Retired Torrington Music Teacher: Meskers Should Apologize for July 2019 Email

Letter to the Editor submitted by Matthew P. Valenti, Retired Torrington Teacher/Union President

I am a concerned CT taxpayer and retired forty five year public school music teacher from Torrington, and I wanted to take this opportunity to refresh the memories of Greenwich voters. A lot has happened this past year and it’s easy to forget things when our minds are so focused on the present. But this is an important election season, and I feel compelled to remind people about this.

During the 2019 legislative session, I wrote 3 separate emails which I sent to all Connecticut legislators about my concerns regarding the future of the state. I was fearful that our Democrat controlled legislature would continue to propose and pass legislation that would cause more people to leave the state of Connecticut. Each of these involved raising taxes and increasing spending, something I did not think the state should be doing.  

Out of the 185 lawmakers on the email, about 5 responded, and they were very polite. Although no individual lawmaker was singled out, to his credit, Greenwich Representative Steve Meskers responded to each of my three queries. No one else did.

His first response was very informative.  However, his third response became sarcastic, defamatory, and downright abusive. I am not sure why, because I did not demand or expect a response from anyone. I was simply presenting my concerns. Equally disturbing to the tone of his email was the fact that Mr Meskers decided to copy his response to the entire legislature and senate on the email chain of 185 people. I guess Mr Meskers wanted to show all of his fellow representatives how tough he could be with a single constituent who was just voicing an opinion to his state elected public officials.

Representative Meskers wrote, in part:   “I am only sorry that I wasn’t one of your students when you taught music in our public schools classes. I can only imagine what it was like to sit trapped in a seat in your class listening to some diatribe or atonal gibberish for 45 minutes or more. They (those poor children) must have all been clamoring to sign up for your courses (or therapy thereafter) … It is my deepest wish after reading all your rants that we meet at the gates with St. Peter and our lives are properly adjudicated. If I was you I would wear shorts and sandals it is gonna be pretty hot where you are inevitably headed.”

I did not write any “rants”.  I simply sent an email with my concerns to 185 state elected representatives, and Steve Meskers was the only one who responded by telling me how horrible a teacher I was and that I was headed to hell. What kind of state rep does that? 

In an article dated July 1, 2019 in a local newspaper, a reporter who interviewed Representative Meskers regarding this incident wrote that “Meskers pledged to not get involved in such email exchanges again.”  Doesn’t Representative Meskers have the good sense to just politely answer valid concerns from any state citizen? Listening to the concerns and complaints of constituents is part of his job. 

I called for a public apology from Representative Meskers a month later.  He never replied, which would indicate that he must feel it is appropriate for a legislator to verbally attack a resident and taxpayer for presenting valid concerns about the state’s future. 

Last year, our state was on life support.  After six months of Covid, it is drawing its last breath. Failed Democrat policies for 40 years have made a once vibrant state into a state mired in debt.  I’m not a Greenwich voter, but if I was, my vote would be for Joe Kelly.  I’ve been told he listens to people and answers their concerns thoughtfully.  And he will, with other Republicans, change the fatal trajectory the state has been on for a long time.

Representative Meskers won by only 264 votes last election.  A vote for Joe Kelly is a vote for admirable representation.  Isn’t that what Greenwich citizens want? 

Sincerely yours,
Matthew P. Valenti, Retired Torrington Teacher/Union President