FAIRFIELD — Incumbent town council members John Picchiotti and Michael Taylor were re-elected to three-year seats in elections Tuesday.

Picchiotti, who has recently been criticized for anti-Muslim comments on his Facebook page, won a narrow victory with 458 votes, followed by Taylor with 450, according to unofficial results from the town clerk.

Harold Murray, a former councilor running for another term was third with 339 votes.

In interviews before the election, all three candidates said keeping taxes down and increasing economic development were key issues.

Picchiotti, also a Republican state representative for Fairfield, Mercer and Smithfield, courted controversy last week when a post on his Facebook page that contained anti-Muslim remarks was criticized by liberal blogger Mike Tipping. Picchiotti apologized for the post and his public Facebook page has since been deleted.

Voters also narrowly approved setting up a charter commission to review the town’s governing document. The final tally was 357-324 to create the nine-member panel.

The 11-member commission would review and offer changes to the town’s 11-page charter, the document that organizes Fairfield’s town government. The document hasn’t been subjected to a full review since it was adopted 30 years ago, but it has been amended several times, most recently in 2008.

The commission could suggest changes such as eliminating town meeting or expanding the town council. Any changes would have to be ratified by voters in another referendum.


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