Letter: Live up to obligations
Recently, Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau praised Kevin Kiley for being a strong supporter of tax relief for the town’s seniors while nominating Kiley to fill the vacant seat on the Board of Selectmen.
Sadly, I have to question Tetreau’s motives when he issues a statement that makes it seem like helping seniors is high on his list of priorities. Is he being sincere or is it just a political ploy to get the senior vote?
The reason I say this is because there is a whole class of seniors that Tetreau has been taking advantage of, or has summarily ignored.
The class of seniors I am referring to is the retired police and firefighters who have served the town faithfully for decades and have made many sacrifices during their tenure. In return, we reasonably expected the town to honor the contracts that we retired under, as well as any agreements that were negotiated with previous administrations, after the fact.
There are several contract violations that I will not get into the specifics of in this letter, except to say that the town had been providing a certain key benefit for years. Abruptly, the benefit was rescinded, because it was deemed too costly. That is simply not a legitimate reason to deny something that was contractually guaranteed.
The town has a responsibility when they enter into a legally binding agreement, as they did with us when we were active employees, particularly with respect to critical benefits. We should not be penalized because the town neglected to raise, or allocate funds for, the benefits they agreed to provide.
If we follow the town’s reasoning, we should all be able to avoid paying our property taxes, on the basis that it is too costly. In writing this, I know it is absurd; an obligation is an obligation. Tetreau needs to acknowledge this and show us by his actions, not his words, that all seniors matter; including the retired police and firefighters, many of whom continue to live and faithfully pay taxes in town.
Editor’s Note: The writer is a retired Fairfield police sergeant.