To the Editor:

Southbury elects its first selectman every two years; the town’s executive, our “CEO” so to speak, who builds the teams that get things done. Who sets the tone. The spokesperson for the town. The leader of the town’s government.

If our town’s government were a corporation, the CEO would be expected to get things done in a timely fashion. If, not, he would lose his job.

Three terms, six years. Manville talks. He does little. And when he does do something, it takes forever.

I offer Southburians a telling example. In 2019 Southbury hired its first-ever Economic Development director. Sadly, Manville took 15 months to make a decision; so the desk and its possibilities sat vacant.

Our search team had found two superior candidates, but by the time he made a decision, they had taken other jobs. The search had to start over.

One thing I know for sure, Manville relishes being in the spotlight as “big man” cutting the ribbon. In his July 9, 2021, newsletter, he announced five ribbon-cuttings for new businesses opening this summer as if he alone had brought the businesses here.

Unfortunately, he can’t get his facts straight; only four are new. The Southbury Deli is moving from Heritage Village to Main Street, for a larger, more visible platform which will provide greater opportunity for growth. It’s also got a new name.

In his three terms, Jeff Manville has earned more than half a million dollars. If he were managing our town effectively, there would be a lot more ribbon-cuttings and fewer empty store fronts on Main Street.

Clearly, it’s time to send Mr. Manville back to his farm. Unfortunately, he seems to be stuck, literally, in the mud.

Susan Spelman


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