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New Canaan GOP Chief Backs Hersam for Treasurer

NEW CANAAN, Conn. ? The following letter is from New Canaan Republican Town Committee Chairman James O'Hora:

V. Donald Hersam Jr., our current town treasurer and longtime local newspaper publisher, is a man of great character, and his integrity is beyond reproach. He is a lifelong resident, a U.S. Navy veteran and a town father who has quietly contributed immensely to this community for many years. He and his family have been an important part of the fabric of New Canaan for over 100 years.

After monitoring the current race for town treasurer and having read enough inaccurate and misleading information about this role, I feel it’s about time to weigh in on a few points.

For example, last week the very voluble New Canaan Democratic Town Committee vice chairman, David Kostek, penned a letter to the editor (without mentioning his affiliation to the DTC) supporting his candidate for town treasurer and actually said the following: “We have the chance to make a long overlooked but important change that could help reduce unnecessary expenditures and the avoidable controversy these expenditures produce. ” He asserts that the town treasurer can “reduce unnecessary expenditures.”

Let me be clear in making this point and underscore that it is not a partisan statement:  The New Canaan town treasurer has no authority to make decisions as to whether town obligations should or should not be paid. That authority is vested in other town bodies. The role of the treasurer is clearly described in the town charter. Like it or not, that’s just the way this position is currently structured and in my view should not be capriciously embellished to fit the DTC’s campaign platform.

Another fact is that New Canaan conducts its financial practices in accordance with the Model Practices for Municipal Governments, published by the Connecticut Council of Small Towns, an advocacy organization committed to giving the 139 small towns in Connecticut a strong voice in the legislative process.

Finally, what has really displeased me is the thinly veiled insinuation that some supporters of the Democratic candidate have made that somehow the recent Lakeview Avenue bridge arbitration payment was a mistake by the town treasurer. This is simply not true and really is a gross distortion of the facts of the matter.

Please join me in voting for Don Hersam as town treasurer on Nov. 8, 2011.

Send your letters to the editor to Melvin Mason at mmason@thedailynewcanaan.com.

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