New Milford Town Council fills vacancy with new member with 'off … – Danbury News Times

Paul Murphy was recently appointed to the vacant position on the New Milford Town Council.
NEW MILFORD – Filling the vacancy left by former member Joseph Failla, Paul Murphy has become the newest member of the Town Council.
At Monday’s Town Council meeting, Murphy’s appointment was approved with five “yes” votes, one “no” vote and two abstentions. Murphy was sworn into office by New Milford Town Attorney Randy DiBella.
Murphy’s term will run through Nov. 30, 2023. Murphy, like Failla, is a Republican.
At the August Town Council meeting, Failla told the other council members that he was involved in a new job venture that will be time consuming and therefore had decided to step down from his role.
At Monday’s meeting, several Town Council members spoke in support of Murphy.
“I think Mr. Murphy, who has done a tremendous amount for the town in so many different avenues of government and local volunteering, is going to be perfect for this position,” Councilman Thomas Esposito said. “I sat with Mr. Failla here for many years and thank him for his service, but I think this is a perfect opportunity for Paul to share some of his knowledge, his experience and his compassion for our community, so I will be supporting Paul wholeheartedly.”
Vice Chairman Katy Francis said Murphy “has been an asset to the town as far as our economic driving of bringing people into town. … He’s had great ideas and he’s always out there doing something. … I think he’ll be a good placement here.”
Councilman Chris Cosgrove said he has known Murphy for a number of years and that his family goes back in New Milford for generations.
“I know he’s got a love for this town and he’s got an energy level that’s kind of off the charts – you need something done, you call Paul,” Cosgrove said, “so I’d like to welcome him to this council.”
Council member Alexandra Thomas, however, was more hesitant about Murphy and mentioned an incident from the past.
“My only thing with Mr. Murphy is I don’t know about you, but I do have a recollection of some volatile remarks toward council members, and it concerns me that we keep our business for the town at the council table and politics away from the council table,” she said. “I wouldn’t want politics to come to the table as a result of having Mr. Murphy join us.”
Councilwoman Hilary Ram asked about the precedent of making the appointment, since council members are typically elected into office.
New Milford Mayor Pete Bass said he made the recommendation and it was up to the Town Council to decide.
DiBella clarified that it’s an elected position, with any vacancy filled by appointment by other elected officials.
Murphy said he was asked to run for the Office on Planning Commission in 2019 and was later appointed chairman.
He said he also works on the town’s Economic Development Corporation; worked on the town’s 19-member COVID Long-Term Recovery Plan ; was chairperson of the Republican Town Committee; and has been involved with veterans events in town.
Additionally, Murphy said he spearheaded a team of volunteers two years ago to restore the town tank to what it looked like in 1949 when it was installed on the Town Green.
Murphy, who said he has served in the military, said he’s “prepared to serve the people in the town I love that I call home.”
“While I will work to help all the citizens, I especially want to ensure the town’s growth … while still maintaining its small New England charm, its opens spaces, its farmlands, wetlands and historic village center while continuing to attract economic development for jobs and (Grand List) tax growth,” he said.
He added his grandchildren and grandnieces reside in town and make up the 11th generation of his family tree.
“As a town is much like a military regiment, men die, people in towns die, but the regiment lives on and the town lives on,” Murphy said.
CORRECTION: An original version of this article incorrectly reported the vote count for Paul Murphy’s appointment. The vote count was five “yes,” one “no” and two abstentions.


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