To the Editor:

I am writing to correct the complete and total mischaracterization of the last Oxford Democratic Town Committee meeting, as presented by Wayne Johnson and David McKane in a previous paper.

Since Mr. McKane was not even present for this meeting (making his claim that Betsi HeIlman does not attend enough town meetings seem even more absurd), I’d like to explain to this paper’s readership what actually happened.

When discussion of the upcoming primary began, Betsi stated that she would be stepping into the hallway so that Scott Flaherty, the caucus-endorsed candidate who is having the ODTC finance his campaign, and the other members of the ODTC could speak freely.

She then excused herself for the conversation and returned when it was over.

She did not “refuse” to stay in the room, “abruptly” leave or “run out of the room in a fit when confronted,” as Mr. Johnson said in his letter. These claims are completely and totally inaccurate and they are nothing more than a politically motivated attempt to demean Betsi’s character.

Mr. Johnson’s claims about Betsi refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance are a lie. There is no other word for it.

An ODTC member asked if the Pledge is usually said before an ODTC meeting, and Betsi said that it is not part of the usual agenda. I can attest to the truth of this statement: I was chairperson of the ODTC before Betsi and vice-chairperson before that, when former First Selectman Kate Cosgrove was leading the group. The Pledge has never been on the agenda and for Mr. Johnson to use this to question the patriotism of Betsi HeIlman (a veteran of the United States Army, unlike the men attacking her) is a disgusting insult that should not be tolerated.


Cynthia Zbras


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