By Mariah Melendez
Cheshire Herald staff
CHESHIRE — On Feb. 11, longtime Town Councilor Paul Bowman surprised his colleagues and the public by announcing that he was resigning from his position due to “continued harassment” of him and his family.
Now, the council has finally appointed someone to take his place.
“We made an appointment a week or so ago,” said Town Council Chair Rob Oris. “Sandy Pavano is a long-serving member of the Republican Town Committee and past Board of Education member.”
Pavano was chosen over a number of other candidates.
“When Paul resigned, I wanted Rob [Oris] and the RTC to know I was interested in the position and wanted to get involved,” Pavano said. “It is an honor to be offered the position and I am excited to be there.”
Bowman’s resignation came on the heels of a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission in February regarding a proposal to subdivide land along Cornwall Avenue Extension into seven lots. Bowman and his son Phil Bowman were the developers behind the proposal.
A group of town residents voiced opposition to the plan, and at least one publicly accused Bowman of using his position as a member of the council to push the proposed development through. Bowman and supporters denied the charge.
Pavano has been involved in politics for roughly 30 years, including serving as town committee chair for two years and serving on the Board of Education for eight.
“I am eager to use my experience to continue to make Cheshire the great town that it is,” she said. “I want to make sure that Cheshire is remaining affordable for the seniors who live here.”
There is one project that she hopes to become involved with immediately.
“The (Chapman property) project is huge,” she mentioned. “While I know it’s not going to get done this year, I am so excited to see the ideas and things that people want to do with that space. It’s going to be an expensive project, but a good one.”
The town is considering future recreational uses for the Route 10 property.
Pavano also expressed her excitement over the possible development in the north end, and two new breweries coming to town.
While her time on the Board of Education has prepared her for things such as the budget process, Pavano knows that she will need to widen her focus.
“The council takes the whole town into consideration while the BOE is obviously only focused on education,” she said.