And so it begins. Congressional mid-term elections are coming and there is no way that we will be able to avoid the absolute crap that will come out of candidates mouths and press releases. Like most avalanches it starts small:
“The U.S. federal government has “way, way, way too much debt,” Brown told The Stratford Star in an interview Jan. 31.” http://www.stratfordstar.com/17137/bunnell-coach-aims-to-take-on-delauro-and-national-debt/
James E. Brown has declared that he is “standing up” to Rosa DeLauro (D, 3rd District) to challenge her for the right to represent us in the House of Representatives. Like most GOP candidates, Mr. Brown believes that repealing or not passing legislation is effective government. But, like most Republicans, he is shocked at the amount of the national debt the Republicans created. (Remember the massive tax cuts for the wealthy and conducting two wars? We won’t even mention the deregulation of the financial industry.)
“He believes that overspending in Congress and the national debt result in part because there are no term limits in Congress.”
Which would only take a Constitutional Amendment to change. That would require 38 State Legislatures to approve. So, moving on….
But Mr. Brown is an educator so maybe his position on education is relevant?
“Discussion about education at the federal level is not about education in the classroom, he said. It is about money and measuring rates of so-called success.”
There are no Federal teachers or principals. Not even a superintendent. There are about 14,000 separate and independent School Districts in the U.S. The federal government provides limited funding to each. From time to time the Federal Government sets criteria to receive this funding. If you do not like the criteria the choice is always to stop accepting the funds.
“All need the basics to sixth grade or so, but does Stratford need the same education as Alaska, Idaho and Texas?”
We must admit that we have no idea what this means. We certainly hope Mr. Brown means that Stratford students receive at least as much education as students in Alaska, Idaho and Texas. And we certainly hope he does not mean we should stop educating Stratford students after grade 6.
Sadly, these are the milder issues Mr. Brown puts forward. The rest of his agenda is much more radical and extreme. http://jamesbrownforcongress.org/James_Brown_For_Congress/The_Issues.html
We were kind of hoping for some actual discussion rather than the boulders that roll down Bullshit Mountain.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 4 Comments
“Chief of Staff Marc Dillon said…We are always looking at any ways to get revenue except from taxpayers.” http://www.stratfordstar.com/16572/town-explores-offseting-water-plant-cost/
Here’s a thought, Marc. Why not stop transferring $1.4 million from the Water Pollution Control Authority to the General Fund? That kinda makes the “fee” a tax wherein users subsidize everyone else. And, oh by the way, isn’t this the same mayor and Chief of Staff that raised the sewer use “fees” 37%?
But wait, there’s more!
“According to Dillon, the purpose of any possible new arrangement with the WPC facility would be to offset the town’s expenses related to the recently upgraded water treatment facility…”
Recent? Can we get a definition of “recent” please? Wasn’t that a mayor or so ago?
But if we act now we can also get a whole new entity that we cannot control at all!
“One would be leasing the facility to a private entity that would operate it.”
Sometimes what comes out of Town Hall is the same thing that goes into the WPCA.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 18 Comments
Tags: Marc Dillon
“…we believe that in these economic times it will be very difficult to raise the funds in the short term to pursue ACG’s vision of a multi-purpose theatre facility. At the present time there is little, if any, interest in pursuing the theatre renovation…” and “…A new theatre, no matter how large or small, cannot exist without a donor base to make it financially viable…” http://www.stratfordstar.com/15982/shakespeare-theatre-task-force-says-no-to-major-renovation-yes-to-continuing-outdoors/
It is quite clear that the highly taxed residents of Stratford have little or no interest in spending any more of their hard earned income on this theater. In fact, that has been the case since this theater opened. It is time that we admit that Andy Hardy is not going to put on a show that will save the day. Promises of marginally increased traffic and perhaps a few extra dollars of pizza and sandwich sales are not going to be enough to convince any voter that their tax bill should go up even more than it inevitably does.
Unless some private entity comes along with a very large check and an actual account with sufficient funds to cover it, let’s all agree to let the ghosts of past performances rest in peace.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 18 Comments
Tags: Matt Catalano
We are now officially a one party town. The Democratic Town Committee was run out of Town on Election Day. With the lone exception of Stephanie Phillips, third district (or is it second dictrict?) councilperson who ran unopposed, not a single Democrat was elected to an office. Even Ms. Phillips might have lost if the RTC could have found a candidate.
It is hard to imagine a clearer message from voters than Tuesday’s results. Stratford voters want none of what the DTC has to offer. It is not as if the Republican Town Committee has a better plan or message either because clearly they have none. Neither the RTC Chairman Lou Decilio nor Mayor Harkins has ever offered any commitment to anything. “Civility” doesn’t count. When you run a civil government you are supposed to be…well…civil.
The problem therefore is not that the RTC has programs and plans that voters prefer. The problem is the Democratic Town Committee itself. The DTC at this point (having already landed at the bottom of the cliff) must start over from scratch. That should begin with new leadership. Sometimes voters have long memories. The DTC simply cannot have the same old Miron cronies running the DTC. It is ridiculous to assume that voters do not understand that the current DTC Chairman was the Town Attorney for Miron and is simply waiting for another chance at the $1.8 million (it was $2.3 million during his tenure) Town Attorney budget.
The Democratic Town Committee lacks any credibility at all. The RTC knows this, businesses know this and, most importantly, voters know this. So our message to the DTC leadership if they haven’t gotten it already is to collect all the losing lawn signs, write your letters of resignations and step away from the political process. Do it now before anyone else gets hurt.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 41 Comments
“The mayor said the site will eventually see a “mixed-use” development…the property will gradually become transformed into an attractive and “vibrant” part of town with a greenway, hotel, apartments, retail outlets and other amenities.”
Whoa! Hold on there, Buckaroo!
Hotel? Apartments? If you read any one of a number of EPA or consultants’ studies you already know that no one recommends spending more than a few hours on this property. As far as “residential” the only word used in that regard was “never”. There is a reason the U.S. Government has restricted access to this property.
So let’s take a breath here. Yes, it is a good thing that this liability is off the Federal Government’s books. But “vibrant” will probably not happen for many, many years. In fact, by the time “greenway, hotel, apartments, retail outlets and other amenities” happen, no one will remember who was mayor when the GSA sold the property.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 5 Comments
We have nothing. The candidates have given us nothing to decide. We can’t even go with the usual Democrat or Republican method since neither candidate does anything that resembles Democratic or Republican philosophies. Whether one has a “D” or “R” after their name is irrelevant.
Oh, I suppose we can look at Harkins performance. I am sure his supporters would rather we didn’t. There really isn’t much to look at except for higher taxes and fees for four consecutive years. And those totally unnecessary lawsuits that will cost us a huge amount of tax money. But a plan for the next four years? Nothing there.
An even bigger disappointment is the Democratic candidate, Joe Paul. Challengers never have a record to run on (or away from). They have to rely on their vision and plan for the future. Except for finding “efficiencies” we have nothing from Mr. Paul either.
Perhaps the latest campaign strategy is to commit to nothing for fear of losing votes. The trouble with that is that committing to nothing doesn’t gain you many votes either.
Therefore our recommendation is that if you have a quarter left after paying your taxes, flip it just before you go into the voting booth.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 17 Comments
Attorney manages town’s legal costs
By Greg Reilly on October 24, 2013
Stratford Town Attorney* FY 2013-2014 $1,537,000
City of Milford Law department FY 2013-2014 $527,457
Town of Fairfield Legal Department FY 2013-2014 $620,000
Can we send our legal cases to Fairfield or Milford?
*Not counting the extra $300,000 in legal costs buried in the HR Department’s budget.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 11 Comments
It sounds simple doesn’t it? The truth is that it is that simple. Your vote indicates your endorsement or rejection of the status quo and your belief in a plan for the future. That’s why we have elections. On November 5th, which is less than a month from now, we get to see how a majority (OK, fine, a plurality.) of us have decided. What is important is that we don’t become distracted by events that are irrelevant to the decision we have to make. And make no mistake, there are plenty of distractions.
Because it is a “local” election, many Stratford voters will yawn and find something else to do on November 5th. But that is exactly how we got stuck with a “strong” mayor and an impotent Council.
The vote on November 5th will determine what your mortgage and rent payments will be for the next four years. That’s pretty important. The prevalent belief is that Harkins will win in a walk. Why? Mostly because he didn’t try to blow up Town Hall like Miron did. But we are entitled to better than that. Most importantly we are entitled to hear a plan. To be fair, we have not heard a plan from any candidate to date. Rude audiences and lot’s of lawn signs do not constitute a plan.
To the candidates: Don’t bother telling us what you claim to have done. What voters want to know is what you will do. If you can’t tell us that, you do not deserve our vote.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 27 Comments
“The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, could shut down. The program provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for pregnant women, mothers and their children…senior nutrition grants, which provides meals for 2.5 million elderly Americans, would not be funded in the event of a shutdown.”
Sadly, this is only the first in a series of self-made crises that are about to occur.
There is still the Debt Limit “debate” and the expiration of whatever short term continuing resolution Congress comes up with. Both of these are basic operational government issues. Neither have anything at all to do with policy or ideology. To be clear, both of these issues are Congress’s acceptance of what it has already authorized. No new spending bills are up for any sort of discussion.
So why are we here? Well, there is the Hastert Rule (the Speaker of the House will not put any bill on the floor without the certainty of a majority of votes from his own party), Senate filibusters that require no actual filibuster and, of course, the inability of Tea Party officials to accept anything from Barack Obama even if they agree with it. We should also remember that these very same Tea Party members also do not accept Social Security, Medicare, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Roe v. Wade, climate change or evolution. Should we be surprised that they think shutting the government down and starving babies and senior citizens is a good idea?
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 66 Comments
As lawn signs begin to proliferate throughout Stratford we are beginning to wonder who this Forsale person is that seems to be running for something. Right now there are more lawn signs for Forsale than for either Harkins or Paul. Is Forsale an Independent candidate?
Wait. What? It’s not “Forsale”? Oh. It’s what? For Sale? Well that is not good at all, is it?
To find a solution to this, we took a look at the candidates websites to see what they have to say about this. Surely anyone running for mayor has taken the time to develop a plan to deal with the heavy tax burden and decreasing services in Stratford.
And what did we find you ask? The same thing you will find. Nothing.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 18 Comments