Letter: Open letter to all Naugatuck voters

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letters_flatTo the editor,

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Thomas Jefferson.

Every two years in Naugatuck, we elect a mayor, burgesses and several other municipal offices.

As a registered voter, you have the right and responsibility to find out as much as you can about the candidates running for office and to make your own decision about who you believe will do a better job leading our town.

Before the candidates get to ballot, most are endorsed either by the Republican or Democratic Town Committees, a group of citizens who were previously elected by registered voters to represent their interests when it comes time to endorse candidates.  Both of these committees include members from a variety of age groups, professions, and community groups. In addition to their service during elections, almost all are also involved in our community through non-political, non-profit groups such as the Naugatuck Historical Society, YMCA, Rotary, United Way, various sports leagues, church, scouting, school groups, and more.

As your town committees prepare to endorse candidates for the municipal elections, which will be held for the first time in November, the Republican Town Committee would like to ask for your help. Now is the time for the town committees and all voters to decide if they are happy with the ways things are or whether it is time for a change

Even those who believe that the current Mayor (or any current office holder) is doing a good job, have to agree that any candidate not having to run a campaign or be challenged, weakens the process and ultimately our community’s future. No incumbent office holder should take their position for granted. Being challenged actually strengthens current office holders by making them connect once again with the voters. 

Although we may all agree that it is important, indeed vital, to our government that our people have more of a voice and more of a choice, the difficulty lies in encouraging our citizens to offer themselves as public servants. Running a campaign is hard work. It involves walking through the neighborhoods and knocking on doors to introduce yourself and learn more about what our residents and business owners feel is important. If you are a challenger, it means you will spend weeks learning the process, the history, and what is currently in the works by our incumbent office holders.

Although that seems like a lot of work, anyone who has served in public office will assure you that campaigning is the easy part. Mayors, burgesses, Board of Education members, and land use commissioners spend many evenings away from their families at meetings where lengthy discussions lead to decisions made through consideration and compromise, seldom without debate and seldom with unanimous approval.  Disagreements among board members or commissioners and with the public are never easy.

Still, I would like to encourage our voters to consider serving. Despite the potential for disappointment, the rewards are enduring. Every office upon which we will be voting, allows the elected to interact with our residents. It is through serving the public and community where you really learn about your town, its needs, strengths, weaknesses, history, and most importantly its potential.

Public service requires a lot of time and heart, but at the end of day, if you are well intentioned, and if you remember to keep your family and friends close so they may help you maintain both balance and focus, you will feel that your time was well spent.  There is no better measure of success than knowing that you made a difference.

The fact that most of our incumbents will seek reelection speaks well of Naugatuck. I wish them all well on receiving the town committee’s endorsement and reelection in November.

As members of your elected Republican Town Committee, we value your opinion and ask that if you are considering being a candidate, or if you would like to recommend a candidate, please reach out to your respective party leaders and help us to choose our municipal candidates. All Republican voters are invited to attend our meeting where we will be endorsing candidates on Wednesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. at Santos’ Restaurant, 152 Church St. 

Also, please remember to vote in the budget referendum on July 9. Whether it is for an election or a referendum, your vote is your right to be heard. 

With gratitude,

Dorothy Hoff,                        

Chairwoman, Republican Town Committee                    

NaugatuckRTC@gmail.com