Letters to the Editor

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A Citizen’s Response
Suzanne Irwin

I had noticed a Kent Memorial Library Special Meeting Agenda was generated under the name Connecticut Bar Examining Committee (CBEC). Neither the town clerk’s office nor the first selectman knew why, so in January I called a State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Information Technology specialist, asking the same question.

The IT employee requested that I put my question in writing, and I complied. In April, I read in the Observer that an investigation into this had been done. That investigation showed 114 agendas posted on Suffield’s town website with the heading CBEC. Many of those documents on the town’s website have since been modified. They were modified in March, and no longer have the CBEC heading.

I never attempted to have anyone lose their job. A selectperson stated at the April 3, 2024, BOS meeting that “Ms. Irwin did not ask that I lose my job, didn’t ask for discipline”. The First Selectman said that he had written the agenda in question.

On December 1, 2023, I submitted my name, requesting a KMLC appointment. No one else knew that I had done this. Afterwards, I notified my husband that I had submitted my name and then I called the DTC chair to let him know. I had no hard feelings regarding not being appointed.

The DTC chair was unaware of my call to the Judicial Branch until he read the First Selectman’s Update. I had no political agenda, just a desire to understand why the KMLC is no longer running smoothly.

Tom Frenaye, Chair for the Suffield DTC

The Republican Town Committee (RTC) made several unfounded accusations against both a resident of the Town and the Democratic Town Committee in a May 2024 letter to the Observer.

The resident had submitted a response to the Observer after publication of an unfair and inflammatory article by the First Selectman in April. The resident explained their actions and the reasoning behind those actions. This resident’s response was not printed in the Observer, but a member of the Observer’s Board provided the resident’s response to the RTC. The RTC therefore knew their comments were based on incorrect assumptions. Yet the RTC still pushed a false and misleading narrative, and the Observer failed to contemporaneously publish the resident’s response, thus failing to give each an equal voice.

Unsubstantiated public comments made at Library Commission and Board of Selectmen meetings expressed outrage that a Selectperson “almost lost their job” after an investigation, but the decision to investigate the Selectperson was made by their employer, not by any request from the resident. The resident simply wanted to know why Library Commission agendas were prepared on a computer that seemingly belonged to the state of Connecticut.

To be clear, people have a responsibility to question their town leaders and the right to request public documents. The result will ensure that the town is well run, and we all get value for our taxes.

False narratives are reflective of the unethical politics we see at the national level and should have no place in Suffield.

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