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Letter: Cafero represented the best of Norwalk

To the Editor

Rep. Larry Cafero is a true Norwalk original – our only elected official in recent decades broadly viewed throughout the community and beyond as real “gubernatorial material.” By those on both sides of the aisle and in between.

No other local legislator has devoted such time and energies in enlightening local debate with such thoughtful Op Eds by the dozens on his favorite topic – responsible state fiscal finance. And no other local legislator has so closely and positively been involved in city politics serving as a powerful mentor. He’s affable to both friend and opponent alike, always willing to debate the issues without claiming he’s always right. Courteous to a degree not often seen anymore. And assists others in need. In short, a politician’s “politician” in the very best sense of the term. He’s an old school role model. A superb MC. And, a pretty good attorney.

There’s a certain sadness to Larry’s hanging up the gloves after 20 years commuting to Hartford, about what might have been. Had the Democrats never emerged with an iron fist majority in Hartford – in part in response to the previous excesses of Governors Weicker and Rowland – the state GOP might just have been strong enough to rally behind such a talented legislator as Larry without requiring a personal fortune with which to initiate a campaign. Like many other residents, many of us waited patiently in the corner for the opportunity to “move heaven and earth” to help our “hometown guy” with the nomination. Not because he was a Republican, but because he was the best of us. And, this is coming from a Democrat.

Rep. Cafero leaves big shoes. Without hesitation he’s been our premier “locally elected official” of recent decades, one who worked hard to make a positive difference, sometimes working his heart out, and a first-rate gentlemen. Hopefully he’ll continue to mentor in Norwalk and be a lasting inspiration.

Having kept close watch on the local political scene now for better than three decades, it is fair to stay that Larry has long been our dominant political figure admired by an astonishing broad set of residents of all local political persuasions. And we shouldn’t forget his long-ago service as BOE member and chair when BOE seats were amongst the most hotly contested anywhere.

In a nutshell, Rep. Cafero has been a first-rate “public servant” in the truest sense of the term. That big grin, charm, wit and keen intellect, commitment and devotion to serving the public without “getting in the front of the camera” will always be remembered. He was “Norwalk” at its very best. He sets a truly high standard for all those willing to volunteer for “public service.” Never one to take himself too seriously. Never one ever considered pompous or looking for “glory.”

He’ll be missed.

Peter I Berman

 

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