Letter: Smear campaign against Richards backfires

To the Editor:

Recently, Republicans John Sini and Guy Wisinski engaged in a blatantly political smear campaign aimed at discrediting Democrat Rob Richards’s role in facilitating a compromise that permitted DHS lights to move forward. Anyone smart enough to read between the lies will realize they actually offered a remarkable endorsement of Richards for first selectman.

He facilitated a fair compromise — something they apparently find despicable and even sickening. Mr. Sini alleged “many of the original conditions Mr. Richards presented and supported were rejected,” calling them “misguided and reckless.”

Those conditions were proposed by neighbors (based on Darien’s own regulations and compromises worked out in other towns) and conceded by neighbors during discussions with Dr. Brenner in the spirit of compromise urged by Richards. Mr. Wisinski boldly (and incorrectly) asserted “[Richards] input is now responsible for actually limiting usage on the field lighting adding no Saturday night games and football games starting at 6 p.m. and not 7 p.m.”

While Mr. Wisinski’s claims are factually incorrect (Saturday playoff games are permitted and there is no requirement for when games start — just when they end), those limitations are actually consistent with limitations in other towns and were accepted (and even welcomed) by Dr. Brenner and the BoE in the spirit of compromise urged by Richards. Although there certainly would not be lights without the Darien Athletic Foundation, the parties responsible for finding a compromise that permitted lights to move forward this fall without wasting taxpayer money on legal disputes were Mr. Richards, Dr. Brenner and the Board of Ed.

None of the DAF, Sini, Wisinski or any other Selectman reached out to aggrieved neighbors to move things forward in a fair and balanced way.I am a lifelong Republican who usually votes the party line — not this year. What I learned through this process is that Mr. Richards cares about all people in our Town and values doing what’s right and finding a fair solution that moves Darien forward. That is a breath of fresh air worthy of my vote.

Paul Michalski

371 Middlesex Road