Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
2-Party Government, Not Patronage

Journal Inquirer
December 30, 2005

Accusations made in the article "Town Council blocks 2 reappointments" (Dec. 21) cannot be left unanswered.

The story said "...Democrats, including (Mayor Ellen) Marmer, accused the other side of trying to cede the land use commissions to party patronage." I find the use of the word "patronage" especially egregious and perhaps even slanderous.

Let me be clear. Republican members of the Town Council have no motive other than approving appointments of the most qualified persons. Since seated, the mayor has presented 18 appointments of all party affiliations to this council for approval. All but three have been confirmed by the council. In the judgment of the majority of the members of the council, one lacked suitable qualifications and two were perceived to have conflicts of interest. No candidates have been suggested by Republicans to replace these volunteers.

Vernon citizens are seeing a situation that has not occurred in over a decade - true two-party government. Having a Democratic mayor and a Republican majority creates a snag in "business as usual" at Town Hall but also creates balance. It may take some time to settle into a new style of governing and it may appear rocky at times, but I believe that we will get there and when we do, all of Vernon will benefit.

Christy N. Vale