New Milford officials `turning their backs on the most vulnerable'

I'm one of the few people in New Milford who has historically supported both Mayor Pat Murphy and Loaves and Fishes. But the mayor is making this increasingly difficult to do with a clear conscience.

It's my belief that her obvious, inimical opposition to Loaves and Fishes -- or at least to its being domiciled anywhere near the center of town -- has caused her to mistake the political calculus surrounding this issue. And, of course, not just Mayor Murphy, but most of Planning and Zoning as well.

Connecticut is essentially the realm of Democrats, upon whom Mayor Murphy and the rest of the Republican leadership depend on Election Day. To be sure, this has largely been good leadership, too.

But the mayor, and Bill Taylor of P&Z, continue to show a calculating hard-heartedness about Loaves and Fishes, and without doubt they will be losing some votes from Democrats who have supported them in the past.

None would disagree, I'm sure, that it is good to show mercy to those in need, and yet the leadership of this town seem for the most part bent on turning their backs on the most vulnerable amongst us.

And not just to those few who are homeless in New Milford; most of the nightly guests of Loaves and Fishes do in fact have a roof over their heads but are having trouble making ends meet.

Are we now so prosperous that we can so easily deny the possibility that any of us might be in similar straits one day? And if by some mischance we are, then where will we turn, in our own town, and amongst our neighbors who have turned their faces away?

So the latest application for Loaves and Fishes has been denied, and now Mayor Murphy has trotted out the needs of the Probate Court (dragging Probate Judge Marty Landgrebe into the fray). It's yet another tactic to push Loaves and Fishes out of town, to be sure.

But I would instead urge the mayor and P&Z to act more constructively in this matter -- and for Mayor Murphy to remember to try to be the mayor of the entire town.

I really want to support the mayor again -- but she's going to have to help me a little.

Jim Rains

New Milford