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
"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."