Bob Brady: On RTM, Oberlander ‘Asked Questions’ and ‘Sought Facts’

The following letter was submitted by Bob Brady, who served on the RTM for 20 years through 2012, the last ten as its Educations Committee Chairman, and two years on the BET.

I served with Jill Oberlander in the RTM for six years. During her service, she represented District 2 and served on the Finance and Labor Contracts committees. She has a solid record of support for important Town institutions and work on important Town issues. I believe Jill will represent Greenwich well as the 150th’s state Assemblywoman.

John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things”. Asking questions is essential to finding out what the facts are and to understanding them. Understanding the facts is essential to being an effective legislator. As an RTM member, Jill asked questions to get at the facts underlying proposals, recommendations and problems which came before the RTM. During her tenure, the RTM dealt with major issues including Nathaniel Witherell’s Project Renew, the Board of Education’s MISA project and the Town’s leasing policy. As a Finance Committee member and District representative, she consistently dug into the story underlying the financial presentations so as to understand and evaluate the proposers’ objectives and plans. She demonstrated skills necessary to an effective legislator.

Jill was criticized for asking questions and when not satisfied, asking more questions in pursuit of “the facts”. Some people interpreted her questions as not “supporting the program”, but in fact she supported the programs, often recommending improvements. Based upon her prudent fiscal sense and her demonstrated ability to get at the facts and synthesize these into program recommendations, I support and recommend electing Jill as the 150th’s Assemblywoman on November 4.

Robert Brady