Concerned 'small power group' rules the town
To the Editor:
There is a relatively small group of people here in New Milford who are attempting to influence virtually everything that is happening in our community.
So far, they may be succeeding.
Terms on the commission are four years, and Sue's term has expired.
Sue has been an outstanding member of the commission, with an excellent attendance record, and has served in various officer positions, including as chairwoman.
Her views almost always were reflective of the majority.
I have been a member of the commission since August 1983 and have paid attention to town politics and government over that time.
I have enjoyed serving on the Parks & Recreation Commission, because it has always been devoid of politics.
It has been my observation it is extremely rare that a commission member of any town board is not reappointed. On those rare occasions, it is usually because of poor attendance or participation.
Now we are beginning to see the results of what I believe are personal agendas and political payback.
Sue almost lost her spot four years ago when Bob Coppola, a Democrat, ran for mayor. Bob is a close neighbor and friend, so Sue agreed to put a political sign for Bob on her lawn.
At her next scheduled re-appointment following that, the Republican Town Committee considered refusing to reappoint her as a payback.
Apparently, a good New Milford Republican must always vote a straight ticket, no matter any other circumstances.
For some reasons, they did not follow through on what I believe to have been a threat at the time.
Now, she is being removed, for no other reasons than she does not always follow the local party mandates.
I believe some of this same group is also hoping to oust another longtime P & R commissioner.
Tom Saunders has been on the commission since 1988. He is a retired engineer.
Over the past 26 years, Tom has the best attendance record of anyone on the commission, and his expertise is invaluable during discussions of building and park development projects.
But apparently he is not Republican enough for some members of this power group.
There have been some very questionable appointments to town commissions over the past 10 years, based not on ability, but on political views.
Further, are the majority of the residents happy with the push to close/sell the Pettibone School property? It would seem not, based on everything I have heard.
But it is the same handful of Republicans behind this.
Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House is a similar situation.
This group is trying to have complete control over every aspect of the town. Note also the sewer plant and its workers.
Lastly, I don't imagine most are aware of the grilling those who step forward to voluntarily serve on town boards and commissions must face.
Hard to imagine, but the Republican Town Committee has asked candidates about their views on abortion, on same-sex marriage.
For a spot on a land-use board... really?
No, this is not coming from a disgruntled Democrat. I am an unaffiliated voter. I have not voted a straight-party ticket in many years.
We must all be aware when a few overzealous people attempt to grab too much power. It is not good for anyone.
It is not good for New Milford.