Weston first selectman resigns, citing health issues

From left Selectman Stephan Grozinger, First Selectman Christopher Spaulding, and Selectman Samantha Nestor, listen to public comment at a Board of Selectmen meeting, June 6, 2019. Spaulding announced July 28, 2021 he is resigning from the post. Nestor will assume his duties starting Aug. 2, 2021.

From left Selectman Stephan Grozinger, First Selectman Christopher Spaulding, and Selectman Samantha Nestor, listen to public comment at a Board of Selectmen meeting, June 6, 2019. Spaulding announced July 28, 2021 he is resigning from the post. Nestor will assume his duties starting Aug. 2, 2021.

Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media

WESTON — First Selectman Christopher Spaulding has announced that he is resigning from the post, citing health concerns. His current Second Selectwoman Samantha Nestor will assume his duties starting Aug. 2.

Spaulding announced his resignation during an emotion special virtual meeting of the Board of Selectman on Wednesday. “The simple fact is I’ve had some recent health issues that have occurred that are not compatible with me doing this job,” he said.

He didn’t elaborate on his issues, except to say “I’m good. Everything’s stable, but I need to keep it that way.”

Earlier this year, Spaulding, a Democrat, said he would not seek a third term because he wished to spend more time with his family. He said he regretted not being able to finish out his term, but had faith in Nestor and other town officials to carry on in his stead.

“This has been agonizing, but this is the right thing to do,” Spaulding said.

Before Spaulding announced his resignation, the board moved to make Nestor acting first selectman, should Spaulding be unable to fulfill his duties. Spaulding explained that this motion is typically made after each election, but it wasn’t done this time and had to be done now.

Once Spaulding officially announced his resignation, Nestor tearfully wished him well.

“I just want to thank you for everything,” she said. “You’ve been a friend and a mentor and super fun.”

Nestor shared a story about Spaulding dressing as the “Star Wars” character Chewbacca on Halloween.

“You have brought humor to this role and humility and so much intelligence,” she said. “I want you to take a break. The best thing we can do is respect your privacy.”

Selectman Stephan Grozinger also expressed “great sadness” about Spaulding’s resignation.

“Unfortunately this is the weakness of Zoom,” Grozinger said during the virtual meeting. “This would be a great moment to be physically together and, unfortunately, we can’t.”

Also on Wednesday, the Weston Democratic Town Committee announced that Nestor was its endorsed candidate for first selectman in the upcoming November election.

The Republican Town Committee has endorsed Kirby Brendsel — a U.S. Army veteran who leads strategic environmental, social, and governance initiatives for a real estate investment trust — as its candidate for first selectman.

The Board of Selectman meeting concluded with Spaulding thanking his colleagues, and the citizens of Weston. “Thank you all, and I’ll be lurking,” he said. “Good luck, Weston.”