First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker and his wife Adrienne moved to Bethel from Michigan in 1979. He has been active in civic life in Bethel as a volunteer coach with the Parks and Recreation department and with the Bethel Jaycees, where he served as President from 1994-1995. In 1999 Matt was elected to the Board of Education and was a member for ten years, serving seven years as chairman.
In addition to serving the Town of Bethel, Matt is an active participant in regional and state governmental activities on issues of importance to Bethel residents. He is a member of the state legislature’s MORE Commission on education and regional governance. He is the past chairman of the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials (HVCEO), the former regional planning agency and is currently serving as chair of the newly formed Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WCCOG). Matt is also a member of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), serving as chairman of the subcommittee on transportation.
Selectman Richard Straiton
Matt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University and is currently working to complete his master’s degree in public administration at Post University. Matt and Adrienne have two adult children, both graduates of the Bethel Public School system, and two grandchildren.
Richard has lived in Bethel all his life. He attended Bethel grammar schools and went on to Henry Abbott Technical School where he graduated from the Electrical Department, graduating with the Danbury Housatonic Wiring Association award. Upon graduation he joined his father in the family business. He worked as an electrical and plumbing apprentice and went on to receive his license in both fields. Upon the retirement of his father he continued the business for 16 years. During this time he obtained his Home Improvement Contractors license, which he still maintains today. Fifteen years ago he went to work for Bethel Health Care and Rehabilitation Center as the Physical Plant Director where he still works today.
Rich served six years in the Connecticut Army National Guard and was discharged with the rank of E7 Sergeant.
Rich has served on many building committees in the Town of Bethel. He served on the Permanent Building Committee for many years. He chaired the building of the Bethel Middle School and chaired the renovations of the old middle school which is now the Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center. When it came time to renovate the Frank A. Berry School he was there to serve. He also had the distinction of being on the "first" committee to renovate the Bethel High School. Recently, Rich was asked to serve on the Public Site and Building Committee and the newly organized Library Building Committee for the Town of Bethel
Rich also serves as a Justice of the Peace and a Constable for our Town.
He is a member of the Danbury Exchange Club and serves on their Board of Directors.
Along with his wife, Sharon, he attends the Ridgebury Congregational Church in Ridgefield and is a Trustee.
Rich and Sharon have been married for fifteen years and are the proud parents of their blended family - Lori, Joe, Lisa, Keith, Laura, Mark and Andrew. They also have seven grandchildren - Trevor, Amanda, Sara, Megan, Steven, Joey and David.
Selectman Paul Szatkowski
Selectman Paul Szatkowski and his wife Diana are 37-year residents of Bethel. They are the parents of three children namely: Paul, Susan and Michelle. All three children were graduates of the Bethel Schools and have graduated from various universities with advanced degrees. Both Paul and Diana are active members of St. Mary's Parish.
Paul has an undergraduate science degree from Ferris State University. He is a retired executive from the biomedical industry in which he has extensive management experience in the areas of global business development, product development, strategic market planning and sales. Within the scientific community, Paul has been acknowledged as a "Fellow" by the American Institute of Chemists for outstanding contributions in chemistry. He has several scientific publications found within the biomedical community.
Paul Szatkowski has served the town publicly on many committees and commissions. He was a member of the Permanent Building Committee, Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Bethel Middle School Building Committee, and Vice-Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Berry School Building Committee, former Vice-Chairman of Ad-Hoc Bethel High School Building Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Public Site and Building Committee, and member of the recent Charter Revision Commission. Paul is a member of the Bethel Republican Town Committee and currently serves as Vice Chairman.