On Tuesday the Republican Registrar of Voters, Fred DeCaro, announced his candidacy to become the next Greenwich Town Clerk.
With the retirement of Carmella Budkins, this seat will be vacant for the first time in 30 years.
DeCaro first announced his candidacy to the 63 members of the Greenwich RTC in an email last week in which he saluted Ms Budkins after she announced she would not run for another term.
The municipal election is set for Nov 2, 2021.
DeCaro needs to be endorsed by the 63 members of the RTC at their July 27 meeting.
On Tuesday, DeCaro said that he had already prepared for the position, and had the endorsement Tom Byrne, the Town’s RTM moderator for 25 years.
DeCaro noted that the Town Clerk serves as Secretary for the RTM, and described the moderator as one of the largest users of Town Clerk Services.
“There is no one more qualified to become Town Clerk in Greenwich than Fred DeCaro,” Mr. Byrne said in his endorsement, adding, “He has the intelligence and proven record to ensure that the Town Clerk’s Office will
be a leader in innovation in providing services to our residents. His dedication and technological skills will insure that the operation of the Town Clerk’s Office will be transparent and responsive to all.”
Further Byrne said due to DeCaro’s efforts, the RTM became the first Town body to have an online presence.
“Fred produced the template used to submit Call items to the Clerk’s Office and trained the staff in that office to prepare the Call in electronic form for placement online,” Byrne wrote in his endorsement. “The first RTM website was hosted on Fred’s personal server, even before the State of Connecticut provided towns a place to host their sites. The RTM’s efforts to go online became the model for all other Town departments.”
“In the face of the many claimed irregularities in the voting process around the state and the nation in recent
years, we in Greenwich have been blessed to be free of any such claims. I credit Fred for that record of accurate and scandal free elections since he became Registrar. Whenever I have had a question regarding RTM redistricting or election process or results, Fred has always responded immediately with a complete explanation supported by data and statutory references.”
DeCaro said he had been taking the classes to become a Certified Town Clerk since December of 2019, and completed four off the five required classes. He said he was on track to complete all of the training prior to taking office if he wins the position. Also, he said he had completed the coursework to earn the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities “Certified Connecticut Municipal Official” designation.
“My focus has been on becoming the best prepared candidate for Town Clerk so that I’m ready for
office on day one,” said DeCaro on Tuesday.
On June 21, the Democratic Town Committee announced a full slate of candidates including Molly Saleeby for Town Clerk.
In 2019, Saleeby challenged Budkins for the job, noting Budkins had only faced one challenger in 26 years.
The LWV tried to organize a debate between town clerk candidates but Budkins declined to debate Saleeby.
When asked if he would participate in debates, DeCaro said, “I am more than willing to participate in debates. I believe I have a strong record to run on, and new ideas to share. I’ll go anywhere and speak to anyone to highlight my qualifications and outline my vision.”