Attempt to resurrect ethics complaint called 'misguided'
To the Editor:
Not unexpectedly, the John Kane piece in last week's Spectrum was filled with inaccuracies and distortions. I wish that the Spectrum staff had done some fact-checking.
In addition, readers can't tell if this was a press release from New Milford First or a news story. Either way, readers lose because the facts are nowhere to be found.
Readers may recall that many years ago, the town had an opportunity to buy a reservoir property from the water company. That opportunity expired in 2002 after the town council decided the purchase at a cost in excess of $2,000,000 wasn't a good idea while the town was in the throes of revaluation and many taxpayers were facing a potential tax increase in excess of 30 percent.
As exhibited by his very weak attempt to buy the property and his absence from several of the state DPUC hearings, even former mayor Bob Gambino got a dose of reality that the town could not afford the purchase.
By the time the idea reached the Board of Finance, it was too late. Inaction by the town council made meaningless any action by the Board of Finance and any of its members, including John Spatola. Mr. Kane has lost sleep ever since.
The misguided ethics complaint that Mr. Kane and his cohorts filed against Mr. Spatola was like a witch hunt. The complaint was [allegedly] written by Mr. Kane and cost New Milford taxpayers tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars because, after Mr. Spatola had been totally exonerated, taxpayers had to reimburse Mr. Spatola the costs of his defense, the costs of the proceeding and the costs of the town's own attorneys that included a special, independent attorney.
Mr. Kane's claim that Mayor Murphy delayed the ethics hearing is bogus. It languished for two reasons. Several members of the Ethics Commission had recused themselves because of conflicts and Mr. Kane and his cohorts turned the hearings into a circus that would make the "Judge Judy" TV show look like the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mayor Murphy and the town council diligently moved the process forward by properly appointing new members to the commission and by appointing the special, independent attorney to oversee the process.
Mr. Kane's shenanigans will continue to cost the taxpayers dearly and, because of his past actions and a lengthy lawsuit in front of a Superior Court judge, he had to personally apologize in writing to me because of his vicious allegations in the Spatola complaint.
After many years, he is still at it, misleading the public using this dismissed ethics complaint to catapult him into public office when, in reality, the opposite should happen.
It is my opinion that his distorted and radical views, his misguided actions and his public performance make him grossly unqualified for any public office.
Town government, more so now than ever given the serious problems of our economy, needs well-intentioned, dedicated and knowledgeable people. The town needs serious and sincere people to serve, and Mr. Kane is not one of them.