Letters to the Editor

Published on Friday, 16 October 2020 13:17
Written by

Turco failed town with vote on police accountability bill

To The Editor:

In the race for 27th State House District seat, Newington voters will decide between Michael Camillo and incumbent Gary Turco. While I don’t always agree with Representative Turco, I respect him and appreciate his accessibility to constituents. That said, I’m particularly disappointed with his vote on House Bill 6004, An Act Concerning Police Accountability.

Sparked by outrage over the dreadful events in Minneapolis, HB 6004 was well intended. However concerns were raised from both sides of the aisle that HB 6004 was hastily crafted and rushed through via special session. This resulted in inadequate public input, insufficient scrutiny, and little consideration of long-term consequences.

The most controversial part of the bill, the removal of qualified immunity, was a major concern for law enforcement officers and municipal leaders. To ease these concerns, Republicans introduced an amendment to HB 6004, stripping the bill of language limiting qualified immunity against litigation.  The amendment failed in a tie vote 72-72. Only one vote was needed to break the tie and pass the amendment. Seventeen Democrats had the courage to vote in favor of the amendment. Unfortunately, Representative Turco did not join them.

A State Representative has a responsibility to listen to their community. Representative Turco was well aware of concerns that local law enforcement, the Town Council, and many residents had with the changes in the law dealing with qualified immunity. His vote would have made a difference.

We need a Representative with the courage to do what is right. We need someone who will act in Newington’s interest. We need someone whose decisions reflect local priorities instead of state party agendas. 

As a long-term resident and a local business owner, Mike Camillo is invested in our town. Mike has more than 20 years of service to the community in various capacities, contributing time and resources to making Newington a better place to live. He knows and cares about Newington.

Please vote for Michael Camillo for State Representative

Gail Budrejko


Homophobia, racism, xenophobia, etc.

To the Editor:

As early as 2016 and as recently as 2018, several disgusting internet posts created by third-party accounts were liked and then shared by Mike Camillo to all of his Facebook “friends.”

These internet posts and photos covered a wide variety of despicable topics such as homophobia, racism, sexism, xenophobia, islamophobia, anti-vaxxer conspiracies, anti-refugee, global warming conspiracy theories, celebrating Confederate history, and of course, where would any blind follower of President Trump’s be without questioning the legitimacy of our democracy and voting? 

Camillo has denied sharing these images, but he knows the truth and so do the people who followed his page and paid attention at the time.

Camillo’s denial strategy here is to convince people that they didn’t see with their own two eyes what they saw. The denials by his campaign and most dedicated supporters have been driven by the hope that whoever is listening to the denials, doesn’t understand how social media actually works.

If you have followed Camillo’s “campaign,” he’s relying on the hot button topic of the “Police Accountability Act” to win him the election. Instead of discussing ways to ensure we protect our great officers, and our citizens, from the few bad officers, Camillo wants to draw a line in the sand where you’re either for or against the Newington Police Department based on who you vote for. 

This was made clear to me when I asked the local PD where I could obtain a sign stating my support and was instructed I needed to contact the Republican candidate for the 27th District. Just like President Trump, the narrative Camillo is trying to create is that if you vote against him - then you’re voting against our local heroes protecting and serving Newington. 

Nothing could be further from the truth, except maybe his social media denials.  Camillo has no real agenda, he’s just hoping one topic is enough to get him the votes.

If Camillo’s one campaign talking point strategy sounds familiar, it’s because that is exactly what he did to get elected to the Newington Town Council. 

After Camillo lost the election in 2017, he filed a lawsuit against the town regarding the cost of the Town Hall Project. Immediately following his election in 2019, he “settled” the lawsuit, quietly got paid for his legal fees by the taxpayers, and the project went on as if the lawsuit never happened. 

Before George Floyd’s murder, Mike Camillo had already been the Republican nominee for the 27th District. Prior to any discussions regarding Police Accountability in 2020, Camillo had no agenda. 

Does anybody know what his stance on health care in our state is? How about economic growth initiatives? College tuition? Helping our state recover from Covid-19? What is his stance on school construction projects or utility rates? What is he going to do to help further your student’s education in our state? 

The Police Bill has its flaws, I’m not here to deny that. I hope that the state takes a look at the bill a bit more closely, and the police union is willing to come to the table to help figure out how to make change in a positive way.

Here in Newington, Camillo’s Republican colleagues on the Town Council tout his impact on the town through his work on the Council. To date, the most impactful thing Camillo has done as a Town Councilor was cashing the check the taxpayers wrote him to finance his campaign...I mean lawsuit. 

As your State Representative, Gary Turco will represent and stand for all citizens. He’s capable of tackling more than one issue at a time, and he will stand up against homophobia, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and islamophobia.

Michael Branda


A beautiful day of live performances

To the Editor

Those who missed the Newington Children’s Theatre Company’s 6th annual talent show Sunday, Oct. 4, missed a beautiful day and triumphant return to live performance for 20 talented youths who’ve had to wait for nearly a year to get back on the stage.

Perhaps as important was the triumph of our community rallying together to make it happen in a way that delivered this wholesome family entertainment in a safe fashion. Annunciation Parish allowed NCTC to hold the show on the Church of the Holy Spirit lawn to enable social distancing in the audience.

CMI Sound System generously provided the audio equipment. The prize drawings were made possible by donations from area businesses, from Newington and beyond. And one of Newington’s favorite sons, Steve Parker, gave us a few minutes on his Saturday morning radio show to spread the word. “NCTC’s Got Talent” is an important annual fundraiser for the theater, of course taking on additional necessity at a time when regular proceeds from in-person program participation and ticket sales are nonexistent.

NCTC recently relocated to 136 Day St., importantly, remaining in Newington, and community support like what we saw with the talent show is crucial to the theatre’s future. Being able to hold it this year was no sure thing, and it couldn’t have happened without that support, including from my fellow NCTC board members as well as all the adults who have become stakeholders in the theater’s success volunteering their time and talent. So, a hearty “Bravo!” not only to our wonderfully talented young performers and our tireless executive and artistic director, Claire Van Cott, but also to those in our community who got behind this and made it a reality!

Chris DeFrancesco


The writer is president of the Newington Children’s Theatre Company board of directors.

Election will have long consequences

To the Editor

With Election Day fast approaching Newington will have to decide who will represent us in Hartford. This is an important decision and will have consequences in years to come.

I would urge the voters of Newington to support Mike Camillo for State Representative.

Mike is a small businessman; having run a family owed business here in Newington since the 1960s. He is not a career politician like we have now. Mike knows what it is like to run a business. Someone who knows the struggles and the effects decisions made in Hartford have on small business.

Newington needs someone who has been part of our community for years. Mike has supported the community; giving to countless charitable endeavors. Mike has lived in Newington and is raising his family here. He knows Newington’s people and the issue that are important to our community.

We need someone who will stand up for our community and what is important to us. Not someone who is lock step with the Governor and votes as the party dictates whether it is good for us or not.

Mike Camillo stands behind those first responders who have such a dangerous job keeping us all safe. He will not betray them as our current representative did because his party told him to and for the sake of a few votes. We need a representative with courage to represent Newington and those who protect us.

Please join me in voting for Mike Camillo for state representative. Newington deserves better representation that we have had for the last two years. We need Mike Camillo.

Tim Manke


Turco delivers

for residents

To the Editor:

State Representative Gary Turco has been working hard to deliver results for Newington residents during his first two years in office and deserves to be re-elected on November 3rd. He has championed progressive policies that support women and meet the needs of working families. From pay equity to increasing the minimum wage; from earned family and medical leave to limiting out-of-pocket healthcare costs, these are common-sense policies that ensure a productive workforce by giving workers peace of mind that our state policies support them.

Gary co-sponsored one of the country’s most meaningful Earned Family and Medical Leave laws. Workers in Connecticut will no longer have to make heart-wrenching decisions about taking time away from work to care for their families, be it a sick, aging parent or a newborn. They won’t have to worry about what happens if they unexpectedly become ill and need time to recover because an insurance fund will now be available to support them. Many people won’t plan to need this support, but we’ll all be grateful that it’s there if we do need it because a health crisis shouldn’t become a financial crisis.

Gary genuinely cares about his constituents, always reaching out to see what his fellow Newington residents need. He pours his heart into this job every day with integrity, determined to strengthen and uplift our community. That’s why I’ll be voting for Gary Turco on November 3rd and I encourage you to do the same

Liza Andrews


Don’t believe what

you read online

To the Editor:

It seems as though each week when I open the paper I see people writing in to say that people should not believe what is being written online about Gary Turco and Matt Lesser.

They are 100% correct.

Anyone can say anything… honestly the only way we can judge these folks is by how they voted.

It’s too bad that both Turco and Lesser voted to make Newington and Connecticut a more expensive place to live,  they voted for a new 1% tax which takes effect in January for the Family Medical Leave Act. A program you can’t opt out of, and while they are taking your money, if you never use it you can never have your money back.

They voted to raise the minimum wage, which on the service sounds like a great thing, but in reality it raises to prices on everything for everyone including those who did not get a raise.  It sure sounds good to say you are making more money but then when you realize the prices have all gone up to pay for the raises and you still cannot afford anything then you realize it’s not such a great idea.  Turco and Lesser voted to make you pay more for things you use every day.

Then finally they voted to make Newington and Connecticut a less safer place by voting for House Bill 6004.  Gary Turco said himself he couldn’t vote for the bill, then a few minutes later voted for it.  I publicly asked both Turco and Lesser if they would apply to be a police officer after passing that bill and got crickets.  Nether one replied.

They both seem to support only what their party wants, not what the people of Newington want… the people they were elected to serve.

Newington and Connecticut is now a lot more expensive place to live (and it will be more expensive January 1st) and a lot less safer because of the votes of Gary Turco and Matthew Lesser.

So I agree with the people, don’t believe what you read online about Matt Lesser and Gary Turco, and instead take a look at what they have voted for.  Their voting records speak for themselves.

Scott Greczkowski


Turco has worked

tirelessly for town

To the Editor:

This letter is in support of the candidacy and re-election of Gary Turco for State Representative. Turco has worked tirelessly since his election to the Connecticut House of Representatives to ensure the positive advancement of Newington; through successful policies and legislation regarding the local economy, education, social justice, and perhaps above all, public health. During these times as we combat a global pandemic, one which our Republican-lead federal government has failed to manage and contain, Mr. Turco has worked at the state level to ensure Connecticut’s survival through this challenging time; with a focus on public health and stopping the spread of Covid-19 within Connecticut’s borders.

Gary Turco stands for everything that truly matters; he firmly stands for the civil rights of all citizens, providing a voice for Newington in all of these issues. With Gary Turco as Newington’s State Representative, we can be sure he will stand up for the rights of all people; regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. Proudly, Connecticut has been at the forefront of these advancements on a national level - thanks to local leaders like Gary Turco for making our voices heard. On a personal level, being that I am a part of the LGBTQ community, I am confident Gary Turco will continue to fight for my rights, and the rights of all in the name of social justice and equality. He is a representative for all, a representative we desperately need.

Kyle Kleef


Turco has done

an outstanding job

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of State Representative Gary Turco. Representative Turco has accomplished a lot for Newington in his two years in office. He has worked with community leaders to bring more state grant money back into town and to make it a better place to work and live.

Representative Turco worked hard with officials from both parties to acquire another 18.2 acres of Cedar Mountain in order to preserve the mountain and its open space. As you know, our town is quite developed. When residents gave guidance for the 2030 Plan of Conservation and Development, they indicated that open space is important to them. Representative Turco responded to this concern right away.

Representative Turco worked hard to get over $1 million of new state money for our town. This has helped to keep taxes in check while providing quality education to our students, who are the future leaders of tomorrow.

Representative Turco was able to secure state funding for improvements to Robbins Ave and a section of Maple Hill. These road sections will be made more bicycle and pedestrian friendly for residents.

In conclusion, Representative Turco has done an outstanding job for the residents of Newington. Prior to his election, our town missed out on a lot of grant opportunities. Gary Turco is a hard working advocate for Newington who makes sure we get our fair share. Please join me in supporting his re-election!

Stanley Sobieski



support for Camillo

To the Editor:

I am very pleased to write to you and offer my enthusiastic endorsement for Mike Camillo for State Representative of Newington.  I met Mike several years ago, and have come to know him as a man of integrity with strong moral principles.   Rarely have I ever met a person more suited to representing his constituents than Mike.  His decision-making skills are considerable, especially because he listens more than he talks.  He quickly (but carefully) weighs all sides, and then makes up his mind as to what is the best thing to do, regardless of whose idea it is, or which political party it happens to coincide with.  His criteria are straightforward – What solution serves the greater good that can also be implemented in a financially responsible way?  His record of service on the Town Council is exemplary, as evidenced by his support for the decrease in our mil rate.  I firmly believe that his passion for the well-being of the town of Newington, its residents and its businesses will be expended for our benefit.  Please join me in supporting Mike Camillo in his bid for State Representative on November 3.  Let’s look forward to him working for us at the state level and see what positive changes can take place.

Louise French


Turco helped

preserve open space

To the Editor

State Representative Gary Turco is a hard-working advocate who listens to all of his constituents. He is the candidate I trust to continue to be our whole community’s voice in Hartford.

One example of Gary’s tireless work for all of us is his success in preserving additional open space on Cedar Mountain. When he was campaigning in 2018, he heard that maintaining open space is a priority for many Newington residents. Most of us agree that Cedar Mountain is a community treasure, and we want to preserve it for future generations to enjoy. When Gary took office, he led a bipartisan coalition of community leaders. Together, they preserved an additional 18.2 acres on the mountain as open space.

Gary is a leader who looks out for the needs of the whole Newington community. He advocates for sensible environmental policies that also help our businesses thrive. In a recent legislative special session, he supported changes to the Transfer Act that are a win-win for the environment and the economy. Now it will be easier to clean up polluted former manufacturing sites and to redevelop these locations.

We are best served by Gary Turco because he has demonstrated his commitment to representing our entire community. He is the candidate we can all work with to shape a better and brighter future for Newington. Please join me in voting to re-elect him on November 3rd or by absentee ballot.

Don Woods


Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Friday, 16 October 2020 13:17. Updated: Friday, 16 October 2020 13:20.