LETTER: There is no birthright to public office

Letter to the editor from Brian Neilinger, Greenwich

I watched the entire debate between Jill Oberlander and Fred Camillo at Greenwich High School on Oct 10 and walked away with a few conclusions. And all of them lead to the same determination in that Ms. Oberlander is the much better candidate.

While Mr. Camillo lived up to his good guy reputation, he placed greatest emphasis on his Greenwich roots as apparent evidence of his superior candidacy. In a rather disappointing display of entitlement, Mr. Camillo repeated his Greenwich connections as if this one fact designated him as the better choice for First Selectman.

There is no birthright to public office and I do not recall him highlighting any examples during his career in public service where the community of Greenwich (or Connecticut for that matter) benefitted directly from his legislative efforts.

Perhaps more disturbing was his throwing our public schools under the bus. Our public school system is underfunded (especially with regard to its physical plant) and many Greenwich schools trail neighboring towns in terms of quality and rankings. Mr. Camillo openly objected to assessing future taxpayers for an improved school system and in doing so, dooms current families and those same future taxpayers to increasingly uncompetitive schools. If our schools are allowed to slide into mediocrity, our property values and quality of life will decline significantly.

Ms. Oberlander’s resume indicates a highly successful career in the very areas of expertise Greenwich government needs to restore the luster of this town. Ms. Oberlander is the quintessential Greenwich resident in that she has demonstrated her commitment to town government for the betterment of all citizens and is now willing to dedicate even more of her time and energy to improving Greenwich. She has studied the issues and now demonstrates a level of competency unmatched by Mr. Camillo.

Finally, if choosing a running mate is an indication of making good decisions, the few people who remained for the second debate witnessed a brilliant Sandy Litvack (running mate to Ms. Oberlander) and a seemingly ill-prepared opponent.

Kudos to the Oberlander-Litvack team and they have my vote.

Brian Neilinger, Greenwich