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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A Special Election for the 5th Zoning District seat will take place on May 24. The 5th Zoning District covers Council Districts 9 and 10. Before relinquishing their seats, the former GOP-controlled Town Council chose 10th District council-seat loser Mike Henrick to fill the vacant seat, but that appointment was contested and Mark Juliano, is the chosen Democratic candidate looking boot “Hot Head” Henrick right back where he belongs – out of Stratford politics! Let’s hope he takes “Lacertilian” Lou right out with him. I’m sure there are good people in the GOP and if they were smart, they would kick these boys and a few others to the curb. They are really ruining any good left in the GOP reputation.
So, if the disgusting mailer the GOP sent out before the November election (you know, the one where good people were nastily portrayed) wasn’t enough, the name of the “Committee” for Mike Henrick’s zoning seat campaign just shows that not much changes in the GOP. They will continue to be who they are until the GOOD people of Stratford run them out of Stratford Politics and out of Town! It continues to be a disgusting portrayal of who they are and how they view everyone else but those in their circle. This picture has been circulating around on FB thanks to Councilman Mark Dumas.
So, we pledge our support to Mark Juliano and hope the good voters of the 9th and 10th Districts will do the same. Mark worked tirelessly for the people of Stratford in order to help get the right information out about the WPCA sale. He was a newcomer, just looking to get involved for a good cause, and he is worthy of your vote. If there are any “crazies” to be “crushed” it’s those boys in the GOP!
SUPPORT MARK JULIANO ON TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2016.
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Here we go, the gavel drops again. Rumors are circulating that the latest thing that our “esteemed” Chairmanwoman, Beth DaPonte, wants to do is suck money out of Stratford’s EMS, to the tune of about $100,000 to $200,000. Of course, salaries aren’t affected because EMS is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, at zero pay, and per diem (daily) Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, whose pay ranges is about $19-$23/hour with no overtime or bennies. So, where will that money come out of? Operations, of course, which means less money for ambulances, medical equipment and supplies.
Madam Chairwoman, wouldn’t it be better to institute furlough days or a moratorium on raises for say a non-union Town Employee or School Administrator?
What say you Madam Chairwoman?
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Thanks to the Town Council for the stopping negotiations with Stratford Stage Group. Where do we go from here? A majority, this Jezebel included, want to see the Theater up and running. We hope the new Town Council will forge ahead.
We know how hard it is to find new people to run for office, serve on commissions or committees, etc. It’s not because people don’t submit applications and resumes. People submit, but rarely get appointed, nominated, elected, or even a wave. The regulars just move from seat to seat with hand-picking to further agendas. People looking to do good, left behind. An appointment Monday caused quite a stir on social media (Facebook): the appointment of members to the Short Beach Commission. It shouldn’t be controversial, having volunteers is great, right? Not so much for current member Karen Daden who took sharp dagger aimed at new commission member, Pat Sperling. Pat was appointed but Ms. Daden doesn’t think Pat has the skills necessary.
As for Ms. Daden’s negative comments, many members have been placed without skills for the commission or committee on which they were placed (yes, placed). A clear example is a member of many commissions: Richard Fredette. He ran a towing business in Town (and if walls could talk) and somehow was placed on these commissions: Arts, Historic District , Board of Zoning Appeals, Charter Revision, Recycling, and probably others. Let’s take another recent hand-picked appointment: Neil Sherman. He wallowed around for months after the election where he lost to Mark Dumas until he was hand-picked by John Harkins, following a meeting at Stanziale’s with John Harkins, Karen Kaiser (and we hear Mr. Fredette). Why? Rumor has it that they wanted him. Why? Well, let’s keep a close eye on the EDC. We have no doubt it has something to do with TOD and it’s going to be a blast and very telling.
All in all, we think Pat Sperling will be just fine, she is resourceful and smart. Oh, well, as the saying goes, THIS IS STRATFORD! What more can we expect? So much better than soap operas, that’s for sure.
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It’s been just about five months since Election Day 2015 and Stratford’s voters spoke loud and clear when they voted that November day. They voted for change. Well, we did get change, but not the change the voters expected. The new Town Council, as a whole, not individually, seems to have already forgotten how to play nice in the sandbox. There is a special meeting tonight, Thursday, March 31, 2016 and already the agenda has been modified a couple times and, who knows, it could change yet again. What we really need to tell this Town Council – as a whole – is to please stop crapping in our sandbox! We’ve had more than enough crap needing to be unearthed by the Councils of Stratford Past. Now, you the new Town Council all, together, have an opportunity to do something mind-blowing – WORK TOGETHER! You all need to check your egos and party affiliations at the door, play nice and stop crapping in our sandbox!
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We have a brand-spanking new Town Council (okay, not quite so new any more) and any hope for their ability to work in a bi-partisan manner for the betterment of the Stratford people vaporized about the time they were sworn in. I won’t say all, but, it appears very divisive. A heavy-handed, highly-opinionated, head-strong Council Chair seeks to continue the “divide and conquer” and “my way or the highway” approach of the past. What will THIS Town Council do to benefit the taxpayers of Stratford? If divisiveness continues – absolutely zip, nada, zero, is what we can expect. We still have backroom deals that appointed the Chair and Chair Pro Temp (both vying for the Mayor’s seat one of these days). Backroom deals that puts people back on commissions, committees and boards (e.g., the recent push-through of Neil Sherman on the Economic Development Commission) and let’s not forget the rubber-stamping of the Board of Education budget right through to the Mayor, who just stamped it right through to the Town Council. Makes one wonder what kind of deal is on the table for the Board of Education to get all that money. We know how much the mayor wants the Sutton Place property for his Transit-Oriented Development, so, could that be the “gold earring” to giving the BOE every penny they’ve asked for? So, absolutely, we still have the deals for the budgets for both the Town and Board of Education. Seemingly, no one wants to work together to get Stratford on a better path to cut fat, cut back on all those extra items (like take-home vehicles). No one wants to tackle the real problems – years and years of tax and spend. Well guys – WE AIN’T GOT NO MORE MONEY! The over-inflated Board of Education budget. While we all agree that money SHOULD go to our children, it rarely does. It does, however, end up in the pockets of the administration (not the little guys with Collective Bargaining Agreements, but the other, non-union ones on East Broadway). Same for the Town Hall budget, let’s cut the pork fat people. Sink your teeth into it and cut it open, you’ll see all that fat.
And, if all this doesn’t make things bad enough, we still have the other “great divide.” What is that you ask? Well, it’s the never-ending saga between the north end of Town and the south. Who are the characters this time? A group of north end parents of Chapel Hill Elementary School. Angered because a field trip got scaled back, they took to social media to blame the “demographics” and “all those bussed in children” from other areas of Stratford. What other areas you ask? Why, the south end, of course. Stop bussing your kids up to our schools. They are poorly behaved and troublemakers. Our kids are angels (yeah, right). And who, pray tell, is on the Board of Education living up there in them hills? Why, it’s Jim Feehan. At a recent BOE meeting, he replied to a speaker about where he grew up, yadda, yadda, yadda. But, the reality is, he’s forgotten his roots. As soon as he took to living deep in the woods of Stratford, he didn’t look back. God forbid! Should the Chapel kids have their trip? Absolutely. But what some parents did was to put their “true colors” out their with the mention of demographics, bussing, and those other kids. Not very nice and it’s poor examples they are teaching their own children. Tolerance, acceptance are words that don’t seem to exist in their vocabularies. It is still a very sad world we live in, I guess.
Solution: let’s just put the entire North End up for sale, maybe Shelton will buy it! Buh-bye!
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Stratford still hasn’t bounced back with any sort of significance since the 2008 economic downturn. Property values for much of Stratford have not bounced back much at all. The Harkins’ administration does not really appear to have vision for Stratford’s future other than a bunch of condos, apartment buildings with probably a few self-storage facilities thrown in wherever they will fit (kind of like those condos across from DeLuca field). What reality is John Harkins really living in?
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Since the original Jezebel hung up her hat, Stratford has been running rampant with fodder for this blog and that is why this Jezebel is impassioned to continue her legacy. Here are just some of the political antics that have occurred of late:
- February 19th – DTC Chairman Len Petruccelli steps down and endorses Dick Brown to take his place, but at the March 7th DTC meeting, former Councilwoman Stephanie Phillips was nominated and took the reigns as the new chair of the DTC. Congratulations Stephanie!
- March 8th – Stratford’s BOE is asking for $107.9 MILLION. That number is $8 MILLION more than they were given last year. It was “rubber stamped” by BOE Chair Jim Feehan and sent over to Mayor Harkins who is supporting it as well, albeit slightly short of the $8 MILLION. Do we really think all this money will go to our children? We will need more a lot more accounting and oversight at the BOE to ensure that happens!
- March 15th – Stratford High School renovations are approved by the Town Council. The Council approved an ordinance that increased the appropriation of the project to $125.9 million and voted to amend a previous ordinance that would allow for the issuance of $65 million in bonds to pay for the Stratford’s portion of the project.
- Big surprise to everyone – Beaver Dam has beavers! Who knew? And, the Roosevelt Forrest Commission apparently with much pressure from the Town voted to trap and kill these animals in a very inhumane way. If anyone attended last night’s public forum and witnessed the trap demonstration you would agree too. Much research indicates though that the beavers will only return, so trapping and killing them will be an ongoing venture and therefore a continued waste of taxpayer dollars. Maybe some of those traps can be loaned out to Town Hall as they have a serious rodent infestation that needs to be dealt with as well.
- Before departing her council seat Stephanie Phillips outlined the perfect plan to balance the budget and close the $5mm plus hole with no cuts in services. But now the new Town Council seems to be bickering over how to balance it and make things right. Are promises to the people going to be upheld? Or will our taxes increase again?
Oh and all those take-home vehicles are still being taken home! Fiscal responsibility? No not really….
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Wishing the original Jezebel all the best, however we just can’t let this blog go. Stratford still has way too much happening especially after last night’s council theatrics. There’s a new Jezebel in town so stay tuned!
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