First Selectman Candidate and Acting First Selectman Rich Straiton, If Elected, Suggests Former BHS Principal Fill Vacant Seat on Bethel’s Board of Selectmen

Report by Paula Antolini, February 1, 2023, 8:37AM EDT

If Bethel First Selectman candidate Rich Straiton (Democrat) is elected, he suggests that former Bethel High School Principal Pat Cosentino (Unaffiliated) fill the vacant seat on the Bethel Board of Selectman, according to the News Times interview.

“I worked closely with Pat during her tenure in Bethel and welcome the opportunity to do so again,” Straiton said, in the article. “Straiton said Cosentino would “bring her wealth of talent, creativity and proven management skills” to town government, and he looks forward to working with her to maintain Bethel’s “upward trajectory while finding solutions to (the town’s) varying problems.” according to the the News Times.

Rich Straiton is presently the Bethel Acting First Selectman, filling out the term of the past Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker (Democrat), ever since Knickerbocker left his position last September to take a managerial position in Wilton, CT.

Pat Constantino’s background includes: Frank A. Berry Elementary School principal (5 years), former Bethel High School principal (6 years). She left Bethel in 2012 and took a position as Superintendent of Regional School District 12 in Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington. She was then Superintendent of Fairfield Public Schools (4 years) and is presently interim part-time Superintendent of the Sherman School since July 2022.

The special election for Bethel First Selectman will take place on February 7, 2022. Democrat Rich Straiton is running against Republican Dan Carter, to replace Matt Knickerbocker, a position vacated last September that left Bethel with only two members on the Board of Selectman.

If elected in next week’s special election, Carter said his approach to filling vacancies on boards will be to follow the town charter and the law, and “act in a nonpartisan fashion by supporting appointments from all political parties” according to the article.