WOODBURY – Last month, the Democratic and Republican town committees held their caucuses to nominate their candidates for the 2017 municipal election.
As an unaffiliated voter, incumbent First Selectman Bill Butterly doesn’t have a caucus. To get his name on the ballot, Butterly must get a minimum of 25 names on a petition.
It appeared he would run unopposed for a third term, so Butterly stopped collecting names. But Butterly is proud of the 68 names he collected.
“I look at this as my nominating convention,” said the 74-year-old Butterly. “This is 68 people that vetted me. I only needed 25, but so many people were approaching me and I didn’t want to turn them away.”
Butterly pointed out that the people who signed his petition include members of the Democratic and Republican town committees, independent voters, and people of all ages.
So why does Butterly have this mass appeal? Butterly said as an unaffiliated candidate and an unaffiliated voter, there is no screen between him and the people, or between him and a political party.
“I think the people know I’m not doing this because I want to be the next Republican nominee for governor, or for senator,” Butterly said. “They know my heart is in Woodbury.”
But Butterly feels that his list of accomplishments over his three and a half years as First Selectman proves he’s worthy of a third term. While Butterly is happy with the accomplishments, he thinks the intangibles are equally important.
Those, Butterly said, include:
- Working cooperatively with employees and constituents has created a happier electorate, as evidenced by very few negative letters in the newspapers, and by the passage of our municipal budgets.
- Responsible budgeting, thanks to hard work by the Board of Finance and by Woodbury’s department heads. Butterly said he encouraged department heads to meet face-to-face with the BOF at Saturday morning meetings in January, which resulted in better understanding by everyone of the issues each side faces.
- Business people express pleasure with the improved land use office policies and the greater speed with which things can be accomplished. Butterly said he has heard many comments about the appearance of Hollow Park and its fields.
- A good relationship with town employees. Butterly said he has worked hard to be fair to them and to constituents at the same time, and is pleased that many of them encouraged him to run again. By allowing them to use their creative talents, Woodbury’s departments are running well, and one of the results has been the creation of What’s On in Woodbury (WOW) as a showcase for town activity.
“People know they can come to me with a problem, and I will help them,” Butterly said. “I think that’s what’s helped calm this town down. I think [residents] see that people are talking to each other, they’re getting along better with each other.”
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