Several people have written to express their opinion that just because I “disagree with” a Police Commission by-law, I don’t have any right to ignore it.                                            

I actually agree with that proposition. What I disagree with is the interpretation Chief Spera and the Republican majority are making of the by-law.                                                                                                   

The by-law says that when a commissioner receives a complaint from a citizen about a “personnel” matter, he or she shall “forward” the complaint to the department for it to process in accordance with the department’s General Orders. Should we infer from this that the commissioner(s) are thereby divested from any further responsibility, such as an ongoing oversight responsibility? The by-law doesn’t say that. There was no discussion at the time the by-law was adopted suggesting that any such constraint on the authority of the Commission was intended. And when a citizen directs his or her complaint to the Commission, instead of to the department, that probably was because he or she wasn’t confident that the department would investigate and assess the complaint in an unbiased manner. That suggests to me that the Commission should be especially mindful of its oversight role.                           

That is why I believe that nothing in the amended by-law should be interpreted as requiring anything other than what the by-law expressly says: citizen complaints shall be forwarded to the department so it can process them. The by-law doesn’t say that a commissioner can’t make notes about the complaint. It doesn’t say that a commissioner can’t make a copy of the complaint. It doesn’t say that a commissioner can’t keep whatever record he or she thinks might assist if the need to exercise oversight arises in the future. And because I know that at least four commissioners have given their copies to Chief Spera, I know that he doesn’t need my or Commissioner Shippee’s copy as well to know what he should be doing.                                                                                                                                                                                    

If the Republicans on the Commission indeed intend that the Commission must wash its hands of any ongoing responsibility once a citizen complaint has been forwarded to the Chief for processing, I invite them to move for, discuss, and openly vote on such a motion. I think it would be a serious mistake, but I’m just one of two Democrats currently on the Commission

Dan Moran


Adam Boyd
Colin Heffernan
Carol Conklin
A. Donald Cooper
Ken Soudan
Neil McCrudden
  • Neil and wife Ethel have lived in Old Saybrook for 20 years
  • Retired Pharmacist – having graduated from Pharmacy School at U.R.I.
  • Served in U.S. Navy during WW II
  • Member of the Elderly Benefit Committee
  • Served on the Estuary Transit Board
  • Past member of the OSDTC
  • Active member of the American Red Cross and American Cancer Society
George Chang


John O'Brien
Alan Spargo
George Wall
Emilio Scamporino
Susan Esty
  • Park and Recreation Commission member for over 6 years
  • Integral to the successful restoration of Parks and Play Fields after Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, including the Saybrook Point Miniature Golf facility
  • Worked on Appointment of the new Director of P&R, after retirement of Vicky Duffy
  • Serves on The Preserve Ad Hoc Committee
  • Strong believer in the value of Old Saybrook’s many natural resources for recreation.