Bethel’s First Selectman Knickerbocker and Selectman Straiton Announce 2017 Campaign Launch to Run for Reelection This November

Report by Paula Antolini
May 7, 2017 6:36PM EDT


Photo: Bethel Advocate file photo.

Bethel’s First Selectman Knickerbocker and Selectman Straiton Announce 2017 Campaign Launch to Run for Reelection This November

On May 6, 2017, Bethel’s First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker and Selectman Richard Straiton announced their intention to run for reelection in the upcoming November municipal elections. Both were elected to their current positions in 2009 and are completing their fourth term of office. The announcement was made at a campaign kickoff party in Bethel, which was a Kentucky Derby Party at the Grand Club Room at 25 Grand Street, Bethel, CT, at 5:30 p.m.


Click on image above, of campaign announcement info., to view larger.


The pair cited their desire to continue working to improve town services and pointed to several recent accomplishments. Among them, winning voter approval and starting construction of the long-delayed plan to replace Bethel’s cramped and outdated police station, securing approval to install the area’s first municipal solar farm and launching a comprehensive renovation of the town’s aging water works to improve fire safety and water quality. Other projects coming online this summer also include refurbishing Bethel’s village Streetscape, installing new sidewalks and completion of the revamped Plumtrees-Whittlesey intersection.

“Serving my community continues to be the single most rewarding chapter of my career”, Knickerbocker said. “We’ve accomplished a lot, but we still have a lot to do. Now more than ever, we must find new ways to provide the services our taxpayers expect while keeping costs low, especially with the likelihood of less state funding in the future.”

Rich Straiton agreed. “Considering our track record, Matt and I have the experience and the knowledge to guide our town through these challenging times. I look forward to the opportunity to serve my town for another two years.”

Matthew Knickerbocker and his wife Adrienne moved to Bethel from Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1979. Matt brings over thirty years of senior management experience in private industry to the job, as well as ten years of service on the Bethel Board of Education. He steered the development of the newly formed regional council of governments and served as its chairman for the past two years. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University and recently completed his Master of Public Administration degree at Post University in Waterbury, CT. They have two adult children, both graduates of Bethel Public Schools, and two grandchildren.

Richard Straiton is a veteran of The Connecticut National Guard and a lifelong resident of Bethel. He is a graduate of Henry Abbot Technical School. He is currently retired after 23 years as the Facility Director of Bethel Health Care and Rehabilitation Center. He continues his interest in the building construction field through volunteer involvement in many of the major building and public works projects of the Town of Bethel. Currently, he is providing his expertise for the replacement of the Bethel Police Station. He and his wife, Sharon, are proud of their blended family of seven children, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.




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