Psst! Hey, buddy – wanna be somebody?

Quorum at the RTM

Quorum at the RTM

As election draws near, there’s plenty of room to self-appoint yourself to the Representative Town Meeting. It’s not surprising that no normal person desires such an honor; it involves hours of listening to the same wannabe junior pols droning on and on with nothing of substance to say, then serving as a rubber stamp for decisions already made by your betters. I suffered through two terms of such nonsense years ago out of a vague sense of civic duty and, having left such foolish things behind me, it’s discouraging to see that the same people – people who, just because the four speakers before them said exactly what they were going to say can’t resist saying it again – are still there every fourth Monday of the year, dishing out more of the same. I don’t know how to encourage people to serve on the RTM and dislodge these blowhard pretenders, unless it’s to give the RTM real power over the governance of this town, and that will never happen.

But at least we can draw some humor from the sight of some of these clowns strutting around town, chests puffed out, proclaiming themselves to be “elected officers of the Town of Greenwich”. When anyone at all, including your dog, can be “elected” merely by filling out a candidate form, the adjective “elected” seems a tad too fancy. Perhaps “showed up”, or “what else do I have to do?” would better describe the process and the people.


Filed under Right wing nut rantings

33 responses to “Psst! Hey, buddy – wanna be somebody?

  1. Demmerkrat Patriot

    Want to fill the RTM with qualified citizens? Guarantee those who are elected a train station parking permit!

  2. Balzac

    Chris, your observations are spot-on as usual.
    However, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Imagine how much better Greenwich would be if readers of FWIW joined the RTM. The Riverside Association indicates that Riverside’s District 5 has at least 7 openings, and Old Greenwich’s District 5 has several as well.
    We could put a little common-sense libertarianism into practice.

  3. Why would anyone want to join an institution that represents themselves and themselves only. They are not elected. They are lead by a man who is arrogant, and self serving. Try asking a question at such meeting. Try offering an opinion. You will be maligned by by the moderator. Small penis syndrome I say.

    • The moderators make is Tom Burn.
      A man who stands on stage looking bigger than he is. Never once ( well once he did when he voted to break a tie for second in command securing the number two spot for someone who has been on the RTM since 1918)
      They all got to go!

      • Demmerkrat Patriot

        So all you CF fans get your names on the ballot! Byrne is in District 6 …. want to fix the RTM? “Unelect” the current moderator.

        And I believe the RTM should have term limits for all offices (not members). Five terms (10 years) … Byrne has been moderator since 1996. Caldwell as #2 for the same time. There are some district and committee chairs who have been in their positions longer. Some I’m not sure are still able to breathe on their own ….

        • dogwalker

          Oh, when will this term limits nonsense ever cease? No matter what office! We have term limits already. They are called elections!!! If you do not want somewhere in office, stop complaining and run. Or get someone else to run. So they have lots of openings as it is, and term limits is supposed to fix something? Sheesh!

        • Demmerkrat Patriot

          @dogwalker: The RTM elects its own officers. Since they can’t seem to make any progress on their own, either elect new members who will change the leadership, or limit the time they can hold an RTM office.

          Those chairmen and moderators are RTM members as well … the problem is with low numbers of candidates running, ANYONE who gets three or more votes in the election gets on the RTM. That’s why all these CF fans should get on the ballot: that way there’s a slim chance for change through the election process.

        • dogwalker

          Oh, Demmerkrat Patriot, I agree completely about getting new blood into the RTM! Actually, you might be surprised at how many RTM members feel the same way. You just hit a nerve with term limits.

    • Central middle school urinal

      The moderator does have a small penis. I’ve seen it.

  4. Did you ever go to an RTM meeting? Half the people look dead and the other half are dead.

    The moderator and Caldwell got to go!
    The true arrogance is nauseating.

    I do like it however when Chris V. goes at it with Bern.

  5. Former district 3 RTM member

    Cut the RTM in half. That’s a good beginning. And then make available online all recorded votes. And I agree this moderator Burn guy is a turd.

    • Chimney

      They have tried this several times-unfortunately, the RTM has to vote on it, which would put half of them out of business- what’s wrong with this picture? Also, it would leave us with nothing but the vonKeyserlings of the world.

    • dogwalker

      Some believe that cutting the RTM would effectively make it less representative and more an instrument of the political parties. With fewer spots, the parties can identify candidates they want and push them in.

      As for being out of business . . . it is voluntary, unpaid.

      • Chimney

        I’ve heard that argument before, but if the RTM needs more members than the CT state legislators or the US congress to run it’s business, some might argue that the body is too big. Also, sorry if I have to explain what “being out of business” means.

  6. Avid reader

    We all know Paldunas reads the blog. He was always quick to comment. If I remember correctly couldn’t shut him up.

    What say you Paldunas?

  7. Cos Cob resident

    The problem is not the moderator ( well maybe a little )
    The problem is the RTM as an institution. This is a great opportunity to rid this archaic body and elect new members. With new ideas. Young blood.

    And it’s also a good time to say goodbye to Peter Berg. TY for your service Peter but its time for you to go.

  8. OG voter

    It was the moderator who blocked the boat club lease. It was the moderator who never votes but did one night two years ago to break tie securing the number 2 spot dot his buddy Caldwell ( who has been serving the RTM since 1912 ) It was the moderator who fought Lash tooth and nail not to downsize the RTM. It was the moderator who belittles people from atop a stage. It was the moderator who thinks his word is law. It was the moderator who refuses to take the RTM into the 21st century.

    Please people ….. Do your town proud. Petition on.

  9. Joan Caldwell, Moderator Pro Tem

    I want to thank Tommy for casting that vote. He did the right thing. And just for the record I have only been an RTM member since 1919 not 1912. So insulting. And to the Central Middle School Urinal I’m jealous.

  10. I actually agree with First Selectman Peter Tesei

    I can’t believe I actually agree with Tesei on something…. He is correct when he says RTM members and BET members are not really elected. Mason the BET chair ( not for long ) and Moderator Burns of the RTM the two most arrogant people in office should be held accoutable. Tesei is correct on this one!

  11. Cos Cob Coot

    Ah, you malcontents. The RTM is a great institution and a major public safety benefit. Anytime such a large concentration of GDI’s are off the public streets, the Police are safer. The Town actually assigns two or three policemen to Central Middle School to keep the RTM members inside.

    If you want to run for the RTM do it for the right reasons. I used to think that a citizen could create benefit for the Town through the RTM. My ulcers told me differently. Now I do it for the bizarre humor and the ulcers are gone. The RTM is the greatest show in Town. Don’t kill zanity, join it.

  12. GreenITCH

    CF , while I have always done my duty and voted .. can u explain , briefly , what the RTM actually does and what power they actually have … sorry to lazy to look it up

  13. Riverslide

    I voted against Byrne for moderator in 1996. I thought he’d be too much like his very disappointing predecessor (who amazingly later became a judge) and not apply the rules in a strict and unbiased fashion. My fears were largely unfounded; he turned out to be very good. (Maybe he has taken a foul turn the last few years… don’t know.)

    • Demmerkrat Patriot

      Sadly, Mr. Byrne has slid into the “my rules, my way” mindset over the last few years. Maybe it’s the time in the job that breeds that arrogance?

  14. Former RTM

    I served – or attended – a huge waste of time. The same people get up and opine on topics big and small. MISA, the budget, police contracts, leaf blowers – it didn’t matter. They just wanted your opinion.
    Interestingly, the smaller committee meetings were at least collegial as opposed to the circus of the big meeting.
    And the arrogance….Caldwell once sat through a several hour meeting in which we discussed how to vote a union contract (and possibly save Greenwich tax payers some dough when we next get pulled into arbitration over a disputed contract). Didn’t say a word in discussion in which other people could agree/disagree/respond. Then at the big meeting she takes the stage and calls us all “chickens” for wanting to approve the contract with a no vote (not go on record for the next labor contract arbitration and save the taxpayers some money).
    It was nonsense.

  15. anon

    Just remember Joan Caldwell was felon Peter Brant’s paid flack and lobbyist to the Greenwich town boards when he was developing the old Rosenteil property, and the defunct Country Club next door, into what is now swanky Conyers Farm. It was during that same period there were at least 3 suspicious fires on the property in buildings which were going to be demolished. Puts her self righteous behavior at the RTM into perspective. Gangster mol, of sorts.