Letter: Dean should direct budget vote criticism at self
I was surprised to read the political posturing that Heather Dean expressed in her most recent letter to the editor about the RTM budget meeting. As a senior member of the RTM, Rep. H. Dean should know that the RTM only has oversight on the expense side of the budget — not revenue. When the RTM voted unanimously to approve the budget, it was done with the best information available, while operating under the town charter and our rules to regulate. Why else would the 38 members present (including H. Dean) all vote in favor of the budget?
If you have the opportunity to watch the RTM budget meeting on FairTV, you will see that, outside of Minority Leader Phil Pires, not one member of the Democratic caucus provided any commentary on the budget. If Rep. H. Dean or any other member of her caucus felt so strongly about Malloy’s proposed cut to school aid in Fairfield why did they not speak up? Or better yet, why didn’t they just vote no on the budget? And this is where the true politics of the issue lies. RTM Democrats are trying to use “smoke and mirrors” to deflect attention away from the anti-education initiatives of Hartford Democrats at the expense of RTM Republicans, who led the charge to approve this year’s education budget in its entirety with no reductions at all.
Indeed, in the latest prose of sour grapes from the Democratic caucus, Rep. H. Dean goes on to suggest that Rep. Michael Herley was not being bipartisan in his approach to the budget because he said that we should also send a message to Hartford with our vote. That is the furthest thing from the truth. As a town that receives only “pennies” back on the millions of dollars we send up to Hartford each year, we most certainly need to make our voice heard loud and clear: We will not allow the iron quill in Hartford to slash school aid to Fairfield and then rationalize that it is “okay” to raise local taxes to cover Hartford’s fiscal mismanagement and the redistribution of our tax dollars to other communities.
It is also beyond bewilderment that we can all now read in black and white that Rep. H. Dean does not believe that we deserve to receive our fair share of funding from Hartford, and instead, that we should look to make up the difference by further raising local taxes.
As my grandfather would always say, be wary of the person who consistently points their finger at another, because three of their own fingers are always pointing at themselves.
Fairfield Representative Town Meeting