The East Hampton Town Council this week issued a proclamation honoring former state senator Eileen Daily, who stepped down last year after nearly 20 years serving the General Assembly’s 33rd Senate District.
Daily, a Democrat, served from 1993 to 2012. Her replacement is newcomer who won election in November against Democrat Jim Crawford, also from Westbrook.
The 33rd District includes 11 towns and covers Clinton, Chester, Deep River, East Hampton, Portland, East Haddam, Haddam, Colchester, Lyme, Essex, Westbrook and part of Old Saybrook.
The council credited Daily with several important initiatives during her tenure, including her work on the Salmon River Flood Control project and her support of the Small Town Economic Assistance Program, under which the town got several important grants. Most recently, East Hampton won a $250,000 STEAP grant to replace the roof of the Epoch Arts building in the village.
Daily decided not to seek re-election because of health concerns and the desire to spend more time with her family. She was diagnosed with cancer and has undergone chemotherapy.
In the months before she decided to step down Daily also was at the center of a land swap controversy in Haddam after she supported a proposal to swap away 17 acres of state-owned land near the Connecticut River in the Tylerville section of town. The proposal, which was intended to help a local catering company expand, was eventually withdrawn following the vehement and highly organized opposition by local residents. Long a friend of conservationists, Daily’s position on the land swap drew the consternation and ire of conservation and environmental groups across the region and the state.
In accepting the council’s proclamation on Tuesday Daily said “It’s been a distinct honor and a real pleasure to represent you for these past 20 years. I’ve made some real friends here in East Hampton.”