FAIRFIELD — The Town Council on Monday unanimously appointed Tom Munson to serve as councilor through 2012.

Munson, a Realtor, fills a vacancy created when Ernest Canelli III resigned earlier this month because of illness.

Munson said he was flattered to be selected and that he applied because of his desire to help the community.

Munson, 63, has lived in Fairfield since the 1990s. He is a 1970 Colby College graduate.

The owner of Mainely Real Estate, who has the former Gerald Hotel building under contract, said he’ll work to rejuvenate the downtown area.

When big-box stores move in, Munson said, they squeeze out small businesses, which results in residents being burdened with higher taxes.

He has experience on a number of boards, including Fairfield’s Economic & Community Development Advisory Committee and the Main Street & Waterfront Committee.

“We have a wonderful town and it’s on its way back,” Munson said.

Fairfield Town Manager Josh Reny said Munson proved to be the strongest of the six qualified townspeople who had written letters of interest for the post.

“The council was very happy with the caliber of people who applied,” Reny said. “I was interested to see who the council was gong to pick. We had such a good crop of candidates. It was great to see there was so much interest.”

Reny said Munson frequently volunteers to take on responsibility and he is motivated to improve the downtown.

“That all speaks to his level of commitment and what he would bring to the council,” Reny said.

Munson’s appointment is valid through December 2012. An election will be held in November for the rest of the term, which expires in 2013.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]