LETTER: Supports Shelia Marmion as Selectman

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor:

I am writing to support Sheila Marmion as Selectman. I served with Sheila on the RTM for two of her nearly three terms, succeeding her as Deputy Minority Leader when she was unanimously elected to the Board of Selectmen.

Sheila is intelligent and articulate – a proven leader. While on the RTM, she was a highly visible and respected member, known for her strong grasp of the issues and her ability to provide clear and thoughtful rationale for her decisions. Moreover, she earned a reputation for successfully working in a bipartisan manner to put the needs of the Town above political agendas and aspirations, ably demonstrated through her role as Deputy Minority Leader, a member of the Senior & Disabled Tax Relief Committee, and co-sponsorship of the FairTV ordinance.

Sheila is a working mother and an active participant in the community. Like her opponent. She cares about this town. Like her opponent. But there’s a critical difference between Sheila and her opponent – and that difference is the voice of experience. Running a town the size of Fairfield is not like running a household – it’s just not that simple. The position of Selectman requires an executive skill set and a deep understanding of town government built over years of experience. Most importantly, it requires a strong voice that speaks clearly and passionately on behalf of all constituents. And that’s what Sheila brings – and her opponent does not.

Even more so than the RTM (currently a body of 50), there is nowhere to hide in the BOS’s body of three. It requires a strong voice like Sheila, a leader who is already taking an active role, asking the tough questions and engaging in collaborative discussions to get things done. Real, positive change demands a voice and a vision. It demands a strong individual who isn’t afraid to stand up, not someone who has spent their term “sitting back and taking it in.”

She has spoken on the RTM floor only once in her two-year term, and that was to speak in favor of cutting the education budget. She says she supports town employees and that IT services are a priority, yet she voted to reject the contract for the former and cut funding on the latter. She also voted to cut funding for libraries, school health aides, police, and paving and rejected the school administrators’ contract, resulting in arbitration fees that erased all savings from the original contract. Perhaps her actions really do speak louder than her words.

Sheila is a vocal advocate for our schools, libraries, senior services, business development and public safety, with a clear vision – and a proven record of – balancing these services with affordability. There’s no doubt in my mind she was the right person for the job of Selectman 10 months ago and is the right person for the job now. I hope you will join me in voting for Sheila Marmion on Nov. 3.

Julie Gottlieb

RTM Deputy Minority Leader

Fairfield

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