Sorry for the lapse in postings good people, but so many other things took priority.
Thank goodness for social media (Facebook and Twitter), since there has been some great coverage of things happening in Stratford.
We couldn’t let this one get away though a little more than six months in and in this week’s Stratford Star we get two letters, one from the Council Chair, Beth Osborne Daponte, touting the accomplishments she orchestrated (http://www.stratfordstar.com/54709/daponte-council-has-accomplished-plenty-in-six-months/) and the other from the DTC Chair, Stephanie Philips, requesting that the Council Chair, Beth Osborne Daponte, step down as Chair of the Town Council (http://www.stratfordstar.com/54693/philips-calls-for-daponte-to-resign-as-council-chairman/). Only in Stratford my good people, only in Stratford.
Nowhere in Ms. Daponte’s letter did she mention how she managed to offend so many in not only her District, but those of Councilmen Wali Kadeem and Dave Harden (Districts 3 and 4). You know, the “incident” during a recess at a recent Council meeting where she made the comment “F$%* the South End” because Councilman Kadeem wanted to work for things in District 3, a district that has long been neglected by prior Town Councils. Councilman Harden was there for the discussion and not only did HE hear that comment, but so did is young daughter. Not very nice. Her apology on July 11, bogus. Not a true apology at all.
And then, to add gas to the fire, she called Councilman Kadeem’s requests “pork”! However, in reviewing the 2016 LoCIP Guidelines there is an item that allows for use of LoCIP funds for public park improvement (it’s Item H – Public Park Improvement in the statute). Improvements to the long-neglected Juliet Lowe Park is one of the things Councilman Kadeem was requesting. But, in her half-baked “apology” she referred to Councilman Kadeem’s requests as “pork”! Ms. Daponte, it’s not “pork” when there is money for these types of improvements that can be obtained from the State, and money has been put every where else but in the South End! According to the 2016 Certified Municipal Entitlements for 2016, Stratford’s balance as of March 1, 2016 was $656,200.33. I’m sure there’s a little there for the long-neglected South End area of Stratford (unless, of course, Council Chair Daponte has it all spent already). Over the last 10 years, Stratford has received just under $400,000 each year for LoCIP. That’s almost $4 million in 10 years, there was a balance of $656,200.33 as of March 1, 2016.
Another reason for utilization of LoCIP funds is Item U – land acquisition, including for open space, and costs involved in making land available for public uses. Would Council Chair be “poo-poo’ing” on Councilman Kadeem’s requests in order to purchase the controversial piece of land on James Farm Road? Inquiring minds would really like to know the answer to that. Keep your eyes on the prize good people of Stratford. You can follow LoCIP spending on the posted monthly “Project Authorization List” on Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management website (http://www.ct.gov/opm/cwp/view.asp?q=383108). Know where money is going! It’s your tax dollars that come back for spending!
The bottom line is that this Jezebel agrees without hesitation with DTC Chair, Stephanie Philips, request that the Council Chair step down. She is unfit for that position and will without a doubt do more harm than good during her term.
Filed under: #RecallBeth | 9 Comments
Next, on Another World: Stratford Style!
Tonight, for your entertainment pleasure, the “Battle of the Budgets.” The first Town Council meeting since the overinflated budget was approved AND the BOE Meeting where their budget to spend that outrageous $6.8 million given to them is approved. Tonight’s episode will contain answers to the following questions:
- Will Chairwoman Daponte have a change of heart (doubtful, but we could hope)?
- Will the budget lies continue?
- Will council members come to their senses and fight for the people who elected them?
- Will they really make cuts to our EMS services?
- Will the truth set them free?
- Will the BOE budget be rubber stamped without question?
- Will World Language really be eliminated in elementary schools?
- Will the BOE Board finally come to the realization that there are inaccuracies?
- Will Superintendent Robinson’s contract be renewed?
- Should Superintendent Robinson’s contract be renewed?
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 6 Comments
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/
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 7 Comments
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.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | Leave a Comment
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?
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 5 Comments
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?
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 2 Comments
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.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 7 Comments
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?”
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 8 Comments
“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.
Filed under: Stratford Political Theater | 7 Comments