My Friends and Fellow Republicans,
I regret to announce my resignation, effective immediately, as a Selectman of the Town of Fairfield. This was a difficult decision, but one I feel was necessary. As recently as eight months ago, I asked for and received the support of town’s voters to serve as a member of the Board of Selectmen. I have had the privilege of representing the Town with energy and sincerity while being a member of the Board of Selectmen and the Representative Town Meeting for the last thirteen (13) years and for that I am truly grateful to all who have placed their trust and confidence in me to do only that which is the best for our Town. During that time, I have demanded integrity of all in town government, including myself. I hope and trust that the citizens of Fairfield will see my actions today are nothing less than a continuation of that purpose.
However, while representing a client as an attorney at a Town Plan and Zoning Commission hearing on Tuesday evening, several commissioners raised the question of whether I could represent clients before them while at the same time being a member of the Board of Selectmen. Previously, I had asked the opinion of numerous other attorneys in both parties to review the legalities of such representations and it was determined that my representation was permissible. Though there is nothing whatsoever improper in so representing my clients, nevertheless, since one of the concentrations of my law practice is land use, I must take note when several TPZ commissioners are uncomfortable with this issue, even if I respectfully disagree with them. It is my ethical obligation as an attorney is to represent my clients to the best of my ability. Since it appears that my role as a Selectman was now interfering with a client’s matter, I’ve concluded that I must resign immediately from my voluntary role as a Selectman, though reluctantly, for the sake of my family, my client’s and my livelihood.
While I am grateful to have served in this part-time capacity, supporting my family, helping my client’s and developing my law practice must be my main focus at this time in my life. Having grown up in Fairfield and attended its schools, I look forward in the future to a further role in a Town body, so that I can continue to serve this community that has given me so much.
James F. Walsh