To the editor,
I just read the article in [the Dec. 27 Citizen’s News] about the “procedural” issues caused by the purchase of an office chair by the new first selectman of Beacon Falls, Christopher Bielik. Procedural issue? Is it me, or does anyone else see the issue with what’s reported in this article as an “ethical” issue? $700 for an office chair? Really?
The first question that comes to my mind is, where is the chair that was used by the previous first selectman? Did he BYOC (bring your own chair) when he got elected to the office, or did he not even need a chair because he spent so little time in the office that he didn’t have time to sit (even though he unsuccessfully attempted to raise the first selectman position from part time to full time, with a doubling of the salary, and a full benefit package)?
While I find it admirable that Mr. Bielik at least plans to spend enough time in his new office to require a chair, it’s hard for me to believe that he can’t find one that would comfortably house his posterior for less than $700. I guess things change when you’re buying things with other peoples’ money. I just furnished my home office with an awesome chair from Staples for $280. It does everything short of rub my back when I sit in it and I saw plenty more to choose from at Staples and other stores when I was looking for the one I finally purchased that cost far less than $700. Oh, I did see some for more than twice what I paid, but I have a budget and a responsibility to my family that would not allow me in good conscience to spend so frivolously. I even used a coupon to further enhance my savings.
I wonder how much Mr. Bielik spent on the chair in his home office? I seriously doubt it was $700. And even if he did spend that much, that’s his money and he can do what he wants with it. But the money used to buy a chair for his public office is not his and he should be held to a more responsible standard when making purchasing decisions that use hard earned taxpayer dollars. If this is an indication of how he plans to make future, more impactful decisions as first selectman going forward, I guess I better open another savings account just to start putting away money to pay my future taxes.
Hopefully, someone will review this purchase if it’s not too late and make a better, more responsible purchasing decision in these difficult economic times where people in our town and most others are struggling to pay their bills. If not, I assume that an asset tag will be placed on this throne, and it will still be in the first selectman’s office when the next candidate shows up for his first day of work. Is it any wonder that people in general have come to despise politicians? Not really.