Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
McCoy and his cronies

Letters to the Editor
Journal Inquirer
August 4, 2009

Mayor Jason McCoy continues to shock and amaze Vernon residents with his blatant actions to install his unqualified political friends and cronies as highly paid town employees — all at great expense to the taxpayer.

His latest attempt was stopped dead in its tracks by diligent Democratic Town Council members and two Republicans councilors.

The mayor tried to install former Republican Town Committee member, former Town Council member, and enthusiastic financial supporter Bob Klienhans as public works director. Of the 60 candidates who applied for the position (which included highly respected and educated directors from other towns), the mayor determined that Klienhans, who has no experience running any type of department, let alone a public works department, was the most qualified for the ($95,000-plus) job. This is the same story we heard about McCoy’s other appointments, whereby his friends were the only candidates qualified for various positions.

Since McCoy has been mayor, numerous top quality people have left town employment. The positions include human resource administrator, members of the data-processing department, executive secretary, tax collector, the public works director, and others. Because of the “gag order” McCoy has imposed, town employees live in fear of their jobs should they say anything,

Kleinhans’ resume highlighted his businesses as a developer and real estate manager, but nothing indicated his qualifications as a public works director. During questioning by Democrat Marie Herbst, he even said he would not give up some of his interests but would work at them during “off hours.” He deemed the fact that he now lives over an hour away a non-issue.

McCoy tried to shield this appointment by delaying the posting of the agenda and distribution of information packets to council members until the last possible legal moment.

He also joined this appointment with another appointment, that of town tax collector, who is a highly qualified individual. The Republicans refused to separate the two appointments. Unfortunately the tax collector was used as a political football to “protect” the Klienhans appointment. Even after an attempt by Democrat Mike Winkler to raise the tax collector appointment as a separate motion, the Republicans shot this down.

Now is the time to look at public works director candidates again, but this time with an eye toward true qualifications rather than just being a Republican crony. Vernon taxpayers deserve better.

Steve Taylor