If you were applying for a job and had an interview with your potential employers, would you send someone else in your place?
That was the case last night at the Hartford Republican Town Committee's special meeting. The meeting was called to fill the upcoming vacancy by Hartford's only Republican Councilperson, the corrupt Councilwoman resigning under the excuse of "early retirement".
Several potential replacements submitted resumes to the Town Committee and they were each allowed 5 minutes to address those in attendance. Among those submitting their names were Steven Bonafonte, Corey Brinson, Michael Fryar, Mike Lupo, Kevin Carroll, Gerry Pleasent, Nyesha McCauley and John O'Connell. In the end, Bonafonte received the most votes (5) although his presentation was given by a stand-in, playing the part of Steven Bonafonte.
The selection and the replacement process seems to be raising a lot of questions though. First off was a question raised as to whether or not it was proper to accept resumes from an individual who wasn't even there to speak. RTC Chairperson Michael McGarry explained that it was an emergency meeting and they needed to move quickly to provide names to the Council.
No action can be taken by the Council on the Republican vacancy until most likely January 5, 2011 , so I really can't understand the rush. The Council President's position and his Council seat was left open for a couple months after his June vacancy was created. This delay by a Council usually unable to make quick decisions. Also at the time, Segarra played a key role on the Council, I'm not sure the same can be said about Airey-Wilson.
Another big question is why the Democratic Council can choose whoever they want to fill the Republican vacancy. I find it hard to believe that anyone on this Council would vote to put a hard line Republican, such as John O'Connell, on the Council if they didn't have to. If there was any leadership on the Republican Town Committee, I would think their message should be loud and clear, "the Democrat's are not going to choose our Republicans, we selected a replacement and we demand that choice be honored".
But we know that is not going to happen. The RTC never even took a stand on Hartford's corruption scandal, probably because their fellow Republican was neck deep in the scandal, but to say anything would involve exercising some integrity, and that is not a strong point for the RTC Chair.
It would seem that a common sense approach to the replacement is simple. If we really want to follow the will of the people who voted for Council candidates last go around, go back to 2007 and look at the vote results. Kevin Carroll was the 2nd highest vote getter in the Council race and should be Hartford's version of the "Miss America" runner-up. If the number one can't complete the term, the first runner up steps in.
We tend to make these things much more difficult than they need be.