Dems Accuse Republicans of Not Playing By the Rules

RTC Chairman Jeff Guttman finds the Democratic Town Committee's complaint 'laughable'.

Monroe's two major political parties traded elections complaints during the municipal race last November and, two months after Election Day, the political bickering has started up again.

On Wednesday, Democratic Town Committee Chairman Nick Kapoor wrote a letter asking Town Clerk Marsha Beno to find the Republican Town Committee's Certificate of Party Endorsement invalid due to a violation of a Connecticut General Statute requiring notice of a caucus to be published in a newspaper five full days before the event.

"When one party controls all of the elected boards and most of the appointed boards in a town for 40 years, that party can become complacent and think the rules might not apply to them — but the rules apply to everyone," Kapoor said in a press release. "The content of today's complaint seems small; however, rules are rules and the rules must be followed."

"Kapoor added, "The two parties in town are going to have an extremely difficult time coming together and working together if we can’t even adhere to the same processes as is spelled out in the Connecticut General Statutes."

In his complaint, Kapoor noted that the RTC noticed its caucus in the Monroe Courier on Jan. 10 and had it on Jan. 14, saying it should be "five full days".

RTC Chairman Jeff Guttman said he finds the complaint "amusing at best", because he said any complaint about a Republican caucus must be taken up with the State Republican Party, rather than being handled at the town level.

"He has no business minding the Republican Party's business," Guttman said. "I also find it amusing there is a complaint about this when Nick was on his high horse saying Republicans don't want to do anything with the Democrats — and he's contradicting himself by acting this way."

Kapoor has complained publicly about a lack of bipartisan leadership on town boards and commissions. Democrats have asked Republicans for minority leadership during votes for officers on several boards.

Guttman alluded to Kapoor's failed candidacy for Town Council, saying, "I'm very sorry he wasn't elected to anything this year and has too much time on his hands."

Kapoor accuses town Republicans of having a long pattern of ignoring rules because GOP leaders know they have majority voting power on all boards and commissions in town, as well as First Selectman Steve Vavrek serving in Monroe's highest office.

"First it was the Honeywell legislative fix that the First Selectman decided to complete on his own with no input from the Town Council," Kapoor said. "Then, a Town Council member discovered that the town has been conducting its referenda in violation of State Statutes (CGS §7-7) for years. Also, the First Selectman decides to proceed with items that need Town Council approval without Town Council approval (such as the Police Department roof and Wolfe Park food vendor).

"Rules and process are very important and this is just another example of Republican elected officials and the Republican Party thinking they have carte blanche because they are the majority party in town."

Bob Loblaw January 16, 2014 at 01:55 AM
I know you are, but what am I? I don't make Monkeys I train them. Nanny nanny boo boo.
Gerald M. Gaynor January 16, 2014 at 06:38 AM
Those who worship at the altar of the pachyderm are no more honest, trustworthy, competent or admirable than those who worship at the altar of the jackass. They aren’t any worse either. There is a reason that Independent registrations are on the rise while party affiliation is on the wane. Most of us would like to see our elected officials act like mature, reasoning adults instead of partisan dolts. A bigger problem than the predictable partisan behavior of those we elect is the ignorance and apathy of an electorate that insists on engaging in the same electoral behavior over and over again yet is surprised when the results remain the same. As we approach the midterms maybe we could ask our friends, family and neighbors to start thinking like Americans rather than partisans. Connecticut removed the party lever from voting machines years ago; it shouldn't take a surgical procedure to remove it from our electoral behavior.
Rt25 January 16, 2014 at 07:03 AM
Instead of publicly dancing, both chairs should have a private sit-down discussion and put all of their animosities on the table and settle between them. This is about these 2 people and both of them know where I am going with this.
Len Roberto January 16, 2014 at 08:10 AM
Please stop the bickering !!!!!!
I am paying attention January 16, 2014 at 09:24 AM
I do not look forward to the budget time of year and election time of year. It is NEVER about this town, but rather about politics and how each other party does wrong. If BOTH parties put in the same amount of effort to better this town as they do bashing each other and complaining like a 3 year old, then maybe Monroe will start to be a better town.
Rt25 January 16, 2014 at 09:29 AM
Can Vavrek be impeached or removed from office for violating the charter?
Joe Mancini January 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM
Every time Jeff Guttman opens his mouth I know it's time to put my work down and enjoy the comedy. What a clown Guttman is. The irony is, he knows it.
Crown Royal January 16, 2014 at 10:58 AM
This is all I could find from the town charter regarding the removal of appointed officials. "Except as otherwise provided in this Charter and except in any outstanding union or employee contract or as provided in the Connecticut General Statutes, any appointive officer or employee receiving compensation for employment may be removed by the authority which appointed the officer or employee for good cause shown, provided that the appointive officer or employee shall first be given notice, in writing, of their removal, which notice shall specify the grounds therefor. Thereafter, within five (5) days from the receipt of such notice, such officer or employee may request a public hearing before the Council to review such removal, which hearing shall be held not more than twenty (20) days after receipt of such request. The Council shall, within ten (10) days from such hearing, affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the appointing authority."
Gerald M. Gaynor January 16, 2014 at 11:16 AM
The operative phrase being: "...any appointive officer or employee receiving compensation for employment may be removed by the authority which appointed the officer or employee..." Meanwhile, anyone with any actual or perceived grievance over the conduct alleged is certainly free to file and ethics complaint with the Monroe Ethics Commission.
QWERTY January 16, 2014 at 01:09 PM
I think I speak for most of us when I say....what the hell is a newspaper?
Gerald M. Gaynor January 16, 2014 at 09:57 PM
Carol, please feel free to post your CV here so we can make a determination as to your qualifications to post an opinion on anyone else's qualifications so that we ought to take yours seriously. What a nasty little bit of snarkiness...
kay inderdohnen January 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM
The operative words are "APPOINTED officer or employee". Vavrek is neither. He is an ELECTED official. Since we are not entitled to recall elected officials, the only way to remove an elected official is through an election.
Leo Getz January 16, 2014 at 10:54 PM
Can we get rid of Nick Kapoor too? Oh wait, we already did.
Carol Talbert January 17, 2014 at 12:01 AM
Jeff Guttman RTC chairman has no education. That’s right, this guy who sits on our Board of Ed in a town where more than 80% of its students go on to college, is without a degree. His Linkedin account mentions the University of New Haven but in checking with that institution I was informed that Jeffery has no credentials. He is just another flunky that couldn’t make the grade and now he sits on Board of Ed making decisions for our school kids. Hey, Jeffery button your mouth and button up your shirt too, no one is interested in seeing your macho chest medallions that went out with disco
Carol Talbert January 17, 2014 at 12:01 AM
FACT: Jeff Guttman has no higher education credentials. That is a fact not an opinion. Here is another fact; he is not the only Republican on the board of education without a degree. Mark Hughes is also lacking higher education credentials. These guys don’t even meet the criteria to work as substitute teachers, yet they both sit on the Monroe Board of Ed. Why does the Republican Party keep insisting on being the party of dumb?
Leo Getz January 17, 2014 at 02:41 AM
Bill Gates didn't have a degree, I don't think that makes him dumb. Nick Kapoor has a degree, that didn't make him a good politician. Calling republicans the party of dumb is pompous and arrogant. It's because of people like Carol and Nick that the town votes the republican party line, and will continue to do so.
Gerald M. Gaynor January 17, 2014 at 05:37 AM
Carol, you wrote: "Jeff Guttman RTC chairman has no education." That is an OPINION. You have no idea what he learned, where he learned it or how. We have no shortage of dunderheads with degrees... You followed up with "Why does the Republican Party keep insisting on being the party of dumb?" that is the essence of partisan idiocy that I commented on above.
Carol Talbert January 17, 2014 at 07:28 AM
FACT: There are two undereducated Republican members on the Board of ED, one is Party Chairman Jeff Guttman. You can even say the same about our superintendent of schools who is a graduate of a secondary level state college and who is one of only a few superintendents in Fairfield County without PHD credentials. But what the heck, its Monroe and this is how we roll. Republidumb leadership and a Walmart coming soon. Got to love this place!
Rt25 January 17, 2014 at 07:44 AM
Geeze! Such biting vitriol.
Joe Mancini January 17, 2014 at 08:42 AM
I'm sorry. I've got to agree with Carol. Not only does Guttman not have an education (not talking life experiences here, people) but he's obnoxious, rude and ignorant.
Rt25 January 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM
I have heard horrible disparaging remarks out of Gutman's mouth referring to Kapoor. If the BOE knew about him; he would be thrown off the Board. He should not be making decisions that affect our kids.
Alex January 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Not graduating from college doesn't mean you don't have an education or are unintelligent. Many trade skills require years before mastery. How many of you have a degree relevant to your current career? I know a few mass comm, English, and art history majors who would have been better off without that worthless degree because of the debt it burdened them with and no job prospects. My field changes so much that I need to constantly learn and little from my degree is still useful in daily tasks besides the very basics. I have a comp sci degree but I don't look down on my friends without a degree or think they are unintelligent (and my major is one of the more difficult degrees to get). My point is, measuring someone's intelligence by their degree is arrogant and ignorant. What's next, scoffing at politicians who went to community college instead of a 4 year? The elitism here is disgusting.
Crown Royal January 17, 2014 at 11:48 AM
Alex, I couldn't agree more. For the record, I have no desire to recall or impeach Vavrek, or anyone else for that matter, I was simply interested in learning what the procedure was to do so.


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