When you think of Clinton politics, town leaders and volunteers, one name comes to mind: Dolly G. Mezzetti.
At the June 6 Board of Selectmen meeting, Mezzetti, a Democrat, announced that she is resigning from the Board of Selectmen effective June 30, 2012.
In a statement, Mezzetti said, "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Town of Clinton as both your tax collector and a member of the Board of Selectmen for the past 24 years."
Mezzetti has served on the Board of Selectmen since 1999 and was elected as Clinton's Tax Collector in 1987 serving until 1998.
She will continue to work full-time in her position as the Tax Collector for the town of Guilford.
In her statement, Mezzetti said she is resigning so she can "step back and concentrate on my family and myself at this time."
"Health concerns became an issue several years ago and more recently another health concern has become my priority. For that reason, I do not feel that I can continue to give 100% of my time and energy, which is required to get the job done properly," said Mezzetti.
The list of Mezzetti's work on committees, commissions, and non-profits is long, but includes serving as the Board of Selectmen representative for the Web and Technology Committee, the Capital Expenditure Committee, the Fire Department Vehicle Replacement Committee, the Fireman’s Exemption Committee, the Elderly tax benefit program (as chairman), and the Clinton Municipal Operations Review Committee.
She has also served as the President of the Middlesex and New Haven County Tax Collectors' Associations and received a state appointment to the Certification Committee for Tax Collectors.
She is a member of St. Mary’s Church, Clinton Rotary Cancer Relief Walk-a-thon, a Former Girl Scout Leader, a Former Cub Scout Leader, and Friends of Joel, Eliot & Pierson for her three children.
She is married to Joseph Mezzetti and has three children and three grandchildren.
She thanked the previous First Selectmen and the members of the Board of Selectmen who "treated her with the utmost respect even if we didn't see eye to eye on every issue."
"To the current selectmen I want to say that I hope that you will continue to work for the betterment of the Town of Clinton and always remember we were put here for the best interests of the town," she said.
She thanked the community for their continued support.
How will the process of a replacement for Mezzetti take place on the Board of Selectmen?
In essence, the vacancy is filled within 30 days by the remaining members of the board by a person of the same political party if the person leaving was associated with a party.
Here's what the town charter and state statutes say:
A. The Board of Selectmen shall fill, by appointment, a vacancy in any and all elective Town Offices, including the Board of Education and Board of Finance, within thirty (30) days from the time that the office becomes vacant, said appointment to be for the unexpired portion of the term or until the next regular Town election, plus fourteen (14) days, whichever shall first occur.
B. When a person vacating an office shall have been elected as a member of a political party, such vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of a member of the same political party.
C. A vacancy on the Board of Selectmen shall be filled in accordance with Section 9-222 of the General Statutes encaptioned, "Filling of vacancy in office of first selectman or selectman. Petition for special election."
Section 9-222: When a vacancy occurs in the office of first selectman or in the office of selectman it shall be filled within thirty days after the day of its occurrence by the remaining members of the board of selectmen. Said remaining members may appoint one of themselves to fill a vacancy in the office of first selectman, if they so desire, and shall then fill the ensuing vacancy in the office of selectman as herein provided. If such a vacancy in the office of first selectman or of selectman is not so filled within thirty days after the day of its occurrence, the town clerk shall, within ten days thereafter, notify the elective town officers enrolled in the same political party as the first selectman or selectman, as the case may be, who vacated the office, or all elective town officers, if such first selectman or selectman who vacated the office was not enrolled with a political party, and it shall be filled by such elective town officers within sixty days after its occurrence. Any person so appointed shall serve for the portion of the term remaining unexpired or until a special election called as hereinafter provided upon petition of a number of electors of such town equal to five per cent of the names on the last-completed registry list thereof, but not fewer than fifty such electors. Such petition shall be filed no later than fifteen days after the appointment by the remaining selectmen or such elective town officers, as the case may be. Such a special election shall forthwith be called by the town clerk upon the filing of such a petition with him and shall be held in accordance with the provisions of sections 9-164, 9-450 and 9-459. The term "town officers", as used in this section, shall not include state representatives or town officers who serve on town boards whose members are not all elected at one town election for the same term.