About the good and bad from letters editorial
To the Editor:
When I read the good and bad from letters this week and found myself the subject of “odd news,” I wasn’t sure if the comments were a backhanded compliment to my investigative talents or a question about my honesty, which could result in negative opinions about my character and reputation among Cabinet readers.
There is more likelihood of a hippopotamus running through the selectman’s office during their Monday night meeting than there is in my snitching on my sources of information. However, the “odd news” comments deserve a response.
Even a cub reporter could arrive at my conclusions about the lack of knowledge about the legislative authority of the Board of Selectmen, lack of knowledge about the Right to Know Law, and inappropriate use of executive sessions to deny taxpayers the right to observe the manner in which their elected officials are conducting the town business simply by asking questions or attending the annual Town Meeting.
When my wife and I lived in Wilton for many years and joined with others who were deeply interested in the living environment, history and reputation of our town, we developed many lifelong friendships, despite my work requiring relocation. Now, with the advent of social media and an overall disgust with government in general, I have been able to keep abreast of the cloud of intrigue permeating the Wilton selectmen’s office.
When the Wilton road agent sends a letter to the Wilton selectmen and they “seal” the minutes of their meeting and refuse to respond to a request of a taxpayer for a copy, as it may or may not contain negative information relating to any taxpayer, this writer considers this a violation of the Right to Know Law, as any correspondence sent to the Board of Selectmen certainly becomes public information. Common sense dictates that no person, no matter who he or she is, should ever write a letter they would be ashamed to see in a newspaper above their signature. If you don’t want anyone to know, don’t do it!
In the matter of the motion by a former selectman at the annual Town Meeting, the motion made immediately following the reading of the Warrant Article relative to allowing citizens to comment on a perplexing town road agent issue was either preplanned and an unconscionable action or the former selectman thought everyone was either too tired to talk or he was missing the Jay Leno show, which would be the greatest coincidence of the century!
This writer has never been intimidated to not raise my voice for honesty, truth and compassion and have always had little use for those who practice ignorance of the law, particularly when taxpayers believe their elected officials will represent them with transparency of decision making, a lack of illegal executive sessions not used by Board of Selectmen since the first Board of Selectmen was formed over 250 years ago, and dramatic changes to the town’s internal structure prior to presenting same to the taxpayers for comment and action at the annual Town Meeting.
Many years ago a good friend, Bill Rotch, wrote an editorial on Thursday, Aug. 5, 1971, in which he described this writer in terms I have never forgotten.
He noted, “Few persons have been more active in a community, he was a regular contributor to this paper for a dozen years and he has many friends in Wilton and we suspect some enemies. It would be surprising if this were not so, for he is a man of outspoken opinions and one who has never hesitated to stand and be counted. We don’t think we ever knew a man who loved his town quite as much but he has always demonstrated this love in loyalty to his town, in pride of its people, and in an eagerness to assume the jobs that must be done if a community is to function.”
This has been the foundation of my life since that day and I hope it answers your comments contained in the good and bad from letters of last week.
FRANCIS GROS LOUIS
Former Wilton resident