Editorial: Let Your Voice Be Heard

Editorial Photo

NOTE ON EDITORIALS. For those unfamiliar with editorials, an editorial presents the newspaper’s opinion on an issue. The editorials in The Greenwich Sentinel are intended as fact-based opinion–they are not newspaper articles. They are opinion pieces. Sentinel editorial writers do research and then present an opinion that is consistent with the Sentinel’s editorial philosophy of “community, kindness, and civility.” Our job—combining facts with a distinct point of view—is to engender thoughtful analysis. This is a traditional editorial. The importance of editorials lies in their ability to promote discussion.

This editorial in particular has engendered more discussion than others. Specifically, there have been questions about this sentence: Most recently, BET Chairman Harry Fisher was so brutally verbally attacked during a meeting that others in attendance feared for his safety and escorted him from the room. Please note that there are various points of view about what happened at that meeting. We spoke with sources who were at the meeting who related this information to us. We also confirmed with Mr. Fisher that this was not a mischaracterization of what happened. Not everyone at the meeting had the same point of view. Some in attendance have related to us that while there was a verbal attack, there was no reason to be concerned for anyone’s safety. We would like to acknowledge this difference of opinion.

This explanation was added on 2/24/24.

Editorial: Let Your Voice Be Heard

We have often deliberated here upon the virtues of civility, kindness, and respect. Integral to these discussions is the fundamental act of voting – the pillar upon which democratic politics should stand. The heart of democracy lies in honest debate, serving the citizenry, and actively participating in the electoral process.

Working collaboratively in politics and in local policy making is nothing new here. It did not suddenly appear three years ago when the new Republican Town Committee (RTC) lead by Beth MacGillivray decided it was something to be vilified. Greenwich has been run this way since its inception. And run well. On the contrary, things tend to go awry when we dig in and behave badly–the other side tends to react by doing the same and we all deserve better.

It is here, in the delicate weave of local governance, where our engagement, fondness for our neighbors, and participation at the polls become paramount. To echo the wisdom of President Ronald Reagan, a person who shares your views 80 percent of the time should be embraced as a friend and ally, not spurned as a 20 percent traitor.

This insight holds a mirror to the reality of our interactions in Greenwich, where diversity of opinion should be celebrated rather than condemned; where the assumption of good intentions and shared goals should be a given.

The recent re-election of First Selectman Fred Camillo, with nearly sixty percent of the vote, is a testament to this diversity and the power of the ballot. Mr. Camillo’s duty is to serve all constituents including that forty percent of the electorate that did not share this choice.

Ms. MacGillivray is clear that she does not agree. Instead she points to an RTC that should be able to force Republican officials to bend to its will on local decision-making.

The RTC is increasingly characterized by internal strife and a departure from traditional civility. Most recently, BET Chairman Harry Fisher was so brutally verbally attacked during a meeting that others in attendance feared for his safety and escorted him from the room.

Much like a puzzle, the RTC’s situation requires careful assembly, with each piece — or party member — making up only a part of a complete and functioning whole. Mr. Camillo’s concerns about a deviation from collaborative governance and a shift towards divisiveness seem to echo the frustrations of many within the party. His firm stance, challenging the current leadership’s approach, indicates a need for reassessment and realignment.

Despite these challenges, Selectwoman Lauren Rabin and Mr. Camillo have previously exemplified a commendable collaborative approach, offering a unified front and achieving electoral success in spite of the RTC leadership’s efforts to find alternative candidates last spring.

The upcoming RTC primaries on March 5 are a watershed moment for Greenwich Republicans. The outcomes of these primaries will not only shape the immediate future of the party in Greenwich but also reflect the broader trajectory of political discourse and unity in Greenwich overall.

It is in this spirit that we urge every eligible voter in Greenwich to participate in the upcoming primaries. Your vote is your right and it is a really good idea to participate. The choices made at the polls will set the course for our community and reflect our collective values. Let your voice be heard, for it is in the act of voting that the true essence of politics – civility, kindness, respect, and responsibility – finds its fullest expression.

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