FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield Daily Voice accepts original, signed letters to the editor. Send your letter to email@example.com.
To the editor:
Perhaps it’s my English and history teacher background, or my great love of a humanities’ approach to so many of life’s questions and concerns, that has caused me to think of Shakespeare’s line in "Romeo and Juliet."
Mercutio has just been dealt a mortal stab from a sword as Romeo and Tybalt struggle and fight together. As Mercutio realizes that he is dying, he cries, “A plague on both your houses.”
Romeo is from the Montagues and Tybalt is from the Capulets.
By the end of the play both Romeo and Juliet, a Montague and Capulet respectively, have died in spite of a beautiful and innocent love for one another. They were the brightest hope for the future, but bickering and discord have caused devastation for both families and their community. Their town of Verona, where all of this takes place, would never be the same. How sad for all that compromise or reconciliation was never considered until it was too late.
Somehow when I look at national government (and lately, I use that term loosely) and even our local government and all of the divisive media statements that are made, I have a much better understanding of Mercutio’s statement and the tragedy and agony such divisive behavior brought upon Verona.
Now our national government, and possibly our town of Fairfield could be the next tragedy.
You see, nationally or locally, we are not defined by just two parties – Democrats and Republicans – we have an extremely large group of unaffiliated or independent voters. They have chosen not to be labeled as part of a political party; however, they are registered, and they do vote.
They are a significant part of our national scene and our Town, but how are they represented?
We are fortunate to have had two excellent leadership examples in the history of Fairfield of how all voters were given equal consideration and how parties were encouraged to work together.
Our two great First Selectmen, Jacky Durrell a Republican who served for 10 years, and John Sullivan, a Democrat who was the longest serving person in that post with a term of 24 years, were both fiscal conservatives. They both compromised with and were respected by people from both parties. In many ways I would label them as the “modern-day” moderate.
Over this past year and a half, I did view an atmosphere of open-mindedness and cooperation that addressed a much-needed benefit for maintaining diversity of age and affordability in Fairfield. The Senior and Disabled Tax Relief Committee, composed of four Republicans and three Democrats, worked tirelessly to create an enhanced program for qualified residents.
We had wonderful input from our Tax Assessor, Don Ross, and our Tax Collector, Cinda Buchter, and the public who attended meetings. When we brought our report and suggestions for action to the RTM, there were similar questions and concerns raised by leaders from both parties. Our Committee went back to work and gathered the answers to their concerns, and brought forth a revised document that received excellent support from almost all RTM members.
I only wish that the Re-districting Committee could have worked in the same fashion, and gotten to know and respect one another as we did during our Tax Relief Committee meetings.
As I have read many letters in newspapers and listened to conversations among people with political affiliations who are serving in local, state and national government, I am dismayed at the lack of concern for people who don’t fall under the traditional labels of traditional parties, political action committees, or highly funded groups that represent extreme points of view.
Hopefully, we will all learn to listen to opposing viewpoints and understand that compromising and coming to the middle tends to be the best “win-win” situation.
Our Verona – Fairfield – is at stake. The choice that voters make should consider all the people that need to be represented and what is best for the town, then vote for candidates who can be accountable in that fashion. That may be our only way of avoiding a “plague on both our houses.”
I have served as a Republican in Fairfield :
Four years on RTM from District 10, now running for RTM in District 5
Four years on the Zoning Board of Appeals
Carol Way, Villa Avenue