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Scott Centrella Receives Accolades for Service to Town of Easton

November 9, 2015

First Selectman Adam Dunsby and Selectman Robert Lessler praised outgoing Selectman Scott Centrella for his years of service and presented him with a recognition gift during Centrella’s last meeting on the board.

Centrella decided not to seek re-election to the board on which he served for 10 years. Carolyn Colangelo is seeking Centrella’s seat. She resigned her seat on the Region 9 Board of Education to run for selectman and is running unopposed.

So the board will have a female member, who is also an attorney, as are Centrella and Lessler, a Democrat, who is running for re-election.

Colangelo and Centrella are Republicans, as is Dunsby, who is running unopposed for a second term.

“Scott is the model of what a public servant should be: smart, dedicated, honest, and passionate for the cause,” Dunsby said at the Oct. 15 board meeting. “Any success I had in my first term as first selectman would not have been possible without his help.”

In addition to the Board of Selectmen, Centrella previously spent 10 years on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Conservation Commission.

He is very involved with the Stamford Boys & Girls Club. His deepening involvement there is one of the reasons he decided not to run again.

Centrella said his last meeting as a selectman was for the most part a typical meeting.

“While I realized beforehand that it was my last meeting, I hadn’t really thought much about it,” he said. “What was not at all typical was the fact that Adam Dunsby presented me with a very nice commemorative plaque for my 10 years of service. He and Bob Lessler both said some very nice things about my time with them and our work together. And some of the residents in attendance stood and also said some very kind and flattering things and thanked me for my service to the town of Easton. Their words were touching and meant a lot to me. I think in a very real way there is no greater reward for a public servant or, for that matter an attorney, than when your constituent or your client says thank you.”

Town Clerk Christine Halloran thanked Centrella for his dedication to the town.

“I'm new to this position, and it has been an honor and privilege to serve alongside you,” she said. “I've learned a lot from you and enjoyed the time we spent together campaigning house-to-house and meeting the residents. Thank you again for your service.”

Several residents also thanked him for his service.

“Scott Centrella has been an Easton selectman for 10 years,” James Rilling, Easton Republican Town Committee chairman, said. “During this time, he has attended approximately 240 Board of Selectmen meetings, not to mention other town meetings and miscellaneous events in his role as a selectman. Throughout this time, Scott has helped lead our town with integrity, honesty and hard work.  His wealth of knowledge and breadth of experience on town matters made him an indispensable leader of our town, and Easton is a much better place because of him. Thank you, Scott.”

Ray Martin, chairman of the Easton Republican Town Committee’s nominating committee, praised Centrella’s service and accomplishments.

"Scott, Easton is a better place today because of your service,” Martin said. “You always found effective solutions. What most people don't know is how much you have contributed elsewhere.

You have touched the lives of so many young people with your involvement at the Boys & Girls Club in Stamford. In a place where inner city children have a less than 50% high school graduation rate, the children in Scott’s program have an 85% graduation rate and 35% of them go on to college."

Martin also said Centrella has “an impeccable professional reputation. He is a family man. He walks with God and is in church every week at 8:15 Mass. I am proud to have you as a friend. You’re a true gentleman in every sense of the word."

Centrella said he left the meeting that night feeling both relief and at the same time regret that his time on the board was over. He said he enjoyed his 20 years of service to the town and, in particular, his 10 years on the Board of Selectmen.  

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the town and its citizens,” Centrella said. “While there have been some difficult and trying moments, by and large it has been a terrific experience. I’ve enjoyed working these last two years with Adam, who is, I think, doing an outstanding job as first selectman, and these last 10 years with Bob Lessler, who has become a colleague and a friend and who is one of the finest public servants I know.”

He said he also learned a lot and, he hoped, contributed to the town while working with Tom Herrmann for six years and Bill Kupinse for two years before that,

“While each Board of Selectmen was a bit different and unique, I think they have in their own way made meaningful contributions to Easton,” he said.

As he left the post to focus on other important charitable endeavors, Centrella said he was grateful to the people of Easton for having allowed him to serve them.

“I apologize if I offended anyone along the way,” he said. “It was never my intention to do so. And to those who have supported me through these years, you have my heartfelt thanks. I leave knowing the time is right for me to move on and confident in the knowledge that the next Board of Selectmen will be worthy and capable stewards of our town and will continue to fight the good fight.”

He said Easton residents have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to “if we listen to one another, express our thoughts respectfully even when we disagree and remember that we are seeking to advance the same important goal ultimately. That is, the preservation and enhancement of the wonderful town we call home.”

As published in the Easton Courier, October 29, 2015. Written by Nancy Doniger. Reprinted with permission.  Link to original article:  http://www.eastoncourier.com/2015/10/29/centrella-leaves-board-of-selectmen/