Touts GOP's 'genuine concern' for community
To the Editor:
As a recent appointee to the New Milford Inland Wetlands Commission, I'd like to weigh in and elucidate some of what I believe to be inaccuracies in William Kamp's letter to the editor dated August 27.
Mr. Kamp's asserts New Milford's longstanding, predominately Republican governance "is trying to have complete control over every aspect of the town" and "a few overzealous people attempt to grab too much power."
First off, let me say no one asked me to come forward to express my views in this matter, nor do I have any political motivations for articulating my thoughts.
I'm just trying to set the record straight.
I am a registered Republican -- I believe in small government, less taxation and protecting the free enterprise system.
Like so many proud Americans and a peer of the struggling middle class, I'm disillusioned with our current state and federal political systems.
As a member of our community, I'm interested in donating my time to help our friends and neighbors. That being said, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and apply for a town position.
During the town appointee vetting process, I was interviewed simultaneously by 10 members of the Republican Nominating Committee, including the mayor and other high-ranking town officials.
Throughout the entire examination, I was impressed by the degree of professionalism and respect demonstrated by the members of the committee.
Contrary to Mr. Kamp's contentions, no one ever interrogated me on my views concerning same-sex marriage or abortion.
I was never asked personal questions pertaining to race, religion, creed, sexual preference or women's rights.
The interview lasted roughly 20 minutes and the committee's intrigues were limited to queries regarding my experience, abilities and intent for helping the community.
The full Republican Town Committee meeting was held at the railroad station and 40 or more members attended the meeting.
I was moved by civility and decorum with which the meeting was conducted.
Contrary to Mr. Kamp's allegations, there was never any talk about the incumbents "seizing power" or "crushing their opponents."
The tone was one of genuine concern for our neighborhood and the conversations focused around satisfying the needs of the residents of New Milford who we were sworn to serve.
I empathize with Mr. Kamp's disdain regarding his neighbor's recent ousting from the board, but perfect attendance doesn't always constitute a contributing member.
That night, I never got the impression that members of the Republican Town Committee were self-serving, narcissistic, political machines who focused on serving a particular sect, class or race of people.
Quite the contrary, I was moved by their attention to the community as a whole.
The Republican Town Committee didn't seem content with the status quo or willing to rest on its track record.
The mayor stressed often it is the responsibility of all town-appointed officials to get out as often as possible, to meet the public and address its concerns.
Many of those attending the meeting were visibly hurt and offended by some of the verbiage in Mr. Kamp's letter -- verbiage indicating the potential closing of Pettibone School and the recent denial of zoning permit for the Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House were politically motivated.
The head of the Zoning Commission, Bill Taylor, was in attendance and he expressed outrage at the accusation, citing Loaves & Fishes had been denied exclusively because the plan didn't comply with the zoning regulations ... period.
Witnessing first-hand the functionality of our local government was a truly humbling and enlightening experience.
You don't have to agree with or believe my views, but come see for yourselves. Almost all the meetings are open to the general public.
If a complainant isn't willing to investigate the matter first-hand, then I think it's unfair to jump to conclusions on how the town is being managed.