Stratford Stress Test

03Jan10

Examining Miron's Record

Among the many difficult tasks facing John Harkins (or any mayor) is cleaning up the mess left by the previous mayor. Obviously, in Stratford this job is monumental considering that it was Miron.

Nonetheless, one of the first things that require attention is the state of our Emergency Services. Others may argue that the budget is more important or perhaps beginning a forensic audit or even prosecuting Miron. While these are important, they take a back seat to the lives and safety our residents.

Mayor Harkins took a significant step forward with the purchase of two firetrucks. Regardless of the opinion of Miron or his continuing supporters such as Beth DaPonte, no policy is created that applies in every situation. There is nothing particularly holy about a bidding process (Lord knows, especially in Stratford). Common sense dictates that when engines can’t make it out of the driveway it is time to do something.

That done, Mayor Harkins must conduct a thorough review of the management practices of the Police, Fire and EMS services. Our PD has the lowest morale of any department in CT and continues to persecute it’s finest officers while supporting officers who have no business carrying a gun or even driving a patrol car. The solution to this particular problem is relatively simple: John Buturla must go.

In the FD, we have a Chief who has proven he will lie about anything to protect his own position. While this may be perfectly acceptable among politicians and lawyers, it is a threat to our safety when a paid professional does it.

EMS has not effectively recruited volunteers over a long period of time. Maintenance and staffing have been dangerously ignored. The personnel that are there have been persecuted for the most trivial of matters (Vulgarity? Really? Grow a set, willya?).

Solutions to these problems may be difficult to solve in many CT towns. Luckily, that is not the case in Stratford. We are blessed with some of the most highly trained, dedicated and talented professionals in the state. Any one of them would be a fine choice to lead and manage our Emergency Services. (I could mention names but given the pettiness of the current management, that would do more harm than good. You know who you are…and you have our gratitude.)

We could get lucky and we may be able to foist these incompetent “Chiefs” on other communities or Mayor Harkins can either rid us of the incompetence by terminating their employment or reorganizing the command structure. Either way, it is a job that can’t wait.

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41 Responses to “Stratford Stress Test”

  1. 1 phineast

    I agree with you completely. The trick will be 1. to get rid of them legally-with the pd there is already more than enough evidence to replace him, and 2. to replace these guys with chiefs that are totally removed from the political process, that have an integrity level that no one will be able to compromise and the officers and dept members will respect-sounds like a tall order-but it can be done and we should settle for no less.

    Jez- there is a little tiny ad in today’s post soliciting volunteers for EMS classes. You would think that Ms. Best would take advantage of the Town web site with a HUGE posting looking for volunteers—-and it won’t cost her a penny!!! If she has, I have missed it- which means it should be in a better location.

  2. 2 mayor2013

    Mayor Harkins knew perfectly well what he was stepping into and should be prepared to take all necessary steps within 60 days of his assuming his office. If he doesn’t, then he will be disappointing the citizens of Stratford.

    He must terminate the services of the Police and Fire Chief – we’ll see!

  3. 3 phineast

    2013-there are laws that must be followed to the letter in terminating these positions. If Mayor Harkins doesn’t follow the law then he is no better than miron. We already know that he is better that miron. Don’t worry-they will be gone-if they are smart they will leave on their own before they have a termination for malfeasance on their records……

  4. 4 jezebel282

    Mayor2013,

    “Mayor Harkins knew perfectly well what he was stepping into”

    I don’t think anyone knows the full extent of Miron’s time in power….yet.

  5. 5 greghousemd

    “Jez- there is a little tiny ad in today’s post soliciting volunteers for EMS classes. You would think that Ms. Best would take advantage of the Town web site with a HUGE posting looking for volunteers—-and it won’t cost her a penny!!! If she has, I have missed it- which means it should be in a better location.”

    Phineast,

    Did you know that Mrs. Best put an ad in the newspaper for a public Ambulance Driving course in December? (The ad got put in the week of thanksgiving in the Star, i didn’t see it.) The class was ran Dec. 10, and 1 new person put interest in, nothing like giving the public multiple notices, or scheduling it at an accommodating time taking consideration of the holidays. mind you this class it was supposed to be run in August, and is a stepping stone to expose interested people to become members of the service without having to actually take an EMT class, but like everything in this department things take forever.

    That class you read about is run by the volunteers of the Stratford Volunteer EMS Association. The ad was something not done and no under control by Mrs. Best, They are a non-profit organization whose members and the organization itself were one of the “named” parties when Mrs. Best hired a private attorney to investigate her own personnel when they organized a no-confidence vote against her, and she threatened to sue to organization as well as specific members, so “free” advertising is the last thing that she would do for a non-profit organization like that!

  6. 6 greghousemd

    “The class was ran Dec. 10”

    Correction, after confirming the exact day it was Run Dec. 3 and 5. Even better notice!

  7. 7 1george1

    I believe the FIRE TRUCKS could have been bought over the last 10 years.

    If everything is as bad at EMS as this blog claims, it should be welcomed
    by the media who love bashing Stratford. (if it bleeds … it leads!)

    There are people (KICK BACKS) who want to PRIVATIZE:

    1 – EMS

    2 – FIRE

    3 – PW

    A – Garbage

    B – Plowing

    C – Maintenance

    4 – POLICE

    There are people who want to steal CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS,
    the same way they STOLE TOWN CHARTER RIGHTS.

    Stratford politics has been “DISASTER by DESIGN!”

  8. 8 phineast

    Still waiting for names George.

    Greg- I know who runs the classes…I also know who holds up the ads….if the volunteers want fuller classes there are ways that they can achieve that goal without the help or approval of Ms. Best. There are ways to get the word out- believe me I have had to use various tactics to get the word out for various things that I was involved in to get around miron-as miron wanted nothing better than to set you up to fail. You need to out think people like that-which is what we did-we fired him.
    If in fact Ms. Best threatened to sue volunteers for expressing their right of free speech she has created a hostile work environment-and there are laws about what can be done to correct hostile environments-including firing the person that has created it. She has also impeded the volunteers first amendment rights-which could be a huge legal problem for her if those she suppressed decide to pursue it. All I can tell you is document everything in triplicate and remove one set from the premises to prevent from being destroyed. Once you have your file, use it if that is what you want.
    I’m not saying she did or did not do what has been alleged, what I am saying is you need to be able to prove it in court.

  9. 9 jezebel282

    Greg,

    “if the volunteers want fuller classes there are ways that they can achieve ”

    Here would be a good place. I would be happy to post it.

  10. 10 phineast

    I knew you would offer, Jez-see Greg- there are ways and people willing to help-always.

  11. 11 1george1

    People who created and now run
    PLANTAGENET
    MARSHALL PLAN
    TRIALATERAL COMMISSION
    ANCIENT ORDERS

  12. 12 jezebel282

    Greg,

    “see Greg- there are ways and people willing to help-always.”

    You would be shocked to learn how many citizens would help to make Stratford a better place. Many times they just don’t know how or what is needed.

    It would probably also shock you, as well as our police officers and firefighters, how grateful Stratford residents are for your service. If experience is an indication, expressions of gratitude are not passed down the chain to those who have actually earned it.

  13. 13 1george1

    Jeze,

    You and I like Cornish + Ben, but do not like Burturla + Berchem.
    Is that correct?

    Is it true that Burturla + Berchem are the NEW Board of Ed Attorneys?

    Isn’t the Board of Ed elected majority your beloved Republicans who
    are supposed to be anti Mirons / anti Burturlas?

    Maybe PhinEast and Jeze, due have to fear reprisal from the HARKINS
    ADMINISTRATION, and need to keep thier blog names, 4 MORE YEARS?

    Have YOU and people of Stratford been double crossed?

    I doubt you or Phin will answer this one, since it embarasses everything
    that you claim to stand for and seems to confirm what I and Mayor2013
    have posted about having doubts about any real difference?

  14. 14 1george1

    I think the genuine Phyllis would agree about the above post?

    I think Syl, will be very unhappy about Burturla-Berchem still biting
    off pieces of the public pie via the Board of Ed?

    What sayeth Mike Reynolds, Cyclops, Kane, Sudds, PCS, Chris, and
    others, if Burturla-Berchem still have Board of Ed contract?

  15. 15 greghousemd

    Jez,

    Here is the info about the program.

    http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/stratfordstar/community/43943-emt-class-to-start-jan-26.html

    The Stratford Volunteer EMS Association will conduct an EMT Basic course Jan. 26 through June 5, 2010.

    The class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m., and three Saturdays yet to be determined from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Classes will be held at Lordship Volunteer Firehouse No. 3 (Behind Stratford Fire Department Company 3), at the corner of Prospect Drive and Oak Bluff Avenue.

    The cost is $375 for Stratford residents, $450 for non-residents, $250 for full-time students and youths ages 16 to 18, and $100 for active members of Stratford EMS or Explorer Post 491. (This is the Cheapest EMT class in the area)

    Those who pass the class and volunteer 144 hours for Stratford EMS will receive a $100 refund. (from the Stratford Volunteer EMS Association)

    The cost includes the course fee, books and a CPR card.

    Class size is limited to the first 30 paid students.

    Parental consent is required for students under the age of 18.

    To apply or obtain more information e-mail webmaster@svemsassociation.com or call Bunnie McQuilton at 203-378-5333.

  16. 16 gforrester

    Remember it is the EMS Association, a seperate 501 C 3 Corp, that is running the classes. This is not Mrs. Best or the Town of Stratford’s program. As such we are having a difficult time getting the new students ride time on the Stratford Ambulances, even if they sign a waiver, since the previous Town administration seemed more concerned with liability then with providing services.

  17. 17 jezebel282

    Mr. Forrester,

    Just a thought, but $375 is a bit steep for a volunteer (especially in that lovely work environment).

    In order to attract interested volunteers might I suggest something a bit less expensive?

    Perhaps a CPR course with some basic first aid thrown in? You could run it for a minimal charge or for free. While giving the course you could promote the $375 course to those who are interested interested (you get to make them interested while taking the course). People taking the basic course will also tell their friends etc. Your paid enrollment and dedicated volunteer pool would increase at almost no cost. Might even cut down on some calls….

    Maybe you know somebody?

  18. 18 phineast

    George- I don’t have to fear reprisals from John Harkins. You are groping in the dark. There are still moronites that are actively working to undermine the Harkins administration and anyone who helped John win. Until those people are out of the system I will remain by my chosen name. If you don’t like it that is too bad for you.

    If in fact BMD is the NEW boe firm I will be expressing my EXTREME displeasure to the appropriate individuals, as should anyone else who feels that it is a problem. I agree that the town NEEDS to be BMD free for a long time in order to assess and properly audit what has transpired over the last 4 years. I just want an open and above board audit -preferably of the forensic type done to prove that things that were done were not suspect and part of one of your conspiracies. If BMD is in the boe as part of fulfilling an existing contract then we have to wait until the contract is up.
    Still waiting for you to announce who is in charge of your supposed “time table”–my guess is you won’t produce any confirm-able information on that topic that is concise and coherent. Time will tell. That is one question you haven’t answered. You can get 5 generations out in five words-but I’ll give you 10 words since 5 isn’t enough.
    I

  19. 19 phineast

    Jez- the cost of the EMS class is fair. Housatonic offers (or offered) the same course with the same certification and it is more money. Stratford is a bargain, and the certification is the same-which is a certification that can be used elsewhere to get paid…instead of serving the people for free. The class is worth every single penny.
    Just a thought…..
    The non-profit that runs this course could step out of the box and offer and opportunity to those who sign up for the course to fund raise the cost of their class plus an extra $50 to give to the EMS fund(of course they will need more than a week’s notice to do this…). It is done in lots of other arenas and it works-I know that for years the BHS band has run add sales for the kids to pay-yes pay, for band camp-if they don’t do the ads they have to pay out of pocket to attend. It is an opportunity that is created by self motivation.

  20. 20 jezebel282

    Phin,

    “the cost of the EMS class is fair.”

    No argument from me. But EMS sure could use a little marketing sense.

    “those who sign up for the course to fund raise the cost of their class plus an extra $50 to give to the EMS fund”

    Maybe sell $10 coupons for 10 minutes of pure O2 on Saturday and Sunday mornings for hangovers?

  21. 21 phineast

    Jez-You get an A+ for creativity!

  22. 22 jezebel282

    Phin,

    We could go a step further and distribute them through McCoy’s, The Frog Pond, Hard’s Corner, Ale House, Windsock……maybe even set up bottles near the bar….

  23. 23 1george1

    Gavin,
    Good to see you still read and contribute to the post.
    As previously noted, I have great respect for your EMS …..
    As previously noted, if you ever posted the whole truth about …..

    Phin,
    I put you on the defensive and have groped in the dark.
    But I made you think.
    > I spoke to Ms. Cornish yesterday. BMD has been BoE Attorneys for
    at least the last 6 years, with 3 main people as specialists.
    > Since Ms. Cornish is an attorney, she saves the BoE money on the
    less complicated issues. BoE has far less work than Town!
    > During O’Connell years, I got 1099s from the Town for Burturla /
    Berchem, but computer print outs from BoE. A source claimed
    there was a $ 180,000 annual retainer, same as Milford, where a
    subsequent CT. POST Story confirmed Milford paid BMD $ 180 k
    retainer. The O’Connell print outs claimed costs $ 40,000s- $ 70,000s
    For some reason, I tended to believe the rumor was more likely true,
    since I could not understand why a more populous town paid less
    than Milford, and with a different deal.
    However, who controls records?
    Has Linda Goodman ever worked in BoE?
    In the 1970s – 1980s, a friend dated the Stratford Tax collector,
    who found the Stratford TAX OFFICE RECORDS to be ………….
    less than 100 % accurate and less than 100 % coverage ………..
    Can’t even blame Mirons / Burturlas on that?

    Jeze + others
    There are all kinds of ways to raise funds for the EMS and several years
    ago, the Bard or Star published several of my ideas towards doing so.
    No one has a monopoly on ideas.
    Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of those published in the papers?
    Alsom Stratford Day has been all about fundraising for non profits.

  24. 24 phineast

    George,George, George,…..Sorry if you perceived me as defensive-that was not the case. I am , however, sick of the redundancy when it comes to you being a royal pain in the can about avatars and screen names. Now that I have made it clear, it is my hope you will just let it go already. I have never posted anything that to my knowledge is untrue, and if I have been incorrect-I own up to it. I will continue to post with honest intentions and if I make an error, correct it to the best of my ability.

    To the best of my knowledge Linda Goodman has not worked in the Stratford BOE.

    Everyone knows that the tax office has had historical issues like losing checks behind radiators, improperly posted or non posted data and some individual workers who like to shop on the computers instead of working. It is also my understanding that over the years as situations come up the town managers dealt with them as they arose-though it didn’t appear our 1st mayor did anything other than to spend the tax dollars -though rumor has it you could hear the whip cracking in the air to get the collections of the taxes increased-and that is as it should be…(a back door compliment 🙂 ).
    As I have stated before, I think the town needs a very long break from BMD in order to properly access things. There is always going to be a “firm” or an attorney that will be doing work for the town. What needs to be done is have a clearer and more open billing process and a clearer way of tracking time spent on cases. In other words closing the gaping holes that are “perceived” as ways to bill above and beyond…I honestly don’t know if that is what has been done in the past-but the perception is there because the numbers are so high and trying to get the information is like pulling teeth-most people encounter that behavior when there is something to hide. I hope that is not the case. I hope that the outcome clearly shows the costs incurred by the former mayor’s incompetence at handling various situations, and I hope that the taxpayers can go after the funds lost through the deliberate and malicious deeds that were done to incur such costs.

  25. 25 1george1

    Phin,

    I was teasing about
    1 – you being defensive
    2 – Linda ever working for the BoE

    I really do not care who you are,
    nor about your hiding behind a screen name.
    Nor do I care about your being sick of this or that.

    You were not put on this earth to please me
    Conversely, I was not ……

    You can post whatever you choose …
    I would not want to dictate what you think or write …
    Conversely, ……

    Basically, I agree with the rest of your post, not that you care.

    If you give guff … expect guff …

    When you post about substance or if I happen to post about
    substance, we can agree, disagree, not comment, or whatever..

  26. 26 nomoreyears

    Hey who is that between CT Bob and Chris Dodd? Why look it’s our former mayor looking rather washed out at President Obama’s inauguration.

    Click on the link to see.

  27. 27 phineast

    nomore-I guess he is into photobombing too……

  28. 28 jezebel282

    Nomore,

    “it’s our former mayor looking rather washed out at President Obama’s inauguration. ”

    At least we know who bought his drinks….we did.

  29. 29 nomoreyears

    And… we bought him airfare, and his hotel room, and his rental car, and his meals…

  30. 30 jezebel282

    Nomore,

    “And… we bought him airfare, and his hotel room, and his rental car, and his meals…”

    Don’t forget Heather Habelka…we paid her way too.

  31. 31 jezebel282

    Update:

    If we are able to foist John Buturla on New Haven as rumors indicate might happen, does this mean that our next Police Chief will be:

    Deputy police chief to speak at library Sunday

    Friday, 05 February 2010 11:43

    Stratford Deputy Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour, the first African American deputy chief in the town’s history, will discuss his personal journey at the Stratford Library Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.

    His visit is part of the “Sunday Afternoon Talks” series and the library’s observance of Black History Month.

    Ridenhour was hired as deputy chief of police last June after serving as a member of the Waterbury Police Department for 20 years….”

    Maybe we should all attend? We can ask him why Justin Loschiavo is still on light duty, or why Captain McNeil and Lt. Soto are still being persecuted or maybe even why only one drug search warrant has been issued in the last 2 YEARS.

  32. 32 1george1

    Police officer who shot the chimp who attacked the
    woman disfiguring her applied for WORKERS COMP?

    COMP only can be granted if he shot a human …..

    Passing thoughts about LoSchiavo scams and
    if the mirons …..

    however I am against violence and only joking ….

    Too bad Peter Sellers isn’t alive to star in Stratford review…

  33. 33 jezebel282

    Update:

    Stratford names new administrative officer

    Written by John Kovach
    Friday, 26 February 2010 13:49

    Geen Thazhampallath, an aide to Republican Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, has been named chief administrative officer of Stratford.

    Thazampallath will bring experience in both public administration and private business to Stratford, Mayor John A. Harkins said in a press release Friday.

    “In searching for a new chief administrative officer, I placed a premium on the right mix of public and private sector experience when interviewing candidates,” said Harkins. “Geen Thazhampallath combines experience in government administration with a strong business and legal background that will ensure we are able to reform the way our town works, improve efficiency, and ultimately save taxpayers money. He will be a critical addition to Town Hall in a very difficult economic climate.”

    Prior to joining Giuliano’s staff in 2006, Thazhampallath worked as the chief of staff to the senior vice president and chief information officer at Aetna.

    A resident of Middletown, he holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics and a law degree from the University of Connecticut.

    He is a member of the Connecticut and Federal Bar Associations.

    Thazampallath is active in community organizations such as the Northern Middlesex YMCA, and served from 1999-2003 as a member of Middletown’s Board of Education.

    Thazhampallath will begin work for Stratford on March 15. His annual salary will be $88,000.

    They have not yet announced the contest for the correct pronunciation of “Thazampallath” or “Geen”.

  34. 34 jezebel282

    We wish Mr. Thazhampallath (this is going to be a blogger’s nightmare) good luck.

    It seems he put up with a LOT in Middletown for $55K/year. That will come in very handy here.

    As they say in the Netherlands, “geen problem”.

  35. 35 phineast

    How about if we call him “Taz”……for short???

  36. 36 jezebel282

    Works for me (and my keyboard).

  37. 37 1george1

    Since 1993 I have marketed to certain targets in multiple states.

    I found middletown to have a disproportionate number of large
    facilities with manual cafeterias on site, rather than clusters of
    smaller 50 + employee businesses.

    Further the per capita income increased dramatically over a
    ten year period from about 1995 to 2005.

    Ben Barnes is on the Town Council Financial Advisory Commission.
    He is/was Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy’s key person – C. O. O. / C. A. O.

    The above may mean nothing or it could portend?

    As noted I believe Stratford has been on a timetable.

  38. 38 1george1

    The day after the Feb 8 Town Council meeting where the STARS Animal
    Shelter had been out in force, I e-mailed John Casey for itemization of
    past costs for the animal shelter.

    Including about $ 7,000 for Legal work and title search, the total cost to
    date is just under $ 160,000 as emailed to me Feb 25.

    Anyone want to guess how it came to pass that this “built in” added cost
    was found, after 17 days after I e-mailed my request and before I was
    finally afforded my FOI?

    Another co-incidence.

  39. 39 phineast

    George-explain the
    ‘built in
    ‘ please

  40. 40 jezebel282

    Note to Taz:

    Did they tell you about George Mulligan during the interview?

  41. 41 1george1

    Phin
    Please refer to the press coverage related to a project manager
    and fee of $ 250,000 “attributed to the miron administration.

    Some one else found the numbers in the $ 3,000,000 price which
    seemed high.

    I have no way to prove it was from Miron Administration,
    the Henrick Town Council,
    or the Harkins Administration.

    However it was found after the Feb Town Council Meeting caused
    the Public Hearing due to the $ 3,000,000 cost – referred it back
    for rebid.
    It was also found (or disclosed) 17 days after my FOI request for price
    details, whihc came up with just under $ 160,000 spent. included
    $ 10,000 feasibility study
    $ 7,000 + legal fees and title search
    Architech drawing(s) and change order(s)

    I have not seen the details.
    My sources outside CT. simply made me aware to ask the question.
    Ye shall know the truth …


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