Whether for or against, it seemed a forgone conclusion, the fix was in.
The suddenly retired District 29 state senator Don Williams, the Senate Pro Tem, a professional 22 year part-time politician would be anointed the next president of QVCC. Oddly enough, it did not happen. On Friday, the Board of Regents did not select Don to be president of QVCC.
Certainly most citizens, and possibly most of all Don Williams are surprised.
For those citizens that favored Don’s anointment, those on the QVCC advisory and selection committee, they see it as payback for the favors Don personally afforded them as their state politician. For them, Don’s lack of Professional and Educational qualifications or experience does not matter. I believe they believed that by controlling the process, by ensuring little if any public disclosure they could sweep Don into the office within a week before anyone knew. The fix was in. Don would be their next college president.
Unbelievably for Don and his acolytes, their plan didn’t work. These citizens are sadly surprised by Friday’s announcement.
A few citizens did find out. Op Eds and Letters to Editors were written revealing the blatant political patronage to include 34 year QVCC board member Rev. David L. Cannon of Preston who argued it violated our state Constitution, General Statutes and was a clear conflict of interest. Some citizens did, with one day notice, attend the one hour of public comment offered and did voice concerns for Don’s lack of credentials. Many citizens did offer their opinion that night via the online survey, did email the BOR point of contact, and did make phone calls to oppose Don’s appointment in the days after Don’s interview on 15 May. The BOR’s heard loudly the public’s opinion on this matter.
For many citizens, they rightly pointed out that Don, as a professional part-time legislator had absolutely no credentials to be president of anything, least of all our local community college. They challenged the BOR not to make such a blatant politically motivated appointment. The students and faculty of QVCC and Connecticut citizens deserve better. For these citizens, the fix was in, political cronyism would occur. These citizens were happily, and most unbelievably surprised Friday.
Most stunned and surprised, probably Don.
After all, in February, Don unexpectedly and voluntarily retired from being the most powerful politician in the state. Many citizens questioned and speculated why? Is it possible he’d step down from being the most powerful politician without a guarantee of a cushy state or other job to land at? This seemed unlikely and illogical.
The rumors were that he’d be appointed by Governor Malloy to be a state judge as thanks to the socialist cause. When Malloy appointed 18 judges in March, Don was not one of them even though there were plenty of political cronies rewarded. Many speculated Malloy stiffed Don because Don backed Malloy’s opponent Ned Lamont in the 2010 Democrat primary.
Then it was learned that Don had applied for the position of President of QVCC, one of 88 applications.
Through political favors he controlled most votes on the QVCC advisory and selection committee and since there would be little public notice or comment, for sure he’d get the state job he desired most. The fix was in. He’d never have to work in the private sector, able to live his entire adult life on the public dole with a $100,000 plus per year retirement to boot. All done in two weeks.
We will never know what happened behind closed doors at the Board of Regents, and why they decided how they did.
Did they truly understand that using the position of public college president as a political tool only diminished their profession and ethical duties? Did the apparent violations of the state Constitution and General Statues matter? Did conflict of interest matter? Hardly seems possible since they’ve done it before as I understand and apparently it is routine with judges.
Maybe they really wanted to anoint Don, but public exposure and discontent from past presidents, faculty members, students, and citizens with calls and emails changed their minds? Did they determine that FOIA requests for meeting minutes and the prospects of a public petition was not in the college’s best interest? Did they believe the BOR did not need even more bad press after promoting an associate CCSU professor to full professor even as he sat in jail? Who knows?
Maybe Don overplayed his hand, not realizing both Malloy and the BOR would reject his presence, not understanding that without the power of a gavel, he is nothing but another citizen looking for a job, no longer able to dish out favors to anyone, no longer part of the political elite.
For me it matters not. QVCC is our local educational crown jewel and what matters is a blatantly unqualified individual will not be leading our community college. Political cronyism thwarted in the Quiet Corner.
BTW, after carefully reviewing the resumes of each of the three finalists, I believe the BOR’s made the right selection by naming Carlee Drummer. She definitely had the best credentials in my view.
Also, don’t fret for Don, I’m betting he lands a good gig with a Union (he is qualified to steal money from we taxpayers), or maybe at UCONN or as a lobbyist, or in some other cushy state job sooner or later. The corrupt culture of Hartford is all Don knows, it’s his sole credential, and sooner or later he will find a job amongst the dreadful, it’s inevitable.
I am a ctserf
I think its legal — if not wise –to do what he was attempting to since we have seen others doing it, State Senator Cathy Cook took a job (forget what) after she lost to Wyman for Comproller. State Senator Edith Prague took on the role again of the reining Queen Supreme of Aging Services after her latest stroke. I don’t know how much work we get out of her but at least her daughter talked her into letting some kind soul drive her in and home everyday.
So yeah, nothing illegal about hiring Williams but maybe there should be. I know that ordinances in certain towns make elected officials wait 5 to ten years before they will be considered for a job in town. It looks sleazy because it is….