Anger over Dems’ nomination just ‘arrogance,’ a ‘sense of entitlement’

To the Editor:

I feel compelled to respond to some of the criticisms directed to Nick Kapoor and the Monroe Democratic Town Committee as a result of its decision to not renominate John Ostaszewski for a third term on the Board of Finance.

First, any community is best served by an opposition party that challenges assumptions, respectfully criticizes, and offers constructive alternatives to the party in power. In the words of the late great journalist Edward R. Murrow, “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.” Second, public service is not a right or entitlement. It is a privilege.

In the view of the DTC, other candidates came forward who better displayed those qualities. Of course, he could have disagreed and made a case to be renominated but instead chose to remain silent until he could be part of the first salvo of the GOP in its 2021 campaign. No one should, therefore, be surprised that he has now officially joined the GOP.

We have nominated two outstanding candidates for the BOF in Mary Hall and Samantha Spino who will serve the best interest of Monroe residents and not play Robin to the BOF Chairman’s Batman.

The arrogance and sense of entitlement of Mr. Ostaszewski is almost comical. That he is, in his words, “embarrassed” to be a Democrat and will register as a Republican because we had the audacity to not renominate him, leads me to offer an old Irish “blessing” used by my parents. “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

Fred Martin


Editor’s Note: Fred Martin is a former Monroe Town Attorney and the husband of Dee Dee Martin, a Democrat and longtime member of the Town Council.

1 Comment

  1. Wow—wouldn’t it be nice for all to aspire to civility, speaking to issues, and not making personal attacks.

    I was a Monroe resident from 1991 to this past June, living now in an apartment in Shelton on my way to retirement in Reno, NV at the end of the year. I was involved in an appointed or elected volunteer position in town from 1995 to 2009 and was a member of the Republican Town Committee until moving. When I was on the Board of Education, so was Adam Feldman, the then-chairman of the Democratic Town Committee. I would like to believe that we always acted in what we believed to be the best interest of the students and town. It was also so that Adam and I shared the same opinion on almost all of the issues that came before us, Adam even letting me know that I could be his proxy when he was unable to attend a labor negotiation. Other than voting for the leadership positions, being in the good graces of one’s own political party meant being a competent contributor and having a good attendance record. There was no need to be on the opposite side of any issue just because a member of one political party should not agree with a member of another political party.

    So now we hear from, essentially that John Ostaszewski’s transgression was “playing Robin” to the Board of Finance’s “Batman” chairman. Aside from not understanding what is meant by the “Batman” label (I thought Batman stands for good), I don’t see a word about John’s not having served the town well during his tenure.

    Now it appears that John’s transgression was to share the same opinion with the Board of Finance Chairman on many issues, without a word about any lack of competence or contribution or having made any unwise decision? What’s the implication—that a member of a political party can only carry favor with the party leadership if he or she opposes opinions held by members of the other party, regardless of whether that is in the best interest of the town or not? I understood this to be the unfortunate depth to which national politics has sunk. I would have liked to think that small-town politics are above that.

    From my perspective, the most important job of a political committee is getting qualified candidates to run for elected positions and fill appointed positions. If John Ostaszewski has been a competent contributor in the operation of the town, wouldn’t it have been sensible to keep him on and have one of the other persons interested in serving the town to fill another slot on the slate instead of leaving unopposed empty positions on the ticket?

    So not playing Robin is a qualification to be nominated by the Democratic Town Committee. If that is the reason, couldn’t it just be left at that, without the name-calling?

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