The Town Attorney (from the firm of Berchem Moses & Devlin) has decided they want a “declaratory judgment” concerning the ability of the citizens to circulate in District 1 a Recall Petition. This is the second time an attorney has tried to stifle the rights of Stratford citizens.
A “declaratory judgment” is when a party petitions the court for a legal determination on an issue for which there are uncertainties. I wonder if the associate doing the research is confused by his findings, so he can’t really, honestly say that the people don’t have the right to recall.
On the Town Attorney side of the coin, the opinion is that Stratford’s recall provision were invalidated when Stratford changed its form of government. They believe that because the old charter was replaced by a new charter, which invalidated those provisions. If they were invalidated, why would they continue to be in the Charter document? To tease the voters with something they could never do?
Flip the coin over and floating around social media (Facebook) and the WWW is information that may indicate something quite different. There is information that because the recall provisions in Stratford were enacted by a Special Act and not Home Rule laws, they did not become invalid.
Also, someone posted a link to an ACLU project “Recall the Rogues” that on first glance seems to stomp out what the TA would like us to believe. But, in keeping with the status quo, the Town Attorneys love spending our hard earned money and refuses to believe anything but what they want it to be. We give them MILLIONS annually. They are another group that tries to rule with intimidation. But wait, don’t we have rights?
For the Stratford Star article: http://www.stratfordstar.com/52396/town-attorney-wants-court-ruling-on-recall-effort/
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Last night, Councilwoman Mitzi Antezzo, Chair of the WPCA Commission, stood up to the beast. Much disrespect was tossed Mitzi’s way, but she stood her ground and well, chalk one up or the taxpayers! Our sewer use fees will be decreasing to $396, from $450! Kudos and thank you for serving the taxpayers and residents of the Town of Stratford. Mitzi IS what is right about Stratford. Maybe she should knock Beth off the big chair and step into it.
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So, another rumor floating around is that there is an Osprey Nest behind the Fire Station on Main Street. The Fire Chief parks his Town-provided vehicle directly under the utility pole where the Osprey are nesting. Interesting fact is that the Osprey pairs have returned to this same site year after year adding to their nest. They lay their eggs in April and the incubation period is about a month long. The first flight of young osprey takes place about sixty days after hatching. So, right now, they would still be in the nest, and would remain there for about two months. So, that would put them into July or August.
Well, what I have heard is that because the Osprey were dropping nesting materials on to the vehicle, a contractor was hired (the taxpayers paid about $4,000) to remove the nest. The nest was rebuilt by the Osprey.
I wonder if the powers that be who hired the contractor know that disturbing the Ospreys is prohibited under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and the Connecticut General Statutes Section 26-92.
Curious question: Why didn’t the Fire Chief just park his car elsewhere?
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On Monday, May 9, our wonderful [cough, cough, choke] Town Council, headed by the amazing [cough, choke, cough] Council Chair Beth Daponte approved the 2016-17 budget, with an historic amount of money given to the Board of Education. While NOT what the Board had asked for, it was an never-seen-before amount which we can never go back from, by statute. Rumor has it someone made a calculation error [deep sigh, would that be the COO?] and said that they didn’t need the entire $7.4 million, so I think they were approved for somewhere in the $6.5-$6.8 million range.
So, we ask, why were 21 CIAs laid off YESTERDAY? These are people who seem to be the lowest on the totem pole of East Broadway. They are sometimes one-on-one with special needs children who need to have that care when in school. If ANYONE sees anything in the minutes or hears anything that the IVORY TOWER will be getting raises, than this is just plain wrong.
Are you all as confused as I am by this occurrence at the BOE?
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We are living in a world where Donald Trump could actually become POTUS. If that doesn’t tell you something about how people are seriously disgusted with politicians from Washington, D.C. right down through Anytown, U.S.A. Who are the people jumping fast onto the Trump bandwagon? It’s the middle-class! Everyday people who are absolutely disgusted with living paycheck-to-paycheck. Everyday people watching their life savings depleted by the outrageous cost of living. Everyday people doing everything they can to stick to a budget and cutting out necessities like medicines and food. So many bypassing having families because they just aren’t affordable. A search of Realtor.com and Zillow indicates almost 500 homes up for sale (including foreclosure sales) in Stratford and there are approximately 211 in pre-foreclosure. What do those numbers tell you?
We had an election in November. We got what we wanted – change. Right from the start it didn’t appear that change was good. Nastiness from the Council Chair right out of the gate. Now, she went back on her pre-election word and really stuck it to the taxpayers of Stratford. So, let’s give it a month and revisit this issue. By then, how many homes will be willingly put up for sale (although not entirely willingly, but forced due to the budget vote)? By then, how many more homes will be in pre-foreclosure? Right now, it’s over 700 homes in total. Our local government is severely fractured.
Yesterday, Joe Gresko resigned as Councilman of the 5th District. Working two “positions” – that of councilman and State Representative, having won for an interim period Terry Backer’s seat following his death, he is going to pursue that seat for a full term in the November election. In all honesty, I have nothing against Mr. Gresko, but his timing is questionable. Immediately following the budget vote? How much more planned could that have been? We might have been represented better had he chosen to resign after winning as State Representative and allowing a special election to occur. We might have had someone that wasn’t following the purse strings of the Chairwoman of the Town Council, but hey, that’s just my opinion.
We seem to be living in a world where it’s acceptable to be corrupt and lie to get places – much like cheating in school and on tests. Much like cheating to get into and through college. It happens every day, but it’s not right. The more we tolerate these activities, the more they will happen. So, it’s time to rise up and eliminate the cheating, lying and corruption.
When will we get the kind of change needed to get Stratford, Connecticut and basically the United States back on track to something better? Lord knows the middle class deserves it. So, this Jezebel fully supports a recall of Council Chairwoman Beth Daponte. It appears she is “fractured” as well and besides not even knowing Robert’s Rules, she doesn’t seem to care. Again, the first step on this venture of recall was sidestepped and the Town Clerk, again, chose to seek the advise of the Town Attorney. Another “game play” by the power players of Stratford politics. Of course, the Town Attorney will opine how they see fit to fulfill their dreams. But, for some of this Town Council, it will be a one-and-done, if they don’t either resign or get recalled first. It’s up to us to put the pressure on our Councilpersons make things right. According to Robert’s Rules, it can be done. There are provisions for reconsideration. If Beth Daponte wants to stay true to her word that got her elected, she just might want to go back and do that or save us the trouble and resign. Councilmen Young and Harden may just want to go through the budget and do what is right as well. If not, and they don’t have the time to dedicate, resignations just might be in order.
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In the Connecticut Post article today, Council Chair, Beth Daponte, stated: “I realize that a lot of people are unhappy about a tax increase, but their anger is quite misplaced,” … “The mill rate for the 2015-16 fiscal year was set based on income from the sewer system sale that never materialized.” Ms. Daponte, OF COURSE, the mill rate was based on income put in the budget THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! We were under the impression, in that budget season, that what was added (you know, that $4.5 million that didn’t exist) was going to be realized by the sale of ‘Town-owned” properties. That is what “KK” (you know, Karen Kaiser) said in a June 14, 2014 article in the Stratford Star (http://www.stratfordstar.com/23252/town-pushes-to-clean-up-and-sell-brownfields/).
Since being elected as District 1 Councilwoman, and since becoming Chair (which, we might add, happened through more backroom dealings), she has done nothing for her District 1 constituents and nothing whatsoever for Stratford, in its entirety. Mark Dumas AND Stephanie Philips both put out ideas to the Council, Ms. Dapote completely disregarded them. As a matter of fact, she fights Mark Dumas on pretty much EVERYTHING he says or puts forth. Has there been anything in the last 6 months she’s agreed on with him? Many have tried to give her a chance, but honestly, she is a train wreck on the Town Council!
Let us not forget the October 9, 2015 Stratford Start letter where Ms. Daponte stated: “I outlined the top five town issues that District 1 residents have identified of concern — 1) high property taxes, 2) WPCA, 3) Mismanagement and corruption; 4) Lack of leisure activities; and 5) Environment. This week, I provide the approach I would take to address the first issue.” Her idea was a “results-based budget approach.” Well, the results-based budget approach she has taken just might get her recalled (yes, it could happen). She participated in inflating Stratford’s government even further AND taking part in continued corruption with that over-inflation!
Not EVERYTHING in their proposals had to happen, that’s what negotiation is all about. John Harkins, didn’t like some of the cuts, but only mentioned the ones that probably wouldn’t have been approved ($53,000 cut to the VNA or Sterling House Food Bank). But what the Mayor really hated was the thought of cutting his “fat staff,” you know people like the CAO, positions in Economic Development and Human Resources, and others. What about a roll-back on raises?
Stratford Town Hall is beyond top-heavy. The Mayor has an entourage and his entourage has an entourage. Where does it end? Cuts should have and could have been made to his top heavy administration, some serious shredding needs to be done to the amount Stratford spends on lawyers, etc. What else did we pay for? Of course we paid for the Mayor defending his sale of the WPCA in court, we paid
We thank Mitzi Antezzo for her honest statement in the Connecticut Post article where she said the budget workshops had little value added to the budget process and quoting from that article: “All we did was to meet with department heads,” she said. “Are they going to tell you where to make cuts to their departments?”
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“Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem”! Translated, “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.” A quote from Thomas Jefferson, to James Madison, in 1787. Also in that quote, Thomas Jefferson said that “societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable.” Of the three, the one seems most fair and just is a government “wherein the will of every one has a just influence.” Right now, we don’t have that at all, we have what Thomas Jefferson called a “government of force.” It’s a government of “wolves over sheep.”
- Did we not vote for the new council members to be a voice for us?
- Did we not believe they would not take advantage of their position and forget the people of Stratford?
With both of those answers being “YES” I ask the good people of Stratford, what are we to do? The only thing we can do: let’s make history again.
Mayor Harkins and some of his followers felt one sting of the people when the WPCA sale was voted down. I think it’s time he and the other five members of the Town Council who gave Stratford taxpayers and residents another screwing, feel a mighty big sting now.
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November, just six months ago. How fast some new members of the Town Council forgot their promises and really gave the taxpayers a screwing, and again, no KY!
Last year, we had a backroom deal made by four Republican members of the BOE Board. They made a deal with the Mayor to compromise on the BOE budget. This time around, we got screwed by the Council Chair, Beth Daponte. At times, she appears completely confused, shaking her head like she’s waiting for an answer from up above. Ms. Daponte, you lied to your constituents! Along with you Councilmen Vincent Chase, Allan Llewelyn, Phil Young and Dave Harden.
So many people stood up for Vincent Chase with the attempts to take his Colonial Square property for the Mayor’s “baby” – TOD. He slapped his constituents in the face last night.
Beth Daponte promised a “results-based budgeting approach” and indicated that “a results-based budgeting approach will decrease opportunities for political patronage to bloat the budget.” So much for that! We’re going to have to deal with so much more “bloat” over the next year and I wonder how many more “for sale” signs will be popping up over the next few weeks! I won’t even say months, because I really think people are fed up. Heck, Donald Trump just might be our next POTUS, I’d say “fed up” goes far beyond Stratford.
Allan Llewelyn, his game is all about Stratford High School. He’s in this for something, what oh what could it be?
Phil Young and Dave Harden are political newbies and just following orders. I’m surprised with Dave Harden though. District 4 has so many people who need help. I’d say they were slapped in the face too.
Recall talk is all a buzz around Town today. Could Stratford taxpayers make history again? All within a year?
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So, not much more time before our new Town Council votes on the 2016-17 budget, which includes an unprecedented, never seen before, almost $8 million increase to the Board of Education Budget. If they don’t get what they want, Superintendent Janet Robinson and COO, Clarence Zachery, have stated that it will be painful. What they mean is that rather than cut from the top (you know, from 1000 East Broadway), and forego non-union raises (something that doesn’t seem to have ever happened over the last 10 years), they will cut teachers which in turn will increase class sizes, and hurt our children’s education. So, they again will target the children and make the parents squeal.
We think, as taxpayers, we have the power to do something. Whether or not we have children, we all could squeal loud enough to the Board Members of the Board of Education and make sure they start cutting the pork fat. We have heard lots of ideas and “water cooler” talk about where to start on 1000 East Broadway. So, let’s hear it. Where would you cut the fat? We’ve reviewed the BOE budget over and over and honestly, things don’t seem “kosher.” Odd how Jim and Johnny could just bounce it right to the Town Council.
A few things to remember. Whatever the Town Council does approve for the BOE, they have absolutely no say in how the money gets spent. The BOE Board needs to force 1000 East Broadway to “tighten the purse strings.” Next year, it won’t be $107 million they are asking for, it WILL be more, it’s always more. Where does the overspending stop? Yes, our children need the money, but there is never a guarantee that it will go to our children.
We are tired of all that extra pork fat in both the Town and BOE budgets, aren’t you? Let’s start giving the Town Council and BOE Board ideas. It’s our Town too.
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