Kane appointed to New Milford Town Council
NEW MILFORD — Democrat John Kane, who is running for a Town Council seat, got an early start on the campaign Monday night after he was appointed to replace Scott Chamberlain, who resigned earlier in the day.
Kane, in a prepared statement, said he is honored to sit on the council and hopes to revamp the town’s ethics code and represent residents, not special interests.
The council unanimously approved the appointment, but Councilman Paul Szymanski, a Republican, questioned whether other residents had been asked if they were interested in serving.
Democrat council members said Kane received the endorsement of the Democratic Town Committee.
“Every Democrat in town is welcome to join the Democratic Town Committee, and if they had, they would have been able to go to vote for John Kane. So at that point anyone could have nominated themselves,” said council member Jessica Richardson.
Late last week, an uproar ensued when a town resident posted on a community Facebook page several screenshots of Chamberlain’s profile from a private website catering to “furries,” a group of people who dress in full-body animal costumes and many of whom participate in or write about unusual sexual practices.
The profile includes a list of Chamberlain’s “loves,” “likes” and “hates,” some sexual in nature, but also said he “tolerates” rape.
After the post appeared, many residents and Mayor David Gronbach called for Chamberlain’s immediate resignation.
In his resignation letter, Chamberlain wrote, “Over the last few days, my personal life has overshadowed the work I do for the town. That is unacceptable. To the extent that I am an impediment to the town’s progress, then I am the one who must leave.”
He praised the administration and his party for making needed reforms in town government and lamented that decisions by town government are often made along party lines.
His resignation applies to all town positions, including chairmanship of the Sewer Commission, and all his party posts.
Kane, a former U.S. Marine, a professional photographer and goat farmer, has lived in New Milford for some four decades. He has sat on the town Planning Commission and the Aquifer Protection Agency for the past two years.
Kane said he looks forward to his work on the council.
“When I got the call from the mayor, I was honored to accept and be a part of this body,” Kane said. “Scott was an effective legislator and was very proactive, up to and including lobbying for our town in Hartford. These are big shoes to fill.
“But because we must hold ourselves to a higher standard, I was glad to see the mayor act decisively in demanding his resignation.”