[Editor's Note: This was originally published on Jan. 24. The publication date has been changed for layout purposes.]
Update, Jan. 27
The following chart is a vote breakdown from Monday's RTM meeting for the non-binding resolution to censure former First Selectman Ken Flatto and former Town Attorney Richard Saxl:In Favor (25) Opposed (12) Abstentions (9) Not Present to Vote (1) Absent (3) David Becker, R-1 John Mitola, D-2 Thomas Conley, R-3 Joseph DeMartino, R-4 Chad Stewart, R-2 Michael Herley R-1 Heather Dean, D-4 Christopher McAleese, D-5 Joseph Gall, D-5 Gaylord Meyer, R-1 Joshua Garskof, D-5 Ann Stamler, D-5 Jeffrey Stopa, D-8 Carolyn Richmond, R-1 Ruth Smey, D-5 Leonara Campbell, D-6 Eric Sundman, R-1 Christopher Brogan, D-6 Julie Gottlieb, D-6 Peter Ambrose, R-2 Sheila Marmion, D-6 Eric Newman, D-7 Jeffrey Steele, R-2 Jay Wolk, D-6 Allen Marks, D-8 Keith Varian, R-2 Jennifer Hochberg, D-7 Leigh Hannum, D-10 Edward Bateson, R-3 Kevin Hoffkins, D-7 Kenneth Lee, D-10 Francis “Hank” Ference, R-3 Marc Patten, D-7 David Mackenzie, R-3 Harold Schwartz, D-7 Mary McCullough, R-3 David Weber, D-10 Arthur Hug, R-4 Amy Mezoff, R-4 Joseph Palmer, R-4 Kathryn Braun, R-8 Dana Kery, R-8 Thomas McCarthy, R-8 Bill Domeika, R-9 Joseph Felner, R-9 Ellen Jacob, R-9 Nicholas Mirabile, R-9 Carol Pontrelli, R-9 Bruce Ryan, R-10 Carol Way, R-10
Original Story, Jan. 24
for failure to follow proper procedure to see the $40.8 million Metro Center project come to fruition, RTM members had other ideas for how to handle the situation at Monday’s meeting.
Majority Leader David Becker, R-1, brought forth before the town body a non-binding resolution to censure and admonish former First Selectman Kenneth Flatto and former Town Attorney Richard Saxl for the way they handled the .
Those contracts were not voted on or run by any town body and left Fairfield liable for the millions of dollars in cost overruns that were .
The sense-of-the-body resolution stated that Flatto and Saxl “should not be permitted to serve on any Fairfield governmental body or committee in the future.”
The resolution failed to garner the two-thirds majority it needed to pass; 25 members voted yes to adopting the resolution, 12 said no, and nine abstained from the vote. Had the resolution passed, it would not have necessarily barred Flatto and Saxl from ever running for office again, as it was non-binding and thus would not have become law.
The page-long resolution did, however, serve as a symbol of reproach for some.
Becker said when he speaks to people around town, they ask him when the town will sue the two former officials.
“They want us to go after them legally. It’s time to put this to bed -- we, as a body, can make a statement,” he said when he introduced the resolution. “You just don’t do this in the town of Fairfield.”
For Ed Bateson, R-3, the resolution provided “some sort of closure. What occurred really upsets me.”
RTM Democrats were not pleased that they were handed the resolution during the meeting and expected to vote on it the same night.
Chris Brogan, D-6, said he could not support the resolution because he felt that everyone involved had a right to be heard, and he needed more time to look over it.
“This is fundamentally unfair from my point of view,” Ken Lee, D-10, added. We live in a democracy founded on fair representation and due process, he said. “This is none of those things.”
Kevin Hoffkins, D-7, said he doesn’t believe the RTM should pursue what he termed “the politics of investigation.”
“This whole train station issue needs to come to an end…this has just gone on far too long,” he said. “We need to focus on the people’s business.”
One member, Jay Wolk, D-6, voiced some support for Flatto, arguing that the former First Selectman had been working on this project for years and that the town body needed to “focus on the…accomplishments.”
“We have a beautiful new train station,” Wolk said. “We need to move forward.” He added that moving forward is not synonymous with “throwing this under the rug.”
Michael Herley, R-1, provided perhaps the most succinct wrap-up for the long and bumpy road that has lead to the Metro Center:
“History will be the ultimate judge of the Metro Center development project and Ken Flatto’s tenure as First Selectman…not me, and not this body.”
[Editor’s Note: Herley published his full remarks as a letter to the editor, which can be read .]