Letter: Resident Says Candidates Using Billboard Issue, Reminds of Costly History
The following letter was submitted by Charles Vaillancourt of 10 Wyndham Hill Road
In a recent press release, several candidates for Middletown Town Council challenged the current Council’s decision to remove billboards on East Main Road. The challengers are lead by former council members Paul Rodrigues and Robert Sylvia.
Apparently they have not garnered much enthusiasm from their campaigns, so they had to resort to hiring a lawyer and sending out press releases to increase their exposure. The problem is, all they have succeeded in doing is reminding us of the costly trouble they have created in the past.
The premise of their argument is to save money. But threatening to put taxpayers in the middle of a costly legal battle, all to promote their own campaigns, does not save the taxpayers money. They would like you to believe that if elected, they would be fiscally conservative. But their records show just the opposite.
Let us not forget the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses and settlement terms that Paul Rodrigues cost the town as the result of his reckless removal of former town manager Gerry Kempen. From my experience as a council member and public records, the behind the scenes bullying and personal directions that Paul Rodrigues gave to Mr. Kempen were often to the benefit of the Rodrigues Family.
Candidate Robert Sylvia was given an opportunity to serve our council in 2008 and also failed. At his last official council meeting, knowing he was not running for re-election and therefore not accountable to the taxpayers, he proposed large bonuses and salaries for town department heads not previously accounted for in the budget. That is not fiscal conservatism.
So, for either Paul Rodrigues or Robert Sylvia to suggest they are challenging the town in order to save the taxpayer money is insincere at best. If they back off their plan to sue the town, then they were just looking for free press. Either way, that is not how a candidate should conduct a campaign or represent his constituents.
My grandfather always said, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” The present council has not been embroiled in the controversy of the past, they have keep our taxes down and managed our town respectfully. We do not need corrupt, back room politics running our town again.