I think it's one that's best."
Adinolfi said he would still be involved around town, supporting the school system and economic growth. He also remains a supporter of a year round pool and would urge the Council to continue to support these areas. Adinolfi's departure marks the second time an elected Town Councilor has resigned in the past month. Fourth District Councilor Tim White resigned at the end of October, and a replacement has yet to be found. A replacement for Adinolfi, an at-large candidate, could be easier, as the pool of candidates can be sought throughout the entire town, not just a particular voting district.
Adinolfi said he let the Democratic Town Committee know this was a possibility a few weeks ago so the process of finding a replacement could move forward quickly. Ernest DiPietro, chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, said he was "in the process" of contacting potential candidates. According to DiPietro, he will be reaching out to candidates who ran in 2009, but were unsuccessful in their Council bids. Additionally, he will see if "anyone else in the party structure will have an interest."
"We're just starting the search for who is interested, but we hopefully will have someone by the December Town Council meeting," DiPietro said, noting the Thanksgiving holiday could slow things down a bit. "Previous Council experience isn’t necessary for a replacement."
DiPietro anticipated no problems with the Republican-controlled Council when a nominee is brought forward as early as next month. Like the inevitable replacement for White, DiPietro said there should be no issues and expected the full Council's support.
"The precedent is long standing. There has never been a problem in the past and I don't see why it would be now," he said.
DiPietro stated that he would "insist," and considers it to be "one of the expectations," for whomever is appointed to run for the seat again in 2011. A potential candidate could be Sheldon Dill, who lost his re-election bid in 2009 and has been contacted about the vacancy. However, when reached at the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, Dill quickly dispelled any rumors of him re-joining the Town Council.
"I have no interest in joining the Council. People have asked me, but I don't have the time right now," Dill said. "I appreciate that people have asked me, but I just can't do it."
Former Town Councilor Elizabeth Esty, who lost her re-election campaign for State Representative, said she was contacted about a possible return to the Council but, at this point, she feels it's better if someone else was brought on.
"I think this will be an opportunity for other people to step up," Esty said. "This is a vital role for the community and hopefully they find someone who is ready, able, and willing to step in."
Former Town Council Chairman Matt Hall, who did not seek re-election in 2009, quickly shot down any notion that he was returning to the Council.
"I have not been approached, nor am I interested in returning to the Council," he said.