From Letters to the Editor – Be Informed

Welcome.

The New Fairfield Democratic Town Committee wants to help keep you informed of significant town events and news from our elected officials and Letters to the Editor in response to the news and statements by others in town.  You can see that Important Information and News for the Town here.

2022

This is another important year for all of us, with the budget referendum coming this spring, and a state election later this year.  We often have members respond to news and statements by others in town.  We will provide you those letters to help you be informed.


As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, November 23, 2022, PAGE 11

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CORRECTING MULTIPLE INACCURACIES AND MISINFORMATION in last week’s LTEs

To the Editor:22 Pat 3 by 4 about

Last week, there were two Letters to the Editor submitted by elected members of the Zoning Commission, one addressing the Bus Lot, and the other Affordable Housing.  Both letters contained multiple inaccuracies and misinformation that must be addressed.

As the “Chief Elected Official” of the Town, I sign all land use permit applications for work on Town property as the “owner.”  In that role, I signed the Permanent Building Committee’s zoning application to locate a bus lot on the Consolidated School property. The application was considered by the Zoning Commission and ultimately denied.   When an applicant, in this case the PBC, believes that a permit was denied without proper justification, an appeal is filed – a standard provision of the land use permitting process.  After hours of deliberation, the PBC appealed the Zoning Commission’s decision to deny the bus lot application.  State statute dictates that if an application is denied by the Zoning Commission, the appeal must be heard by the Superior Court.  If the application had been denied by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, it would have been heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals.  The venue of the appeal is not my choice, nor is it the choice of the PBC or our Town attorney.  I support the PBC’s decision to appeal, as the only potential alternative site for the bus lot could cost over $500,000 more than developing the bus lot on 302 Ball Pond Road, and that added cost would fall squarely on the taxpayers.

Unfortunately, Ms. Landers’ letter regarding “opting out” of certain provisions of Public Act 21-29 regarding affordable housing is also inaccurate.  First, let’s be clear about exactly what “opt out” means.  PA 21-29 requires that municipalities adopt new zoning regulations by January 1, 2023 for the purpose of complying with new state statute addressing accessory apartments and associated parking requirements.  Municipalities have two options – either to comply with the new state rules, or to “opt out” of the provisions until compliant municipal regulations are approved.  The Zoning Commission held a public hearing and voted to “opt out.”  It is now up to the Board of Selectmen to consider “opting out” and to vote on the referral from the Zoning Commission. There is no requirement for the BOS to hold a public hearing, nor is there a requirement to “act immediately.”  The Selectmen have no intention of missing the statutory deadline, and I’m not sure why Ms. Landers believes so strongly that the BOS would deny the Zoning Commission the additional time needed to enact compliant regulations. Inferring that the Selectmen would disregard their statutory responsibility to create hardship for the Town is irresponsible.

As elected officials, Mr. Hanrahan and Ms. Landers have a responsibility to provide accurate information to the public.

Patricia Del Monaco

First Selectman


As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, October 13, 2022, PAGE 11

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VOTE YES ON THE ARPA PROJECTS

C Reedy editedBy the time you read this letter a Town Meeting will have set a date and time for a machine vote on spending the $4.1 million in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds from the federal government awarded to New Fairfield.  That vote is likely scheduled for next week at the Senior Center but do check the town website at newfairfield.org for more information.

There are many great projects on the list including funds to replace the 20 year old compressor at Company A that fills the air bottles volunteer firefighters wear on their backs when fighting fires as well as a specialized washer and dryer to clean their turnout gear of carcinogens and other noxious fumes after a fire.  All the projects are good for our town and its future.

One controversial project is the sewer design and permitting for $1.6 million for the town center and ultimately town buildings, schools, and senior housing if and when needed.  At least since I was First Selectman in the late 1980s, there have been problems with septic systems and water pollution in the town center and at town buildings.  Over the years the town had opportunities to take advantage of grants and low interest loans to deal with these problems, but we always turned away.  Fear mongers claimed sewers would bring excessive development, affordable housing, chain stores, loss of local control, etc.  Some still make those claims.  But I hope that this time we won’t miss out on another golden opportunity to get this vital project closer to providing options for property owners in the town center, for town buildings and for residents of our senior living facilities.

25 years ago Art Azzarito, a former Chair of the New Fairfield Taxpayers’ Association, Selectman, Board of Finance Member, and someone who didn’t spend money foolishly, urged the town to connect the town buildings and the schools as well as the town center to the Danbury sewer system.  It pains me to think how many millions we would have saved in the septic systems we have built and/or renovated at our town schools since that time if only we had listened to Art.

When sewers come to the town center no one has to hook up if they don’t want to.  But, there will finally be an option for commercial property owners when their septic systems fail and repairs are extraordinarily expensive.  The taxpayers will have an option when the septic systems at town buildings and schools fail.  And only the users of the system will pay for the benefits they reap from the system – not all taxpayers.

Please support all the proposed ARPA projects, including the sewer design.  Let’s not let another golden opportunity go by and be penny wise and pound foolish once again.

Cheryl Reedy, New Fairfield

NOTE – The referendum to consider and vote (by machine) on the projects proposed by the Board of Selectmen for funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will be held on Tuesday, October 18 between 8 AM and 8 PM in the Senior Center Community Room.


As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, October 13, 2022, PAGE 10

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TOWN MTG. VOTE COMING – AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) VOTE YES

W MarshThe Board of Selectmen has worked closely with the town’s ARPA working group, formed of town employees and officials with expertise knowledgeable with the goals of the ARPA funding, and two public forums to propose some essential town projects to be paid for with federal funds.  This is an opportunity to improve New Fairfield without having to generate and budget taxes from New Fairfield taxpayers.  Never before have towns and cities experienced an in-pouring of federal funding of this magnitude.

These new projects which will improve the town’s fiscal and environmental infrastructure include: (1) Sewer system design serving the town’s business/commercial zone; (2) Ball Pond watershed stormwater drainage management to ease erosion and flooding in certain neighborhoods: (3) Public safety improvements including communications center equipment and police building renovations; (4) Company A firehouse renovations to address building use requirements and member safety concerns; (5) Community center feasibility study; (6) Premium pay for public health and safety employees; (7) Beach house reconstruction; (8) Small business grants; (9) Emergency housing fund creation; and (10) Fire Marshall vehicle.

We taxpayers need to take advantage of this federal funding.  I am a long time resident, taxpayer and member of the Board of Finance, and I am wholeheartedly in favor of all these projects.

Please support these projects with your YES vote.  The town vote will be by machine vote located at the Senior Center.  Please check the town website at newfairfield.org for the October date, which will probably be next week.

Wes Marsh, New Fairfield


As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, October 13, 2022, PAGE 10

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SUPPORT THE USE OF ARPA FUNDS

Peggy_Treatment_04Under the conditions of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the town will have the opportunity to vote on several serious projects to improve public safety and our community.  One of the items designated for attention is the sewer study to determine the impact of providing a sewer system in the center of center of town.  This project will address designing a sewer system to our downtown commercial area of New Fairfield, in addition to providing potential future lines to our schools.  The importance of approving the acceptance of this cannot be understated: these funds will provide for a public utility that will address current and future needs of our community without straining our taxpayers.

New Fairfield continues to be a growing thriving community.  We enjoy a healthy real estate market, and we have supported the building of 2 new schools to address the future needs of New Fairfield students.  Despite these factors, our downtown area remains marked by empty storefronts.  Commercial development has been hampered by the lack of sewers limiting the types of businesses we can attract to our town.

Once the date has been set for the referendum by machine vote, please come out to support the use of these ARPA funds.

Peggy Katkocin, New Fairfield


As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, October 13, 2022, PAGE 10

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IN SUPPORT OF ARPA FUNDING

Please vote yes and support the Selectman’s recommendations for use of the ARPA funds allocated to theTom Quigley Town of New Fairfield.  These funds will be used for Covid Expenditures, essential worker’s compensation, and water and sewer infrastructure, which is the bulk of the funding.  It will be spent on Design and Engineering of a sewer system to target only an area around the center of Town and the schools.  Several of the businesses and buildings are using old or restricted septic systems and would benefit greatly from this upgrade.  Servicing the schools will remove the need to replace their septic systems in the future at a much greater cost.  The ARPA Funds have been discussed and debated for months, and these recommendations are solid and well thought out.  Please VOTE YES to support them.

Tom Quigley, New Fairfield


THREE STRIKES AGAINST THE BOARD OF FINANCE

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, May 26, 2022, PAGE 10

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22 Kruzykowski Rob IMG_0804

The BOF held its monthly meeting on May 18 at 7:30 PM. Where do I begin? With the almost 25 minutes spent (time stamp 01:58-26:45) discussing the addition of an item to the meeting’s agenda? Or with the fact that Dave Coleman was present but did not come forward with an apology? Or with Claudia Willard’s request (2:36:25) to add an agenda item to the next meeting to discuss amending the policy on public comment to require “civility”? For the first, it is clear there needs to be a BOF 101 course for the members. From explaining the irrelevance of indicating “Special” on the agenda to the actual discussion of how they should discuss the letter received from DRC that was intended to be discussed later was just mind numbing. Second, it is apparent Dave Coleman is not going to apologize or even remotely acknowledge that many were hurt by his insensitive words. He usually says a lot but I guess “I apologize” is too much. He was uncharacteristically silent through most of this meeting. Enough said.

Third, my biggest concern is Claudia Willard’s request to add discussing revising the public comment policy (starts 2:36:25) to next meeting’s agenda. It sounds to me that an elected official is attempting to restrict the free speech of the public at meetings of a board of our town’s government. According to the Supreme Court, the First Amendment guarantees free speech in a limited public forum. A public forum is defined as a place set aside by government for expressive activities, i.e. a town board meeting. Content-based speech restrictions in a designated public forum are subject to strict scrutiny. The government may, of course, impose time, place, or manner regulations. As Wes Marsh explained, their policy already limits speakers during public comment at meetings to 3 minutes (time/place) and to remain civil (manner). Now Claudia wants to craft policy defining “civility” and “conduct at meetings” because some commenters are “attacking” people. Wes tried explaining that anyone who chooses to run for, and get elected to, public office should expect comment, especially when they have offended the public. But Claudia doesn’t like the comments and wants to dictate how comments going forward are made. That is a very slippery slope. More restriction would be infringement on our First Amendment rights. A person’s level of civility is subjective and they can’t (shouldn’t?) prescribe how a person chooses to express themselves. However, if someone gets unruly the Board can decide to have them removed from in person meetings or mute them on Zoom. I’ve seen that happen at BOE meetings in years past. I have no objection to that. As elected officials, one should expect, and even welcome, criticism but one shouldn’t expect its delivery to match one’s own pre-defined parameters. The question then becomes what does one do? The answer: either take it, hopefully learn, and move on, fulfill your term and not run again, or resign.

Rob Kruzykowski

New Fairfield


Thank you, New Fairfield, for getting out and voting

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, May 19, 2022, PAGE 11

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On Saturday, 1,681 New Fairfielders voted in the budget referendum for the Town Government and Education Budgets for 2022/2023.  BOTH BUDGETS PASSED with over 60% in favor on each budget.

The number that voted represented a little over 17% of the eligible voters.  While many feel that more should have gotten out to vote, it is important to note that this was the highest turnout for an annual budget referendum since 2011.

Before the vote, some had tried to make this seem like a partisan issue, it was not.  The Board of Education is a majority Republican board and led by a republican and they unanimously approved their budget.  Many of their members spoke passionately about approving the budget at the Board of Finance meetings.  The Board of Selectmen is a majority Democratic board and is led by a democrat and they unanimously approved their budget and went on to speak passionately about approving the budget.  This budget was not a partisan issue, and it was passed by many Unaffiliated, Republican and Democrat voters who came together and simply voted YES.

In the end people listened to the facts from our respected leaders in the Board of Education and the Board of Selectmen and tuned out the noise and misinformation.

Thank you again to all who voted.  A special thank you to all the poll workers who made the vote possible (by putting in a 12 hour or more day) and kept the election secure.

Now let us move forward together doing what is best for this town and schools that we love as they evolve and constantly improve to serve all of us.

Thank you,

John McCartney


Support the 2022-2023 Budget

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, May 12, 2022, PAGE 12

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Vote yes for the town and school budgets this Saturday!  Both budgets have been cut to the minimum needed to cover essential services, to make room for the bonding that will be required this coming year for the new schools that we’ve approved for our town.  Any further cuts to town or school budgets for the coming year would eliminate needed programs for our students as they recover from the effects of the pandemic, cause layoffs among teachers or town staff, or result in deficits for our roads and town infrastructure.  And would require bigger budget increases in the future to make up for the damage from cuts this year.  Slow and steady investment year after year is the best way to ensure the future of our town.

If you can’t make it to the polls on Saturday, you can vote in person this week in the town offices.

Keith Landa


Support the 2022-2023 Budget

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, May 12, 2022, PAGE 12

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I want to express my support for the budget passed by the Board of Finance on 4/20 and urge people to vote yes on May 14th at the budget referendum from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. If passed, we will see a 3.11% increase consistent with past tax increases. If the budget is approved, taxpayers with a property tax bill of $7000 will see an increase of around $18.15 a month. This budget supports essential services needed by the schools and towns are we start moving forward from the last few years. It is vital that both the town and school budgets pass so that we don’t see a reduction in staff at both the town and the schools. I am personally supporting the budget because, as a 2015 graduate from New Fairfield High School and a resident of New Fairfield, I want to see our town and our schools thrive, and this budget will allow them to do that. Both the Board of Selectman and the Board of Education presented lean budgets. Please VOTE YES on May 14th at New Fairfield Middle School Cafeteria.

Olivia Micca


Re: David Coleman’s BOF COMMENTS 4/20/2022

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, May 5, 2022, PAGE 11

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One of the unfortunate aspects of this year’s debate over the budget for our schools and town is the amount of just plain wrong information that is being circulated.  It’s especially distressing if the source of that wrong information is an elected official who was in the center of the budget debate.  Last week’s letter submitted by David Coleman, an alternate member of the Board of Finance, contained a serious misstatement that could mislead voters.

The proposed property tax increase for this coming year is 3.11%.  This is an all-in number and includes the debt service for building two new schools, contrary to Mr. Coleman’s assertion that it is not included and taxpayers are on the hook for more.  Either Mr. Coleman is intentionally misleading voters by his misstatement – or he truly did not understand the two months of presentations and debate that he was part of.  Either case is not a good result for New Fairfield voters.

The budget proposal with its 3.11% increase is fair.  It provides the support our schools and town need to provide basic services as we come out of the past few year’s difficulties.  Not only does the proposed increase include the debt service for the new schools, but it also incorporates additional funds to address inflation and increased special education needs.  Defeating the proposal will result in cuts to required educational and municipal services.

Vote Yes on the budget referendum when it is scheduled for later this month.

Joliset Miller

New Fairfield


Support the 2022-2023 Budget/

David Coleman’s BOF Comments 4/20/2022

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, May 5, 2022, PAGE 1122 Olivia_Treatment_04

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First and foremost I want to express my support for the budget passed by the Board of Finance on 4/20 and urge people to vote yes on the date of the budget referendum. If passed we will see a 3.11% increase which is consistent with past tax increases. As noted in Selectman Khris Hall’s column last week, for taxpayers with a property tax bill of $7000, the approximate increase will be around $18.15 a month. It is important that both the town and school budgets pass so that we don’t see a reduction of staff at both the town and the schools. Both the Board of Selectman and the Board of Education presented lean budgets. Please VOTE YES at the referendum. Secondly, I want to again make the townspeople aware of disgusting and degrading comments made by Board of Finance Alternate David Coleman during the 4/20 Board of Finance meeting regarding children enrolled in our town’s special education program. The comments insinuated that “a child like that” is a burden to their families along with the comment “if they even graduate”. These comments are disgusting, offensive, and demeaning to a valuable part of our population. I am asking that the board requires Mr. Coleman to make a public apology at the next meeting and that he resigns from the board. Someone who makes comments like that should NOT be in public office and gives New Fairfield a bad look. This is something the voters will not forget and we will continue to hold Mr. Coleman accountable until action is taken.

Olivia Micca

New Fairfield


IT WAS THE BEST OF MEETINGS,
IT WAS THE WORST OF MEETINGS

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, April 28, 2022, PAGE 9

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22 Kruzykowski Rob IMG_0804On April 20 the Board of Finance met to vote (yet again) whether to pass the Board of Selectman and Board of Education’s budgets to the citizens of New Fairfield for a vote. I must say I was thrilled beyond words to hear that resolution pass. Thanks to those members who voted yes. You heard the will of the people and you delivered. We shall not forget.

However, this result was bittersweet as earlier in the meeting alternate member, Dave Coleman, made some disparaging remarks. There was some discussion on the revised budget the Board of Education had met to discuss and vote on during a special meeting held on April 19. It was unanimously supported by all members of the BOE and sent to the BOF. There were revisions to some line items but two were significant. There was a 68.15% increase in the Special Education line item. A big increase for sure but one that the BOE felt necessary. In discussing the increase of the Special Education line item at time stamp 1:00:37, after making some remarks about what may be the reason for such an increase, Dave says, “I certainly feel for any family that winds up in a situation with a child like that.” Wow, just wow. We don’t need pity. Dave had made other comments along the same tone at this meeting, but I’m limited to space here. What astounds me is the idea that families and children with different educational challenges need or deserve pity. What we would appreciate is support, understanding, and the resources to help our children succeed as best they can. The statements made were thoughtless, inappropriate, and demeaning to an entire segment of our population. As an elected official to openly marginalize part of our community, is unforgivable. Elected officials represent ALL the people of New Fairfield, yes, including children “like that” and their families. It’s clear to me the entire BOF can benefit from sensitivity training (as evidenced by the virtual silence from the rest of the Board but one) as these matters will continue to be discussed every year. More important is what can be done about Dave Coleman? I would suggest at least censure, or this may be too much to hope for, resignation.

Rob Kruzykowski

New Fairfield


Re: David Coleman’s BOF COMMENTS 4/20/2022

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, April 28, 2022, PAGE 1622 Olivia_Treatment_04

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I want to make the townspeople aware of disgusting and degrading comments made by Board of Finance Alternate David Coleman during the 4/20 Board of Finance meeting regarding children enrolled in our town’s special education program. The comments insinuated that “a child like that” is a burden to their families along with the comment “if they even graduate”. These comments are disgusting, offensive, and demeaning to a valuable part of our population. Mr. Coleman has made disgusting comments in the past including that citizens speaking were a part of an organized political group, insulting the intelligence of the public commenters, and his behavior towards other board members, especially women is unacceptable. I am asking that the board requires Mr. Coleman to make a public apology at the next meeting and that he resigns from the board. Someone who makes comments like that should NOT be in public office and gives New Fairfield a bad look. This is something the voters will not forget and we will continue to hold Mr. Coleman accountable until action is taken.

Olivia Micca

Vice Chair of the New Fairfield Democratic Town Committee


RE: DEBUNKING MS. BENISON’S TEST KIT CLAIMS

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, February 3, 2022, PAGE 1022 Kruzykowski Rob IMG_0804

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I’ve just read Ms. Benison’s column in the January 27 issue. My head is spinning as I am trying to understand how she can devote most of her column throwing around accusations and sowing seeds of divisiveness but close it by claiming she wants to “work together” for the betterment of our town. There is so much to digest and respond to but, since space is limited, I will address one issue that stands out to me.

It is quite evident that COVID is the hot topic she is counting on to gain sympathy. I must say that I personally find it abhorrent that a public health issue is being used as a political tool, not only by Ms. Benison, but by many elected officials in this country. She is making it quite obvious this IS political when the first thing she mentions is the party affiliation of the three selectmen (2 against 1). Let me address some of the points she makes. When the town receives anything from the state, either funds or materials, they come with specific instructions on use and/or distribution. The town followed the instructions as to distribution of these test kits. Some were set aside for school personnel, but the remainder was allocated to our most vulnerable population and the general population as a whole. What Ms. Benison fails to mention is that there ARE test kits allocated to first responders, actually 200, more than double the 75 she asked for. Many of them have not been claimed, they are sitting in storage for any one of our first responders to use. It appears that Ms. Benison is omitting some facts to make herself look like the victim of a conspiracy to alienate her, and to portray the other two Selectmen as not caring about our first responders.

Ms. Benison, I am hoping that coming out guns blazing, attacking your colleagues is just a knee jerk reaction of being newly elected and trying to understand your role in this office. I would suggest that drawing party lines and burning bridges of communication between yourself and your two colleagues is not the way to start. You claim to want to work together, well, actions speak louder than words.

Rob Kruzykowski

New Fairfield


In Response to Selectman Lori-Ann Beninson’s Column

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, February 3, 2022, PAGE 1122 Olivia_Treatment_04

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The comments of Selectman Lori-Ann Beninson in her column last week concerning the task force created to review how to spend the $4.1 million in federal funding under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) are way off-base. This task force, similar to task forces in most other towns, is made up of the elected Board of Selectmen (including Selectman Beninson) and municipal department heads who have expertise on needs in New Fairfield. The task force has been convening in open meetings that are recorded since this past summer; several members of the public have attended these meetings.

All decisions on expenditure of the ARPA funds recommended by the task force will be reviewed and voted on by the Boards of Finance and Selectmen and ultimately put before us as the taxpayers for final approval.  Contrary to Selectman Beninson’s assertion, this is full transparency and accountability.

One of the issues reviewed at the January 12th meeting of the ARPA task force, as highlighted by Selectman Beninson, was the possible use of ARPA funding to complete the engineering study required to move forward with a proposal to construct a connection to the Danbury sewage treatment plant for the commercial establishments in the center of town and our schools.  ARPA funding is specifically available for this purpose and other towns are taking advantage of it.  As an Alternate Member of the Planning Commission, I am very interested in this project and do not share Selectman Beninson’s skepticism about it.  Many of the aging septic systems that support our businesses in town are failing.  The septic systems supporting our schools are problematic.

Lack of a sewer system connection is the single biggest reason we can’t get a greater variety of businesses in town, such as a brewery or bagel shop.  Furthermore, it was specifically stated at the January ARPA meeting that the proposed sewer connection is not being designed to support an affordable housing development nor would the cost of the study fall on homeowners. I urge everyone to keep an open mind on this issue and to fully understand the facts when this issue is put to a decision later this year.

Olivia Micca

New Fairfield


LET’S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON TRANSPARENCY

As published in the Letters and Opinions in the Town Tribune, Section 1, February 3, 2022, PAGE 1122 Josh_Select_2_Treatment_04

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With transparency comes accountability. In government, maintaining a high standard for both is crucial to keep people’s trust in their elected leaders. With that in mind, I’m disappointed by Selectman Beninson’s recent column which is surprisingly lacking in both transparency and accountability.

First, anyone who calls town hall can ask about how our local covid test distribution works. The town’s efforts to promote and streamline distribution has received high praise from residents. On seeing Selectman Beninson’s claim that her request for 75 test kits for first responders was denied, I called the First Selectman’s office to inquire and found out she followed the guidance for distribution from the state Department of Public Health and the Governor’s office and set aside over 200 test kits for first responders.  Facts matter.

Additionally, I am extremely disappointed about Selectman Beninson’s comments regarding the appointment of Board of Finance chair Wes Marsh. Wes has served the Board of Finance for 17 years, including 12 years as chair. During those years he received bipartisan support when the Board of Finance has had both Republican and Democratic majorities. His leadership and stewardship of our tax dollars is well known and documented. Selectman Beninson is well-aware of Wes’s qualification as they both serve together in the Lions Club.

Missing from Selectman Beninson’s statement on transparency is the fact that the Board of Selectman appointed Mr. Marsh as Finance Board chair because of Board of Finance had a tie vote for chairman, with Mr. Marsh receiving the support of Republican Mike Cammarota as well as two Democratic members.  Under State statute, the decision falls to the Board of Selectmen if there is a tie.  Members of the Board of Selectmen were already well acquainted with the qualifications of both Mr. Marsh and Thora Perkins, a new member of the Board of Finance who also sought the position.  No other candidates could be considered.  As both First Selectman Del Monaco and Selectman Hall stated at the Board of Selectmen meeting where the decision was made, they chose Mr. Marsh’s experience and proven ability to lead the town through a very difficult budget year over Mrs. Perkin’s enthusiasm but lack of experience and knowledge of town finances. The process and reasoning were fully transparent.

Finally in Selectman Beninson’s own words, “Diversity of opinion is the bedrock of democratic society and leads to the best kind of decision making.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. As the Democratic town chair, it was a goal of mine and many of our candidates to talk to voters about where they stood on the issues. Unfortunately, I did not see much of the same from Republican candidates. I look forward, as a parent and taxpayer, to fewer political diatribes and more concrete information about the difficult balancing required to maintain both affordability and the quality of life in New Fairfield.

Joshua Beckett Flores
Democratic Town Chairman
New Fairfield


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