In 2013, when I made the decision to run for a seat on the Cheshire Town Council, I did so with the single-minded purpose of being a strong, positive voice for the people of Cheshire. My goal was to translate the collective concerns of citizens into sound management policy and an action plan for town governance.
As I reflect upon the last seven years and four election cycles, I believe I have been largely successful in those nascent goals. My record over the last seven years speaks for itself. I have led efforts to ensure the Town’s fiscal strength, to make significant improvements to our educational curriculums and facilities, and to fund targeted investments in Town services and infrastructure.
During my tenure as Town Council Chair, I have found that the most effective way to ensure steady and meaningful progress is to work collaboratively with other Council members, town leaders, and citizens regardless of position, party affiliation or political point of view. On this issue, my record is also clear.
In early 2019, the Board of Education held a public meeting in response to numerous concerns expressed by parents decrying cultural conditions in our schools which resulted in the cruel and unrelenting bullying of their children. Many parents spoke publicly about their experiences and their pain. As a parent myself, I was moved to stand with them and to advocate for them when and where appropriate or necessary. I added my voice to theirs in solidarity and with a commitment to change.
Being a strong voice for Cheshire is more than a motto to me. It is my job and precisely why people elected me.
Now in 2020, I find myself in the position of having to stand up and be a strong voice for myself and my family — for my wife and kids. Based on verifiably false rumors, I have been accused recently of using my perceived “authority” to advance a personal agenda of retribution. The result of these baseless allegations has been a vilification of me, my wife and three kids in a letter-writing campaign and through social media.
Some posts on social media have been extreme, filthy in language and content, threatening, and very personal. These posts reveal an ugly underbelly of a subsect of our community that believes they can write anything about anybody in cowardly anonymity and without legal consequence. Seeing the truth about these pernicious factions has been eye-opening, but not at all demoralizing or debilitating.
Such behavior only fuels my commitment to do what is right for the people of Cheshire, and to seize a rare opportunity to stand up publicly and proudly for my family; for my wife who has contributed generously and tirelessly to the Cheshire community over the years, and for my children who fill my days with pride not just because of their hard work and achievements, but because of the qualities they possess and the people they have become.
For me, the past several days have strengthened my resolve. They have awakened me to the obstacles and petty distractions that get in the way of progress and important work on behalf of the town. They have reaffirmed my belief in family, friends and supporters. And, they have reinvigorated my early promise to be a strong, positive voice for the good people of Cheshire.
In a crazy and chaotic world, you can count on that.