New Beginnings and New Chances

18Sep09
Happy 5770

Happy 5770

Tonight (at sunset) marks the beginning of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. It literally means “head of the year”.

Also, this weekend we have been given the opportunity to think about the coming year for Stratford. It is time to reflect on those choices that are best for us and our neighbors. For four years we have lived in a Town filled with backroom deals, favoritism, incompetence, neglect, persecutions and the squandering of our resources.

The question becomes how we take control of our town and go back to concentrating on our jobs and families with at least a small degree of confidence that our elected officials are doing what they are supposed to do.

Citizens and voters must now be aware as never before that the one thing that effects mortgage payments the most are local property taxes. In the midst of a depression, a small rise in property tax will push many over the cliff.

In the coming weeks you will hear much about how Republicans vote or Democrats vote. That particular discussion is irrelevant and designed to distract you. Both sides have lost touch with what actual Republicans or Democrats do. It is essentially meaningless in Stratford.

What you should listen to are the positions and plans of your candidates. Don’t be swayed by the personal politics of destruction that has plagued Stratford for decades. But most important is that you VOTE.

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9 Responses to “New Beginnings and New Chances”

  1. 1 1george1

    Happy Rosh Hashanah

    Jeze & I agree on many of the problems. …. ūüė¶
    However …………

  2. 2 1george1

    Monday on topix – something sweet – something bitter:

    One of the topix posters suggested that the
    people without head stones should go to get
    pieces of granite from the West Broad Street
    Green, which the Town Council voted $ 402,000
    all of a sudden?

    Another blog (Jezebel) posted the Town Council
    chairman and Republican dominated Town Council
    got the money for the Granite this year and the
    money for the Mayoral Town Hall Office came from
    wasted LoCip Funding?

    Town Council Chairman asked the Mayor at recent Town Council Meeting if the Mayor saw Mrs. Cicerale’s comments at Public Forumm?
    * I confirmed with a Town Councilor.

    Raises some questions:
    Who has over site on LoCip?
    Did the funding for the Granite go to BID?
    Was the Granite bought from the same company
    who was to sell Tombstones?
    Was the Granite OVER PRICED and help pay off
    or pay down OVERDUE existing INVOICES?

    Was the Contract work given to a Republican
    construction company (see elected officials
    & employers) while the Granite contract given
    to a Democrat’s supplier (or a swap involved?)
    Why GRANITE?

    If the Mayor can see and hear Town Council
    Public Forum speakers live and uneditted,
    why can it not be live and uneditted on
    channel # 79, along with Webcast and tape
    to Channel # 12 and to Dishnetwork?

    Is there LAW against personal use or abuse
    of LoCip?
    Who investigates?
    Local Police?
    State Police?
    FBI?
    GAO?
    How does Jeze & friends get invoices?

    Mrs. Cicerale and Justin’s situation have
    really given certain peoples credibility a
    deserved black eye.

  3. 3 1george1

    something sweet – something bitter:

    Rep Harkins was on the 1995 Town Council
    which voted to give Balloon payments of
    the last 2 years O.T. to Town Workers.

    The average Pension obligation was about
    $ 3 million from 1990 to 1995.

    Due to Pension Bonding, pension computation
    was changed and the Pension obligation is now
    $ 17.414 million a year to 593 retirees on a
    Defined Benefit Plan.
    The also pay 13 % premium of over $ 16,000
    a year health benefit plan (about $ 2,000)
    or costing taxpayers over $ 14,000 annually
    per retiree or about $ 8.36 million.

    $ 17.414 + $ 8.36 = $ 25.774 million/growing

    Collected taxes are 78 % of the $ 175 million
    Town Budget

    The $ 25.7 million for Pension and Healthcare
    to 593 people on Defined Benefit Plan are over
    18.5 % of each resident’s 2010 TAXES.

    Had Mr. Harkins and friends Voted for a Defined
    Contribution plan, the Pension would be in a
    generous and viable $ 25,000 range instead of
    over 60 people with pensions over $ 60,000.

    With the Fire Department still elidgeble for
    the Defined Benefit program, there are over
    400 more people elidgeible at higher pensions.

    The pension is about 33 – 40 % fully funded.

    Since 2002 the oblication to repay $ 9.12
    million for 17 remaining years was transferred
    to the Public and so far an added $ 34 million
    to so far $ 101 million interest / principle
    repaid bond is $ 135 million extra cost to the
    Taxpayers.

    I projected the cost to taxpayers of about
    1000 people on the Defined Benefit Pension
    (not Contribution) Plan will exceed:
    Pensions: $ 1.2 Billion
    Health Benefits $ 3.3 Billion

    Please read book “How to smell a Rat”
    (the five signs of financial fraud)
    Ken Fisher

    Tom Angelo of the Town Council Financial
    Advisory Commission projects the Pension port
    folio could be bankrupt in 3 to 5 years as the
    portfolio expenses exceed R O I.

    Russ Hayden did a requested review of the
    Health Benefit Plans, looking for ways to
    save cost to Tax Payers, while providing
    Health Benefit coverage.

    They can be available by F. O. I. – presented
    to the Town Council months ago.

    Who has been Town Attorney since 1996 with
    access to Pensions’ information / oversight?

    Whose Law Firm has been paid over $ 5,000,000
    since 1996 and perhaps over $ 12,000,000?

    From Smell a RAT:

    1 – ADVISER has CUSTODY of ASSETS.
    2 – PROGRAM is TOO GOOD to be TRUE.
    3 – INVESTMENT STRATEGY is not TRANSPARENT
    4 – CONMAN INVESTER promotes EXCLUSIVITY
    5 – YOU TRUST INTERMEDIARY – not do your
    own due diligence.

    A PYRAMID SCAM pays the people first in.
    The people expecting future payment lose.

    BEAR MARKETS do not cause PYRAMID SCAMS.
    BEAR MARKETS expose PYRAMID SCAMS

    (any financial advisor will reject a “Defined
    Benefit Plan” as a PYRAMID SCAM, and advise
    for a Defined Contribution Pension Plan or 401)

  4. 4 phineast

    George, If the mayor can see and hear public forum speakers live and unedited without being in the room-it is called wire tapping. It is illegal. If the mayor is engaging in it there is a real problem.

  5. 5 jezebel282

    Phin,

    Mayor Moron has been doing it since he took office 4 years ago.

  6. 6 1george1

    Phin,
    Maybe those people on the top of the front page of the CT. POST
    may be interested in your position about wire tap / watching live
    uneditted Public Forum comments, which I advocared for years,
    for the Public Transparency, over the internet, # 12, + # 79, + dish.

    I do not “only give lip service” to transparency, I state and write examples
    of how and why it can and should be done.

    I have been stating and writing the PENSION is a PYRAMID SCAM and it
    looks like BRIBERY?

    I project $ 1.2 Billion to 1000 defined benefit pensioners and over
    $ 3 billion to health insurance to Town & Education workers & retirees
    over a 60 year window. I ran the numbers, from Finance and projections
    from them, Town Council FAC:
    Tom Angelo’s portfolio projections
    Russ Hayden work on Health Benefits

    I look to protect good pay / benefits / pensions, which are abused
    and unsustainable, where ignorant people are set up – too good to
    be true – just like BERNIE MADOFF.

    Des anyone

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Debate Schedule:

    Stratford candidate forums slated
    By Richard Weizel
    STAFF WRITER
    Updated: 09/27/2009 05:04:34 PM EDT

    STRATFORD — A four-way contest for the town’s top job will be decided by voters Nov. 3, and this week’s kick-off of more than a half-dozen debates and forums gives the public a chance to see the mayoral contenders square off.

    On Tuesday, Stratford Protect Your Environment will host a forum expected to focus on one of Stratford’s most controversial issues — the impact of likely runway improvements and possible expansion at Sikorsky Memorial Airport.

    The event, starting at 7 p.m. in St. Joseph National Polish Catholic Church, will include Democratic Mayor James R. Miron, Republican candidate Rep. John Harkins, R-Stratford, and independent candidates Domenic Costello and George Mulligan.

    Town Council candidates from District 1, Democrat Susan Collier and Republican Christian Barnaby, have also been invited to take part in the forum.

    “We believe there are numerous critical issues pertaining to the environment that are coming to a head at a crucial time for the future of our town,” said PYE President Marcia Stewart, who is also a member of the town’s Conservation Commission. “Voters deserve to know where each of the mayoral candidates stand on issues impacting the environment.”

    Stewart said the future of Sikorsky Memorial Airport — and where the candidates stand on an imminent court settlement that would allow for a runway safety zone and possible airport expansion — is the key issue that will be discussed Tuesday. The airport is owned by
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    the city of Bridgeport, but located in Stratford, and the town and city have been at odds for years over runway improvements.

    However, Stewart said the future of Long Beach West and the Environmental Protection Agency’s planned remediation of toxic Raymark waste in town are important issues the candidates also will be asked to address, among other environmental topics.

    “This is an opportunity for the candidates to tell the voters of Stratford where they stand on these important environmental issues that face the town and will go a long way in ultimately shaping what kind of town this will be in the years to come,” Stewart said.

    Another forum has been scheduled by the Arts Commission for 7 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall’s Council Chambers. Among the topics to be discussed include the future of the long-shuttered Shakespeare Theater, which had is last performance in 1989.

    Other election-season debates and forums include:

    Stratford Chamber of Commerce, League of Women’s Voters and Stratford Rotary Club co-sponsoring a mayoral forum and candidate roundtable at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Stratford High School.

    Oronoque Study Group of the Bridgeport Area League of Women’s Voters and Oronoque Men’s Club will sponsor a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in the North Community Building, 600 North Trail, Oronoque Village.

  8. 8 1george1

    Mr. Weizel missed the C.A.R.E – 4 night event for all candidates:
    Oct 7, 8, 14, + 15.

  9. 9 jezebel282

    Update:

    These Brightwood Ave people are really starting to get on my nerves.

    Right, Sudds?

    Historic status sought for reborn Stratford park
    By Richard Weizel
    STAFF WRITER
    Updated: 10/15/2009 04:07:21 PM EDT

    STRATFORD — When Joe and Donna Sylvia moved into their Brightwood Avenue home 27 years ago they loved walking across the street to Longbrook Park, fishing and strolling along the trails during summer and ice-skating on the frozen ponds in winter.

    “It was a magical place, pretty and serene in the summer and like a winter wonderland during the holidays in December and January,” Donna Sylvia said.

    But for more than a decade the 34-acre park, transformed from a swamp in the 1930s as part of a Depression-era program by the Works Progress Administration, had deteriorated into a swamp again, neighbors complained.

    The park had been hit with teenage vandalism, littered debris, cracked steps and statues, polluted waters from algae growth and infamous Canada goose droppings that made a walk through the park a far from pleasant experience.

    Now, six years after the Longbrook Park Commission was established to renovate and oversee the park, a $350,000 summer revitalization project has been completed and the panel wants to have the park placed on the state Register of Historic Places.


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