Letter: Tetreau's district ideas pure politics
Published 10:34 am, Friday, August 9, 2013
In my short tenure as a Republican RTM member, I have expressed my support for our Democratic First Selectman publicly for exceptional leadership three times -- twice in writing and once in a moment of personal privilege I requested before the entire RTM. That is why my disappointment over Mr. Tetreau's remarks on moving forward with the redistricting issue is so profound.
In his Aug. 2 op-ed in The Citizen ("Two options for resolving the RTM-districts impasse"), Mike Tetreau addresses the critical issue of the failure of the redistricting ordinance voted on by the RTM. A casual reading of his comments might give the impression that Mr. Tetreau is simply offering two options to insure fair representation of all voters. Closer inspection reveals an agenda far more partisan and disingenuous, especially if one is aware of what led up to the court-ordered injunction that overrode the RTM's vote, leaving us out of compliance with state law.
On the surface, the statement is a plea for compromise and fair play from both sides of the aisle. How rational and reasonable that sounds. But what his statement does not tell you, is that after an 18-month stalemate in the RTM Redistricting Committee, Moderator Jeff Steele made a difficult decision to allow a vote because the town was on the verge of violating the statutory redistricting deadline of June 1. Both parties had the opportunity to present a redistricting plan. The Democrats declined to do so.
The failure of the charter to build in a tie-breaking option culminated in a court-ordered injunction (a loss for the town) in a case brought by former RTM moderator, Democrat Jack Slane.As the two-day hearing unfolded, it was clear that the full story was never going to see the light of day.
Mr. Tetreau now proposes two options to move forward. The first is to focus on areas of agreement and proceed from there. Had there been any area of agreement in the previous 18 months, or even any proposal on the table, that might work. Mr. Tetreau knows that is not an option.
Option two is to agree to go to binding arbitration. As a voter in Fairfield, I do not want anyone except my elected members of the RTM to make a decision that will affect my voting rights for the next 10 years.
To think that Mr. Tetreau, who orchestrated a one-sided court proceeding with the help of his appointee, Town Attorney Stanton Lesser, is promoting anything but political advantage would be naive. His claim that he wants to adopt a "less expensive, divisive and harmful" process should have been attempted long before the June 1 deadline for redistricting. Certainly not after an expensive, divisive and harmful reversal took place in a court of law that heard only one side of the story.
Given the high stakes of this issue, Mr. Tetreau's statement cannot be given credence as a genuine attempt to reach across the aisle. This time, I have no doubt it is pure partisan politics.
RTM District 4