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Felix Grucci

August 12, 2005 @ 12:00 am EDT


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Members and friends,
Last Friday our speaker was former congressman Felix Grucci. I asked Mr. Grucci to comment on his take on things. I thought that because he is not in elected office, he would give some opinions that were not biased by the need to be reelected. Felix began by reminding us of what he considered successes in the course of his public service. One of his initiatives was affordable housing and this dates back 30 years while in town government. As I write this on Monday morning I find this particularly interesting. I spent this past weekend in Newport, Rhode Island. In a mansion tour of Alva Vanderbilt’s home, the narrator gave as one of Alva’s causes “affordable housing” for the craftsman and gardeners that serviced the mansions of Newport’s wealthy. Hmmm…, I thought, this problem is going to be with us for a while to come. Mr. Grucci while in local office began a program called “Dress for Success.” This program was designed to instruct underprivileged women on dressing for the workplace. It doesn’t occur to most of us that this is not second nature to some people, and apparently it helped. Another initiative was “Brookhaven Classroom” This program was designed to show school children how government works. (I hope they didn’t show them everything). Mr. Grucci went on to tell us about his part in the tax relief measure brought about by President Bush. He agreed with the president’s tax policy. His rationale being that people are better stewards of their money than the government. Of course I did not take issue with the congressman on that one, because I vaguely recall in my youthful indiscretions, being in a drunkard stupor with my shipmates, and being far more responsible with my money than these folks in Washington are now. Mr. Grucci is a well practiced public speaker and it was fun seeing him again. I liked his presentation. He is confident, at the same time he demonstrated humility. As usual there were numerous questions. Mr., Grucci was his usual gracious self and entertained all of the questions and stayed long after the formal close of the meeting. Thank you Felix and we hope you can come again. This week we will have as our speaker Tim Bishop our current congressman for the district. I’ll have more on that in Tuesday’s announcement.
My best to all,
Ernie Fazio