A Celebration of All
Heading into the town’s inaugural ceremony, I was looking forward to being sworn in for my second term on the Town Council. The room was electric when the candidates lined up, marched in, and took the stage in the high school auditorium. Our New England State Champion East Haven Co-op Marching Band gave an inspiring performance. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz attended, gave encouraging remarks, and later in the ceremony administered the oaths of office to officials. Also, Democratic State Central Chair Nancy DiNardo attended and gave the keynote address.
The beginning of the ceremony was full of goodwill, well wishes, and carried a bipartisan tone. That mood quickly shifted when DiNardo took the stage and turned the event into a campaign rally. Instead of taking the opportunity to encourage bipartisanship and cooperation, she used her time to not only gloat about her party capturing the town clerk’s seat, but then, as Republican State Senator Cicarella and State Representative Zullo sat only a few seats away, talked about rolling that momentum into capturing state seats in the 2022 election.
DiNardo’s speech was offensive and disrespectful to outgoing elected officials, incoming Republican candidates, and also audience members who supported those candidates. The inauguration should have been a bipartisan celebration of all candidates and not just a few. I hope future inaugurations will remain bipartisan. Our community is best served when elected officials work as a team, and not just for their political party. DiNardo’s speech did not promote team building or teamwork. Nevertheless, I congratulate all who were sworn in that day and look forward to working with everyone over the next two years.
Republican Samantha Parlato is a 4th District Town Council representative.