Montville - Town Councilor Joseph Jaskiewicz, a Democrat, was elected council chairman in an organizational meeting held Wednesday night.
The new council also elected a deputy chairman, set up standing committees and appointed liaisons to other boards and commissions.
Billy Caron, a Democrat and the highest vote-getter in the council election, was elected deputy chairman of the council and liaison to the volunteer firefighters' relief fund, the Commission on Aging and social services.
The Democratic majority stifled efforts by newly elected Republican Tom McNally to become the liaison for the Public Safety Committee, of which he was vice chairman until his election as a councilor. After his nomination to the liaison position, Democrats nominated Laura Tanner, who was elected to the position in a 5-2 vote. Independence for Montville councilor Kathy Pollard voted in McNally's favor.
The move left McNally as liaison to the Economic Development Commission, while second-term councilor Tanner is liaison to the Parks and Recreation and Public Safety commissions as well as to local nonprofit organizations.
Jaskiewicz will remain liaison to the Board of Education. Democrat Chuck Longton will be the liaison for the library and Planning and Zoning Commission, while Pollard will be the liaison for the Youth Services Bureau. Newly elected Democrat Tim May is the liaison for the Water Pollution Control Authority, a commission he previously served on.
When McNally, who is chairman of the Republican Town Committee, attempted to appoint Joseph Aquitante III to the Zoning Board of Appeals following Gregg Bassetti's resignation, Tanner objected, saying the council should interview Aquitante before the appointment.
In another 5-2 decision, the council voted to support Tanner's suggestion, a move McNally called "uncharted territory." He said that historically, when someone resigns from an elected position, the town committee nominates a replacement without the interview process.