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Greenwich Panel to Get Sensitivity Training

GREENWICH, Conn. – The following letter from First Selectman Peter J. Tesei and Selectmen Drew Marzullo and David N. Theis concerns allegations of inappropriate comments about ethnicity by members of the Selectmen’s Nominations Advisory Committee. The charges were made by committee member Nancy Wolf, who subsequently resigned from the committee.

Questions have been raised and allegations recently made with respect to claims of inappropriate banter regarding the ethnicity and socioeconomic class of potential volunteers being considered by the Selectmen's Nominations Advisory Committee (SNAC).

The committee serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Selectmen, but does not formally nominate candidates for town boards and commissions. The committee identifies residents who have the skill sets requested by the board or commission chairs and the Board of Selectmen and encourages them to submit their nomination forms to the selectmen for consideration.

To begin with, let us emphasize that we have the greatest respect and sense of gratitude for these citizens who volunteer their time in an attempt to locate volunteers to serve on our boards and committees. These are individuals respected as leaders within our community and leaders who we do not believe would engage in the type of activity or the kinds of comments alleged.

Be that as it may, once such an issue is raised, we must address it and see to it that we continually improve our sensitivity to the concerns of others and to any allegation of inappropriate comments. We believe the manner by which we are dealing with this is proper in arranging for the Town Affirmative Action Officer to provide training to the members of SNAC. This type of continuing education is something we continually emphasize. Our officer has done a great job in training and educating our community on a regular basis to be sensitive to others.

What is important for SNAC and for our community is that we always are sensitive to even the slightest suggestion of inappropriate comments. It is for that reason we think additional sensitivity discussion is always important for any organization. We are confident that none of these members harbor any thoughts which would suggest in any way bias or insensitivity to ethnicity or the socioeconomic class of anyone.

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