LETTER: Is Doomsday Coming to Greenwich?

Submitted by Wynn McDaniel

What has happened to Greenwich? Who are these very angry, dissatisfied and generally grumpy people who keep writing local editorials about how terrible life is here? If what any of these people said was true, I would imagine residents would be flocking back into Manhattan and leaving our crumbling, inept and racist town behind.

Now, I understand that the country is politically polarized, but this has really gotten out of control. I’m not sure who Joanna Swomley is, but in her recent editorial, (SWOMLEY: Alarm Bells are Going Off and We Need to Wake Up in Greenwich, April 21, 2021) frighteningly titled “Alarm bells are going off and we need to wake up in Greenwich!” she sounds a DEFCON 1 level warning calling for everyone to collect their belongings and get out of Dodge! Our infrastructure is outdated and crumbling. Our fields are toxic! Schools are falling apart everywhere! Leaders have their heads in the sand! Doomsday is coming!!

She goes on to say that although property values have done well recently, according to Ms Swomley’s Crystal Ball, this too will soon change as “new buyers will choose New Canaan, Darien and Westport over Greenwich”. Maybe her name should be Joanna Swami! 

Her manic message of pending doom builds to a crescendo as she rails against all town leaders. We need “better fire protection”; We need to “deal with parking”; We need to “invest in our schools”; We need to “reduce waste”; We must be “more environmentally conscious”; We must act before “another fire destroys a home”; and, as if our 230 person town legislature was not a satisfactory representation of Greenwich citizens’ commitment to civic duty, Ms Swomley says “We need more people to run for office”! Run for your lives!!

According to Ms Swomley, none of these seismic problems which have apparently turned Greenwich from a premier community in the Northeast to a downright hot mess seemingly overnight can be solved unless…..drumroll please………. “We change our First Selectman and Board of Estimate” and turn total control of the town over to our savior…the Democrats. All of this, and that’s the solution?

Doesn’t  Ms Swomley realize that during the pandemic, people have flocked TO Greenwich, precisely because it IS a beautiful town, with a stellar reputation for being a safe community that is extremely well run?

Her final plea that the Town must turn the reins over to Democrats in upcoming elections strikes a particularly out of tune chord considering that Connecticut itself has suffered real problems under Democratic leadership for decades. Our state economy is a consistent laggard, taxes rise in perpetuity, outflows of residents outpace inflows and our infrastructure is antiquated. I’m not so sure this resume represents the track record of success we want to have at the helm in Greenwich.

I do not know who Ms Swomley is, nor does it matter. Perhaps she is a nice person. I am very disturbed however by the tone of what I hear from people whom I assume actually live in Greenwich, when they talk about Greenwich. We live in a special town, and we should count our blessings every day that we have such a wonderful place to call home.