After a contentious debate about ethnicity and minority representation, Felix Rodriguez was appointed by Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary to fill a vacancy on the Board of Education. Rodriquez works at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, and has been a visible leader in the city’s burgeoning Hispanic community. Last night Rodriguez announced at the end of his first Board of Education meeting that he wanted to acknowledge his daughter’s 13th birthday, and that he was missing the party back home. Few residents realize the personal sacrifice that elected officials make in order to serve and volunteer for the betterment of their community. Welcome to the fray, Felix, and here’s hoping there was a slice of birthday cake waiting for you when you got home. Photograph by John Murray