Town Charter expresses ‘will of the people’; democrat-backed petition out of bounds

To the Editor:

The actions Selectmen Tymniak and Bateson took at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Jan. 25, 2017 are in direct response to an illegal power grab orchestrated by the Fairfield Democratic Town Committee that violates the unambiguous, clear and plain language of our Town Charter.

Fairfield Republicans are convinced that anyone who reads section 6.3.B of our Town Charter [www.fairfieldct.org/filestorage/10736/13698/fairfieldtowncharter.pdf] will come to the same unequivocal conclusion that our Republican Selectmen did at the Board of Selectmen meeting.

Our Town Charter expressly states that the procedures set forth in CT state statutes are used only if the remaining members of the Board of Selectmen fail to fill the vacancy within 30-days. Since the vacancy was filled within 30-days, the state statutory procedures simply do not come into play.

It is unfortunate that Fairfield Democrats are once again looking to Hartford for answers when their focus should instead be on ‘home rule’ and the ‘will of the people’ as expressed in our Town Charter. Indeed, we’ve filled open seats on our Board of Selectmen before. And never in the history of our Town have we held a Special Election to fill such a seat, and there is no reason to do so now when our Charter provides the means to do so.

As the public record shows, Selectman Bateson, was unanimously elected by both First Selectman Mike Tetreau [www.fairfieldct.org/filestorage/79/125/35868/Minutes_12-07-2016_Final.pdf] and Selectman Tymniak pursuant to our Town Charter on December 7, 2016.

We remain extremely confident that Selectman Bateson is properly seated as a Selectman — in a manner that is consistent both with our Town Charter and State law.

Make no mistake about it, the action proposed by the original motion, i.e., the Special Election, is both unauthorized and inconsistent with our Town Charter, and would unnecessarily burden Fairfield taxpayers with many thousands of dollars at a time when our Town budget is extremely tight.

It’s time for Fairfield Democrats to start focusing on the serious financial challenges we face as a community, and to stop playing politics.

Michael Herley

Fairfield RTC Vice Chairman

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