To the Editor:
The Greenwich Taxpayer should thank Fred Camillo for his efforts in the 2023 municipal election.
With 60% of the vote yesterday he has cemented his legacy as the most popular and effective leader in Fairfield County. To put his performance in perspective, statewide, GOP First Selectman candidates were taken to the proverbial “woodshed”. Accounting for registration advantages, Fred Camillo outperformed big city Democrats like Mayor Elect Arunan Arulampalam in Hartford and Mayor Justin Elicker in New Haven.
Democrats and Republicans alike think Mr. Camillo deserved a third term. His blanketed efforts demonstrated that honest, post-partisan leadership is what Greenwich demands and deserves.
Mr. Camillo outpolled every single candidate in 11 of 12 districts and ran statistically even in the 12th (Old Greenwich), demonstrating that filthy campaign tactics like those shown by Greenwich Indivisible and the Democratic Town Committee will not be tolerated in this town.
The Republicans BET members deserve recognition for the work they have done controlling the budget, however they grossly underperformed, losing in Old Greenwich, Riverside and Cos Cob, where resident families with school aged children drove historical Democratic overperformance.
I wish to acknowledge candidates Harry Fischer and David Alfano, who outperformed their cohorts on the Republican ticket and accounted for the added votes necessary to overcome Ms. Nisha Auroras (R) underperformance and Ms. Leslie Moriarty’s (D) extremely strong performance vs. their peers. Without Ms. Aurora and Ms. Moriarty’s personal appeal or lack thereof the race for Greenwich BET would have been a significantly stronger GOP victory.
Camillo’s absentee ballot initiatives proved to be the difference in the BET races. With Camillo winning absentees by 16% and the BET winning by .02% — both historical firsts.
My congratulations to the “Voting Moms” for running a flawless pro-education campaign for RTM. Their push for school spending drove votes in Riverside, Cos Cob and North Mianus. I have yet to complete a thorough analysis but preliminary analysis shows the Voting Moms more than doubled their absentee turnout vs the Republican backed slates. Anecdotally, my college aged Democrat registered daughter applied via the state website for an absentee ballot. It was accompanied by a Voting Moms brochure and house visit the day it was received. My wife, a registered Republican, received no such visit from Republican RTM slates or materials until 2 weeks after her vote was cast.
Down to the Greenwich Democratic Town committee for their “Indivisible” backed “anti-extremist” campaign. Their message of “Stop extremism” was hyperbolic, non-resonating and their behavior yesterday in front of Old Greenwich school was appalling. State Representative Steve Meskers and Democratic BET candidate Elliot Alcheck participated in what can only be called an inappropriate and shameful display as they tangled with a voter.
Speaking of State Representative Meskers, he and State Representative Hector Azero should both resign from the RTM. My personal belief is that state legislators should not serve in local legislatures or local executive branches of government. They could resign from their State Assembly seats as an alternative, but they should pick one or the other, there’s only 227 other members of the RTM, they can find an alternative. This is consistent with my other views in the past, as other municipalities have had State Assembly Persons and Senators serving as First Selectman. It’s inappropriate.
Credit where credit is due to the Greenwich Patriots group. I look forward to their newsletter. I might not be on board with all the topics they cover, but it’s entertaining, well written, researched and consistent with a superb layout. It’s the best hyper-partisan publication (Dem or GOP) in town.
I would like to touch on “Sour Grapes Campaigning”, particularly by former GOP head Dan Quigley and former GPD Captain Mark Kordik. Mr. Kordik, you crossed a line last cycle with your Trump/Camillo signs. You are in no position to lecture the town on Fred Camillo. You rightfully exercised your First Amendment rights, now go away.
To Dan Quigly, stop with the words “coup” and “takeover”. You didn’t see it coming and that’s on you. And if you did know about the movement you failed to whip your support. You lost. An organized group of motivated Republicans who did nothing more than exercise democracy. The same democracy that you claim Donald Trump and his supporters attempt to subvert, lost you your election as RTC member and Chair. You proceed to attempt to cut off your nose to spite your face and put the town’s finances at risk to promote a personal vendetta. That’s shameful and no different than the actions of Mr. Kordik. You both likely succeeded in driving individuals from your candidates rather than to them.
Greenwich is on the precipice of liberal disaster, ironically because of liberal policies. June 2020 migration to Old Greenwich, Cos Cob, RIverside of families with school aged children escaping draconian COVID policy and New York crime that now threatens our community. It’s understandable these families moved here for a myriad of reasons including schools, that is not a blank check. These families chose Greenwich over Larchmont, Pelham and Rye because we offer value and lower taxes. Don’t turn Greenwich into Westchester.
Fred Camillo demonstrated what real “Common Sense” leadership looks like.
Michael E. Hahn