Letter: People get the government they elect


To the editor,

Thomas Jefferson is attributed with saying, “The government you elect is the government you deserve,” and I couldn’t agree more. Conservatives believe that those that work in government do not perform as well as the private sector, where they are motivated by profit. When it comes to getting things done in small towns like Beacon Falls, I tend to agree. Elected officials can either choose to run things as they always have, which is very easy, or try to change for the better, which requires effort. In my involvement in town government for around eight years, I can tell people a few are working hard to improve things, especially the budget.

The idea of party loyalty in town politics is ridiculous as the elected roles are entirely administrative. They have no control over any of those thorny issues debated on Fox News and MSNBC. The two parties are simply rival gangs: Yankees-Mets, Jets-Pats, Kanye-Swift. We need people who know how to spend the town’s money wisely, run an organization, and make smart decisions. Beacon Falls hovers around 50 percent independent registration, and yet the only options we have for candidates are those offered by very few handpicked from each party, most either unqualified or unwilling to do the work. First Selectman Christopher Bielik, despite strong opposition from the Board of Finance, went ahead with the solar array that took away the brush dump. He and the Planning and Zoning Commission ignored the Board of Finance, no pressure was put on them from the public, and he was still re-elected comfortably. In fairness, the candidate on the other side was no more qualified than him.

The parties own the mechanisms for election and are controlled by a few people who maintain that though low participation in the process. They’re clubs. They have no interest in principles, only the “prestige” they think they get from being in power, even for a small town like Beacon Falls. Some even think they are entitled to office because of their last name.

I am not the first person to complain that the system isn’t working. The country has been realizing that for the last 30 years. But the problems of the nation do not have to be Beacon Falls’ problems. People have been elected solely because of their political affiliation, which has led to some embarrassingly unqualified people holding important office, costing the town tens of thousands of dollars. We need to decouple party alignment from town politics and simply seek out and elect qualified candidates. Otherwise residents can get out their wallets, because taxes will never come down again without someone who can think strategically in a time when the town needs it most. Someone who can avoid the death spiral we are in: high taxes, low growth, higher taxes. There is no one in a leadership position today that can do this.

Business thrives on collaboration. Politicians protecting ego and power in two-year cycles reject it in all forms. They snipe like children in public meetings.

On Sept. 27 I filed to leave the Democratic party and become an independent. This does not reflect a change in my principles, just my unwillingness to work with the local parties.

If we don’t get more independent voices and volunteers the hopes for an efficiently-run government are doomed. The decisions will be left to the very few that have demonstrated they don’t deserve that trust. We can raise the issues and make them public, but it’s up to the citizens to put on the pressure, and right now there seems to be no interest in doing so, as evidenced by voter turnout in meetings and elections. It is easier to be indignant on NextDoor than town hall, where it matters.

It is what we deserve, along with the inevitable increase in taxes and opportunity costs that result.

Jim Huk

Beacon Falls


  1. I don’t agree with the calling out of individuals here/haven’t been around long enough to know the history of all these issues, but I agree that political affiliation doesn’t make much sense at the local level. We’re not debating international relations, abortion rights, immigration, or any of the hot button issues that are present in our national discourse. We’re trying to maintain local infrastructure, provide high quality public education, attract new business, get our trails properly maintained, etc. 99% of the time, it doesn’t matter if you’re a D or an R when you’re approaching these issues, only that you have good ideas and act with integrity. In fact, when you’re leading with D or R, you’re potentially alienating people who you might have a lot in common with and who might agree with you on most issues. It’s divisive and suddenly people are associating you with Trump or Obama instead of asking what your plan is to revitalize downtown. Let’s be neighbors working together to get things done instead of Ds and Rs.

  2. Ok, so nice job again by Rodrigo – a good swan song.

    gotta love this:

    “Some even think they are entitled to office because of their last name”.

    That about sums it up…Welcome to Beacon Falls!

  3. I dont think he actually used the term ‘incompetent fool’…

    then again, he might have if he looked through the meeting minutes at the last BOF meeting, with Bielik trying to send the Dibra application back to another vote. It was gunned down by Rodrigo, who was absolutely stellar; and Bielik a total clown.

    something you should check out (the minutes) if you haven’t already.

  4. First of all, hearing a guy like Jim Huk call Chris Bielik an incompetent fool will never get old, as far as I’m concerned. Can’t happen enough. And yes, Huk deserves full marks for the BOF’s stand against the solar park debacle – as does Rodorigo, who apparently is gone now too.

    That said, who exactly were the people who elected Bielik? Never once did I vote for that guy. I suspect both Huk and Rodorigo pulled the lever for Bielik in the 2013 election. Then perhaps at the same time, voted for Peter Betkoski who, as it pertains to the solar project, doesn’t even know where the sun is.

    Peter Betkoski to the Board of Selectmen…good call guys!

  5. Pretty funny, Goldstein…but poor form. Room 101 for you.

    The writer here is a sorely-missed former member of BOF and BOE

  6. Mr. Huk,

    some clown at Town Hall wants you to know that your two minutes are up and that public comment is not to be interactive

    just passing it along…no disrespect,