To the Editor:
Southbury First Selectman Jeff Manville has abandoned the Republican Party. He has also abandoned the principles of fair, efficient and legitimate governance.
In March of 2019, Manville was given an outside auditor’s report prepared by the BlumShapiro accounting firm that detailed the disappearance of over 1,400 gallons of fuel from town fuel tanks in 2018 and 2019. Manville took this embarrassing revelation and swept it under the rug.
Manville never shared the auditor’s report with the Board of Selectmen, the State Police or taxpayers. Reasonable people would call this a cover-up. Manville calls it an “accounting anomaly.”
The outside auditors, seeing the scale of the loss coupled with lax fuel controls, directed the town to review the surveillance video of the town’s gas pumps to “identify unauthorized users.” Surprisingly, the surveillance video, much like the fuel, has magically disappeared.
Manville’s once sharp aim on taxes and spending is gone and now redirected, instead, on national politics. He recently joined Democrats to pass a resolution condemning the events in the nation’s capital while ignoring calls to also condemn the prior eight months of violence.
Meanwhile, town projects are going over schedule and over budget as a distracted Manville runs Southbury into the red.
Making matters worse, Manville recently awarded his daughter with a town job without announcing the job or obtaining approval for her hire from the Board of Selectmen as required by the Town Charter.
For far too long, many have made excuses for Manville. “That’s Jeff being Jeff.” It was easy to overlook a few unforced errors while our taxes stayed low; but low taxes may soon be a fond memory in Southbury. The sheer audacity of Manville’s recent run of bad decisions makes overlooking them harder and harder to do.
John G. Gray