Letter: Council didn't give Jon Greene a fair shot

To the Editor:

I am saddened by the actions of the Town Council regarding their treatment of Jon Greene and his candidacy for an alternate seat on the Board of Finance.

On July 22, there was a Special Election for a vacant seat on the Board of Finance that was won by Democrat Lainie McHugh . The finance board now has three elected Democrats and three elected Republicans. Sometime thereafter a Republican alternate on the board resigned. No Democrat on the Democratic Town Committee, no Democrat on the Board of Finance, and no Democrat on the Town Council was informed of this resignation. Why the secrecy? Why the lack of transparency and simple common courtesy?

Currently the Board of Finance has one Republican alternate and one unaffiliated alternate. It is logical and fair that the Democrats have one alternate of their choosing, particularly with an evenly balanced finance board. Alternates vote in the place of an absent elected member. While the alternate is expected to use sound judgment, it is equally important that the alternate have a similar philosophical perspective. Some say that doing the right thing trumps any philosophical perspective. However, what is “right” is often determined by your perspective. We all know that intelligent people can look at the same set of facts and come to radically different conclusions. That is why it is so important that each party has one alternate reflecting their philosophical outlook. That reality is lost on the Republicans who insist that their three elected members have two alternates and the three elected Democrats have NONE. Why is this fair?

The Town Council must give every candidate a full and fair hearing on their credentials so a thoughtful and fair vote is taken. Democrats put forward Jon Greene, a citizen active in our community and well-informed of the issues and finances. You decide if he was treated fairly. Here are the facts: Appearing before the L&A Committee he was asked one question. When he came before the full Council he was DENIED the opportunity to present his credentials to the full council. Sound like a full and fair opportunity? One Republican admitted that they knew little about Jon Greene and therefore would vote the Republican nominee. How can you learn about a candidate and cast a credible vote if you deny a candidate the right to present his credentials? Hiding behind council “procedure “ isn’t sensible when councilmembers openly admit they lack sufficient information on a candidate. Further, we have Councilman Ennio DeVita (R-District 1) who said he will not vote for a Democrat because he doesn't trust them to spend his money. That attitude is astonishing in a person expected to represent our community and an outright insult to Mr. Greene.

Citizens who offer their services deserve fair treatment. They deserve the opportunity to speak and the respect of every council member. Mr. Greene deserved better and Trumbull deserves a Council that does its homework and treats everyone every citizen with respect. Please watch Channel 17 (99 Uverse) and you decide.

Tom Tesoro