Gary Dell'Abate celebrated his birthday and his drawn-out appointment to the Greenwich Parks and Recreations Board on Monday night. "The Howard Stern Show" producer, better known as "Baba Booey," made it onto the board in a 119-64 vote of the Representative Town Meeting.
Dell'Abate, admittedly nervous, spoke to the packed auditorium at Central Middle School. "No matter happens, I feel like it's the movie, 'A Wonderful Life,'" he said. "I feel like I'm sitting in the back of my funeral, but I'm not dead yet!"
He said his nomination was turning into a referendum on the town, which was not what he had intended. "The whole thing about the issue being spoken about on the air the next day, I think some people were just more upset that it was talked about on our show. But it's all good," Dell'Abate said.
More than 15 RTM members, including neighbors and former football players he once coached, signed up to speak about Dell'Abate's appointment. Real estate agent Christine Edwards, the RTM member from District 8, told the crowd, "Fasten your seat belts, you're all on TV. Maybe what we need is a little sense of humor. I would hate to see anyone discouraged from stepping up and giving time to serve as a volunteer."
Dell'Abate, a Riverside resident for more than 16 years and who is married with two teenage sons, was nominated by the selectmen in January for the Parks and Recreation Board. The shock-jock's nomination came under fire after many RTM members raised questions about the content of the radio show. "Howard Stern is a misogynist bully who uses his broadcast as a bully pulpit to disparage and attack those with whom he disagrees with," said Robert Brady, RTM member from District 5.
Coline Jenkins, great-great-granddaughter of suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton and one of Dell'Abate's main critics, was a victim to a prank in February when she found a plastic bag of feces in her mailbox and a letter stating, "Ha Ha!! U Stink!!! Go Howard." Anthony D'Ascoli of District 12 asked the audience for a show of hands if they had seen any inappropriate behavior at parks and beaches regarding Dell'Abate. Jenkins was the only one to raise her hand.
Many of the evening's speakers remarked on Dell'Abate's philanthropy and citizenship. Lorraine Kelly of District 12 said he traveled to Afghanistan a few years ago and entertained the troops.
What is your opinion on his appointment? Do you think Gary Dell'Abate is a good choice to serve on the Parks and Recreation Board? Was the process blown out of proportion? Leave your thoughts below or share them on Facebook !
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