update: GREENWICH, Conn. -- A former Peace Corps volunteer was named Wednesday morning as the new member of the three-person Greenwich Board of Selectmen.
John F. Toner will finish out the term of Dave Theis, who died unexpectedly just before Christmas.
Toner, 68, a Republican, was appointed at a special Board of Selectmen meeting Wednesday morning.
The full board is up for election in November, and Toner said it is too early for him to make a decision on whether he will run.
"I barely stepped into this job," he said with a slight laugh Wednesday. "Ask me that in about three months, four months."
The decision on the replacement fell to First Selectman Peter Tesei and Drew Marzullo, who is the sole Democratic member of the three-person board.
Both men, who are still mourning the recent death of Theis, had a somber tone as they welcomed Toner to the Board of Selectmen.
"We certainly endeavor to be diligent in our duties at the same time that we suffered a major personal loss," Tesei said as he thanked those who expressed interest in the position.
Marzullo said he and Tesei were faced with a choice they never imagined.
"It is a decision that Peter and I never wanted," Marzullo said as he expressed his sympathy to Theis' sisters Ginny and Nancy and his partner Kerrin Coyle.
At the swearing in Coyle spoke briefly welcoming Toner to the board.
Marzullo said he and Tesei wanted to find someone who shared Theis' deep roots in the community and commitment to the town.
"While there is no replacing Dave Theis as selectman, Peter and I both endeavored to find a person who shares many of the qualities that Dave Theis embodied," Marzullo said.
He worked briefly as a substitute teacher in Greenwich before moving to Scarsdale to teach for a year. He later joined Chase where he worked for 27 years.
A lifelong Greenwich resident who graduated from Fairfield University in 1968, Toner said his roots in the community, including membership on the Representative Town Meeting and volunteer work that has given him a deep understanding of the town.
"I know basically what the people of the Greenwich are looking for," he said.
A Republican, Theis, 65, died unexpectedly on Dec. 23 after suffering an apparent heart attack while working out a Greenwich gym. He was first elected to the Greenwich Board of Selectmen in 2009.
Read more about Theis here on the Daily Voice.
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