Monday, October 12, 2009

Pilla: Kane 'Unqualified For Public Office'

Not unexpectedly, the John Kane piece in last week’s Spectrum was filled with mistruths and distortions. I wish that the Spectrum staff had done some fact-checking. In addition, readers can’t tell if this was a press release from New Milford First or a news story. Either way, readers lose because the facts are nowhere to be found.

Readers may recall that many years ago, the Town had an opportunity to buy a reservoir property from the Water Company. That opportunity expired in 2002 after the Town Council decided that the purchase at a cost in excess of $2,000,000 wasn’t a good idea while the Town was in the throes of revaluation and many taxpayers were facing a potential tax increase in excess of 30%. As exhibited by his very weak attempt to buy the property and his absence from the State DPUC Hearings, even former mayor Gambino got a dose of reality that the Town could not afford the purchase.

By the time that the idea reached the Board of Finance, it was too late. Inaction by the Town Council made meaningless any action by the Board of Finance and any of its Members, including John Spatola. Mr. Kane has lost sleep ever since.

The misguided Ethics Complaint that Kane and his cohorts filed against Spatola was like a witch-hunt. The Complaint was written by Kane and cost New Milford taxpayers tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars because after Spatola was totally exonerated, taxpayers had to reimburse Spatola the costs of his defense, the costs of the proceeding and the costs of the Town’s own attorneys that included a Special, independent Attorney.

Kane’s claim that Mayor Murphy delayed the Ethics Hearing is bogus. It languished for two reasons. Several Members of the Ethics Commission had recused themselves because of conflicts and Mr. Kane and his cohorts turned the Ethics Hearings into a circus that would make the “Judge Judy” TV Show look like the US Supreme Court.

Mayor Murphy and the Town Council diligently moved the process forward by properly appointing new members to the Commission and by appointing the Special, independent Attorney to oversee the process.

Mr. Kane’s shenanigans will continue to cost the taxpayers dearly and because of his past actions and in front of a Superior Court Judge, he had to personally apologize in writing to me because of his vicious allegations in the Spatola Complaint.

After many years, he is still at it, misleading the public using this dismissed Ethics Complaint to catapult him into public office when, in reality, the opposite should happen.

It is my opinion that his distorted and radical views, his misguided actions and his public performance make him grossly unqualified for any public office.

Town government, more so now than ever given the serious problems of our economy, needs well-intentioned, dedicated and knowledgeable people. Mr. Kane is not one of them.

Mr. Kane likes to throw stones. Here’s a stone he doesn’t throw: why was he summarily dismissed as a teacher at Wesconn University where records remain sealed? Here’s another: why does he continue to receive special tax breaks on his personal residence on Crossman Road under the guise of a voodoo farming operation while all other taxpayers are paying for his folly?

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