JIM LASH AND DAN QUIGLEY
The BET is broken and the time has come to fix it
Jim Lash is the former First Selectman and Chair of the BET Budget Committee. Dan Quigley is the former Chair of the Republican Town Committee. Published the Greenwich Free Press and Greenwich Time.
“We’re all familiar with the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
This is how Greenwich Republicans choose to frame their almost one hundred years of control of the Greenwich finance board (BET).
However, a continuing litany of delayed school infrastructure maintenance and replacement issues has raised serious concerns about the willingness and ability of the Republican BET to manage our Town’s capital budget.
On November 7th, we have an opportunity to vote for the next two years of Greenwich Town leadership and, in the case of the BET, it is time for a change.
The most important role of any local government is to provide for public safety. This includes providing safe and adequate facilities for our schoolchildren. The Republican BET delays until there is a crisis.
Hamilton Avenue school was rebuilt only when mold was found in the walls. The Glenville school was rebuilt only when the leaking roof became unbearable. The Byram elementary school was only funded for replacement when students were being bused to other schools and taught in hallways and closets. Cardinal Stadium was closed and condemned before it was rebuilt. The Old Greenwich school is delayed despite well-documented problems. Central Middle School (CMS) has been delayed despite its temporary closure due to safety issues. This delay resulted in significant cost escalation and jeopardized potential reimbursement from the state. Despite the BET’s recent vote to finally approve funding for CMS, none of the four current, incumbent Republican BET candidates running for re-election cast their vote to support this measure. All six BET Democrats strongly supported it. This speaks volumes.
We write this as two lifelong Republicans who know how the town budget should work. Dan serves on the RTM and, as a former Chairman of the RTC, helped manage winning elections during a time of national political discord, changing local demographics, and voter registration unfavorable to Republicans. Jim chaired the BET Budget Committee for six years and proposed Town Budgets for four more as First Selectman.
For most of the 2000’s, budgeting was a process that relied on honest give and take – not anymore. In recent years, BET Republicans have routinely exercised their tie-breaking vote to delay and defeat any spending proposals other than their own, including over 50 times this year. That is not how local government is supposed to work. The Republicans would have you believe that Democrats will bury the Town in debt and raise your taxes 50%. That kind of talk is fear-mongering intended to frighten voters and is unhelpful at best, mendacious propaganda at worst. Putting the needs of our residents ahead of party and politics should still be the overarching goal, particularly on the BET.
For ninety eight of the last one hundred years the Republicans have had their chance. The Democrats have nominated excellent candidates for the BET, each of whom is exceptionally qualified to manage our Town’s finances. The current state of affairs on the BET is broken. To fix it, on November 7th, we strongly urge you to vote for all six Democrats for the BET and give them a chance to get things moving again for the residents of our wonderful Town.”
Time for change in Greenwich BET
Peter Bernstein is the former Republican Chair of the Board of Education, excerpted from the Greenwich Free Press and Greenwich Time.
“Despite the lies and half-truths, the evidence is clear — the current and future slate of Board of Estimate and Taxation Republicans refuse to spend money on things the town needs. Whether it is funding to replace aging fire trucks, modern police communications, or replacing or updating schools, the BET Republicans hold steadfast in their unshaken belief that these are wants and have repeatedly exercised the tie-breaking chair vote to block necessary spending. They refuse to find middle ground, do not care about facts nor are they responsive to the public. They have lost their ability to lead and continually fail to discharge their responsibilities to voters. The current slate of candidates from the extremist Republican Town Committee is even worse. It is time to make a change.”
From the front lines – the Republican BET’s descent into madness & incompetence
James Waters is the Republican Chairman of the Old Greenwich School Building Committee. Excerpted from the Greenwich Free Press.
“As a lifelong Republican, it brings me no joy to deliver this report. Residents cannot trust the Republican candidates for the Board of Estimate & Taxation (BET), all of whom are on the ballot on November 7….The Republican BET members, known for decades for touting “fiscal responsibility”, have gone all-in on fiscal incompetence. They have no interest in solving challenges for the town, preferring them to fester. They don’t care about adding costs for taxpayers, choosing the least efficient, most irresponsible way possible to adjudicate matters before them.”
And save the town legislature (RTM) from extremists!
Get the word out to your network that the threat by right-wing extremists to take over the Representative Town Meeting is real. They have floated a stunning array of disguises and disinformation to hide who they are.
Print out or screenshot a list of recommended RTM candidates by “The Voting Moms” before heading to the polls on Tuesday. The Voting Moms share our values, and recommend voting ONLY for certain candidates, and no others, in each district. (Find out about The Voting Moms in this profile.)
|Volume 2, Number 23 • November 4, 2023|
|Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.|
|Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836|