Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name


Stephen Devoto.
So, Stephen Devoto is a Republican.

That’s what Dan Russo says.

I should have suspected as much.

He has that Republican look.  You know, pony tail, plaid shirt, mustache, ankle-biter pant strap.  He needs that for commuting to work on his bike.  He farms organically on his little plot of land on the West Side of town, and is a bio prof at Wesleyan.  He doesn’t own a television.

Definitely Republican.

Anyway, that’s what Dan Russo says.

Devoto is an advocate for active, engaged, flexible, participative planning by the Planning and Zoning Commission, instead of reactive, developer-written zone changes.


Dan Russo
Devoto helped start the Middletown Eye, and has spent the last five years volunteering to attend and cover Planning and Zoning Commission meetings so that citizens can be better informed about the actions of local government.  He has a better attendance at P&Z meeting than most commissioners (including Russo).  He’s spent hours of his own time deciphering zoning code when he could have been feeding his chickens, or making tie-dyed t-shirts.

Soooo Republican.

Devoto has always been a registered Democrat.  Still, he had the temerity to engage in the democratic process, available to all citizens, of collecting enough signatures on a petition to challenge the Democratic Town Committee candidates for P&Z (including Dan Russo).

Decidedly Republican.

Devoto worked diligently to oppose the placement of the Army Reserve Training Center in Maromas, and was appointed (by a Republican mayor) to sit on a commission which eventually placed the Training Center adjacent to an industrial park on the other side of town.  He has testified on land-use issues for the Westfield Residents Association, of which he was once president.  He actively opposed the change in Zone along Washington Street which could allow Centerplan to build a stripmall where Victorian homes now stand.  Dan Russo supported that change in zone, and voted in favor of it.

I’m afraid he’s Republican.

At least that’s what Dan Russo says.

Dan Russo said that Devoto never campaigned for a Democrat.  However, Devoto has contributed to Democratic campaigns.  And he has hung signs, walked door-to-door, and campaigned tirelessly for my run for the Board of Ed.  I’m a Democrat.  But maybe I’m a Republican too.


Devoto feels strongly that party affiliation has no part in making decisions that affect the Middletown citizens and neighborhoods.  Devoto believes that commissioners should consider the needs of residents and the community along with those of developers.

Sheesh.  He’s a Republican, for sure.

Maybe Dan Russo’s right.

But I suspect not.

And if Russo is somehow right.  I’m proud to call Devoto a friend and colleague.  Because he’s committed to the community.  He’s incredibly intelligent.  He's friendly and engaging. He listens. He researches.  He’s willing to take a stand, but always able to consider all sides of an argument.  He understands zoning code, and frankly, he’s not a Democratic insider. 

So, I guess Dan, if he’s fooled us all, and is a Republican, I’ll have to say: “Some of my best friends are Republicans.”  And maybe there’s nothing wrong with that.

And by the way, Dan, speaking of party affiliation.  Weren't you in the CT 4 Lieberman party?

The Vote for Devoto sign in front of my house.
I intend to vote for Stephen Devoto for Planning and Zoning on September 10, and if you’re a registered Democrat, I hope you do too.

Disclaimer:  Ed McKeon is a Democratic member of the Board of Education (running under the Ed4Ed banner), an associate and friend of Devoto, a volunteer for Devoto's primary run, and a co-founder of the Middletown Eye.  McKeon never laughed as hard as he did when he read Dan Russo's comments in the August 29 Hartford Courant. 


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't call either one of you Republicans despite your support of less savory ones. Losers and self absorbed yes, Republicans no.

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

Anon 3:33:

Losers, eh?

And your name would be....

Jay said...

The Democratic Party of Middletown is a political machine concerned not with good public policy and honest government, but with furthering its own political goals and the economic goals of its powerful backers like Centerplan. I'm proud to support true progressive Democrats like Steve DeVoto and Ed McKeon.

Darrell Lucas said...

3:33 is anon because they have no integrity...

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

I did a little digging. Here's something I wrote back in 2008 about our friend Dan Russo.

Stephen H. Devoto said...

I disagree with something both Ed and Dan seem to believe. Dan looked for the meanest, nastiest slur he could think of when he blurted, "Devoto is a Republican." And Ed responded as if indeed I had been mortally insulted by a vile epithet. While I appreciate the effort that Dan put into his personal attack, and I appreciate Ed's effort in my defense, I must disappoint both: I am not insulted by being called a Republican. While I am in fact a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, I respect those who serve our city, state, or country, even if their vision conflicts with my own. I value both Republicans and Democrats, and if I am elected will work closely with both.

cybermom said...

I am a non affiliated registered voter and will support both ED and Steven. I greatly appreciate their willingness to work for our City.

Anonymous said...

Ditto - what Jay said. I'll be supporting Steve and Ed as well.

Jennifer Peifer

Ed McKeon said...

The primary is September 10. I'm not running. But certainly support Stephen.