The following is a message from the First Selectman:
An issue has been raised as to whether the communications consultant, Chris Gidez, hired by the Town, provided any political advice or strategy. In a word, no.
Mr. Gidez was hired to manage the Town’s communication surrounding two very serious issues - the arrests of two senior DPW employees and testing for contaminants at our parks and fields. He was hired because we do not have a communications department and we were facing very serious issues. Providing clear, accurate, objective communication to our residents was crucial.
Mr. Gidez helped with email communications to residents, webpage content and the field scorecard for status update. He wrote FAQ’s and Town updates that included addressing questions being asked on social media as well as those e-mailed to the Town.
As is standard communications practice, Mr. Gidez also helped the Town stay on top of and address misinformation being distributed from a variety of sources on social media and in the press. It is my job to protect the residents of this Town and this misinformation has been scaring families, causing confusion and having a detrimental effect on our residents and our Town. Addressing misinformation is not political advice or strategy.
Throughout this entire process we have kept to our simple guideline, our communications strategy developed with Mr. Gidez – get the facts out as soon as possible and as often as needed to keep our residents accurately informed and safe.