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Tuesday, September 18 News

Letters: Remember why we celebrate, Infrastructure is complicated

Remember why

we celebrate

To the Editor:

I love celebrating the 4th of July with family and friends at Jennings Beach, but I always remember the reason we gather together. This country was founded by European immigrants who sought opportunity without economic suppression and relief from religious persecution.

My great-grandparents came from Ireland seeking a better life and to escape British oppression. Our founders left us with unsolved problems, but we have been moving in the direction to secure the “Unalienable of Rights for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

As a citizen of this country, I am privileged to enjoy the benefits that have been created for me by immigrants, and their descendants. If we are to be “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” then we must be indivisible to tolerate different beliefs in God, and to respect and help all people.

Leanne Harpin

Fairfield

Infrastructure

is complicated

To the Editor:

Infrastructure is a complicated issue in Connecticut. The General Assembly has been wrestling with how to move forward, and it’s time to create a long-term plan and implement it.

This is an election year for the General Assembly, and I believe Ashley Gaudiano is the right person to represent us in Hartford. She will work to develop a smart, sensible infrastructure plan that will benefit residents and businesses alike. Ashley is running for the 134th General Assembly seat, which covers parts of Fairfield and Trumbull.

A daily issue for many residents is traffic, which is only getting worse. I commute to offices in Norwalk and Wallingford. My 34-mile drive to Wallingford is usually quicker than the 12-mile commute south, which often takes an hour. Ashley understands that easing congestion needs to be addressed through innovative thinking and thoughtful planning.

Aside from the roads, Ashley believes we need to create a long-term plan to modernize all of Connecticut’s infrastructure — roads, rails, ports, and airports. These investments will yield high returns by creating jobs and helping businesses adapt for the future.

We’re at a critical juncture in Connecticut. Our representatives need to make tough decisions that set us on a path to long-term recovery and prosperity. Ashley is the right person to help make those decisions. She believes it’s time for a new type of leadership that encourages collaboration and focuses on putting forth smart, sensible solutions.

Please support Ashley Gaudiano in November.

John Brannelly

Fairfield

Calls for a revised town charter

To the Editor:

I was elated to learn that the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered Ed Bateson reinstated to the appointed position on Fairfield’s elected Board of Selectmen. Ed will bring his normal thoughtful, firm and fair approach to municipal governance back to that board.

Read Full Article 

And while I was elated at the result of the higher court’s decision, I was initially surprised at it, too. After I saw the decision, though, I recognized that the judges, mostly Malloy appointees, had delivered another “legislated from the bench” decision in overturning the conservative lower court’s ruling. I still believe the lower court did get it right in allowing the special election to go forward.

Going forward from here, what I would like to see from both sides of the political aisle is support for a fully revised town charter. An appointed selectman should only serve to the next municipal election, which is held every two years, not to the next election of selectmen, which is only held every four years.

An appointed selectman should never serve a term of more than two years on that elected executive board. The provision in the town charter allowing otherwise should be changed. I believe there would be support for that change, regardless of anyone’s opinion on the validity of the now-irrelevant special election.

This whole political experience cost the taxpayers $116,746, according to the latest accounting. I am still waiting to see one side or the other say it’s learned something from it. I am still waiting for a proposal to make Fairfield’s system of governance better and less acrimonious to the benefit of all of us. I believe a revised town charter is needed.

How about it, guys and girls?

Jim Brown

Fairfield

Madison’s admonition should not

become reality

To the Editor:

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” So wrote James Madison in his introduction to Federalist Papers: No. 41 (1788).

Do Madison’s words scare you? They do me. A tyrant often exercises his power oppressively and cruelly. A majority leader who relishes crippling the judiciary, but refusing to allow the Senate to debate a ninth Supreme Court justice acts like a tyrant. A Congress which prefers to see infants imprisoned, rather than legislate, invites tyranny. A president who delights in embracing tyrants learns to become one. And the Supreme Court, which justifies discrimination against Muslims by renouncing discrimination against Japanese, annihilates the rule of law.

At the risk of confronting the First Amendment, we should all pray in our diverse way that our ship — our survival — endures the perfect storm. But we all must do more. We must find a way to be active, to tolerate risk, to become revolutionaries and thus assure that Madison’s admonition does not become our reality.

Eugene E. Cederbaum

Westport

State Senate votes

not to override

Malloy’s veto

To the Editor:

The Legislature, and the Senate in particular, did something remarkable. They voted not to override Gov. Dannel Malloy’s veto of Public Act 18-89, an Act Concerning Classroom Safety & Disruptive Behavior, a bill which received a unanimous vote in the Senate earlier in the session.

While well-meaning in its intent, if passed into law, this act would have resulted in a tremendous set-back for our state in the area of school discipline and climate and would have also led to flagrant violations of students with disabilities qualified under the Individual with Disabilities in Education Act.

P.A. 18-89 empowered teachers to use their individual discretion to remove children from their classrooms for violations of what was an ill-defined new term, “daily classroom safety.” This discretion could be applied, and could prevent the student’s return to the classroom indefinitely, without putting into place additional resources for teacher support or considering the necessary interventions needed by that individual child.

No doubt, this discretion would be used implicitly against children of color. Moreover, exercise of such teacher discretion would interfere with the rights of students with disabilities and detailed plans under the IDEA. In short, this act, if passed, would have been a disaster.

We shared our legal and practical concerns and were overwhelmed by the amount of support individuals and organizations alike showed. Thank you to everyone who took the time and made the effort to have your voice heard on behalf of Connecticut’s most vulnerable children, urging legislators not to override the governor’s veto.

Marisa Halm

Director, Juvenile Justice Project

Center for Children’s Advocacy

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