The absence of Treasurer information from Mr. Gronbach's ad in the Spectrum combined with his assertion that he would continue to "manage" his law practice while mayor gave me pause.
Mr. Gronbach is applying for a big job. He'll have almost 30,000 "clients" and the job requires undivided attention, 24/7, yet no mention has been made of his work history.
A simple search discloses that Mr. Gronbach was graduated in 2001 from Pace Law School in New York and that he has worked at law firms or had other law-related employment in at least New York, Hartford, Waterbury, Yonkers and New Milford. For an attorney, I think that's a fairly long list in such a short period of time.
The most important part of any applicant's resume is his or her most recent employment and so I called Terry Pellegrini whom I have known for many years. Mr. Pellegrini is a long-time practitioner, a former Town Attorney and he is extremely well respected by the bench, peers and clients. Never at a loss for words, I was taken aback at his answer to a very simple question.
I asked, "Did David Gronbach do a good job while he was at your Firm?" "No comment," was his polite and laconic response. What?
This answer could mean a lot of things and none are good. Did he do a poor job? Did they part on an unfriendly basis? The State Judicial Page doesn't show that there's any litigation between them but that doesn't mean that none was threatened. Is there a disciplinary complaint against Mr. Gronbach or was there a claimed basis for one that was settled? Is there a confidentiality agreement that prevents Mr. Pellegrini from making a comment? Likely, we'll never know but I am reminded of the story about Daniel Drummond, the East-Hartford ecstacy dealer who was represented by Mr. Gronbach.
There was story in the August 16, 2007, edition of the JournalEnquirer about the case. "Drummond's former lawyers, David R. Gronbach and Martin Minella of Waterbury, moved to withdraw from the case, saying Drummond had 'terminated' them and that there had been 'a complete breakdown of the attorney-client relationship.'"
The story continued, "Gronbach added in the motion that Drummond had accused him of lying about the progress of plea negotiations, had made multiple charges of 'poor workmanship,' and had accused the lawyers of putting him under duress."
Something about Mr. Gronbach's relationship with the Pellegrini Firm just doesn't pass the smell test.
I reflect, once again, on Mr. Gronbach's comment about the Budget process. The Mayor has responsibility for a Budget that's approaching $100M and Mr. Gronbach found it so boring that he couldn't pay attention? How is he going to learn about it...from his advisors who have demonstrated by their historically poor advice that they also don't have any idea?
Since he has never spoken to any Budget issues except in broad, vague terms, we have no proof that he has the financial acumen to manage this large Budget. This is especially troubling in view of the likely retirement of Ray Jankowski, our Finance Director.
Why do Mr. Gronbach's advisors continue to push him into taking positions that are frivolous and why doesn't he do his own research? For example, he has repeatedly promoted the idea of having sidewalks on Route 7. A) Do we really want people walking along dangerous route 7 and B) the Mayor has no control over the installation of sidewalks on State-owned and State-controlled Route 7.
Finally, there are thousands of great Reagan quotes. I like this one: "Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15."
Elect Mr. Gronbach and his group and you'll see the biggest tax increases in the Town's history.