• Tony Turner Shown The Door

    April 27, 2024

    He was shown the door from the Greenwich Central Middle School Building Committee after a vote of "no confidence" passed.

    Screenshot, Town of Greenwich CMS Building Committee Meeting

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    It seems that Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo’s attempts to cozy up to Democrats have botched the largest construction project in the history of the Town. 

    Centinal staff has obtained a video of the Greenwich Central Middle School Building Committee (GCMSBC) zoom meeting from Tuesday, April 23rd (see video below).  At this meeting the GCMSBC Committee took what it called a “vote of no confidence” in the Chair of the Committee, Tony Turner, due to his “lack of candor with the committee body and for withholding legal advice that the committee requested.”  Mr. Turner is also a member of the Selectman’s Energy Management Advisory Committee, and was appointed to both positions by the Selectman.

    GCMSBC member and Selectwoman Lauren Rabin, who made the “no confidence” motion which passed in a 4-2 vote, said that Mr. Turner had failed to pass along information from the town legal department, and that Mr. Turner did not follow the Town Attorney’s advice.  Ms. Rabin also said that in a third instance Mr. Turner misinformed the RTM and others about the feasibility of adding geothermal to the GCMSBC project, resulting in a SOMR (Sense of the Meeting Resolution) from the RTM which relied on Mr. Turner’s misinformation. 

    Ms. Rabin claimed all this created an “environment where one committee appointed by the Selectmen was in public conflict with another committee nominated by the Selectmen.” Ms. Rabin claimed this behavior by Mr. Turner “made it seem the building committee was lying” and led some to believe it is corrupt. 

    BET Chair and GCMSBC member Harry Fisher said that in his discussions with the Town Attorney he learned that Mr. Turner had misrepresented the advice of the Town Attorney to the committee “in at least 2 instances.”  Mr. Fisher also said that the Town Attorney indicated they had “a number of unpleasant conversation with the Chair.”

    All this comes after a long sequence of missteps by the GCMSBC which started with a vote not to explore alternatives with respect to the location and shape of the building.  In multiple editorials, then GCMSBC committee member Michael Spilo complained about the political nature of Mr. Turner and the GCMSBC which he said resulted in poor decisions.  Mr. Spilo also filed a complaint with the state FOI Commission claiming that Mr. Turner repeatedly ignored state law. A final decision on this complaint is expected by June.  BET member Nisha Arora similarly complained about the GCMSBC budgeting process and her complaints resulted in Mr. Turner trying to shut down Ms. Arora for informing the public.

    While parents may wish to push this project forward, voters should be asking whether this project needs a reset or complete reboot, given its $120 million price tag.  And the question for all should be: why Republicans Camillo and Rabin would appoint Mr. Turner to two separate and hugely influential committees given that he is a former Chair of the Democrat Town Committee who was fined $52,000 by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for campaign finance violations?

    Similarly one should ask why Republicans Camillo and Rabin would appoint Ms. Stephanie Cowie to the GCMSBC and other committees after she attacked Republicans and the Republican Town Committee and supported the Democrat BET during the election.

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