To the Editor:

In a letter to the editor last week, Ed Edelson criticized a private citizen, who is not running for office, for not voting in municipal elections, demonstrating a “lack of civic engagement or civic responsibility.”

This piqued my curiosity about the civic engagement of those actually running for office. Voting records publicly available from the town registrars’ office show a troubling history of Democratic candidates neglecting their civic responsibilities.

Kim McNeill, Board of Selectmen candidate and 22-year Southbury resident, has never voted in a local Southbury election.

William Ollayos, a Region 15 graduate and Board of Ed candidate, has never voted in a Region 15 or municipal budget referendum.

Audrey DeRouen, Board of Selectmen candidate and 10-year Southbury resident, has only voted in one local election and one budget referendum.

Tara Beall-Gomes, Board of Education candidate, has only voted in one Region 15 budget referendum. I’ll allow that she is a relative newcomer to town (a common theme among certain Democrat candidates this year).

Instead of attacking a private citizen for his voting record, Mr. Edelson would be better served asking why his own party irresponsibly fielded a slate of candidates who can’t be bothered to vote in local elections; candidates who now feel entitled to jump the line for leadership positions in a democracy they’ve rarely participated in.

Voting records for any resident are available at the town registrars’ office. As expected, the Republican candidates’ records are sterling by comparison.

I absolutely agree with the closing statement in Mr. Edelson’s letter that he “[doesn’t] have any respect for someone who is uninformed, unengaged and irresponsible.” Which is why I urge all concerned, responsible residents to vote the Republican ticket in Row B on November 2.

Dick Hanley


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