The possible appointment of Republican activist Alex Carros has created a firestorm that’s become the talk of the political establishment these days. The growing controversy may have even played a role in the vandalism this past weekend of the business run by Carros’ father and uncle, Bristol Instrument Gears. Carros said the place was “severely vandalized” Sunday night with 30 or so windows smashed, including the windshield of a company pickup truck. Carros, who hasn’t worked there in four years, called it “a vicious act of vandalism.”
Sources said today that police are investigating the vandalism and looking into whether it’s connected to the political spat.
The controversy can be seen rather clearly from a few emails that have been bouncing around city circles recently. Here they are:
June 28, 2010 email from city Councilor Kevin McCauley to city councilors:
I know I don¹t have to remind you of 'Concerned Conservative' who inappropriately attacked Terry Parker last Fall, as it was discussed when he last asked to be considered for appointment.
This is a much more serious appointment and I believe Alex Carros is not someone we should consider at this time.
I am critical of Alex for any of the land use boards, as my concerns for the lack of decorum he has shown time and again should preclude him from consideration.
I would consider Alex for some lesser board/commission if he learns how to restrain himself on the blog and in public. It may be tough for him.
Thank you for considering my position.
See you on Tuesday,
July 21 letter from Alex Carros to Mayor Art Ward, city councilors and others:
Dear Mayor Ward:
It has come to my attention that recently my name was put up for appointment for two volunteer city official positions. One was the Historic District and the other was the Planning Commission. I’ve discovered both times my name was brought forward, it was blocked by Council-person Kevin McCauley.
An audacious and maligning statement (via email) to all of the Bristol City Council was sent by Kevin McCauley urging council-members not to allow my name to be brought forward for appointment. In the emailed statement Council-person McCauley referenced anonymous blog comments that he unsubstantially cites as mine, and stated that my “lack of decorum he has shown time and again should preclude him from consideration” and “I would consider Alex for some lesser board/commission if he learns how to restrain himself on the blog and in public. It may be tough for him”. This is obviously twisted logic by Councilperson McCauley. How could he cite my “decorum” and public conduct by anonymous blog comments? Besides being misguided, McCauley’s email remarks to Bristol City Council-people (and the public) are slanderous and hypocritical. The statement from Council-person McCauley via email to the Council is an insulting and defamatory act against me and the entire Carros family. How dare he criticize my decorum and ability to conduct myself correctly in public! McCauley obviously used poor judgment in stating that I, with a graduate and undergraduate degree and with my career in business cannot conduct myself professionally. Not to mention my tenure on the Planning Commission and the numerous other volunteer activities that I have been involved in. In actuality, it would truly surprise me if McCauley actually believed that I can’t or have not conducted myself in a proper manner publicly. It is bad politics (on his part) inhibiting what is best for Bristol.
With this in mind one must wonder if McCauley knows or realizes that I served a full five year term on the Planning Commission already from 1998 to 2003. After finishing my term I asked not to be reappointed because my graduate school classes would have interfered with my duty on Planning. Upon announcing to Mayor Nicastro that I was not seeking reappointment, I received a letter of appreciation voted unanimously by the City Council in 2003.
I am probably one of the best qualified people to serve on the Planning Commission in the entire City of Bristol, but McCauley has blocked voting on me apparently for political reasons. During my term on Planning, besides serving on the Commission that oversees subdivisions, certain site plans, and numerous other tasks associated with land use, the commission in coordination with the city staff developed the current Ten Year Plan of Development. I am well educated and experienced in regards to city land use procedures, ordinances and protocol.
Since I am a fifth generation resident of Bristol and a fourth generation resident on Federal Hill one would think McCauley (the Council Liaison to the Federal Hill Association) would be enthusiastic to my appointment to either the Historic District Commission or the Planning Commission. That would be of course if he was relying on common sense rather than innuendo. Then again of course since McCauley’s only attended approximately one meeting per year of the Federal Hill Association in the last three years, apparently he doesn’t care much for the input of that area of the city anyway.
Obviously Kevin McCauley has no respect for all the accomplishments I have made in my life including my education and my career and this I believe reflects McCauley’s lack of respect for business and higher education all together. If it is so tough for me to restrain myself as he claims, how could I have achieved what I have? It’s a ridiculous statement on his part!
I know Councilman McCauley a bit and have had a conversation or two with him in the past. Never would I have imagined that this person felt this way about me. If McCauley was truly concerned about my name being brought forth by Mayor Ward perhaps he would have done the professional thing and scheduled and interview rather than simply relying on here-say?
Although the blocking of my appointment is a loss for Bristol, it’s certainly Council-person McCauley’s right to make decisions regarding appointments and lobby as he feels fit. But it would have been appropriate if McCauley kept his unjustified statements regarding me to himself. I believe because of what he has said and done, Council-person McCauley should be reprimanded in some way by the City Council. I also believe that the position as liaison to the Federal Hill Association should be given to another Council-person based on McCauley’s lack of respect for one of the Association’s members (me), the bad relationship this action of his has caused with an officer of that organization (my wife) and his poor attendance.
I truly hope that you will agree with my position on this issue. Thank you for your time.
Alexander J. (Alex) Carros
CC: Councilman David Mills, Councilman Kevin Fuller, Councilman Cliff Block, Councilman Kate Matthews, Councilman Kevin McCauley, Councilman Ken Cockayne, Elliot Nelson, Bristol DTC Chairman, Thomas J Barnes Jr., Bristol RTC Chairman, Michele Boyko, Federal Hill Association President
August 6, 2010 email from Mayor Art Ward to city councilors and Carros:
This is to inform everyone that I, along with the Democratic and Republican Town Chairpersons and the President of the Federal Hill Association, have received a communication from Alexander J. Carros regarding an E-mail forwarded to the council members by Council member McCauley regarding any potential appointment of Mr. Carros as a member to any city boards/commissions.
I would strongly recommend, in the best interests of the City of Bristol and both individuals, that a meeting be conducted between Council member McCauley and Mr. Carros to address and resolve these concerns as soon as possible.
If so requested, I would be willing to provide use of the Mayor's office to hold these discussions.
Mayor Art Ward
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