Camillo: Despite nasty and distorted mailings, I chose to take the high road.

fred camillo 2Op-ed piece from Fred Camillo, November 2, 2016

For the past eight years, I have had the honor to represent the people of the district that I grew up in. Their trust, support, and in so many cases,  friendship, is something that I will always treasure.

While I am very proud to have written, introduced and gained passage of laws in public safety, animal welfare, commerce, consumer protection and recycling that have positively impacted the lives of our citizens, it is the area of constituent service that I am most proud of.

I have always prided myself on being available to my constituents 24/7.

Whether the issue is a cell tower application next-door, someone getting kicked off of their insurance due to the new health mandates, a resident being mistakenly double-billed by a utility company, immigration issues, or a problem with one of the state agencies or departments, stepping in to fight for my friends, neighbors, and constituents is something that I take very seriously.  This is the part of public service that I cherish.

Seeing the look on someone’s face when the issue is resolved is the greatest compensation that one could ask for. As a friend and Cos Cob resident told me many years ago, it is always better ‘to give and forget’ and ‘receive and remember’.

Unfortunately, for the first time in my public service career, I drew an opponent who resorted to negative campaigning, both on the street and through the mail. While I believe that this will be rejected by the people of the 151st District, I do hope that a lesson will be sent that this type of behavior is not acceptable. While I could have responded in kind to these nasty and distorted mailings, I chose to take the high road and just talk about my record and vision for the future, which is how I have always conducted my campaigns, and is, I believe,  what the overwhelming majority of voters really want, after all.

When someone chooses to run for public office, they have an obligation to present his or her record of public service as well as what their vision of the future is. Likewise, when someone tries to tear someone else down in order to build themselves up, then they have proven him of herself to be unworthy of the office they seek. It is also a disservice to the voters they seek to represent and a wasted opportunity to promote honest, civil, and worthy public debate.

As my late father, Al Camillo, a former Marine Corps Drill Instructor and beloved resident of Cos Cob, once told me, you only get a few things in life that you can control, mainly your word, reputation, and record. I have always lived by those words and am proud to say that the record shows that the good people of the 151st District  will always have a fighter at the State Capitol, an advocate who never stops advocating, and a representative who is always representing their interests.

As I have done in 2008, 2010,  2012, and 2014, I humbly and respectfully ask for your vote on November 8th to continue working on your behalf at the State Capitol.

Fred Camillo