To the Editor:

There is an old adage: "No good deed goes unpunished."

It can easily be said that Bill Stuart, Bridgewater's first selectman, is, in effect, being punished for 29 years of protecting our town from greedy real estate entrepreneurs who would do to Bridgewater what they have done to New Milford, and for keeping our mill rate low and population growth certainly below any other town in our county.

Who is punishing him and why?

I believe there seem to be two cooperating forces presently attacking Bill and which I believe have led to the investigation that is now going on.

One is the Republican party, led by Ned Bandler and Nancy Hawley, the chairwoman of the town's finance board, and their allies, and the other is a personal feud by an old friend of Bill's and his minions, some of whom are attorneys.

Hell hath no fury like a friend scorned.

The first group wants to take political power in Bridgewater, I cannot surmise for what purpose other than to open the door up to unwanted and unnecessary real estate development and to get rid of Bill

The second group, who are even more pernicious, are waging a war against Bill and his extended family allegedly in the interest, if one gives them the benefit of the doubts, of good government.

I believe the two groups are symbiotically entangled and are parasitically feeding off each other.

I believe that neither of them will prevail.

It seems as if the two groups, working hand in hand, want to not only drive Bill out of office but also do personal, legal and financial harm to him and his family.

How else can you explain: false accusations that Bill fired shots at an Allingham home; suspicious packages being sent to him at town hall; numerous frivolous lawsuits which he has had to waste his time and money to at times personally defend and the town he has to defend; claims that Bill Stuart's son tried to run over Amy Allingham, a former town treasurer, on Main Street in town; the ticketing of Joanna Stuart for liberating a very small American flag (really, how petty can you get?); attacks leveled against Tom Seger, Bill's son-in-law; claims leveled against Bill with reference to the Burnham Fund; and claims of kickbacks from vendors to the town?

The list goes on and on.

It seems as if not a week goes by when the Republicans and the other group don't make another claim or file another lawsuit against Bill.

A witty friend of mine in New Milford who has long been involved in high stakes politics recently said to me, "Tell them to get a life."

This campaign of harassment against Bill needs to stop and the voices of the citizens of Bridgewater should be heard across the state that we support Bill and what he has done for Bridgewater.

I have known Bill since we first came to Bridgewater nearly 20 years ago. He has been a good neighbor in the best sense of the word, from day one.

I have been an attorney for more than 45 years and practiced, for a while, criminal law.

I believe this investigation of Bill is being promoted by a small group of Republicans and personal enemies of Bill and that the investigatory agency, if it conducts a full and fair investigation, which would include looking into the issues that I raise here of personal and political animus toward Bill, will save the taxpayers a lot of money by finishing its investigation quickly.

It seems pretty evident some members of town boards who are actively joining in this war and vengeful vendetta will be seeking office in Bridgewater in the near future.

We should not forget what they have done to attempt to smear a hardworking farmer's name and also his family members', when we get into the voting booth.

They should not be rewarded and we should not forget what they have done.

Good people of Bridgewater, I urge you to rise up and let your voices be heard loud and clear that we appreciate and support Bill and the great work he has done over the last 29 years of dedicated service to the town.

We should be thanking him instead of giving him a kick in the pants.

Hal Mayerson