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One on one with Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker

Thursday, August 18, 2022
Time: 10:08 AM

Yesterday, residents of Bethel were surprised to learn that six-term First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker decided to step down as the town's top elected official.

Knickerbocker announced that he would resign as First Selectman effective September 6th and take on his new role of Town Administrator in the Town of Wilton the next day.

PRESS RELEASE

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

I am writing to let our community know that this morning I submitted my resignation from the office of First Selectman. This will become effective at midnight on Tuesday, September 6th, and on Wednesday, September 7th, Selectman Rich Straiton will assume the duties of First Selectman on a full-time basis. The vacancy in the First Selectman's office will require a special election in the near future, as well as an appointment by the Board of Selectmen to fill the third seat. The special election will most likely be held in early 2023. You will be receiving more information about that over the next few weeks.

I'm sure this news comes as a surprise to many of our residents, and I wanted to take a moment to let you know how this came about.

I had been contemplating making a career change at the end of my current term of office for some time. I was always planning to continue in the field of public service but wished to be in a more secure position and one that was not subject to the two-year election cycle. I was looking for an opportunity to keep working in a public service capacity without the burden of politics and the seemingly never-ending need to campaign for office. Over the past two years, I have actually had other opportunities that I felt I had to let go of, as I felt it was not right to leave this position in the middle of a global pandemic and its effects on our community.

In a perfect world, I would have preferred to finish my current term and then transition to a new role. Great opportunities seldom time themselves with such convenience, however, and the opportunity I have is one that I cannot afford to pass up. On September 7th, I will assume the position of Town Administrator in the Town of Wilton and will be responsible for managing most of the town's municipal operations.

I send my most sincere thanks to all of the members of our community who have supported me in this position. And thanks also go to the other hard-working members and volunteers in our town government, as well as the other elected and appointed boards and commissions. By setting politics aside and working together for the betterment of our town, we have accomplished a great deal of good work over the past thirteen years.

From building infrastructure and road deficiencies to tackling responsible development concerns, to say that Bethel was once a town with a laundry list of issues and concerns and WELL-known for its nasty and personal political climate would be an understatement.

Bethel was one of the first communities outside of Danbury that I covered local politics; I'd had the pleasure of following Knickerbocker's rise in local government, starting as a member of the Board of Education to his run for First Selectman against then incumbent Bob Burke.

As Bethel transformed itself from the hotbed of partisan and divisive politics with its share of municipal deficiencies to the redeveloped community of today, I always made sure to take the time to talk to Knickerbocker over the years and get updates on changes in the town under his watch. As someone who bared witness to Bethel's transformation under Knickerboker's helm as First Selectman, it's with a bit of sadness that this is my last interview with Matt, but I wish him the best in his future endeavors. The town of Wilton was lucky when former long-term and popular Danbury Town Clerk Lori Kaback decided to bring her talents to their town. Now that same community is just as fortunate to have Bethel's top elected official as their Town Administrator.

The CTblogger channel · One on one with Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker

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Tribuna Newspaper
CT News Junkie
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2021 (ALVES/ESPOSITO)

TOWN COMMITTEES
(VID) DDTC nomination convention
(PDF) DDTC campaign slate flyer

(VID) DRTC nomination convention
(PDF) DRTC campaign slate flyer

FORUMS/DEBATES
(VID) 2021 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum

CAMPAIGN FINANCE
First quarter
Alves Apr 10th SEEC filing

Second quarter
Alves Jul 10th SEEC filing
Esposito Jul 10th SEEC filing

Third quarter
Alves Oct 12th SEEC report
Esposito Oct 12th SEEC report

CAMPAIGN MAILERS
Alves "Jan 6th" attack mailer 10.21.21
Esposito "you can't trust Alves" attack mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 09.30.21
Esposito mailer 09.28.21
Alves mailer 09.27.21
Esposito mailer 09.27.21


PAST CAMPAIGN COVERAGE

2005 (BOUGHTON/ESPOSITO)
Danbury 2005 election results
Newstimes Dean Esposito profile (10.25.05)

2007 (BOUGHTON/ABRANTES)
Danbury 2007 election results
(VID) Helana Abrantes TV ad
(VID) BRT tax deferral presser
(VID) Helena Abrantes "Community Forum" interview

2009 (BOUGHTON/GONCALVES)
Danbury 2009 election results
(VID) 2009 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2009 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2009 DDTC nomination convention

2011 (BOUGHTON/TABORSAK)
Danbury 2011 election results
(VID) Saadi/Nero campaign kickoff

2013 (BOUGHTON/NO DTC ENDORSED CANDIDATE/MCALLISTER)
Danbury 2013 election results
(VID) 2013 DDTC nominaiton convention

2015 (BOUGHTON UNCHALLENGED)
Danbury 2015 election results

2017 (BOUGHTON/ALMEIDA)
Danbury 2017 election results
(VID) Al Almeida concession speech
(VID) 2017 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) Al Almeida nomination acceptance speech

2019 (BOUGHTON/SETARO)
Danbury 2019 election results
(VID) 2019 NewsTimes Editorial Board interview with Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro
(VID) 2019 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2019 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2019 convention endorsement speeches from Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MAYOR BOUGHTON'S DEPOSITION

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MIKE McLACHLAN (then MAYOR CHIEF OF STAFF) DEPOSITION

Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint


Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park


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VIDEO: Tereza Pereira's ordeal with ICE agents

VIDEO: Danbury Peace Coalition Immigration Forum (April 2006)
featuring Mayor Boughton and Immigration attorney Philip Berns

VIDEO: 2007 Stop the Raids immigration forum at WCSU

2007: Community protest anti-immigration forum

A tribute to Hispanic Center Director and immigrant activist Maria Cinta Lowe