The New Canaan Town Council will vote for four candidates put forth by the Republican Town Committee to fill the seat vacated by Tom O'Dea, who was elected to serve as state representative for the 125th District in the November election.
During Thursday's meeting at the New Canaan Nature Center, the Council voted unanimously to fill the seat with a Republican, as recommended by Town Attorney Ira Bloom, based on his review of the town charter and applicable statutes.
The Council has set Jan. 10 as the date to interview the four candidates, including RTC Vice Chairman Kevin Moynihan, RTC member Dan Radman, local real estate agent John Engel and resident Roy Abramowitz. Each of the candidates will be asked four questions and given two minutes to answer. The Council members agreed to send the questions to the candidates in advance.
The new member will be elected via a single vote. Should there be a tie between the top two vote-getters, First Selectman Robert Mallozzi will be asked to step in — in his role as ex-officio member of the Council — to cast the tie-breaker. Should Mallozzi exercise his option to abstain, the Council will then hold a run-off between the top two vote-getters.
Two of the four candidates, Radman and Abramowitz, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Council during the local election two years ago, while Engel previously ran against Nick Williams in the Republican caucus for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.
Under the town charter, the 12-member Council can appoint an elector to fill a vacant seat until the next special or general election.
However during a meeting on Dec. 12 some Council members questioned whether the elector must be a Republican, or if the seat is in fact open to candidates from all political parties.
During Thursday's meeting O'Dea informed that he plans to submit his resignation to the Council before he takes his oath of office in Hartford on January 9.
A majority of the Council's members said they agreed with Bloom's interpretation of the charter that, as per due process, the seat should be filled with a Republican.