Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Mayor’s bewildering behavior

Letters to the Editor
Journal Inquirer
July 1, 2011

I couldn’t help scratching my head as I read the Journal Inquirer’s story about the June 21 meeting of the Vernon Town Council.

First, while I’m sure many Democrats (not to mention many other taxpayers) share Tim Morrissey’s concerns about the mayor’s hiring practices, Morrissey has filed his grievance as an individual citizen. To my knowledge, this matter has never even been discussed by the Democratic Town Committee; as Morrissey said, he’s made it a point to keep it a private matter.

No matter what the mayor thinks, the fact that Morrissey is a past town chairman does not mean he’s acting on behalf of the party.

For the record, I’m not writing this letter on behalf of the party, either, even though I’m a member and officer of the Democratic Town Committee. These are my own personal reactions to the article.

In addition, it’s bizarre to me that the mayor seems to think yelling at Marie Herbst and other Town Council Democrats might affect Morrissey’s behavior. We Democrats treat each other as adults, and do not presume to tell each other what to do. The fact that the mayor seems to think otherwise makes me wonder how the Republican Town Committee operates.

Most critically, I’m shocked that the mayor would even hint at taking legal action against a Town Council member for comments made during council meetings. Even suggesting such a thing can’t help but have a chilling effect on the council’s deliberations, and as such, it strikes directly at the heart of our town’s government.

I know many people find the disagreements within the Town Council unseemly, but the people of Vernon are far better served by vigorous debate than they would be by a council silenced by intimidation.

Bill Dauphin