Letter to the editor submitted by Marc V. Johnson, Former Member of the BET (2012-2015), Past Chair of the BET Budget Committee (2014-2015)
A recent letter to the editor of the Greenwich Time by a retired Connecticut public school teacher illustrates more bizarre behavior by a prominent Greenwich Democrat. The teacher sent an email to the General Assembly about his concerns regarding the enormous unfunded public pension liability in Connecticut. Greenwich State Representative Stephen Meskers chose to respond to the teacher (as well as the entire state legislature) by lampooning the resident’s teaching skills and suggesting he will go to Hell when he dies.
Mr. Meskers is following the lead of State Senator Alex Bergstein who began her term with loud calls for civility while at the same time leveling unfair attacks against her skeptical constituents.
She implied constituents who oppose her effort to toll Connecticut highways were not “sophisticated” or “intelligent,” she attacked the grassroots organizer of the anti-tolls movement as “angry” in front of the Transportation Committee, which was only after she suggested the entire movement is an AstroTurf effort funded out of vengeance by her election opponent. Worst of all, she suggested any municipality whose local officials passed resolutions against her bills should have their state funding taken away, including Stamford, which she represents.
Even local Greenwich Democrats are trying to run over their opposition. Their upset victories on the BET in 2017 are now tainted by alleged campaign finance violations being formally investigated by the State Elections Enforcement Commission. The direct subject of the investigation, Tony Turner, is alleged to have violated campaign disclosure laws and improper funding of other Democratic candidates. He recently resigned as the head of the Greenwich Democratic Party over conflicts of interest.
BET Chair, Jill Oberlander, who is the Democrats’ candidate for First Selectman, is also the subject of the SEEC investigation and beneficiary of the 2017 electioneering. Both Oberlander and Turner are known to be at odds with one another over several matters. Turner has been critical of Oberlander’s nonchalance about cybersecurity at Greenwich schools which was recently breeched by a hacker.
Connecticut’s economy continues to fall and its finances are the laughingstock of the nation. This past state budget season has demonstrated that nothing has changed in Hartford as spending, long-term debt and taxes continue to escalate. Greenwich on the other hand, under decades of Republican stewardship, has been an island of fiscal prudence, low taxes and short-term debt.
This November Greenwich voters will have the chance to elect a new Board of Selectmen and Board of Estimate and Taxation. Given the chaos brought on by local Democrat leaders, Bergstein, Meskers, Oberlander and Turner, my vote would be to let Greenwich Republicans carry on the tradition of united leadership and sound management to keep Greenwich the best run town in the state, if not the nation.
Marc V. Johnson
Former Member of the BET (2012-2015)
Past Chair of the BET Budget Committee (2014-2015)