In perhaps the closest watched local election Tuesday, a narrow majority of voters decided there was enough to like about the "good Ed" to keep him in office, despite the occasional problems with the "bad Ed." As a result, Democratic First Selectman Ed Haberek returns for a third term with a 45-vote victory.
Mr. Haberek argued successfully that he has controlled spending and held the line on taxes. He makes aggressive use of social media to keep constituents informed. The first selectman is visible at town events and was responsive to constituent concerns during the natural disasters that befell the region during his tenure.
But Mr. Haberek has made some bad decisions. His sexting affair with a woman has embroiled the town as a co-defendant in a lawsuit filed by the woman. The recent release of his deposition in the case showed he has not been entirely forthcoming with residents about his role. Character concerns cost the incumbent a lot of votes, resulting in only a narrow victory over Republican challenger Glee McAnanly.
The controversy does not go away with the election and will remain a distraction. The Day is looking into allegations of other examples of questionable behavior, resulting in complaints by employees in town. This newspaper will do its job in using open-government laws to access this information. If there are other skeletons in the closet, Mr. Haberek would do well to confront them quickly, rather than working to fight and delay the release of information that is in the public domain. It is not only the right approach legally, but also politically. Mr. Haberek will not face re-election for two years. Rather than let information bleed out over time, better to get it finished with.
If the documents show no problems - or the skeletal reports are unfounded - all the better for the first selectman.
The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.
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