Letter: Ehlers says 'Silence' editorial critics off the mark, and missed the point
The following letter is addressed to last week's letter writers, David Bayne, Candice Hughes, and Alex Wang. It was sent to The Darien Times with permission for publication.
To the Editor:
Regarding your responses to the editorial by Susan Shultz:
• Last week's letter by David Bayne — The Darien Times should stop the finger pointing
David, not one of the Democrats representing our district have spoken out against their leader’s budget and the potential effects on our town. I can’t speak for Carlo or William but Bob is very quick to respond to emails or calls and has had the time to write op-eds and avail himself to the media both prior to and post Susan’s editorial. Your comment on being too busy does not hold water, it highlights your defensive talking points were poorly thought out. When you say “we can be assured that Duff, Leone and Tong will remember that they represent Darien," are you their spokesperson? Because logic would argue they had the chance to say exactly that to Susan when she reached out to each of them. With respect to talking points, David, in citing decades of budget issues, I would remind you to read the press releases by the current governor and Bob Duff after the largest tax increases in the state’s history since 2011. We were told our budgetary crisis was in the rearview mirror. The Democrats and their budgets have penalized Darien, David, our taxes have gone up and our state remains mired in crisis. The fiduciaries of our tax dollars have failed us — this is a fact. You desire a constructive approach. I would suggest starting with elected leaders who are accessible. These three are not.
• Last week's letter by Candice Hughes — Last week's editorial on 'silence' wasn't fair or balanced
Candice, the state’s history of budget debacles is covered at length in The Darien Times. The point of Susan’s editorial was she was trying to get our elected leaders to discuss the budget and direct effects on the residents of Darien and she was rebuked. With respect to your pension comment, writing more blank checks with no input is ludicrous. Frankly, and with all due respect, you don’t understand the proposed policy. As you admitted, you are not involved in government or know the details, I would suggest brushing up the legislation. There are a lot of us, Candice, who volunteer in local government, schools or other organizations and do so because we feel it is our civic duty to try and be a part of the solution. Our state needs more volunteers and I invite you to become one. Party affiliation is irrelevant — we need fresh eyes and ideas.
• Last week's letter by Alex Wang — Darien High student disappointed in editorial
Alex, I commend you for not only your interest in town government but in writing a letter to express your Constitutional right of free speech. I would strongly suggest you spend a few hours research the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, the federal legal guidelines of every school in America. Darien currently allocates 25% of the education budget to our children with special needs, part of the money comes from the State via the ECR program. In the new budget, Darien would receive just $100,000 down from $2,300,000. I think you know the question you need to ask Senator Duff.
Regarding the $500,000, Alex, this is canard. It has nothing to do with the editorial by Susan Shultz. With respect to a strong public record and looking out for town Darien’s best interest, there is a fact you may not realize. Darien contributes over $200,000,000 in taxes to the state and receives less than one cent on each dollar sent in government budget allocations. Hardly taxation with representation. On the topic of social media and politicians — if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the fire. The distinction between bullying or character assassination and criticism are distinctly different. Unless you have seen the commentary, be very careful to pass judgement. Everything in politics is not always what is reported. Lastly, using wealth as a crutch misses the real point, Alex. We already pay more than our fair share and our hard-earned money is bearing no visible fruit. This is about accountability and ensuring our tax dollars are going to make Connecticut a better state for your generation. Keep up the interest in politics.
Republican Greg Ehlers ran against Sen. Bob Duff in the last election cycle for senate district #25. Ehlers won in Darien but lost in Norwalk, Duff ultimately prevailed to win his fifth term.