Letters: Lundeen Offers 'Cooperative and Reasonable Approach'

'I have been upset by the lack of both transparency and a cooperative attitude in the outgoing Darien administration,' Bart Ice.

Lundeen offers cooperative and reasonable approach

To the Editor:

Although I have been a longtime registered Republican, I believe that the partisanship that characterizes the national debate rarely belongs in a small town like ours. Thus, I have been upset by the lack of both transparency and a cooperative attitude in the outgoing Darien administration. Its approach seems to reflect an influential part of the local party, but hopefully not a majority of Darien Republicans.  

The results have been discouraging: too little progress has been made on a host of pressing issues. More notably, an issue that had been acceptably vetted before (35 Leroy) was sent back to the drawing board. The tightly controlled process that ensued led to the confusing and bizarre shuffle plan. The complexity of the plan and back room tactics embraced in the approval process are reminiscent of what went down with the recent national health care bill. 

I am concerned that, since Jayme Stevenson and Dave Campbell are merely switching positions in the prospective administration, they will continue the style and communication practices of the past two years. I urge moderate Republicans to send a message to their local party by supporting John Lundeen, who promises a more open, cooperative, and reasonable approach to governing.

Bart Ice



What truly is the rush?

I am dismayed and I am aggravated. Our current administration’s potential lack of fiscal responsibility and use of our town monies is disappointing.

Like most people in Darien, I agree that we need a new senior center. I also agree that debt is cheap and now is the time to do it. However, building a new senior center does not need to turn into a $12 million dollar project that requires “shuffling” people, departments, and buildings. Debt might be cheap, but tax revenue and the ability topay for our debt are also declining.

Also, the real capital expenditures that our schools are going to require to accommodate the ever-growing child population need to be considered. Is it ok to go so deep in debt that the real issues that exist in our schools cannot be addressed? Where are these administration's priorities? Why is it not sufficient to build a new senior center at the existing site, leave the Board of Education where they are, and sell the old library property?

The cost of a “non-shuffle” would be incredibly less by only undertaking one capital project and not three. The town could receive upwards of $4 million for the old library property if sold and either build town homes/condominiums or build additional commercial space — both of which would bring in additional tax revenue and bolster our existing downtown businesses.To not utilize the old library space more effectively is simply irresponsible. I would hate for Darien to have at least an additional 4 million dollars to perhaps build sidewalks, bury electrical lines, deal with flooding, bring languages to our schools, or hire more teachers, thereby reducing our classroom size.

What certainly is the most disturbing about all of this is that the current administration is bent on forcing this issue through. Why is a special meeting of the Representative Town Meeting being called to vote on this “shuffle” project before the general town election? Darien citizens need time to educate themselves and decide how we would like to see our town monies spent. What truly is the rush?

Stacia Branca

14 Shipway Rd.


John Boulton October 25, 2011 at 01:29 AM
Isn't Mr. Ice's wife a member of the Darien Democrat Town Committee?
JTR October 25, 2011 at 05:04 AM
1. Correct. Spouses can, in fact, register with and/or support different political parties. 2. Not sure why so many Republicans are flummoxed by this, but the adjective is 'Democratic,' and the organization is named the Darien Democratic Town Committee. (By the same token, you don't serve on the Darien Republic Town Committee.)
John Sini October 25, 2011 at 09:31 AM
A little reminder: The previous Board of Selectmen, which included Mr. Bayne, argued several times that 35 Leroy was acquired strictly for "municipal use" and the sale for market rate commercial development was not consistent with this use. This argument was made as late as the Fall of '08, during the pinnacle of the financial crisis.
Deb Ann October 25, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Petey unrolls the cigarette pack from his sleeve, taps it lightly, leans over and slowly pulls one out with his lips. “So, Poindexter,” he says. The cigarette bounces between his lips. “What do you say to that?” He lights up, takes a long pull. The trees rustle, a car honks, and the Leonard’s Bichon Frise starts yipping. The crowd approaches the two. Poindexter continues to read his Wall Street Journal. “What’s going on?” The small voice rises from the crowd, somewhere near the edge. “Poindexter said something about needing more civility. More cooperation.” The reply came in a whisper from a person now ducking, obviously terrified of Petey. “So what did Petey say?” “He said Poindexter’s girlfriend was one of those <I>different ones</I> we are never supposed to agree with. He figures she made him say it.” Petey blows a few smoke rings. The dog stops barking. A few people shrug and wonder off. A loud sound, similar to a fog horn, blasts then fades away. Poindexter folds his journal, checks his watch and walks towards the train station. The rest of the crowd disperses. posted by Deb Ice, married to Poindexter twenty years now, because, well, family challenges, household issues, have been handled in a nonpartisan manner. They cooperate.
John Boulton October 26, 2011 at 02:04 AM
Spouses can and should do what they want, but having the Lundeen campaign publicize this like its a major breakthrough into Republican ranks (which they continue to do) stretches credulity. Having been involved in gov't in Darien for 15 years, I can tell you that when people don't like the answers they get, they either say 1) "lack of transparency" or 2) "we need more time to consider". Both mean the same thing: "we don't like your answers". The problem invariably is not lack of transparency (I would vehemently disagree with the Ices on this issue, there has been plenty of transparency) or lack of time (the "shuffle" was proposed over a year ago, after dozens of analyses by prior administrations). The problem for the Democrats is we actually have an administration that is focused on fixing problems, not debating them. So they say either you haven't told us enough or you haven't given us enough time. We debated a moratorium for 6 years with the Klein administration, without satisfaction. It took the Campbell administration less than a term to actually obtain it, after realizing it was available to Team Klein/Bayne all along. Forget transparency, let's talk about irresponsibility. Time to vote. The choice is clear.
sebastian dangerfield October 26, 2011 at 06:08 AM
i admire the transparency of the Darien DemocratIC Town Committee. A committee where its members when talking about costs of affordable housing leave out the 4.25 mio, and when talking about the shuffle always include it. Is that really the transparency you all aspire to? or is transparency not at all the issue? either way, republicans might get 'flummoxed' by diction, but at least they try to be honest in their approach. we have the DEMOCRATS who seem invested in not going after moratoriums (while claiming a moratorium is important ? Huh??). And mixing math equations--based soley on agendas --not on actually trying to illuminate the voters. guys--if you are trying to win a campaign by letter writing, then you must assume the electorate takes interest in the issues. Correct? Well then anyone who takes an interest in the issues can easily observe the game playing you all do. So, dont invoke some principle of transparency, when all you guys do is cloud the issues with dishonest rhetoric. Whether or not you want to listen to this --is your choice. But you are not understanding how this approach has not chance to succeed. The majority of town doesnt know the issues, but they are also the ones who dont read letters to the editor. The ones that read them--understand that you are not being forthright. You are welcome to dismiss this--but if you think about it--its pure logic. I suggest you start telling the truth and allowing voters to choose honestly.


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