To the editor,
I write in response to Jeff Goerig’s letter questioning my leadership qualities, citing my resignation from the Board of Finance. This letter will be my only statement regarding the issue.
But the question begs a further question: Why is the writer using me to sell Mr. Bielik to the public? Although I was pleased to train Mr. Bielik, a fairly new citizen in town and a recent appointee to the Board of Finance, the last time I looked, Gerry Smith was running for Beacon Falls First Selectman, and his opponent was Susan Cable.
I was tapped by Mrs. Cable to fill out the term of a position vacated by Mary Anne Holloway, a prominent Democratic member of the (Board of Finance). I declined, but Cable implored me to accept the position, and I did. Shortly after, I registered for the first time with a political party because I support the effort to form a viable conversation within the town.
At the end of the term, a second position opened up on the board due to another resignation, and Cable again appointed me, albeit reluctantly. It made good political sense for her to do so, even though I was now a Republican. Naive to the strong passions of politics, I found it curious that I, whom she had insisted was the perfect man for the job, was now perceived to be an adversary.
Susan Cable had worked with me in years past when I was an elected member of the (Board of Finance), and she knew that I possess the knowledge and clear vision necessary to serve the town. Frankly, she frequently looked to me for guidance on tough issues and valued my input and we had a good working relationship.
As for my resignation, to ensure a smooth transition, I expressly timed it to occur after the presentation of a bond issue and prior to the beginning of any of the budget process.
Precisely because my opponents have no substantive facts with which to campaign against me, they have resorted to the sort of ad hominem attacks seen on the national scene, calling me, against all logic, a quitter.
At the time, my professional life had entered a phase entailing intensive training with travel and long hours, making attendance at town meetings logistically impossible. I had no way of knowing how long this would last, so I did the responsible thing by withdrawing from the board.
Once again, I am in a position to serve the town of Beacon Falls well, now and in the future. I have selected a top-notch team and together we will implement our strategy to put Beacon Falls on a firm financial footing. We promise to move forward on all fronts, following concrete plans, and we promise, above all, to deliver. The Smith-Damico Team puts Beacon Falls FIRST.
Republican candidate for First Selectman
“Once again, I am in a position to serve the town of Beacon Falls”. For how long? Until something better comes along? For the Chairman of the Finance Board to quit, as he states “prior to the beginning of any of the budget process” is not factual because anyone who has run a business knows, the budget process is an ongoing thing that is worked on 365 days a year. And what happens when “my professional life had entered a phase entailing intensive training with travel and long hours, making attendance at town meetings logistically impossible” again? Are we going to have to find yet another replacement for him? The position of First Selectmen is a full time, pressure packed, 24-7 job, not one for someone who will walk away when that pressure on.