Wallingford's GOP-controlled Town Council was confronted with a choice on Tuesday to fill the chair left by Gina Morgenstein. By appointing Jason Zandri back to the council over Alexa Tomassi, the next highest vote-getter and the unanimous choice of the DTC, the council, strictly speaking, was perfectly in order and following the letter of the law as laid out in the Town Charter. But, as we have witnessed at the national level for the last decade, democracy does not thrive because the party in power toes up to the legal limit of that power and exercises its will.
Democracy thrives because of the unspoken rules, the courtesy, the respect, and the deference, at times, to those not in power. Republican Town Council members have chosen to fray the fabric of our democracy, in their own way, in the town they live in and profess to serve. Whatever nonsense pearl-clutching about events that transpired 42 years ago, whatever hypothetical election counterfactuals offered, whatever ridiculous insinuations about the DTC nominating process, all of it was a thin cloak of excuses covering an exercise in raw power.
Having now witnessed, in a year, a broadcast attack on our nation’s capitol and in person an attack on the good faith operation of my town’s government, I have never been more despairing about the state of our union. The fabric is fraying. I hope our Republican town councilors can ride the tiger they're getting on.
Casey Camire, WallingfordDisplay of partisanship
On January 3, 2022, Chairman Vinny Cervoni gave a speech following his reinstatement as Town Council chair full of pride in surviving the pandemic but expressing concern that we have not survived the national political divide that has plagued the country since 2016. While he wanted to remind everyone that the political divide is counter-productive and that we are a village with more in common than not, those words rang hollow when faced with an opportunity to bridge the divide on January 18, 2022.
When the Town Council was asked to approve the appointment of Alexa Tomassi to fill the seat left vacant by Gina Morgenstein due to personal reasons, the six Republican town councilors chose to lean into the divide rather than bring people together and chose someone who resigned from the Wallingford Democratic Town Committee.
How can the people in this town have faith that the elected representatives are looking out for the best interests of the town when they can ignore the wishes of the 5,854 people who voted for Alexa Tomassi and the 87 members of the Wallingford Democratic Town Committee who unanimously voted for Alexa Tomassi to have a seat?
Rather than being a solution, the six Republican town councilors chose to remain the problem. The political divide Chairman Cervoni spoke of is real, but what he and the five other Republicans on the Town Council did was drive a wedge further into the already fragile chasm. It certainly was a shameful display of partisanship.
Ed Storck, WallingfordShame!
The other night six Republican town councilors voted to elect a non-candidate to the Town Council at the expense of the voters’ will and the Wallingford Democratic Town Committee.
Hiding behind the Town Charter so they could pick their own unofficial pet candidate at the expense of the will of the people and the DTC is truly disgusting to me. It shows they are OK with being petty partisan obstructionists if it suits their political goals because they think they deserve to have someone they “like” on the Town Council instead of doing the right thing and setting a fair and democratic precedent by deferring to not only the next highest vote-getter who was Alexa Tomassi, but also to the Democratic Town Committee. They have all besmirched themselves as unreliable, partisan, and anti-democratic. All qualities unbecoming of an elected public official.
I do find it quite puzzling that they all had a hard time understanding how if the scenario was reversed they might see just how ridiculous and unacceptable it would be to do what they all just did. In light of that, they still proceeded to demonstrate a callous disregard to the voters and the Democratic Town Committee. I guess it doesn’t really matter when dealing with petty partisans blinded by their own arrogance and entitlement. Shame on them all!
Jason Villani, Wallingford