MONROE, CT — Dee Dee Martin served on the Monroe Town Council for 29-and-a-half years. Over that span, she worked with every first selectman the town ever elected since changing from a town manager form of government. But this year, the Democrat decided not to seek another term.
The selectmen were Ken Heitzke, Karen Burnaska, Andy Nunn, Tom Buzi, Steve Vavrek and the town’s current leader, Ken Kellogg.
“All were reputable first selectmen. Some I enjoyed more than others,” Martin said during her last meeting Monday. She glanced at First Selectman Ken Kellogg who was seated at the far end of the dais, smiled and added, “Mr. Kellogg, I’ll put you in the enjoyed category.”
“I appreciate that, thank you,” Kellogg said with laugh.
“My service has been exciting, boring sometimes, infuriating, interesting and long,” Martin said. “It’s time to go. There were a lot of changes and I think a lot of progress. I’m forever grateful to the residents of Monroe, who thought, ‘maybe this mouthy preschool teacher could do this job for a while.’ It’s been fun. Thanks guys.”
Chairman Jonathan Formichella congratulated everyone who won seats on town boards and commissions on Nov. 7 and thanked Martin, Kellogg and Councilwoman Jessica Katuska for their service to the town.
Kellogg decided not to seek another term after leading the town for six years and Katuska enjoyed serving her constituents for the past two years, before coming up short last election.
“Everyone knows Dee Dee in town,” Formichella said. “You’ve run a wonderful preschool and leave a wonderful legacy as a volunteer and official in the community. I want to thank you for the last four years. It was a pleasure working with you.”
Formichella thanked Katuska for her work on the Council the past two years and for her previous service as a member of the Monroe Board of Education.
“And finally I’d like to thank First Selectman Ken Kellogg,” he said. “You’ve done a tremendous job as the leader of our community. There’s not a finer person we could have entrusted the town to in the past six years. Ken is a professional with a capital ‘p’. There was not a day when he didn’t think of the town. Monroe is better off today than it was six years ago.”
Councilman Terry Rooney, a fellow Republican, will be Monroe’s next first selectman after beating Democrat, Jerry Stevens, a school board member, in a close race.
“Thank you chairman and everyone,” Kellogg said. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to have been able to serve. I appreciate the professional, collaborative and very bipartisan approvals of things I’ve presented to you for the good of our town.”
Kellogg, Martin and Katuska received a standing ovation.
Janice Persico, a Democrat who won a seat on the Town Council on Nov. 7, thanked Martin and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.
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