It seems Republican Timothy M. Herbst is already on the job as first selectman, even though he didn’t exactly broadcast it.
With the charter calling for the transition in town officials to take place at a non-specific time on Dec. 7, Herbst said he was sworn in promptly at 12:01 this morning by one of his law colleagues, Dennis Kokenos, and swore in his Town Clerk, Suzanne Burr Monaco, shortly after.
“It was just so I could sign appointment letters,” said Herbst, who wasn’t in Town Hall and added the main swearing-in event was still scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight in Madison Middle School. He said Monaco wanted to make sure items from her new office today were legal.
Still, it seemed an awkward beginning, as outgoing Democratic officials were a bit stunned.
“This is the first I’m hearing of it,” said Herbst’s Democratic predecessor, Raymond G. Baldwin Jr. “It would have been nice if he let me know.”
Outgoing Town Clerk Rose Lodice was already at work when Monaco came in shortly before 9 a.m. “I wish someone would have told me,” she said. “I wouldn’t have come in today.”
Indeed, new officers have traditionally taken their oaths at night. Baldwin’s secretary, Joan Plouffe, a mainstay in the office since the 1970s, said such an early takeover may have taken place once before, but she couldn’t immediately recall who was involved.