WEISBROD: A Walk in Putnam Park with Hector

Submitted by David Weisbrod, Democratic member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation

On a sweltering hot August afternoon, I walked through Putnam Park with Hector Arzeno. Each of us was wearing a mask, which made the heat even more unbearable, but we were resolute, knocking on doors to meet voters. Hector of course is the Democratic Party candidate for State Rep in the 151st District. We’ve known each other for 25 years when Hector and I met as coaches for our children’s Town soccer team.

Perhaps people felt sorry for us being out in the heat, or perhaps more were home simply due to the pandemic – whatever the reason, many answered the bell when we rang. And the stories we heard and conversations we had made the entire excursion so very worthwhile.

During the afternoon we met a lifelong Republican who now will only vote for Democrats and a lifelong Democrat who now refuses to vote for Democrats. We met a lifeguard who had just saved two children’s lives. We met a World War II veteran who landed at Juno Beach in Normandy. And I could go on.

The reception we received reminded us that even in today’s hyper-partisan world, person-to-person engagement may still outweigh political labeling. The willingness of our fellow residents to listen and discuss was a refreshing coolant that helped us get through the heat of the August sun.

Our fellow residents were quite responsive to the narrative they heard. They saw Hector as an independent thinking, retired banker with a strong track record of service in the community. He worked for forty years at Banesto Banking Corp including a stint as President and CEO of its NY office. Since retiring, Hector has been one of the most active and productive members of the RTM. I know because as a BET member, I would see Hector at virtually all of our BET meetings; he always contributed with insightful questions and assessments on financial matters affecting the Town. Hector volunteers as a tour guide at Greenwich High School for families considering Greenwich as a place to live. Hector also volunteers for the Town’s Conservation department.

He brings a practical, non-partisan and refreshing approach to problem solving. Hector was unaffiliated before registering as a Democrat and over the years has voted for political figures from both parties.

It was so clear during our walk together in Putnam Park that Hector’s genuine interest in public service was visible to those who talked with us. He sings the praises of both Fred Camillo and Ned Lamont.

I think Hector will be an excellent representative for ALL the people of the 151 st District and I am proud to be his friend and supporter.

Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor in support of local candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 election may be submitted to [email protected] for consideration beginning July 15 and with a hard deadline of Oct 26, 2020 at noon.