Fredette assumes zoning chairmanship

Richard Fredette has been elected the new chairman of the Zoning Commission. The Republican was the only individual nominated for the leadership position at the Jan. 30 meeting.

Rich Fredette Republican

Rich Fredette

“I look forward to the next two years,” Fredette said. “We’ve put together a good team on the Zoning Commission and we will look at things with all Stratford residents in mind.”

He will replace Stephanie Philips, a Democrat who remains on the commission.

Fredette was elected to the commission in the November election but his race technically was a special election, due to a vacancy, so he will need to seek re-election in 2019.

He has previously served on the Zoning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals, including as chairman. He works as the town’s anti-blight officer and has been on the Town Council and active with other boards and commissions in town.

Member Mike Henrick nominated Fredette to be the new chairman. Christopher Silhavey was elected as the commission’s vice chairman.

The Jan. 30 meeting represented the first meeting of the Zoning Commission since new members were sworn in after last fall’s election. Four of five members are new. In addition to Fredette, Henrick and Silhavey, the other new member is Alec Voccola. All four of them are Republicans.

Also during the organizational part of the Jan. 30 meeting, Henrick introduced an amendment to allow only members or alternates seated on a case to ask questions of the applicants. The amendment was approved.

A maximum of five people on the commission may hear a case, although more may be present at meetings when dealing with the application. Being “seated” on a case means being one of the five voting members on that application.

The Zoning Commission has five members and three alternates, and different people may be voting on applications based on their attendance at meetings. It often takes more than one meeting to hear and vote on an application.

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