CHESHIRE — A half-dozen people have expressed interest in the Town Council seat recently vacated by longtime councilor Paul Bowman.
The decision on a replacement will be up to the council. Bowman, a Republican, stepped down on Feb. 12 citing ongoing harassment by members of the public. He made the decision one day after a public hearing on a housing development Bowman and his son are involved in.
The council has 60 days from Feb. 12 to decide on an appointment. If it doesn't choose a successor within that time frame, council Chairman Rob Oris has the authority to fill the vacancy without a vote.
Meanwhile, the Republican Town Committee will make its recommendation for filling the vacancy.
Guy Darter, RTC chairman, didn't name any of the half dozen individuals who have so far expressed an interest in being appointed. RTC leadership will begin interviewing potential candidates next week and will review resumes and other qualifications as part of the “vetting process,” Darter said.
“We will give (candidates) the opportunity to talk to us. We will try to get to know them, what they do for a living and why they want to join the council,” Darter said. “We're not going to rush it. ...We have a lot of great people.”
Some candidates are members of the Republican Town Committee. At least one is not a member of the committee, Darter said.
Darter, who had run for council in November and lost, said he is not seeking the appointment. Darter is seeking reelection as RTC chairman next month.
The council has occasionally had to appoint members to fill vacancies. In 2017, the council appointed now former councilor Jeff Falk, a Democrat, to fill the seat vacated by Liz Linehan, when she was elected to serve the 103rd House District seat.
In 2011, Republican Sylvia Nichols was appointed to fill the seat vacated following the death of Anne Giddings.
Town Council member Tim Slocum said it's not a requirement that the council vote to appoint the RTC's recommended candidate.
“We don't have to do it that way,” he said. “The charter prescribes that the council appoint a replacement for resignation or death within 60 days.”
Corey Nash, a former vice chairman of the RTC and current co-host of the Cheshire Cast podcast, said he hadn't received word about who might be interested in the seat.
“Hopefully whoever they pick can bring the same love for the town that Paul had,” Nash said.