Selectman files FOI complaint

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BFTownHall2

BEACON FALLS — Selectman Christopher Bielik, a Democrat who is running for first selectman in November, has filed a complaint with the state Freedom of Information Commission against Republican First Selectman Gerard Smith.

The state FOI commission received the complaint Oct. 7, said Thomas Hennick, public education officer of the FOI commission. The complaint will be reviewed to make sure the commission has jurisdiction, he said.

The complaint accuses Smith and Selectman David D’Amico, a Republican, of holding an illegal meeting on Oct. 1.

The meeting, which was attended Smith, D’Amico, Town Engineer Jim Galligan and Dominick Sorrentino, a Democrat who is Smith’s running mate, was to conduct the first round of interviews for the road foreman position the town has open.

Bielik said he was not invited to this meeting and only found out about it after it was held. In addition, Bielik contends the meeting did not follow the proper procedures that have been set out by the town because it was not posted online or in the newspapers.

Bielik said when he confronted Smith about not being told about the meeting, Smith sent a text that said he did not think Bielik would be interested in the meeting.

Bielik said he contacted the FOI Commission shortly after because he was concerned that it might be perceived that the Board of Selectmen was holding illegal or secret meetings.

“When two members of the same party get together they can caucus, but they can’t do town business,” Bielik said. “If they do, it must be called and posted.”

Smith said last Friday he hadn’t seen the complaint and or received any word from the commission. He said he would only receive word if the commission thought there was a problem, otherwise the issue would never reach his desk.

Bielik said there have been two other meetings, on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, which have been posted correctly and all three selectmen have attended. Sorrentino did not attend either of those meetings.

“This does nothing about the first meeting, but the subsequent meetings have been done in a manner I think is appropriate,” Bielik said.

The Republican American contributed to this article.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Name calling? I’m pretty sure the only thing I have ever called you is JD06403! You can’t rewrite history! Nor did I asks you to change your vote. I simply stated facts

  2. At no time have I suggested Mr. Sorrentino deserted his party. I applaud him and the Republicans for realizing that it is the actions not the party that make him a great choice to be on the ticket.

    Lauren, you have spent a great deal of time trying to discredit me and calling me names. I will not sink to your level.

    It is very apparent that the Democrat team has no real plans that will bring Beacon Falls forward. They use the same old election rhetoric of controlling taxes. They are fooling only themselves that they have a plan for education and can influence even Ms Feducia to work with them controlling education spending. I have heard that they tried to buy the Senior Center vote buy buying them turkey dinners several weeks ago. That is pretty desperate to take advantage of Seniors.

    No Lauren, I will not change my vote and you can disrespect me all you want.

    I will be voting Row A and I ask everyone reading this to do the same. Smith-Sorrentino is the best choice for Beacon Falls.

  3. Jd06403, I don’t think you really want to talk about puppets. I could go on, but I won’t other than the fact I doubt very much and so would any logical person that a former naval commander and Annapolis grad and actually too many credentials and accomplishments to mention (including Years of volunteerism) could or would ever be considered a puppet. Your posts are nonsense and filled with uniformed and uneducated dribble. Oh and yeah…..mr. Sorrentino deserted the dem party???? Than why did he not change is registered affiliation? He has stated his motive…..Mr. Smith needed a running mate and I’m guessing Mr. Sorrentino needed a part time job. Any port in a storm!

  4. Beacon Falls deserves a leader as chief administrative officer for the town. Smith is vacant of true morals, vacant of any true character and certainly vacant of any leadership skills.

    The community has heard from many about the true character of Smith including Lauren, a paid clerk during meetings. A leader, I think not Smith bailed the finance board at a critical time — right in the middle of the town budget. Bielik stepped up to the plate, rolled up his sleeves and worked with the team to develop a budget for the town.

    I have worked with Chris Bielik while on the conservation commission. He is a leader with the experience to lead the town as chief administrative officer. His MS Management, Public Administration & Finance from the Naval Postgraduate School will serve this town well. He won’t serve up puffery, as is the case with Smith.

    Smith ‘cleaned’ up his ticket and added a DEM to run on the GOP ticket. One can only assume that no one else would run with him.

    Many people who have volunteered on commissions, boards, and/or committees to serve the town are in disbelief with the way Smith has ‘led’ this town. With this election I place my trust in the Bielik – Betkoski team and the full slate of men and women who stand behind Chris and Peter — they will bring this town back to glory.

  5. Since you members of the Beilik team just cannot swallow the fact that a respected member of this community and registered Democrat sees through your smoke screen and decided to run on the Republican ticket, you are running afraid of this team. I have supported Mr Sorrentino since he first ran for the Board of Selectmen, and will not stop now!

    I support and will be voting for the Row A Republican Ticket. I do not care about party.as your team does. There has never been a requirement that a candidate be of one party or another to run for office. I only care that Beacon Falls moves forward. That cannot happen with your puppet in the FS office.

  6. Dear jd06403,
    Your last sentence is as follows- For the first time I will be voting straight Republican on November 5th.

    I beg to differ because you have a registered Democrat running on the Republican ticket!!

  7. Well this has been an interesting set of comments. I have this weeks newspaper and there are several well written ‘partisan’ republican letters to the editor. I certainly hope that they are posted here by the Citizen’s news as I would expect another well represented selection of responses.

    So, perhaps to close this and move on. Unpaid taxes are unpaid taxes. There is no reasonable response that ignorance or lack of knowledge about them is acceptable. It is YOUR responsibility to know and pay taxes.

    But missing a payment for several months IS different than avoiding them for 10 years. As pointed out there is no law that says you cannot run for office if you are a scofflaw.

    It is now up to the voters to express their opinion on all this and elect those they trust and send packing those they do not.

    For the first time I will be voting straight Republican on November 5th.

  8. Dear Heart, Are you sure I’m the one making “partisan drivel” ?

    Even though YOU said “These are legally owed taxes; and written into the tax code”, you meant that it was only applicable if the arrears in question are owed by registered Democrats who are running for public office ?

    You seem to be saying that back taxes owed by Republican candidates are an “oversight”.

    I’m not sure if a candidate susceptible to making such an oversight deserves a seat on the ZBA (where small oversights could cost our town hundreds of thousands in legal fees and ruin our community). I’m also not sure if such an oversight deserves a seat at the Selectmen’s table either. I’ve said before, when it comes to right and wrong, there’s just right and wrong. There are no party lines.

  9. Dear bf06403,
    Let me get this straight, you believe Ben Smith, who is running for a seat on the ZBA and is the son of the current First Selectman, would knowingly not pay a $59. tax bill on a motorcycle which has been due for just a couple of months. And you want to equate this oversight with that of Peter Betkoski who has been delinquent, if I recall correctly, since 2003 in amounts of up to $14-15,000 dollars. Sorry bf06403, but your comparison is simply partisan drivel; worse, it brings into question your credibility when engaging in serious debate.

  10. (updated)Dear Heart,

    This information just hit the CN website and it’s quite disappointing that you left it out when criticizing one candidate’s tax status.

    One of the three candidates owing taxes, Benjamin Smith, a Republican who is seeking election to the Zoning Board of Appeals, said he wasn’t aware of his outstanding motor vehicle tax bill and will pay it as soon as possible.
    According to the tax collector’s office, Smith, son of Republican First Selectman Gerard Smith, owes $59.18, including interest, on a motorcycle for the 2012 grand list.

    I’m glad you said “Lots of taxes vs fair taxes is not the issue. These are legally owed taxes; and written into the tax code,” because it seems that there are scofflaws on both sides of this issue.

    It appears that you want to have your cake and eat it too. It just doesn’t work that way.

  11. Dear Heart, I agree. While not illegal, nepotism IS at best unethical.

    Let’s not forget though that nepotism has various forms. It could be in the form of not paying taxes when your sister is the town’s Chief Executive. It could also rear it’s ugly head when you invite your running mate who has no entitlement to be present, to sit in on the interviewing of potential staff when you’ve failed to invite one of the two other individuals to whom the people of the town gave the mandate to be present when they elected him.

    It will surely be up to the voters to decide which form is more tolerable.

    With regard to salary and/or pay, one of the things that makes Beacon Falls such a great place is the volunteer spirit of those that run the town. I’m not just referring to the 3 members of the Board of Selectmen, but to the dozens and dozens of people that serve on our boards and commissions. It may be an elitist point of view, but I want people running this town who aren’t distracted by their own personal financial situations (including owing taxes). If you think that’s exclusionary, you’re mistaken. EVERY CITIZEN has the right, the ability and the obligation to be included in our government. For most, that is exercised once a year on election day. For some it’s exercised an evening or two a month at a board/commission meeting. For a lucky few, it’s 24x7x365. If you’re involved in government and worried about being compensated for your involvement, you’re a politician and there’s no politics in true leadership. If you want to be a true leader, be in government because you love your cause. There are plenty of places to make money in this world – government (at any level) shouldn’t be one of them.

    One wonders, Considering that as taxpayers we’re paying the pensions of all government retirees, how can you think it’s not fiscally responsible to keep the FS pay paltry utilize the talents of people for whose sustenance we’re already paying ?

  12. Dear bf0813,
    Your partisan, fact-free blather isn’t really worthy of comment, but I will anyway. FS Smith doesn’t have the luxury of 2 or 3 government checks coming in that the previous First Selectman does. The same is true for candidate Bielik who gets a sizable pension as a retiree from the US Navy. Thus he can afford to accept the insufficient pay designated for the demands of the office. The main reason politically connected Democrats, the DTC and the rest of its lackeys were so vehemently opposed to a raise for the First Selectman was because they knew it would make it very difficult for him to run for reelection. FS Smith puts in full time hours and more correcting the myriad problems passed forward by the grossly incompetent previous administration, as well as moving the town forward bringing in new businesses. For his time and effort, he receives the paltry sum of $37,000/yr. (more or less) with no benefits. Increasing the pay of the First Selectman is an idea that has been floated long before FS Smith took office. Everyone knows the job is NOT part time, and when the incumbent only puts in part-time hours as the previous administration did, the town cannot be run efficiently and competently. So to repeat, the salary increase was not originally FS Smith’s idea, and it definitely could not be considered HIS salary increase for three reasons: 1. He did not know if he would run for reelection, 2. There was no guarantee he would win reelection if he ran, and 3. The pay increase would not begin until after the election and the next FS was sworn into office. FS Smith was doing this for the next officeholder, regardless of who that person may be. He knows the job is not part-time, and he knows whoever wins the election would need to treat it as full time. Unlike his counterparts, FS Smith does what’s best for Beacon Falls.

  13. Dear bf06403,
    Lots of taxes vs fair taxes is not the issue. These are legally owed taxes; and written into the tax code, in addition to penalties and interest, are the legal procedures to begin foreclosure. The tax scofflaw in question has a history of ignoring town regulations when it suits him knowing the former First Selectman, who is also his sister, would protect him. Nepotism like this destroys trust in our municipal government, and if this is not illegal, it can certainly be considered unethical.

  14. Thank you Cousin ! As I posted previously, I wasn’t aware and I do appreciate having more with which to make an informed decision on election day. I do find it problematic when people confuse paying “a lot of taxes” with paying a fair share of taxes. Personally, I don’t think I find it as troubling as someone who tries to double or triple their own benefit package on the shoulders of the people of this town – but I acknowledge that others will find the tax non-payment issue more troubling. We’ll get the true pulse of the town on Election Day. That’s what makes our system such a great one.

    That being said, I absolutely agree that it’s ridiculous to suggest that taxes weren’t paid due to the tax collector being un-reachable. She’s always reachable – with a postage stamp and “10 Maple Avenue, 06403” written on an envelope that encloses a check. Also, the Board of Selectmen regularly approves refunds for overpayment of taxes at its meetings.

    To play devil’s advocate (and to quote one of our illustrious posters) – “I would simply ask that you please read the state statutes.” It is such a given that not all are going to pay when they’re supposed to that interest and late fees are written into the tax code. I’m certainly not supporting the idea of not paying ones fair share, nor am I defending the candidate, but the statutes make provisions for not doing it in a timely manner.

    Beyond the blather – EVERYONE HAVE A SAFE NIGHT TONIGHT ! HAPPY HALLOWEEN !

  15. The following is being reported in the Oct 31st Waterbury Republican:

    Democratic selectman candidate Peter J. Betkoski, who operates Betkoski Brothers at 332 Bethany Road, is current on his real estate taxes at 344 Bethany Road, according to the tax collector’s office.

    However, he owes $4,566.81 in taxes, including interest, on a garage at 332 Bethany Road. That figure includes taxes for the 2011 and 2012 grand list. He has made some payment on tax­es owed for the 2011 grand list, according to the office.

    Under his business, Betkoski owes $3,376.02 on personal property, with tax­es dating back to 2003, ac­cording to the tax collector’s office. He also owes $85.21 on a vehicle at the business from the 2012 grand list.

    The last payment made on those personal property taxes was in October 2009, the office said.

    Betkoski said he is fully aware of the obligation of owing back taxes, and he is working on clearing it up by the first of the year, if not sooner. His business was es­tablished in 1945 and pays a lot of taxes in town, he said.

    He made a payment of $10,500 in June, and there is a balance for personal prop­erty taxes, Betkoski said. He said he has tried to con­tact Tax Collector Ursula Henry to make a payment arrangement, but she has no set hours and he hasn’t been able to reach her.

    “I’m trying my best,” Betkoski said.

    So, doing his best is finally making a payment after 5 years and only after being nominated to run for office. Suggesting that he has not been able to contact the current Tax Collector has kept him from making payments? I understand there was a Democrat in the tax office from 2003 to 2012, so she was never in the office either? He also claims he pays “a lot of taxes” – apparently not if he let them sit unpaid since 2003.

  16. The top of the ticket for the Repub’s didn’t even want to run for the job. What was the reason…. work/family obligation, I believe that was the very same reason Smith stepped down from the Bd of Finance. Smith only ran because a Democrat joined the ticket. He wanted to triple his salary, make it a full time position and full benefits and when that didn’t pass, he wasn’t going to run again, because it wasn’t feasible. Watch out BF, he is not committed. He has poor leadership qualities in my eyes.

  17. There is a rumor going around town that at the time the DTC announced its slate, all together the Democratic candidates owed approximately $22,000 in back taxes. To think that people who can’t or won’t pay their own taxes should be entrusted to run the town is an insult to Beacon Falls residents. I’d like to see the CN do a little investigative reporting and get to the bottom of this. This is definitely something the people should know before election day.

  18. Darn – heading out on another trip. Need to remember to watch this site (paper) and not get behind in the blather. hmm – absentee ballot????

    No I was not serious about garnishment, that is as silly as picking PB to run for office knowing this was going to be an issue. What I guess I need to ask – shouldn’t there be an ordinance that disqualifies someone from running if he or she owes back taxes? Probably unconstitutional, but you an I pay our taxes and hard times or not, we all work it out.

    So I leave you with this – If not chosen to run for office, would any of these back taxes have been paid?

  19. Dear Cousin – first – and more importantly than all this blather – Welcome Home.

    The question of back taxes is a very good one. Admittedly, I’m not familiar with the situation – not even 100% sure which B of the B&B we’re eluding to. I tried googling “back taxes” with either B and didn’t see anything that would help me be more informed, but I did see this :

    In the summer of 2011, several delinquent properties were sold at auction and owners paid off delinquent taxes on additional properties before they went to auction. “I think that taking that kind of aggressive approach that we had, that’s the kind of aggressive thing that we can be doing more of.”

    The quote is from one of the candidates currently running for office.

    I do think that enforcement of the rules is a proven deterrent to breaking the rules. I’m not sure if your thought of garnishment was serious or sarcastic, but that’s not the right avenue. Liens and foreclosure auctions certainly are.

    Again and most importantly, welcome home !

  20. Wow – go out of town for a few days and look what happens. Lots to read here, and everyone seems to have defended their candidate very well. But what I missed in the dialog was a response defending the tax delinquent. I see that Mr Smith is being blamed for him not collecting these taxes, when the taxes went unpaid under the candidate’s sister’s watch. Guess we now know why Cable never went after tax evaders.

    So I ask Mr Brown and my cousin BF, what’s the deal here? You are willing to support and elect those that do not fulfill their tax obligations? Is it your plan that we elect this guy and then attach his pay?

  21. “nothing but political blah-blah intended to distract the voters from the a real truth: Compensation and Firetrucks have been debated to death. In both cases they are conversations that had to happen and from that decisions were made. Gerry did not back down from any of these controversial issues.”

    It’s true – Gerry Smith didn’t back down on spending OUR money on the firetruck before exhausting all other viable funding options. He tried to stick us with the full cost. Luckily the people of the town showed what leadership is when they ruled that a significant investment that was a nearly decade in the making could wait a few more months if it meant significantly reducing the dollars needed to invest.

    To say that Gerry Smith did not back down on the matter of (more than) doubling his own financial compensation is almost as ridiculous as the idea itself.

    “Every meeting I asked where is the money coming from.” Oh please. This reminds me of the undercover NYPD detective who didn’t want to blow his cover so he helped a bunch of bikers go after the driver of that Range Rover. “We were all lied to.” The Great Communicator himself said “Trust, but verify” – and there’s nothing really wrong with that.

    At the end of the day, one shouldn’t need commissions and legislation to know what’s right and what’s wrong. It should be expected and not have to be said. One should demonstrate leadership and transparency and teamwork through OPEN dialog and informed decision making. (It seems that only someone whose presence isn’t enough to actually make an impact would see a need to cite statute that says that a Selectman doesn’t have the power to do anything.)

    None of this has anything to do with party affiliation, it has to do with leadership. It has to do with right and wrong – and knowing the difference WITHOUT HAVING TO BE TOLD.

    On a final note, it’s fair to say that I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to fruits and veggies, but as many times as I’ve been in Stop & Shop, NOT ONCE has the Store Manager invited me into the conference room (at least not without the knowledge of the rest of the management team) and said “Hey, we’re thinking about bringing this person on board to run the produce aisle. Can you sit in on the interview ?”

  22. You continue to confuse one’s registered party status with the ticket to which one was nominated and voted to be on. We are proud to have someone as distinguished and respected for his previous efforts working for the citizens of Beacon Falls on our ticket.

    Mr Sorrentino is a member of the Republican team – check the ballot.

  23. Mr. Krenesky, once again as you have always done in you political career, when confronted with undisputed facts you blame everyone else and claim you knew nothing. Kind of reminds me of Sgt. Shultz from Hogan’s Heroes “I see nothing, and I know nothing!” And if Mr. Smith did his job then someone on the BB Team would not owes back taxes and I’m sure he doesn’t owe 2.5 million dollars.
    Finally, If the “Republican team is the most experienced and best suited to manage Town Hall” why did they need to bring Mr. Sorrentino, a Democrat, in???

  24. Mike K Repub spin doctor to the rescue. The top of the ticket for the Repub’s didn’t even want to run for the job.and only ran because a Dem joined the ticket. As for who is best suited to run BF in the future, and as Mike points out the FS controls most of the decisions. I will take the former Naval Commander and Military School graduate who can work the position full time over our current administration. Beacon Falls has an opportunity to take a giant step in the right direction which we haven’t seen from either party in the past 30 years by electing Chris Bielik.

  25. I would simply ask that you please read the state statutes. No where does it state that a ‘selectman’ has the authority to do anything- it says First Selectman. It is the FS that made the decisions on the projects mentioned here, not the Selectmen. The June and July 2010 BOS minutes clearly state that the FS was the authority on the Bridge project because I asked the question and was given the response from the FS. And in the end we (all voters) made decisions based on what the FS presented to us.

    Please read the BOS minutes on the Greenway during my term as Selectman. Every meeting I asked where is the money coming from. The answer from former FS Cable – “don’t worry, I’ve got it.” We were all lied to.

    Harold – you opened the door to back taxes. Let’s elect the BB Team and let loose the wolf in the hen house. Who is going to expect them to do something about back taxes when one B still owes the Town. Let’s elect the BB team because they are going to do something about blight – opps which member of BB team is on that list and has cost this town countless hours and tax dollars.

    Look, We can go back and forth throwing stones at each other all day long. It still falls to the one fact that the Republican team is the most experienced and best suited to manage Town Hall for the next two years. Done.

  26. Let me get this straight. As Mr. Krenesky has pointed out many times is was the previous administration that is responsible for the financial troubles the town is in now. If they had done their job properly we would not have had the cost over runs on projects in town. Now correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Mr. Krenesky a selectmen at that time? Making him part of the previous administration? Thus part of the group that has caused all the problems we have now? Thank God we have Mr. Smith running and to have the foresight to bring in a running mate like Dominick Sorrentino to fix those problems from the previous administration….Wait a minute here…, Cable/ Sorrentino … THE PREVIOUS ADMINISRATION, the ones who caused all the problems. The facts are simple, Sorrentino and Krenesky made up 2/3 of the Board of Selectmen and had the power to override the First Selectmen at any time if bad decisions were being made, but they choose not to. So now if Mr. Smith thinks that Mr. Sorrentino is the best person to run with him and also thinks that Mr. Krenesky is the best person to be the town Treasurer than we are in dire trouble. Are these the people we want running are town? And just one more thing, after being the First Selectmen for two years why has no effort been made by Mr. Smith to collect the 2.5 million dollars in back taxes owed to the town?

  27. Still shaking my head! You can’t keep having it both ways. Your reputation precedes you. Legal? (sort of, maybe, possibly…because you have sat in on interviews in the public sector?). I think you need to lay off the kool aid. No more posts for me on this thread…it’s beyond ridiculous.

  28. First of all this was an interview and not a Town Meeting. Does this have to be posted? Is it a working session that falls into a gray area? As a former member of the BOS I can tell you that we to struggled with what needed to be posted. We erred towards posting these types of sessions. I will be interested in the FOI comments on this, and therefore my comments questioning the true intention of comments being made here.

    As to a private citizen participating. I am routinely asked at my job to interview candidates for positions I have no direct contact with. The Board of Ed routinely pulls in private citizens when interviewing candidates. There is nothing here that is out of the ordinary other than it has not been done before. I congratulate the First Selectman for opening up the process for other input and in this case asking one of the most respected former Selectmen that has ever served this community as that individual.

    Compensation and Firetrucks have been debated to death. In both cases they are conversations that had to happen and from that decisions were made. Gerry did not back down from any of these controversial issues and that is Leadership. His vision for this community is clear and that is why he and Dominick both deserve our vote on Nov 5th.

  29. Also, regardless of FOI Commission findings, the fact that such a concern from a fellow Selectman wouldn’t reach his desk speaks volumes. It doesn’t say LEADERSHIP or TEAMWORK, but it definitely says something.

  30. There is little question that our town was left fiscally challenged with bridges and greenways and other real estate transactions (think Wolfe Avenue) by the previous administration, but luckily, the people of Beacon Falls saw fit to object when FS Smith wanted to double his own compensation and later saw fit to prevent the expenditure of OUR OWN money on a much needed firetruck before other funding options were exhausted. Lauren does raise a good question. How does a private citizen get invited to a personnel interview when he is neither the town official conducting the interview nor the candidate being interviewed ?

  31. Mike really? You of ALL people know that one does not have to wait for a decision as to whether or not there was any violation…..there WAS a violation on many levels. Let’s start with a town meeting that was not posted, then purposely not notifying a selectman this town elected (either check your facts regarding a fictitious email, I mean, just don’t make stuff up!) and how about inviting a private Beacon Falls citizen to attend a town personnel interview???? I’m still shaking my head over your post. I’ve been to way too many meetings where you repeatedly cite Roberts rules and what’s legal and what is not. This clearly was NOT legal nor was it ethical. You can’t twist this abuse of authority any other way.

  32. We are a long way from a decision that there was any violation of FOI or if this is even a FOI matter. Something apparently left out of the story is that Selectman Bielik was contacted by email about a pending meeting to which there was never a response. I guess we all have to wait to get the real story.

    But being in the election cycle, this is a “trial by blog” and nothing but political blah-blah intended to distract the voters from the a real truth:

    First Selectman Smith has made great strides to repair the financial damage left from the past Democrat administration. Bridges, greenways, and street projects left underfunded have been his focus and he successfully re-mediated them.

    First Selectman Smith has met these challenges head on and has moved Beacon Falls forward. That is LEADERSHIP.

  33. On the one hand, boo hoo – they wouldn’t let him play in the sandbox. ON THE BIGGER MORE IMPORTANT HAND, (and some might not believe I’m saying this, but) Anita is right. EVERYONE on the teams that lead this town has to know the rules. Whether or not one agrees with the rules is not relevant to the requirement that they be followed. Kudos to Selectman Bielik for sticking up for the rules. I think he gets that there is no I in TEAM (or BOARD OF SELECTMEN), and I believe he will demonstrate that even the i in First Selectman is a lower case i.

  34. The qualities that make for an outstanding leader include effective leadership and dedication. A leader knows how to make effective decisions, as well as how bad decisions can be avoided. In this case FS Smith made a bad decision and failed as a leader when he intentionally left Selectmen Bielik out of the interview process to hire a road foreman for the Town of Beacon Falls. Having his running mate, Dominick Sorrentino in attendance for the interview showcases FS Smiths poor leadership qualities. Everyone who has sat on a board/commission/committee etc. understands the proper procedures—FS Smith certainly exhibited his lack of leadership qualities in the handling of this meeting.