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 the most votes, 458, followed closely by Taylor, with 450 votes, according to unofficial results from the town clerk’s office.

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

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

Picchiotti, who is 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 Town Council earlier this year sent voters a referendum on whether to create a charter commission. The 11-member commission would review and offer changes to the town’s 11-page charter. The charter is the document that organizes Fairfield’s town governance. 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 council. Any changes would have to be ratified by voters in another referendum.

Six of the commissioners were supposed to be elected residents, but only one person, Timothy Martin, had put in nomination papers to be on the ballot by the filing deadline in August. Martin won 525 votes to be on the commission.

That left five spaces open to be filled by write-in candidates, and clerks were counting 86 write-in submissions Tuesday night. Results were not immediately available. Three commissioners on the nine-member panel would be appointed by the Town Council.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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