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No Bi-Partisanship in Town Appointments

Can we face some facts here?  First Selectman Beth Heller promoted her bipartisanship during the recent campaign.  Sen. Blumenthal was quoted in your paper, when describing Woodbridge, saying “you come together after the election” when he issued the oath of office to our newly elected officials.  The reality is nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Woodbridge Democrats rule this town with an iron fist.  Case in point, the recent appointments to Boards and Commissions.  With 55 terms on our volunteer boards expiring on June 30 of this year, the Republicans presented our “bipartisan” leadership with names of 27 capable residents, not all of whom are even Republicans, looking to serve the town.  Ten of those nominees were seeking reappointment and four others were candidates in the May election who each received over 1,000 votes.  Final score?  Democrat Nominees 43, Republican Nominees 12. Nine of ten Republican- nominated reappointments were made (including Unaffiliated voters who were cross-endorsed) while no less than 43 Democrat-nominated appoints were made.  Three non-incumbent Republicans were appointed and the remaining 14 nominees were rejected – two of whom are former Selectman still looking to serve in some meaningful capacity.  None of the losing May candidates were appointed.

However, a former Democrat First Selectman and two former Democrat Selectmen were appointed.  So, the four Democrat votes on the Board of Selectmen making these appointments trumped those 1,000+ Woodbridge voters.  Yes, this is how the system works: to the victor goes the spoils, and the Democrats did win big in May.  But let’s not allow the fictional narrative that Woodbridge Democrats have a bipartisan bone in their political body to go unchallenged.  As it stands today, of the 104 Board and Commission appointed positions, 58 are held by Democrats, 22 each by Republicans and Unaffiliateds (no more than 2 of each on any board), with two vacancies.  That ratio is not even close to the registered voter mix in Woodbridge, where there are more Unaffiliated voters than that of either party.  And it may be worth mentioning that all the current members of the Inland Wetlands Agency were Democrats up until June 26, when one member changed party affiliation to Unaffiliated the day before his appointment – which conveniently now lines up with the state limit for the maximum number of board members that can be from one party.  Coincidence?  Democrats dominate nearly every board and commission, and their partisan appointments assure their grip will continue.  So can we please drop the pretense of bipartisanship?

Dorothy Martino, Chair, Nominating Committee, Republican Town Committee

Chuck Pyne, Member, Nominating Committee, Republican Town Committee

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