I abhor the “everyone gets a trophy just for showing up” philosophy. I believe that it merely fosters complacency and mediocrity. During my four years on Wallingford Town Council, I have tried to do my best to be a well-informed and engaged Town Councilor. I have successfully held leadership positions; co-chairing the Information Technology and Public Safety committees during my first term and the Ordinance Committee during this last one. I have been proactive and thought “outside the box” — proposing, for example, that the residents of the Wallingford Housing Authority be able to vote for their own tenant commissioner, and that the town create an enterprise fund for its ambulance service (which has led to more emergency services being available to our residents than ever before).
I have stood up for smaller government, lower taxes, and less interference in the day-to-day affairs of our law-abiding residents. On Election Day, I am proud to say that the voters recognized all of the above by overwhelmingly selecting me to serve another term. Since that time, many, many people have suggested that, based upon my vote total, I express an interest in being chairman. However, I have set my sights a bit lower and merely asked to be vice-chairman. My track record, and list of accomplishments, as well as successful leadership roles, prove that I can serve in that capacity and would do so with the same level of fervent commitment.
Nonetheless, it is my understanding that, instead of merit selection, it is shadowy backroom politics that will carry the day, intent upon rewarding ordinary accomplishment with extraordinary recognition. Sad, but amazingly true. All the while I cannot help but hearken back to the very eloquent words of the late John Houseman and ask, “But, did you e-e-e-e-e-earn it?”
Craig C. Fishbein, Wallingford
It was very sad to learn that the plant (Wallingford Steel Co./Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp.) is being shut down permanently because of “poor economic conditions.” I don’t buy the economic conditions for closing; it’s just an excuse to shut it down. If they were really hurting, they would move out of Connecticut (the most highly taxed state in the USA).
I had the great opportunity to work in the factory for five years, off and on, putting up with the layoffs and the rotating shifts (that does a job on your body daily, but came with the territory of working in the factory). During the 1980s, there was talk about closing the plant, too, but it never happened “due to the excellent work ethic of its employees.” When I worked there, the management and its union employees were like a family — all men and women working together as a very conscientious team and looking out for each other, especially when a worker had an accident on the job or had a major health issue in the family; they were always there for you. Working in the factory was dangerous, no matter how much safety equipment you had on. You always had to be alert and to contend with the abnormal rotating shifts that affected your normal sleep patterns (definitely, you had to be alert and awake). Yes, you made excellent money and had excellent benefits (healthcare and pension, etc.), but you earned it.
As a union steward at the time of my employment, I had the personal responsibility and pleasure of sincerely looking out for my dedicated union brothers and sisters on their issues of concern, and now I thank them for being a union brother to me while I worked at the “great Wallingford steel plant.” Never give up!
Emidio C. Cerasale, Naugatuck
Congratulations to the Democratic majority of Meriden City Council and Republican Kevin Scarpati for standing up for the rule of law. The days of Abe Grossman are long gone, and no one in Meriden wants them to return. Mayor Manny Santos can try ruling people out of order as often as he wants, but the public will be watching, and we are smart enough to know who is looking out for the people and who is looking out for private interests. I think Mike Quinn is owed an apology from the new mayor, especially after the independent lawyer hired by the city confirmed what Attorney Quinn has been saying from the beginning. The new mayor hadn’t been in office more than two weeks before he had cost taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Craig Hanson, Meriden
Congratulations to Meriden City Councilor Kevin Scarpati! He said: “I’m going to vote how I feel and based on what is the right thing to do. I vote what I think is best for city.”
All politicians, city and country-wide, should be saying and meaning those words. How much better this country would be! I urge Kevin to keep up the good work — people appreciate it.