Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Sacrificed by McCoy

Letters to the Editor
Journal Inquirer
August 5, 2009

Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy realized his plan to make Robert Kleinhans director of public works was in trouble. McCoy deliberately and repeatedly violated town rules trying to get the Town Council to hire Kleinhans.

First, the mayor delayed giving councilors their agendas and supporting information until the night before the meeting. Town rules require that councilors receive this information three days earlier. McCoy improperly denied all councilors time to prepare for the meeting and for Kleinhans’ nomination.

Then McCoy violated the council’s rules of order by combining Kleinhans’ nomination with the unrelated nomination of Terry Hjarne for collector of revenue. Hjarne is experienced, competent, and well-trained for her promotion to the vacant position of collector of revenue. The mayor hoped that by using her as a human shield for Kleinhans the council wouldn’t vote no.

When we tried the obvious parliamentary solution -- divide the motion into two separate appointments -- every Republican except Nancy Herold voted to keep the two tied together.

For the good of the town, we, the council’s Democrats, and Republicans Daniel Anderson and Herold, voted against Kleinhans’ appointment. He failed to get the job and Hjarne didn’t get her promotion.

We then made a motion to consider Hjarne’s appointment separately. A two-thirds vote was needed to consider. Republicans Brian Motola, Sean O’Shea, and Daniel Champagne voted no and killed our motion. Why? Do McCoy and these Republicans intend to abuse Hjarne in the same fashion at the next meeting?

Time and again McCoy has given important town jobs to unqualified Republican cronies. He sacrificed the well-deserved promotion of an excellent town employee in a failed attempt to push through a bad appointment. Most Vernon Republican councilors support his mistaken actions time after time. McCoy and these Republican town councilors should be replaced this November.

Michael Winkler, William Fox, Marie Herbst, and Pauline Schaefer

The writers are the Democratic members of the Vernon Town Council.