Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Pondering Vernon council meetings

Letters to the Editor
Journal Inquirer
February 22, 2011

Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy should not speak on issues before the Town Council according to the rules. This rule is to prevent the mayor from monopolizing discussion. McCoy always violates this rule. He speaks more than any council member. He’s very defensive.

Have you noticed that McCoy’s image fills the television screen when he talks, but when council members speak you can barely see them because the camera shot is so wide? That’s because the person behind the camera is Town Attorney Harold Cummings. Cummings is also the chairman of Vernon’s Republican Party and in charge of the mayor’s re-election campaign. Cummings, it seems to me, is “editing in the camera” to favor the mayor.

Ever wonder why that bright, new Town Council member James Krupienski never wins a point of order? That’s because McCoy’s parliamentarian is Cummings — the town attorney, videographer, and Vernon Republican town chairman. Cummings reinterprets the charter, twists the rules, and changes the definitions of words so that the mayor is always right.

Have you noticed that sometimes the Republican council members are strangely silent on controversial issues? The Republicans meet before every Town Council meeting. Rather than draw attention to questionable actions, the Republicans sometimes decide before the meeting to use their majority to push their motions through with as little debate as possible. If some issue unexpectedly becomes controversial, the Republicans call a recess so they can get their position straight off-camera.

Vernon’s Republican-dominated Town Council meetings can be confusing if you’re expecting Robert’s to rule.

Mike Winkler