Changing the Debate

Election Year Tax Policy

Election Year Tax Policy

Connecticut’s Poverty-Rate Increase Led U.S. States Last Year

By Carlos Torres and Pat Wechsler

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — Connecticut led increases in poverty among eight U.S. states where rates rose in 2008, the first full year of the recession, a government report showed.
The proportion of Connecticut residents living in poverty rose by 1.4 percentage points to 9.3 percent, the Census Bureau said in a report released today in Washington….

…Connecticut’s Losses

Connecticut lost 30,900 jobs in 2008, the most since 1991, according to Labor Department data. So far this year, Connecticut payrolls have dropped by an additional 43,600 workers. …

…Demographic Changes

Latinos accounted for most of the growth in Connecticut’s population since 2000, he said.
“There are really two Connecticuts — the mostly white affluent community made up of commuters and the mostly minority pockets of poverty in urban areas like New Haven or Hartford,” Mather said in an interview. “When the first, richer community becomes poorer, the demand for certain services goes down and causes a rise in unemployment in the pockets of poverty,” he said.

The poverty rate nationally climbed to 13.2 percent, the highest level in 11 years, from 12.5 percent in 2007, and the number of people classified as poor jumped by 2.6 million to 39.8 million, according to a Census Bureau report released earlier this month.

The poverty threshold for the U.S. in 2008 was defined as $22,025 in income for a family of four.

In addition to this bad news, as of Thursday
* The price of a single bottle of water rises a nickel
* The price of a carton of cigarettes rises $10
* The cost of motor vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses and other fees will also rise
* Another 6,000 employed workers will exhaust their benefits in October (18,000 so far)

The Stratford school system has seen a significant rise in enrollment due to a variety of factors, not the least of which are parents who can no longer afford parochial schools.

We have to stop partisan politics in this Town. We can no longer afford multi-million dollar attorney fees, termination of qualified and talented personnel, taking days off to play golf or go to the Big E and squandering tax dollars on useless projects.

The single biggest expense Stratford residents must pay are their mortgages. And what effects your monthly payment the most? Property taxes set by the Mayor and the Council.

The election in November is more than just showing Miron the door. It is the election of an entirely new Council, Board of Education and mayor. We need to know how these candidates will help us.

The debate starts tonight at 7 pm at St. Josephs Church.

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27 Responses to “Changing the Debate”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    A reminder for the debate:

    $450,000 for the mayor’s new office
    $450,000 for new granite curbs
    $667,000 for Berchem Moses and Devlin
    Nothing for the schools.

    Stratford council head angry over school maintenance
    By Noelle Frampton
    Updated: 09/29/2009 10:23:22 AM EDT

    STRATFORD — The Town Council chairman ripped the mayor and the public works director last night when neither showed up for a special meeting to address undone school projects.

    Michael Henrick, R-10, said he’s fed up with Public Works Director Maurice McCarthy’s repeated failures to appear at Building Needs Committee meetings, following what he said have been more than five months of specific requests for his presence.

    “We’re at our wits’ end here,” Henrick said. “How do we get these issues resolved? Some of these issues are significant.”

    But Mayor James Miron, contacted this morning by telephone, said that the council “is well aware — and has been for years — that not enough emphasis is being placed on maintenance.”

    Among the items on a long list of school maintenance and repair projects, plus capital improvements, are safety and nuisance concerns such as windows that slam shut, tripping hazards, toilets that don’t flush, heating and ventilation issues, and water leaks.

    Some projects, Henrick said, have been on a to-do list compiled by school district administrators for more than 1,000 days.

    He said Miron, a Democrat, was asked to provide a plan for addressing the projects three months ago and, ” ‘I’ll get back to you,’ has been the response.”

    After getting nowhere in committee, the matter went to the full council in hopes of resolution, but will have to be postponed once again, Henrick said.

    Also on the special meeting agenda was the problem at two elementary schools, Nichols and Eli Whitney, that each have a broken boiler and only one functional boiler.

    Council members were hoping for more information after they were “surprised” to learn of the non-functioning boilers a week earlier, Henrick said.

    Oct. 15 is the state deadline to turn on heat in schools.

    This isn’t the first time the issue of school boilers has arisen in town. Months after the problem-plagued Bunnell High School boilers were replaced in the summer of 2007, Miron declared an emergency at Stratford High School that November because its aging boilers were on the verge of failing and, as a result, the town spent roughly $300,000 to replace them and keep the system functioning. The council had approved that funding in June 2007.

    That was just a temporary job that kept the heat on, however. It did not repair an air ventilation system that has become completely stagnant nor fix a heating system that needs to be replaced before the coming winter, a contractor told the council in April.

    Councilman Alvin O’Neal, D-2, agreed last night that the school to-do list has been hanging a long time, but defended Miron and McCarthy by pointing out that they may have known about the meetings, but may not have realize their attendance was needed.

    “If you didn’t specifically request their presence here, then I think it’s unfair for you to expect them to be here,” he said.

    Henrick responded that McCarthy had been specifically invited numerous times and Miron, too, has been asked to attend, but neither has.

    Henrick asserted the lack of response signals the equivalent of nose-thumbing to the council.

    “It’s their way of just saying they are the king and they can do whatever they want,” he said.

    Responding to the comments made at the council meeting, Miron said the “Town Council is the authority in charge of taking of things, as well as making sure that there are enough personnel to do the job.”

    He said that his office “makes do with what we can” and noted that the DPW has a staff of 12 men in the skilled trades to take care of all of the many issues that crop up with the town’s public properties.

    “We’ve been saying for years — and town managers have been saying for decades before me — that there just isn’t enough money allocated for maintenance,” the mayor said.

  2. 2 1george1



    However a blog string about POOR PEOPLE…..

    You may get kicked outta the NORTH END REPUBLICAN CLIQUE

    —– other issue

    Wasn’t it convenient for Miron and Burturla to not be around
    when Kubic proposed using money from the WPA to hire
    JACKSON, KELLY, & BISHOP to investigate AVCO situation.

    Of course Miron / Burturla do not work with Henrich / Kelly
    / Florek / Norm according to the bloggers.

    2008 – 2009
    Berchem, Moses, Devlin $ 649,278 + Burturla $ 8,100
    Jackson, Kelly, Bishop $ 154,022
    Florek & O’Neill $ 44,887

    It sure appears Burturla / Miron hate Kelly + Florek by
    giving the $ 200,000 in a year …….


    Total 2008 – 2009 $ 1,118,273 about 10 law firms

    Hey Jeze, how much was Miron’s funding for VETS & SENIORS?

  3. 3 jezebel282



    I think it is an effect of having a conscience

  4. From what I have been told Miron absolutely does not want the DPW guys doing any maintenance work – from HVAC, plumbing, carpentry – and minor things that the custodians would need to put a work order in for. It just is not being allowed!

  5. 5 jezebel282


    PW is busy watering the flowers in Stratford Center and Town Hall. They are not even allowed to drive the lawnmowers across the street to Stratford High School to mow the grass. Perhaps you may have noticed that Mayor Moron does not play well with Irene Cornish? Revenge is always top priority.

  6. I also noticed that nothing gets done at Shakespeare but for the summer productions. About a week or so before – everything gets mowed/cut down. Other than that, it grows to a point it looks like a jungle! PW is only doing what they’re told to do and I’ve heard from a few guys that they’re not allowed to do ANY work in the schools. The custodians have to do it all themselves. Very hard too to do these things during the school day!

  7. 7 jezebel282


    What’s a couple of boilers as far as Miron is concerned? So what if elementary school kids freeze? It’s not like they vote you know.

  8. 8 sudds

    OMG… Harkins actually spoke???

    Was he insanely vague to the point where no one really knew what he stands for??? 😆

  9. Sudds ~ am I to understand you’re not in the Harkins’ corner. Could you be going for George, Dom or maybe even Jim? ;>D

  10. 10 jezebel282


    “Was he insanely vague to the point where no one really knew what he stands for???”

    Actually, he didn’t do badly. Everything was clear and concise. Kinda refreshing really.

    But wait! There’s more!

    “In addition to strengthening the Financial Advisory Committee’s authority, Harkins proposed the following measures to reduce waste and reduce town spending:

    * Reform Town Attorney and legal advisor contracts to increase efficiency and reduce costs
    * Require non-union town employees to abide by wage freezes when imposed on union employees
    * Work to reduce overtime in all town departments
    * Reduce the usage of town issued vehicles and cell phones
    * Require Council approval for all expenditures not included in approved budgets”

    Sudds, I’m still watching Harkins’ website for cushy no show jobs.

  11. 11 sudds

    As of now fairly certain that we’re @#$%ed no matter what… so I probably won’t even bother wasting my time voting!!!

    Let’s review…

    Miron: Bad, bad & more bad (although he DID get a tree planted in front of my house)

    Costello: I’m sure not certain if I am voting for him orthat thing on his head

    Mulligan: may just be a bit too whacked-out for me

    Harkins: seems like a nice guy, but his stance on the issues… I HAVE NO FREAKIN CLUE!!!

  12. 12 sudds

    “Sudds, I’m still watching Harkins’ website for cushy no show jobs.”

    Oh yeah… I forgot that too!!! 😀

  13. 13 jezebel282


    “Harkins: seems like a nice guy, but his stance on the issues… I HAVE NO FREAKIN CLUE!!!”

    Here a thought… could ask him.

    He really does answer emails.

    Or, since you are a wealthy Republican, they would probably let you in at the fund raiser:

    “On Oct. 15, come meet Gov. M. Jodi Rell! She’ll be in Stratford to support John with a fundraiser. It will be held at the Historic Perry House from 6 to 8 p.m. Click here for more details.”

    Or, you can stick with your plan of waiting for him to come to your house and listen to every single problem you have.

  14. 14 sudds

    Wealthy Republican???

    Don’t you mean Married (I was unaware of the required “shoe budget” when I got married) Independent???

    PS… I’m not waiting for him to come to my door… I would just like him to put a little more effort in than attending his own fundraisers is all!!!

    “I’m not Miron” doesn’t earn my vote any more than Obama’s “I’m not Bush” campaign did!!!

  15. 15 jezebel282


    “Don’t you mean Married (I was unaware of the required “shoe budget” when I got married)”

    Holy smokes, Batman! You’re a DINK? (Double Income No Kids). You are RICH!

    Can you say “Car insurance for a 16 year old” or “Tuition”? Actually forget that. Do you have any idea how much diapers cost? Or braces?

    I strongly suggest the email option if don’t want to hang out with Jodi.

  16. 16 1george1

    Let’s review…

    Miron: Bad, bad & more bad
    (although he DID get a tree planted in front of my house)

    Can you smoke it?
    Costello: I’m sure not certain if I am voting for him or that
    thing on his head

    WEDNESDAY Dom criticized me for putting a slashed tire
    around my neck
    – to gain attention that it ENDANGERED PEOPLES’ LIVES
    and got the PENSION ISSUE finally covered.
    – Sudds just does not appreciate unique fashion trend setters.
    Mulligan: may just be a bit too whacked-out for me.

    Maybe? Maybe? Maybe?
    Do I have hope?
    ut oh?
    I must be REALLLLLY whacked out, if I am too much for our
    beloved Sudds ….

    Harkins: seems like a nice guy, but his stance on the issues

    Lob alert.

  17. 17 jezebel282


    Jobless Report Is Worse Than Expected; Rate Rises to 9.8%

    Published: October 2, 2009

    The American economy lost 263,000 jobs in September — far more than expected — and the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, the government reported on Friday, dimming prospects of any meaningful job growth by the end of the year…More than 15 million people in the United States are now unemployed, and more are working part-time jobs for less pay, or have given up looking for work altogether.

    So what?

    As more and more people lose their benefits (about 6,000 every month in CT) and jobs there will be more and more foreclosures in Stratford. This reduces the Grand List value. It is simply inevitable. Ask any real estate agent who has been in the market more than a month.

    The next budget produced by a newly elected mayor and council will not be able to sustain the budget at current levels. Seniors won’t be getting their COLA’s and homeowners cannot absorb a tax increase. The only candidate who seemed to be aware of this at the last debate was John Harkins.

  18. 18 1george1

    If you go back to your post and my post of June – Sept 2008,
    you will see you are now recognizing what I was writing about
    back then.

    Nice to see you moving to concerns about everyday americans
    and not just police and fire.

    I am against abuses, regardless who does it.
    What some people did hures REAL UNION and REAL ISSUES.
    Always look at the issues they do not want us concentrating on!

  19. 19 jezebel282


    All politics are local. While most ignore “puny” Town elections, nothing effects their mortgage payments more.

    In these sad times, the economy and joblessness are coming to everyone’s doorstep. We just can’t ignore local elections and hope for the best.

  20. 20 jezebel282


    More disappointment from Lieberman:

    New York Times
    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Lieberman Opposes Finance Committee Bill
    By Bernie Becker

    Lost in the hullabaloo on Tuesday, what with a Republican on the Senate Finance Committee voting for the panel’s health care legislation, was the news that Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, came out against the bill….

    ….Mr. Lieberman opposes a government-run insurance plan, but there was reason to believe he would support the legislation passed by the Finance Committee, which did not contain a so-called public option.

    Yet again (how many times does this make?), Lieberman abandons Connecticut voters and supports his “own” agenda. We wonder how strong Lieberman’s opposition to a Public Option would be if we didn’t pay his health insurance premiums for him?

  21. 21 1george1


    Don’t faint, but # 19 + 20 are too true,
    from my near sighted view! 😉

    Remember Jeze about 15 months ago how optimistic
    you were about lower Oil prices and other economics.
    Back then, despite being an ex-Democrat all you posted
    about were police, fire, and fired Management.

    Welcome to the Bush-Cheney-Rockefeller-Congress belong in hell club.

  22. 22 jezebel282


    I am still a Democrat. I’m only taking a break on November 3rd.

  23. 23 1george1

    Hey Jeze,

    Splain to me how anyone can be a Democrat?

    Google Iraq oil.
    Google June 30 2008 Iraq award to 6 US big oil co to develop
    the Iraq oil fields where they are like the Saudi field were,
    with oil / gas near the surface.
    They ALREADY have in PLACE:
    – PORTS to ship
    – PIPELINES to link into to easily FLOW OIL + GAS
    > > East – West – North – South
    – PAVED ROADS & RAIL LINES to link into
    – 22,000 Working Oil Rigs
    – Fields of Holding Tanks and room for more
    – well over $ 100 billion in cash reserves, while we pay

    Splain to me how anyone can be a Democrat when the democrats
    and bush pushed oil to $ 100 a barrel higher than 1982 highest price
    $ 45 and keep it nearly 350% higher than the “accepted $ 16-22 barrel,
    bankrupting the american fixed income, low income and mid income,
    as well as businesses.

    Meanwhile money flows into wind fall taxes and historicall high
    campain contributions

  24. 24 jezebel282


    Google Social Security, The SEC, Food Stamps, Head Start, Medicare, MedicAid, Section 8, Title IX, The Voting Rights Act, any gay marriage law, the Americans with Disabilities Act…..all Democratic programs.

    The Republicans gave us….



  25. 25 1george1

    I respect FDR Democrats and tolerate Truman’s.

    I love Lincoln and I like Ike, with Nixon proving him correct.

    Didn’t most of those litsted above, happen before and with Nixon?
    If you look at what was actually accomplished during Nixon years,
    despite those that infiltrated and ran “black ops” ….

    But those have gone on since the country’s inception.

    What have the parties done for us lately?

  26. 26 jezebel282


    “What have the parties done for us lately?”

    If we can find some Democratic or “Independent” senators with guts, we can say universal affordable healthcare for all.

  27. 27 jezebel282

    State lost 6,600 jobs in September; jobless rate up to 8.4%

    The state lost 6,600 nonfarm jobs in September and had 76,300 fewer people working last month than it did in September 2008, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday.

    Nonfarm employment was 1,622,600, down from 1,629,600 jobs in August, the report said.

    On a seasonally adjusted basis, nonfarm employment was down 4 percent from September 2008, when the figure was 1,698,900 jobs.

    In addition, the state’s unemployment rate increased in September to 8.4 percent compared with 8.1 percent in July and 6 percent in September 2008. Despite the increase of 2.4 percentage points compared with September of last year, the state’s jobless rate is still 1.4 percentage points below the national rate of 9.8 percent.

    The last time the state’s unemployment rate was as high as 8.4 percent was December 1976, said Labor Statistics Supervisor Salvatore DiPillo.

    The only “silver lining” in this report is that CT workers who had exhausted their benefits will now qualify for an additional 7 weeks of compensation now that the State has averaged 8% unemployment for three months. If the Senate gets off their butts and passes another extension, they may even have food on the table for Christmas.

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