Good political discourse at ‘summer social’

To the Editor:

Readers are surely aware of the heated political rhetoric that has passed for the dialogue and debate one might have wished for or expected this summer.

Oh, well — you can’t have everything. But perhaps you can. A little over a week ago, my wife and I hosted a little “summer social” in our backyard on behalf of For Stratford Network, and invited people who follow this political action group. Over 30 people attended, and while a lot of the conversation centered on local politics, the talk was all very civil, very relaxed, and very friendly. It was also very bipartisan; if the group tended towards registered Republicans and Democrats, that only reflects how significant are the many primary contests that will be decided on Sept. 12.

To give you an idea of just how remarkable it was to have this fellowship amid such political turmoil as has rocked Stratford over the past year or two, I’d like to recognize the eleven candidates for office who shared the afternoon with us, who thought it worthwhile to do so.

Three mayoral candidates sat and stood under the same tent: Sandra Zalik, Joe Paul and Stephanie Philips. For that alone they’re all worth your consideration, I’d say. Several Councilpersons and candidates attended: Mitzi Antezzo and Greg Cann, Mark Scheck and Indiana Susaña; that’s a Republican and a Democrat of each, to consider. Councilpersons Scott Farrington-Posner, Tina Manus, and 1st District candidate John Rich were among the invited who had either family, campaign or crisis-memorial duties; they join these others as worthy of your attention.

We all have come to learn how important the Zoning Commission is in our town, so it was good to have commissioners Steve Raguskus, Mark Juliano, and candidate Barbara Heimlich on hand to speak, in very general terms, about what’s in that pipeline; Steve deserves your primary vote if you can. And in perhaps my biggest surprise, Michael Sullivan, who’s stepped up for Planning Commission, also stepped out of social media and shook my hand, introducing himself. It was that kind of day, to meet and support real people.

Thomas Yemm