Letter: Lack of Communication Leaves Essex a One Party Town

As the Chairman of the Essex Republican Town Committee, I just needed to share my comments on the political process in Essex. However, this letter expresses my thoughts  alone. I did not submit it to ERTC for approval.

A 2018 audit, found deficits in Region 4 Board of Education Budget. I want to thank our new Superintendent, Brian White for discovering the auditing errors in capital sinking funds, cafeteria fund and the underfunded health insurance reserve. Sadly, to correct them will be a financial burden to the three towns, all with declining enrollments. White’s decision to train Kelly Sterner to be the incoming business manager is excellent. She is extremely competent and I believe will prevent future errors.

I specifically want to thank Jim Carrey and Mike Hammond who kept asking questions about Region 4 BOE deficit. It is difficult to continue to ask questions when a board does not want the problems to be examined.

So, what is my problem? There is a lack of open communication on boards and commissions.

Bruce Glowac, Republican selectman does an excellent job of keeping us informed on issues, but he is not privy to all budget discussions on all the boards. ERTC was unaware of the Region 4 deficits until I read the September 27, 2019 story in CT Examiner.

Essex DTC and RTC cross endorse candidates for Boards of Education. Even though the chairman of the Board of Finance is a registered Republican he never communicates with our RTC. The purpose of minority representation on these boards is to foster a diversity of ideas and experience. Yes, I have asked members to come to our ERTC and I am always turned down. The idea that the boards are bipartisan is ludicrous. Essex is a one party town.

I sold Health insurance to small businesses. I am very aware of what can happen when any entity tries to self-insure. In laymen terms, if the group is too small, in short term they with save money. However, if just one or two on the plan become extremely ill, there will not be enough money in the fund to cover the claims. That is exactly what happened in Essex.

Had I known the town was discussing self-insuring, I would have warned them of the dangers in doing this. But, how would I know it? No one would come to tell us, until it was too late.

I am tired of hearing, “why change things?” Essex is in good financial shape. No, budget deficits means Essex is not in good financial shape.

Lynn Herlihy
Chairman of ERTC
Essex, CT

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