January 25, 2022

Needleman Charges that his Opponent Would Cut Funding for Town Libraries and Meals on Wheels. “Totally false,” MacMillian says.

Democratic First Selectman candidate Norman Needleman has leveled three charges in a recent campaign mailing against his Republican opponent, Bruce MacMillian.  Each of the charges, MacMillian counters, “Is  totally false.”

The three charges made by Needleman in his recent mailing are that MacMillian:

  1. “would cut funding to 17 non-profits, among them Meals on Wheels,”
  2.  “proposes cutting town support to the Essex and Ivoryton libraries,”
  3. “proposes the creation of a ‘professional police force’ – a plan that will dramatically increase the size and cost of town government.”

In response, MacMillian told ValleyNewsNow in a telephone interview it is, “Totally false,” that he would cut funding of Meals on Wheels and would not continue town support for the Essex and Ivoryton libraries.  As for establishing a costly professional police force, MacMillian says that rather he wants to create an advisory body of volunteers, who had worked in law enforcement, to monitor the town’s police force and its effectiveness.

In response Needleman, also in a telephone interview with ValleyNewsNow, says MacMillian originally had advocated an expensive professional police force, but had backed away from it.  “We are unable to keep up with him,” Needleman comments.

In response to MacMillian’s denials that he would not cut town funding of Meals on Wheels nor of the Essex and Ivoryton libraries, Needleman maintains that not only would these three non-profits be at risk,  but so would all of the other non-profits supported by the town, if MacMillian were elected.

To substantiate this view Needleman refers to MacMillian’s comments in the Oct. 12 edition of the Valley Courier, where MacMillian said, “I don’t like to see 17 non-profit organizations funded through tax dollars.  Certainly, funds for the fire department and ambulance association – public safety concerns – would be funded, but I question the need for us to fund the others … I am very much an advocate of small government,” which he describes as a government that, “Provides for need, not extras.”

In the same vein on Nov. 3 on ValleyNewsNow, MacMillian said, “Non-profits that receive our taxes dollars need to show us that they are providing a return on our investment.  No return.  No future funding.”

Needleman tells ValleyNewsNow, “Those non-profits are the very organizations that help those most in need for our town.  I feel the small amount of money we spend on helping our most vulnerable through these partnerships is important, and this is a significant contrast in how we [he and MacMillian] approach running the town.”

Needleman also noted in his telephone interview that, in his (Needleman’s) opinion, MacMillian has, “A right-wing approach to dealing with every issue.”

For his part, MacMillian was particularly critical that at the Nov. 1 debate at Town Hall, Needleman said, in MacMillian words, “All sorts of nice things about the campaign.  But even then he (Needleman) had in the queue, this latest mailing.