Five Republicans now vying for P&Z Commission vacancy

Tuesday 12:42 — Republican Town Committee Chairman Bob Bewkes told The Darien Times the RTC has now received 5 applications for the vacant seat on P&Z. Commissioner Reese Hutchison resigned last week.

Though the RTC is expected interview the candidates Wednesday night, Bewkes said the committee does not plan an endorsement and pointed out that three of commission seats, including the vacant seat about to be filled, are up for re-election next year.

“We’ll be doing this all again in May,” he said.

“We have several qualified candidates for P&Z,” Bewkes said, adding he was in favor of sending all of those qualified candidates forward to the Planning & Zoning Commission’s meeting next Tuesday and letting the commission make the final call.

Monday 10:47 am — The Darien Times has confirmed that Zoning Board of Appeals member Steve Olvany and RTC member Dick DiDonna have also submitted applications for the vacancy on the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission. Sources also report RTC member Spencer McIllmurray has also filed an application but as of Monday morning, Jeremy Ginsberg, director of the town’s Planning & Zoning Department, had not received McIllmurray’s application yet.

The Darien Republican Town Committee will decide on a candidate at a special meeting on Wednesday. The P&Z Commission will vote on the new commissioner next Tuesday.

Saturday 2:22 pm — The Republican Town Committee will be interviewing candidates on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 pm in the Town Hall Auditorium.

Those interested should complete the attached Candidate Application and email, along with a current resume, to Seth Morton at [email protected] Application and resume should be sent by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Fred Conze, chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission, told The Darien Times Saturday the commission “looks forward to seeing who the RTC comes up with.” Reese Hutchison, who resigned this week, previously held the Republican seat.

Hutchison told The Darien Times “it has been an incredible honor to serve the town for the past thirteen years first under Chairman Peter Hillman with EPC and then Chairman Fred Conze with Planning and Zoning.”

“The town is blessed with some of the finest volunteers and staff and provides for a great standard of living. I look forward to a time in life when I may once again serve the town as a volunteer,” Hutchison said.

The Darien Times has also confirmed that one application submitted to the RTC for the seat was made by RTC deputy treasurer and former RTM member John Sini and has obtained a copy of that application from a variety of sources.

Sini has been an active attendee of P&Z committee meetings for the last several years as a spokesman for the Darien Junior Football League and high school teams as an applicant for portable practice lights during the fall season at both the high school’s artificial turf field and Town Hall’s Holahan field.

Field lights has proven to be one of the more contentious issues handled by P&Z over the last several years, with strong emotions for and against them.

Sini cites his work on the Representative Town Committee’s Planning, Zoning & Housing Committee as well as his time researching field lights applications as experience and says he would resign other volunteer positions if he obtained the seat on the commission that could be perceived as a conflict of interest.

P&Z is scheduled to interview applicants and appoint a new commissioner at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

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