Lundeen diminishes efforts of RTM members
To the Editor:
Since 1951, the nonpartisan Representative Town Meeting of 100 members has acted as Darien's legislative body. Volunteer members spend dozens and dozens of hours each year researching the issues at hand so that they can make an informed decision as representatives for their voting districts. Members are all divided into one of eight standing committees so that the body can review capital projects, ordinances, and finances from a different point of view.
In the case of the shuffle proposal, every standing committee had the opportunity to review the capital project. Tours of the facilities were conducted. All meetings on the proposal were held in public, all documents associated with the project were prominently displayed on the town's web site, and the issue was avidly followed by the town's four local news providers.
After thorough review, last Tuesday the RTM's standing committees reported the full body with a unanimous recommendation to approve the proposal. After almost two hours of discussion and debate, with presentations by almost a dozen elected and appointed officials, the RTM logged a decisive 58-28 vote in favor of the shuffle. The voting record shows that Democratic members, Republican members, and unaffiliated members of the RTM voted both for and against the proposal. Moreover, the margin of approval was even greater than some of Darien's most recent capital large projects put forward by the previous administration.
In a letter to the Darien Patch, published Nov. 3, 2011, John Lundeen wrote the following regarding the RTM's decisive vote in favor of the shuffle:
"Seeing the historically nonpartisan Representative Town Meeting in Darien fall into lockstep with the misguided leadership of the local Republican party has had, and continues to have a galvanizing effect upon the voters of Darien..." "I am saddened to see how out of step the RTM has become with Darien’s voters. Committee reports and minority committee reports made it clear that normal standards of legislative review have been swept aside in an unseemly rush to complete this one accomplishment before next week’s local elections."
I realize it's campaign season, but in the almost twelve years that I have lived in Darien, I have not once seen RTM's volunteer membership disrespected in such a manner. Moreover, I didn't witness Mr. Lundeen participating in any of the board or commission discussions, the building committee meetings, the facility tours, the RTM committee meetings or even make a statement at one of the two meetings that the RTM formally discussed the shuffle. I'm frankly saddened to see that a person that has put in so little effort was willing to stoop to such a level that he diminishes the time and efforts offered by so many town volunteers. In light of those comments, perhaps Mr. Lundeen should look inward when he thinks of people that are truly "out of step with Darien's voters."
The author is a member of the RTM and treasurer of the Darien Republican Town Committee.
Jayme, Dave, and Jerry are dedicated, levelheaded, and truthful
Tuesday, Nov. 8, Darien voters will have choices to make. The first choice is to exercise one of our most precious rights, that is to vote! The second choice will be who to vote for. The issues have been debated, the mailers have been sent, the ads have been placed, the letters have been written, the calls have been made, the emails have been sent, and finally the candidates have been out and about talking to voters. So how do you decide who to vote for? Here are some facts.
Over the past two years Darien has been fortunate to have three of the most dedicated, levelheaded, truthful people serving on the Board of Selectmen. Jayme Stevenson, Dave Campbell and Jerry Nielsen have demonstrated common sense, rational thinking and sensible decision making. They have tackled many problems and come up with sound, realistic solutions. Jayme, Dave, and Jerry chose to run a truthful, straightforward campaign that I have been proud to be a part of. They have delivered results and realize there is more to be done. If you care about results and the truth please join me and vote for Jayme Stevenson, Dave Campbell and Jerry Nielsen on Nov. 8.
The author is the campaign manager of We Are United 2011.