Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fishbein leaving Wallingford’s fireworks fundraising committee

As published in the Record Journal, Saturday November 24, 2012

By Russell Blair
Record-Journal staff
(203) 317-2225

WALLINGFORD - Republican Town Councilor Craig Fishbein is stepping down from the Wallingford Fireworks Fund, the non-profit he and Democratic Councilor Jason Zandri founded in 2010 to raise money for the town’s annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration after it was scrapped from the town’s budget.

In an e-mail to Zandri on Sunday, Fishbein said he had grown too busy to continue in his capacity as vice president and secretary of the fund.

“As you are already aware, in the recent past, I have been unable, due to various personal and professional commitments, to be involved in the fundraising as much as I would have liked,” he wrote. “However, I do not believe it to be fair to you that I continue to bask in the spotlight that your hard work and sacrifice continue to create. Accordingly, it is with saddened heart, and much respect that I find that I must tender my resignation.”

Zandri, who is considering a 2013 mayoral run, has been busy too, but said he still wants to head up next year’s fundraising effort. He plans to hold a kickoff meeting in January with fundraising beginning in March.

“I want to continue to maintain this thing,” Zandri said.

This year the fund received about $30,000 in donations, with $15,000 coming from Gale Development Services, which owns the Campus at Greenhill, an office complex at the corner of Route 68 and Leigus Road.

Fishbein said he would assist Zandri in bringing on anew partner and help out with fundraising when he has the time.

“I will, of course, assist in a smooth transition to whomever you allow the good fortune to join with you in this continued quest and, I will also, from time to time, be available to lend my hand(s) to assist in fundraising,” he wrote.

Fishbein joined Zandri soon after he announced the fundraising effort in 2010, when the council didn’t make a motion to add funding for the fireworks show.

“As soon as it started, he called me right away,” Zandri said.

Zandri said he asked Fishbein for a public letter so people wouldn’t speculate on the reasons for his departure, like political differences had come between the two.

“It wasn’t for a lack of desire,” Zandri said. “He’s just been so tight on time he hasn’t been able to do as much as he would have liked.”

Anybody interested in joining the fundraising effort can contact Zandri at The group hopes to collect $35,000 for next year’s fireworks show.

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