I'd like to occasionally spotlight a few interesting local political matters in Litchfield County, starting today with recent news out of Torrington. The 22-year-old Mayor there was elected last year after former Mayor Owen Quinn (distant relation) suffered from a series of minor scandals (including a DWI and losing his temper with a war veteran firefighter within earshot of a reporter). The Waterbury Republican-American reported today that Mayor Ryan Bingham is causing a small shake-up in city hall, as he fired long-time city attorney Albert G. Vasko.
"It was kind of surprising," Vasko said of being approached by the mayor. "I enjoyed serving the city of Torrington. (Parker)"
Mr. Vasko was a Torrington native and held the post for 16 years. That means Mr. Bingham was in elementary school when Vasko first took the job. Its noteworthy that the new Mayor isn't afraid to make changes to a bureaucracy that has been around far longer than his professional career.
The mayor also announced he has picked Ernestine Y. Weaver of East Hartford to replace Vasko. Weaver has been working as the director of development for the New Britain-based Central Connecticut Association for Retarded Citizens. Bingham's mother, Rep. Anne Ruwet, R-Torrington, is the CCARC executive director. (Parker)
His choice of replacement is interesting. It will only increase the questions raised about the nepotism and favortism in Torrington politics. This replacement would seem to indicate that Mayor Bingham isn't going to be held back by his lack of experience; on the other hand, it could indicate that he is going to allow himself to be controlled by his more well-heeled parents. An unusual situation, to be sure.
Parker, Chris. "Torrington's city attorney ousted by mayor" Waterbury Republican-American 18 April, 2006.