Submitted by John Cooper, Greenwich
For Greenwich, this municipal election could be a watershed event. I say could because if a healthy portion of the unaffiliated voters in town were to come out and vote Democratic across the board, something that rarely happens might happen.
Since 1981, or the past 40 years, the first selectman’s office has been held by a Republican for 36 years. That means they were the majority party. Democrats led twice, twenty years apart, a total of 4 years. The results have been obvious as Republicans dominate every facet of life in town, budgets, the BOE and just about every department in town hall. The culture is systemically Republican, or how else do you get a 30-year town clerk whose daughter wants to follow her in the job?
Football teams recruit players who can play offense and those that play defense. Baseball teams have both right and left handers on the squad for balance. When one party dominates a local political environment there is no balance, and the party in charge can lose sight of the overall good of the community in pushing something like the lowest mill rate in the state to the detriment of entire segments of the population.
Our human services budget as a percentage of the total FY-2022 plan is .89%. Yes, you read that correctly, less than 1% goes to the town’s neediest. Oddly we have plenty of budgetary capacity for mile upon mile of granite curbing, $250K bump outs on Greenwich Avenue and beautification projects galore. We just don’t have enough to help those who are hungry, cannot pay their rent, or have no transportation to see their doctors.
To the 15K voters in Greenwich who are listed as unaffiliated, this is where you come in. I ask you no, beg you, to come out in force on November 2nd and vote the Democratic line. They are really good people, many having invested years in serving the town in a variety of ways. They deserve a chance to lead. You and you alone can bring balance to Greenwich government.
Let’s knock the mill rate, the Republican Holy Grail, off its pedestal and replace it with a measurement that includes our net humanity, with kindness and care for all citizens of Greenwich.
Editor’s note: All letters to the editor about candidates in Nov 2, 2021 municipal election were submitted in time for the Oct 26, 2021 deadline.