To the Editor:
I take note of the letter by Stephen Gencarella referring to my remarks concerning the state of politics in Lyme.
He seems to believe that a healthy democracy requires partisan combat, even when it is pursued for Its own sake. He equates interparty cooperation in government with connivance or conspiracy, citing First Selectman David Lahm’s assertion that he is “satisfied” with the work of the Lyme Board of Selectpeople despite the fact that he as a Republican finds himself working with Democrats who occupy the other 2 seats. Lahm would be required by Gencarella somehow to oppose or criticize their positions, simply because they are not Republicans. I remind him that state law requires that on committees such as Select Boards, there be diversity of party affiliation. Should they fight, just to show their bonafides as loyal and diligent party members? Or field candidates when objectivity would suggest broad agreement over incumbent performance? I recall that during my tenure as a member of the Board of Finance, I saw Ralph Eno as rather “crusty”( I don’t think he would object to that characterization) and certainly more conservative than I am. However I respected his diligence and unquestioned devotion to the town as First Selectman.
Furthermore, in selecting candidates for office in a small community, parties may not find people willing to run, especially in the absence of major policy differences. Gencarella himself seems to demur on grounds of time or money, when I suggest that he put his assertions to work by seeking office.
By all means, when there is controversy over policy, it should be expressed vigorously by those responsible for its prosecution. But agreement need not automatically be equated with malfeasance or corruption.
Herbert Ross MD