Analyze This!

18Mar10

Stratford Taxpayer

We have posted both the BOE and Town proposed budgets for 2010-2011.

BOE 2010-2011 Budget

This should provide the basis for intelligent discussion of both budgets.

Town Budget

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83 Responses to “Analyze This!”

  1. 1 mayor2013

    MEMO TO: Mayor Harkins

    Find someone in your staff that knows how to post the municipal budget and do it NOW, TODAY! The public, who will have to pay for this piece of paperwork have a right to begin scrutinizing NOW, TODAY!

    Oh, and in case you don’t know, your (acting) finance director is fed up and frazzled – and burned out. Perhaps you should ask her why she is so tired. It could be that she has had to do some work – or something else may be bothering you. Thought you would like to know what she is telling the staff.

  2. 2 cstratct

    So one quick pass and a couple interesting thoughts arise:

    1) The Administration line increases $100,628 over FY 2009-2010, with what appears to be every principal and asst. principal getting a raise, along with most (if not all) directors (ADM COO / PERSONNEL DIR / ACCT MNG / GRANTS, ADM DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY), while the classroom teachers line item decreases by $92,676.

    2) Why is the line item for “general supplies” greater then the line item for “instructional supplies and textbooks”?

    3) And here’s the most interesting question for me at the moment: Why is there a $300,000 “administrative contingency” account and why has it gone from $0 in the 08-09 budget to $300,000 in the proposed budget? What is this account used for specifically, and why the sudden and rapid increase?

    There are plenty of other questions, but these were the issues/questions that struck me on the first pass.

  3. 3 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    Good catches. Except for the non union administrators. Comparing 2009-2010 with 2010-2011 I can only identify one change. (next to last pages of each budget)

  4. 4 jezebel282

    2013,

    Maybe Harkins should hire a teenager or two to help them post a PDF. Hire them fast while they still know everything. 😉

  5. 5 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    Just so you don’t think I disagree…

    You are absolutely correct. Raises for all the other administrators.

  6. 6 cstratct

    I believe you’re correct Jezebel. I was only looking at the Adminstrators and Classroom teachers accounts at the front of the budget.

    I’m most interested at the moment about the contingency account. $300K when two years ago it was $0? I’m very curious with regard to this particular account.

  7. 7 mayor2013

    Can it be determined how much percentage wise is the raise?

  8. 8 jezebel282

    2013,

    “Can it be determined how much percentage wise is the raise?”

    Absolutely. You only need a calculator (although a computer would do). Just open both budgets (they are both online) in separate tabs and compare the line items. Easy.

    That’ll be $15 for the tutorial, please.

    😀

  9. 9 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    “I’m most interested at the moment about the contingency account. $300K when two years ago it was $0?”

    If I recall correctly, the Council simply took some white-out and made it zero. You can do that. There’s nothing wrong with it. You can also go all in with a pair of threes. Nothing illegal in that either. But to run a nearly $89 Million budget servicing 7,600 minor children with no room for any contingency is putting a lot of faith in one COO.

  10. 10 cstratct

    Won’t do them all but here’s a few:

    ADM DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY – $132,790 (09-10) – $138,949 (10-11) – 4.6% increase
    ACA PRINCIPAL (2 positions) – $223,870 (09-10) – $235,136 (10-11) – 5.0% increase
    WIL PRINCIPAL – $104,609 (09-10) – $111,129 (10-11) – 6.2% increase
    BUN ASST PRINCIPAL (3 positions) – $316,935 (09-10) – $343,024 (10-11) – 8.2% increase

    I’m assuming those positions that have multiple positions are paid the same amount.

    BUN ASST PRINCIPAL AVG. PER POSITION – $105,645 (09-10) – $114,341 (10-11) – still an 8.2% increase per position

    And another question, why do we need 3 assistant principals in addition to a principal at BUNNELL and STRATFORD HIGH?

    While it seems 3 assistants and 1 principal is excessive for a school with approximately 1,100 students, why do we have the same number of positions for Stratford High when there are several hundred fewer students there?

  11. 11 cstratct

    Jezebel,

    I want to know what the contingency account is being used for, that’s all. Is it paying for necessary expenditures, or is it going to bonuses and such?

    I’m curious because there are no details with respect to the expenditures on this account.

  12. 12 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    See? It’s not that hard at all. We have WAY too many administrators in this system. All of them unionized, by the way. 5% raises when people are being laid off left and right? It’s disgusting.

  13. 13 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    “I want to know what the contingency account is being used for, that’s all. Is it paying for necessary expenditures, or is it going to bonuses and such?”

    Honestly, I am not sure. I believe it is just what it says, a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. If it were for bonuses and such, that would be about as sleazy a gimmick as I’ve ever heard.

    There are people you can ask that actually know. The two I trust the most are:

    Ben Branyan (branyanb@stratfordk12.org) or Gavin Forrester (forresterg.boe@stratfordk12.org)

  14. 14 cstratct

    Here’s an idea: How about removing one asst. principal. That would possibly save two classroom teachers at the current salary levels.

  15. 15 jezebel282

    No argument from me.

    In fact, I would go further and ask the rest of the adminstrators to take a zero this year like everyone else (that has a job at all) and their superiors have.

  16. 16 cstratct

    Jezebel, wasn’t there some discussion of a contingency account from which the Superintendent was paying bonuses? I thought that was discussed in a recent article, although I may have my sourcing wrong.

  17. 17 jezebel282

    Believe it or not, there are some things I just don’t know.

    But you know who to ask.

  18. 18 1george1

    Meeting Mayor Harkins scheduled today for 11:30 went well.
    Lasted from 11:35 to 12:15.
    I left home 11:10 back 12:45. My front door was ajar (open 1/2″)

    During Meeting with the Mayor he was gracious as always. We
    discussed multiple ways to increase revenue / decrease costs:

    1 – Add 2 research librarians with maser degree library sciences
    A – Find + write grants for Library, reduce subsequent Town Subsidy
    B – Find grants for Pat Naylor + Christine K to write incentives
    C – Objective: $ 7 – 8 million in grants, with $ 4.5 to replace actual
    ….. Budget Cost via Stimulus + Grants + private sector (help animal shelter
    ….. and non profits too)

    2 – BOND GREEN ENERGY – > 60 MINUTES TV story BLOOM BOX
    A – Saving Google + Yahoo + others 15 % to 30 % electricity
    B – Branyan has existing cost avaoidance BoE program UI GRANT
    C – DO NOT SPEND $ 20 MILLION renovating Stratford HS – but do
    get TOWN + BOE Building ENERGY SAVERS in place before winter,
    D – CLOSE Schools + certain Town Buildings 1st 2 weeks of January,
    extending Christmas vacation (eliminate spring vacation) save $$
    on energy in peak use time
    SAVINGS here can be $ 100s thousands, not millions as I thought
    E – Partner with Business, Condos, Blocks, so they can avoid
    electricity cost to partially / completely offset Taxes.
    BRANYAN has CONSULTANT

    3 – Find alternative GRANTS / REDUCE costs on GASOLINE / HEAT .

    4 – Find + List + > BILL FEDS / STATE on all UNFUNDED MANDATES
    for last 20 years = $ 200,000,000 – $ 300,000,000
    – WRIT MANDAMUS
    – If they took ALL TOWN CAPITAL improvement DEBT $ 200 MILLION
    it would save OVER 2 MILS.
    – If they paid replacement cost for Strratford HS + GRANTS ….
    – Building Needs Committee > unofficial guestimate to renovate
    Stratford HS $ 20 Million

    5 – Mayor Harkins was unaware of Irene Cornish idea to
    A – Move STRATFORD HS to WOOSTER
    B – Move WOOSTER to Stratford Academy / Johnson House

    Mayor Harkins had not seen:
    60 MINUTES story on BLOOM BOX
    MOVIE DOCUMENTARY: “WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?”
    JOE LIEBERMAN BOOK: THE POWER BROKER – JOHN MORAN BAILEY
    biography

    6 – Mayor Harkins team looking at Health insurance cost / negotiations

    Nationally went 1999-2009 $ 6,000 – $ 12,000
    Stratford pays $ 19,000 – 11 % / 13 % = $ 2,200 premium
    If policy was $ 12,000 – $ 2,200 premium
    Savings would be about $ 7,400 x 2000 Town / BoE / retirees
    under 65 = $ 15 million in savings or more than 3 mils (increase #)

    7 – We discussed Zoning and the major Development issues, mostly
    in the 3rd District

    8 – We discussed
    A) Tranparency
    B) Town charter – Grand fathered rights
    C) Economic Development
    D) Financial situations and entrapment
    E) Dogstar and other situations
    F) Team Stratford + PENSION BOND / COMPUTATIONS
    G) RAYMARK
    H) I – 95 ramps n trouble
    I) ANIMAL SHELTER and getting donations / grants
    J) New sand for Beaches, adding Buoys with NETS to keep out surface
    and subsurface junk = add attractiveness.
    K) Vents in my area related to Raymark. Ground Water.
    L) AVCO poisons under the buildings / tearing it down.
    M) MORE discussed in 35 minutes.

    —————————————————————————————–

    Mayor Harkins is the Mayor and will do his priorities.
    He was gracious to allow me to set forward ideas to help the town,
    him, and people. However, he is the Mayor.
    We had a friendly conversation.

    However, I am always aware of the political realities and alliances.
    I am aware of people who are bad people and others who are worse.
    I am aware good people can be put in bad situations: M. I. C. E.
    MONEY – IDEOLOGY – COMPROMISE – EGO

    The FEDERAL Government is going to have to throw money at states
    and local governments and business for JOBS.

    PENSIONS + HEALTH CARE are NATIONAL ISSUES = DRAINS

  19. 19 1george1

    PCS – I favor higher pay for lower paid workers + teachers.

    Chris – Stratford is 14 square miles.
    With comnications today, I do not know why Stratford
    needs principals or assistants, when central command
    could handle most issues, and with floating field people?

    > I never favor firing people.
    > I favor Principals / Assistants back into teaching.

    Over 50 % of Stratford Teachers are at top pay grade
    $ 88,000 to $ 93,000

    PENSIONS
    I favor increasing lower older pensions from money saved
    by reducing PENSIONS over $ 24,000.

    Even that $ 24,000 is unlikely to be cost justified by life time
    contributions.

    I have no dog in the hunt to reduce pensions. I am fronting
    the reality!

    Based on projections of
    STATES’ PENSIONS + BUDGET ISSUES
    NATIONAL Health Care cost
    $ 38 TRILLION in unfunded MEDICAID DEBT (if true)

  20. 20 1george1

    MEMO TO: Mayor Harkins

    Find someone in your staff that knows how to post the municipal budget
    and do it NOW, TODAY!

    The public, who will have to pay for this piece of paperwork have a
    right to begin scrutinizing NOW, TODAY! (Please see below)

    Oh, and in case you don’t know, your (acting) finance director
    is fed up and frazzled – and burned out.

    UNDERSTATEMENT

    Perhaps you should ask her why she is so tired.
    It could be that she has had to do some work

    I DO NOT QUESTION HER WORK ETHIC nor INTEGRITY.

    – or something else may be bothering you.
    Thought you would like to know what she is telling the staff.

    Mirror Mirror on the wall,
    it’s jeze turn to tell us all!

    ——————————————————————————–

    For years at Town Hall Public Forums + this BLOG –
    I favored POSTING MONTHLY DEPARTMENTAL EXPENSES
    in PDF, on the WEB
    – 2 WEEKS late is virtual REAL TIME to beneft transparency to
    MAYOR
    TOWN COUNCIL
    FINANCE
    BUSINESS
    INVESTORS
    PUBLIC

    —————————————————————————————–

    I have also posted favoring REAL TIME, UNEDITTED WEB CASTS of Meetings
    TOWN COUNCIL
    ZONING
    BORED of ED
    KEY COUNCIL MEETINGS
    – Building Needs
    – Pension
    – Finance & Claims

    ———————————————————————————————

    Glad to see Jeze had recognized the value of transparency
    per the above post! 😉

  21. 21 jezebel282

    George,

    “Mirror Mirror on the wall,
    it’s jeze turn to tell us all!”

    What’s to tell? Sue Collier is an accountant and an extremely close friend of James R. Miron. Miron hired her the day after her commitment to not accept a Town position expired. (Unlike Miron).

    She is probably a good accountant. She is not a finance director. My guess is that she is in way over her head.

  22. 22 jezebel282

    Dribs and drabs:

    It seems the Town Budget is slowly making it’s way online:

    http://www.townofstratford.com/Upload/147/16273/22539/07%20%20Budget%20Summary%20and%20Analysis.pdf

    One of the first things to note is that the budget is increasing from $176,829,578 to $184,562,414.

    An increase of about 4.5% if you’d like to calculate your property taxes now.

  23. 23 1george1

    JEZE – My guess is that she is in way over her head.

    GUESS?

    What’s to tell? Sue Collier is an accountant and an extremely close
    friend of James R. Miron.

    RRELATED to GUESS?

    Miron hired her the day after her commitment to not accept a
    Town position expired. (Unlike Miron).

    MAYBE SUE is a different person with different values than J. Miron?

    Sue is a friend of Jim.
    Guilt by association?

    When a Town Councilor and single, Sue lived on Victoria Lawn.
    That street has a disproportionate number of people in politics
    and goverrnment. An observation.

    Sue’s sisters include a Lawyer and member of BoE.
    One brother is also a Lawyer. Large family.
    I believe her husband is Stratford Fireman?
    There are people who got mad at me when I pointed out Sue
    and Tony Ross would have CONFLICTS of INTEREST on the TOWN
    COUNCIL, if they were elected?

    DTC seems to have less talent than RTC,
    Present RTC + DTC are not highly regarded by most people who
    know the players.

    Is Sue over her head?
    Is Sue as qualifed as past Finance Directors?
    Well what have the past 3 – 4 Finance Directors wrought?
    One acting Finance Director (a lady) decided NOT to apply,
    despite being the in house and qualified favorite.
    I wonder why?

  24. 24 cstratct

    Jezebel,

    Here’s what I was referring to:

    “Kennedy proposed reducing a fund the superintendent could use to give discretionary raises, Cornish said. Meanwhile, those employees had experienced the same increases in insurance and other costs that everyone else had.”

    http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/stratfordstar/news/localnews/51622-fixed-costs-pushing-tight-school-budget.html

    Which fund is that exactly? I can’t find an account among the salary accounts that references discretionary raises, which is why I’m curious about the contingency account and why it’s grown from $0 in 2008-2009 to a proposed $300K in 2010-2011. I could be barking up the wrong tree but I would like to see what the contingency account has been used for.

  25. 25 cstratct

    I’m going to apologize in advance for all the numbers, but if you look closely at what I’m posting you’ll see what I’m talking about:

    The numbers in the proposed budget don’t even match the 2009-2010 adopted budget numbers FROM PREVIOUS YEARS! Here are the numbers for the 770 ADM SUPERINTENDENT & ASST SUPERINTENDENT account:

    2009-2010 adopted budget – $325,284

    2010-2011 proposed budget lists $321,363 for 2009-2010

    If $325,284 was adopted last year and the proposed lists as $321,363, what happened to the $3,921?

    But there’s something even more confusing, and it has to do with the 2008-2009 numbers.

    2009-2010 adopted budget shows $315,829 for 2008-2009

    2010-2011 budget shows $322,603 for the 2008-2009

    That’s a difference of $6,774.

    So did they backload the salary increase into 2008-2009 to make 2009-2010 look better?

    That was on top of a $7,441 increase between 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.

    Talk about “fuzzy math”?

    And guess what, they did the same thing with the 846 ADM COO / PERSONNEL DIR / ACCT MNG / GRANTS account, but oddly not the 1111 ADM DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY account. For that account the numbers are consistent with 2009-2010 adopted budget.

    The 754 ADM BOARD SECRETARY account is all over the place, as is the 772 ADM SECRETARY – SUPERINTENDENT account.

    Comparing the proposed budget to the adopted 2009-2010 budget is like walking through a funhouse.

  26. 26 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    Actually, fun houses are, you know….fun. That’s different than this budget.

    Did you forward any of this to Branyan or Forrester? Or should we wait until Forrester responds here?

  27. 27 jezebel282

    George,

    “Sue is a friend of Jim.
    Guilt by association?”

    That would be more like paycheck because of association.

  28. 28 cstratct

    Jezebel,

    No I didn’t forward this to anyone. Just a quick analysis I conducted and posted it here for people to consider. I suppose Gavin will respond here if he is so inclined.

    At this point I honestly don’t know what to make of it. At the very least it looks disingenuous. While I realize the 2008-2009 final numbers weren’t in when the 2009-2010 budget was adopted, the fact that the 2008-2009 numbers jumped the way they did in the proposed 2010-2011 budget raises a lot of red flags. It just doesn’t seem to pass the smell test.

  29. 29 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    Since the only budget workshop on the BOE budget has already occurred,

    Saturday, March 13th
    9:00 am – 12:00 noon
    BUDGET WORK SESSION at Center School
    Board of Education

    my suggestion is to ask a BOE member directly

    forresterg.boe@stratfordk12.org
    lindbergc.boe@stratfordk12.org
    loconted.boe@stratfordk12.org
    crudoj.boe@stratfordk12.org
    collierj.boe@stratfordk12.org
    kennedyd.boe@stratfordk12.org
    dapontej.boe@stratfordk12.org

    They were, after all, elected by us to do this job.

    Mr. Forrester will usually answer here if he gets mad enough.

  30. 30 cstratct

    Or perhaps a letter to the Post or Star.

  31. 31 jezebel282

    That could work, although my personal preference is to get an actual (or made up, in the case of Mironistas) answer first.

  32. 32 1george1

    Mr. Forrester will usually answer here …. “if he gets mad enough.”

    One of these days Gavin’s Scotch temper …… and self image …..

    —–

    At this point I honestly don’t know what to make of it.
    At the very least it looks disingenuous.

    While I realize the 2008-2009 final numbers weren’t in when
    the 2009-2010 budget was adopted, the fact that the 2008-2009
    numbers jumped the way they did in the proposed 2010-2011
    budget raises a lot of red flags.
    It just doesn’t seem to pass the smell test.

    —–

    I hope Chris is not using the Playboy or Husler town versions
    of scratch and sniff?

    The Library reference section has all Town Budgets and I went
    back to the 1970s on key target areas.
    There you can match up the ACTUAL BUDGETS which have 4 – 5
    years past in each of the Budget Books.

    Miron used Branyan to teach him how to use / do the first Town
    MAD LIB BUDGET, then dumped him.
    Miron claimed he had a proposed 8 % increase his first year.
    It was really a 12 % proposed increase.

    ALL ANYONE HAD TO DO WAS SLIDE OVER a DECIMAL POINT to SEE
    IT EXCEEDED 10 %.
    HOWEVER the TOWN COUNCIL and FINANCE PEOPLE choose to
    IGNORE OBVIOUS FACTS.

    The PRESS IS RELUCTANT to correct what ever the Town TELLS
    THEM, especially the CT. POST.

    OF ALL the BLOGGERS JEZE is the most RESPONSIVE and ARGUMENTATIVE
    which from me is EXTREMELY HIGH PRAISE!

    However, now that CHRIS has a WHIFF or TASTE of STATISTICS, I believe
    he has the potential to rival GAVIN in intelligence and comprehension.

    GAVIN limits which boats he rocks and when he ROCKS them.

    CHRIS has the potential to exceed me as a CHECK and BALANCE,
    the same way I have done my best to make ED “BEEFY” HARGUS
    proud, and carry the torch DIANE BUDA and ELEANOR BURKE
    had LIT.

    We know to praise Marcia Stewart and the Save Stratford / RAC
    crews among others.
    However, BEEFY, DIANE, and ELEANOR are true Stratford heroes
    because they stepped on peoples feet to protect the lives and
    livelihoods of the apathetic and ignorant as well as the helpless.

    I have been blasted by some people about my praise for Sylvia
    and Ray.
    However, Sylvia was someone who fought for underdogs (and
    too many mandogs) which was unpopular and dangerous.
    Ray would look me in the eye and tell me the truth (regardless
    of alledged brown paper bag stuff) and you knew where he stood.


    kinda like I prefer MAFIA OMERTA over the Poli-Justice BLUE WALL
    Certain old MAFIA KNIGHT had HONOR = JUDGES lack HONOR!
    The old MAFIA faced people whereas the Poli-Justice uses poisons.
    Congress is antitheis of Progress and CONSTITUTION = PROSTITUTION
    since the Eisenhower warning.

    Jeze am I at least partially correct, in your opinion?

    Is there ANY HONOR in the USA POLITICS?
    In Stratford Politics?
    Where have the police been since the 1970s?

  33. 33 jezebel282

    More dribs and drabs:

    Administration Budget 2010-2011

    http://www.townofstratford.com/Upload/147/16273/22539/16%20%20ADMINISTRATION.pdf

    Mayor 2010: $202,096 2011: $256,490 +26%
    Town Attorney 2010: $973,808 2011: $1,579,308 +62.2%
    CAO 2010: $230,588 2011: $226,300 -1.9%
    HR 2010: $385,407 2011: $450,264 +16.8%

    WTF?

  34. 34 rex525

    Rightfully everyone is being asked to tighten their belts, services are proposed cut, taxes proposed to be raised, but OMG it appears that the town attorney’s office hit the POWERBALL in this budget. Someone please tell me it’s a typo because I for one am tired of the lawyers fleecing my pockets in this town. If a lawyer has to be consulted for every decision that is made, you don’t have the right people in place to making your decisions. ENOUGH ALREADY

  35. 35 cstratct

    Well, let’s hope the Mayor and Town Council have a plausible explanation for this.

    Intersting that the increase in the Mayor’s line is nearly identical to the decrease in the agencies line.

  36. 36 cstratct

    By the way George, a large part of my job is working with data and analyzing statistics. I’ve had much more than a “whiff” for some time now.

  37. 37 1george1

    I have been compiling data on Stratford politics and Budgets since 1998.
    My data, analyzing statistics, goes back decades, for foundation-context.

    Stratford antics are analogous to many towns / cities, States, & the Feds.
    There is so much slush, they have pans to catch the drippings.
    There is so much bull, lawyers-committee people would make compost.
    USA politics needs an enema.

  38. 38 mayor2013

    From what I’ve seen so far – WTF does not even come close in expressing outrage. The council better do their jobs – but somehow I’m not feeling good about this!

  39. 39 1george1

    Please go to my POST on # 18 to see
    Sources for new revenues
    Sources for real reductions.

    —- From the above post

    Mayor 2010: ……………$202,096 …. 2011: …. $256,490 …….. +26%
    Town Attorney 2010: …$973,808 …. 2011: , $1,579,308……… +62.2%
    CAO 2010: ……………….$230,588 … 2011: ….$226,300 …….. -1.9%
    HR 2010: …………………$385,407 ….2011: ….$450,264 …….. +16.8%

    2011 > > > > $ 2,512,362
    2010 > > > > $ 1,791,899
    ——————————–
    difference $ 720,463 = really easy to make disappear = projections.

    —–

    I wish you people were paying attention to Mayor Miron’s numbers
    his first year.
    He claimed a 12 + % increase was 8 + %
    All you do is move a decimal point 1 place and see it was over 10%

    The Council said squat.
    All of the Press missed it.
    They still WROTE N O T H I N G even when I pointed out obvious.

    This was not OPINION !!!!
    It was FACT !!!1

    Here was the former BUDGET
    Here was Miron’s proposed BUDGET

    ANY MORON can see it was over a 12 % increase.
    MIRON called it an 8 % increase.
    If I remember, it became a 6 % increase with slush to cause
    SURPLUS to IMPROVE BOND RATINGS and have NO 2009 increase,
    despite the GRAND LIST manipulations and the STOCK CRASH or
    GRAND THEFT by the WAR LORDS.

    The way the BUDGET GAME is ALWAYS played it to start with
    I N F L A T E D $$$$$$ N U M B E R S.

    Make miraculous cuts by 1/2 to 2/3rds

    FUND the PORK.
    CRY CROCODILE TEARS.

    Crocodile tears?
    splain dat lucy….

    When Crocodile eat their prey, tears come from the eyes of the croc.

    We all know the Miron Budgets were a “CROCK of S***!”

  40. 40 jezebel282

    Yet more dribs and drabs:

    Hint: it just gets uglier.

    Most of the Administration links are hot now.

    http://townofstratford.com/content/1302/1944/22537/default.aspx

    Of note: HR legal fees are at $210,000. “Regular” legal fees are now at $1,020,00 plus $58,808 for “staff”. That is a grand total of $1,288,808 for one year in legal fees.

    Perhaps a good idea would be to turn the position of mayor (and staff) into voluntary positions and just hire some law firm to run the Town.

  41. 41 1george1

    Jeze’s
    “Perhaps a good idea would be to turn the position of mayor (and staff) into voluntary positions and just hire some law firm to run the Town.”

    George reply

    MILFORD “conveniently” had an issue about a month ago dumping their long time
    on staff “lady” attorney. There was brief political protest. There will be appeals.
    It has fallen off the press radar.

    I tried to have a Full Time Town Attorney + 2 part time assistants
    + secretary and pt secretary
    and 2 pt paralegals to be IN the
    TOWN CHARTER REVISION # 1
    and TOWN CHARTER REVISION # 2

    I wonder why THESE Esquires were against?
    Burturla + Kelly + Florek (Town Attorney + Special Assistants)
    (Holcomb + LeClerk + Cotter + Miller + Ahlberg + others during 4 years)

    Miron + Williams + Kubic (CRC # 1)

    Florek (Bishop’s + Burturla Asst Town Atty) + Proto (Dogstar) +
    August (reps Justin LoSchiavo) (CRC # 2)

    These guys are the BAD PENneys!

    A full time Town Attorney should cost under $ 100,000 a year + benefits.
    Why?
    Zero overhead: Insurances / Utilities / Court Costs / Liability / workers
    / Free Law Library / Free Office Space + Equipment
    No Debt collection issues
    No Marketing Cost to gain clients
    JOB SECURITY for 4 years
    FREE PUBLICITY
    CONNECTIONS if choose to private practice?
    – Political
    – Business
    – Residential
    – Governmental
    – Judicial / Criminal / Civil Courts

    Jeze, it is good that you and others are FINALLY PAYING ATTENTION
    to these ISSUES which I have worked towards since 1998.

    When I met with Mayor Harkins I told him that Miron / Burturla and RTC
    have been stealing my ideas and perverting them to benefit themselves
    for over a decade.

    John smiled and said “The have to get them from someplace.”

    Gilardi + Ahlberg and others were paid $ 60 an hour.

    Burturla replaced Gilardi Dec 1998.

    TIPS Lauren ?? + Faye Arlio (friends of Ray + Syl) had piles of Bills proving
    Burturla was paid $ 125 hour by O’Connell’s BoE, since 1998.
    1998 was year PENSION BOND $ 98 Million
    1998 was year Team Stratford got PREFERRED VENDER AVCO –
    Stratford cop told me the Town Paid $ 500,000
    A certain CPA allegedly paid himself $ 65,000 yearly consulting fee.
    Years ago – different source claimed – same thing about $ 65,000 –
    but had no idea where it came from?
    Hockman? Montiposilico? Willinger – Bucci?
    Allen Christopher / Nateras?

    Isn’t interesting that both Christopher and the ARMY had no issue
    getting involved with the Nateras?
    I wonder who did or did not do their DUE DILGENCE?

    NATERAS have til JUNE 26 DROP DEAD DATE on AVCO.

    Christopher has been steered to Mobil Chemical site.
    His group buying or bought RAMADA.
    His group will use other hotels
    His group’s plans are to use SHAKESPEARE for their CABLE STATION.
    I suspect DIANON will come into play?

    Anthony Avallone made issue that AVCO would be mixed use CONDOS.
    LAWYERS salivating

    FAA / ARMY rumored to getting kick backs from partners in MAFIA
    related to AIRPORT + PLEASURE BEACH.

    MCCARON AF BASE is very close to VEGAS, the ultimate COMFORT
    STATION.

    ================
    JEZE is likely to move below this to Conspiracy Theory –

    Right again, George. https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/georges-page/#comment-11075

  42. 42 phineast

    Jez have you asked the T.A.’s office if the budget number in including projected lawsuit payouts? I wonder if the number is for straight attorneys fees or if something else is in there.

  43. 43 1george1

    Phin,

    The Website has breakout of past costs 2006 to proposed.

    Payroll – Regular
    Printing & Stationary
    Law Library
    Legal Salaries & Fees
    Court Costs
    Liability
    other Continguincy

    Yes, the $ 1.5 million includes the above.

    However, go back to the years before Kevin Kelly, and be shocked
    at the difference, especially to Burturla / Berchem – Kelly.

    Florek does not appear to be as greedy.

    However the real numbers may be how much business is steered &
    referred to certain attorneys, insurance, accountants, architechs,
    developers, construction contractors and subcontactors, building
    needs materials venders, professional services, consultants, pension
    related administration/investment retirees, rank persons, vehciles, etc

    —– Above answers phin to simply look on the website for answers.
    For someone who will solve Stratford’s problems with great ideas,
    I find it strange that Phin odes not even know where to look for,
    or know about simple information, which has been transparent.
    Unlike many things in Stratford’s political science fiction.

    —- Jeze will move the below, unless she deems related … it is …

    It is not like stratford is different than across the USA, except the
    looting at the top of the pyramid ponzi scam, creates national
    security and tranquility issues.

    It appears the system is being intentionally broken and inviting violence
    against the government, which is anti-judeo-catholic-christian’s TEN
    COMMANDMENTS, but causes vicious cycles where the people at the
    bottom or middle of the pyramid invariably strike at the wrong targets!

    Santayana:
    They who forget History
    are doomed to repeat it.

  44. 44 jezebel282

    Phin,

    “I wonder if the number is for straight attorneys fees or if something else is in there.”

    Well, if were for something else beside legal fees and salaries that would be fraud wouldn’t it?

    It clearly states that legal fees/salaries are $1,288,808. Liability is listed as $400,000 like it always is.

  45. 45 phineast

    George-I’ve been very busy and the last time I checked the budget wasn’t on the website yet-I’ll have to go back and look-
    I am assuming the fees will go u because of the costs involved in the upcoming filings created by the last admin mucking thing up -like Justin etc….

  46. 46 jezebel282

    Editor’s Note:

    The Town Budget is appearing online one link at a time. They are posted here as they appear. This process is inexplicable. Retyping the whole thing would be faster.

  47. 47 1george1

    Phin,
    Their is a Time Table for all Town processes.
    I believe March 12 was the date for the Mayor’s proposed Budget,
    which was in time for the March 13 BoE Workshop.

    Naturally the Budgets and other information goes on the Web, as
    timely. This is not being critical. It is an FYI for the readers.

    When I met Mayor Harkins, he had already met the BoE and knew
    the contents of the Workshop.
    Ben e-mailed me, March 15, the power point presentation and it is
    also available to ANYONE!
    Jeze? Phin? Chris? Mayor 2013? others.
    Niether Ben nor Irene are dynamic public speakers,
    However the make great power points, and are highly intelligent
    and knowledgible for Q & A.

    Jeze has posted the workshop schedules and is likely to post any
    reminders. It was nice not being the only attendee, or one of a
    hand ful, like last year’s Public Safety
    (I dozed off, partly=not exciting presentations)

    The BUDGET are actually relatively simple, except there are a few
    areas where it could be more clear and concise.
    Examples:
    Variety of POLICE O.T. / CALL BACKS, and (I forget)
    Certain Collective Costs for BoE: Oil, Gas, Electricity.
    BoE breaking down specific Benefit costs, in the summary part.

    Jimmy only kept Ben arround to do the first BUDGET, then dumped
    BEN, as I guess he did not want someone with INTEGRITY being so
    close to all of the INTIMATE NUMBERS.

    Jimmy also dumped the ex-Berchem Secretary (was it Maureen
    Kendrick?) who was serving as a highly competent gate keeper.

    During the Meet the Mayor, I ask Jimmy why he wanted a loyal
    and knowledgeable Berchem Secretary knowing all of his business,
    since Jimmy claimed that Burturla was NOT his choice for TOWN
    ATTORNEY, but “the parties.”

    Shortly after, she was gone!
    That was not my INTENT!
    I was unaware of the MODUS OPERENDI.

    If Jimmy could have DUMPED the RAYMARK WASTE as fast as he
    DUMPED many good employees, Stratford would be better off.

    HADDAD was also a “party choice.”
    So were a few others.
    The “party” had a definite agenda.
    Jimmy appeared to do whatever he was asked to do.

    MAYBE the PARTY supplied him with white powder from the Airport? 😉

  48. 48 1george1

    The figure of the BANKER with empty pockets looks a lot
    like the symbol of PARKER BROTHERS MONOPOLY GAME.

    The places on the MONOPOLY GAME are ALL found in the
    BOOK the “robber barrons.”

    Does that mean Jeze finally admits CONSPIRACIES do exist?

  49. 49 mayor2013

    I have only had a minimum amount of time to review this budget proposal – but I think that every department has to be examined and all overtime and part-time help must be REMOVED and/or SUSPENDED for this year. The exceptions would only be in the area of public safety. All employees, not just non-union, must agree to several furlough days – if not, lay off.

  50. 50 1george1

    Conundrum.

    They added personnel to avoid O. T. to reduce PENSION ABUSE (heh heh, wink)
    Now they are cutting personnel, especially in P. W.

    As GAVIN kindly blogged I have better attendance at Council Building Needs
    than P. W. Head Mo McCarthy.

    I see these as prelude to eliminate municipal employee ala ROBOCOP, out
    source P. W., and Volunteer Fire Dept.

  51. 51 jezebel282

    At the very least we need an explanation of $1.2 MILLION in legal fees/salaries and perhaps why it costs over $500K to simply administer the Town. (I just don’t buy into separate budgets for the CAO and Mayor’s Office)

    Editor’s note: Due to a medical crisis I won’t be available for a while to chime in often. However…George, please behave.

  52. 52 phineast

    Be well,, Jez.

  53. 53 cstratct

    Best of luck Jezebel.

  54. 54 1george1

    Jeze e-mailed me. We have a nice bond, despite disagreements.
    I e-mailed back for best wishes.

  55. 55 rex525

    jezebel282
    “At the very least we need an explanation of $1.2 MILLION in legal fees/salaries and perhaps why it costs over $500K to simply administer the Town.”

    If the Harkins team starts to use Durant, Nichols (Bpt’s version of BMD) we will know that it will be business as usual in the town of Stratford with the taxpayers being fleeced by needless litigation just to line the pockets of those “connected”. BTW, why do we need a Mayor wih two assistants a CAO with his own secretary and a chief of staff to do the work formerly done by a single professional town manager and secretary? This town never ran better and cheaper than under the Branyan administration. What’s next cabinet meetings again? The Harkins team is starting to loose my support very quickly and I’m sure I am not alone. My advise to Mr. Harkins is to be the candidate that we voted for, not the candidate that the Republican town committee advises him to be. Harkins won the election despite those in his party not because of them.

  56. 56 rex525

    jez, good luck with your medical crisis

  57. 57 jezebel282

    Thank you.

    The patient is now upgraded from grave to stable and the ventilator tube has been removed.

    (Thank God for government run Medicare).

  58. 58 jezebel282

    In the meantime is nobody wondering why we are spending $1.2 MILLION on legal salaries/fees?

  59. 59 cstratct

    It’s business as usual Jezebel. People railed against Buturla and his firm making it seem as though once they were out the line item for the town attorney would magically decline. Yeah….not so much.

    And while I haven’t had the time to review the town budget like I have the BOE budget, I have to say nothing suprises me at this point.

    It is interesting that Mr. Forrester was on this site stating “We have got to get costs under control and call back in the FD is an annual issue that has to be addressed.”

    https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/budget-time-again/

    I’m sure there are many that agree with this statement, especially the first part. Well let’s start with the BOE. We know Mr. Forrester reads this blog (at least from time to time).

    So here are some straightforward questions regarding the BOE budget:

    1) What is the $300K “administrative contingency” account being used for? What specific items or “contingencies” have been paid for out of this account? Two years ago this account was $0. The proposed budget has it at $300K. Why?

    2) Why are certain positions looking at raises of 5, 6, 7, even 8%?

    A few examples:
    ADM DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY – $132,790 (09-10) – $138,949 (10-11) – 4.6% increase
    ACA PRINCIPAL (2 positions) – $223,870 (09-10) – $235,136 (10-11) – 5.0% increase
    WIL PRINCIPAL – $104,609 (09-10) – $111,129 (10-11) – 6.2% increase
    BUN ASST PRINCIPAL (3 positions) – $316,935 (09-10) – $343,024 (10-11) – 8.2% increase

    $26,089 in increases for just the Bunnell Asst. Principals? When they’re already making $105,645 each already? What is going on here?

    3) Did the BOE backload salary increases into 2008-2009?

    Certain numbers in the proposed budget don’t match the 2009-2010 adopted budget numbers from previous years.

    770 ADM SUPERINTENDENT & ASST SUPERINTENDENT account:
    CY adopted budget – $325,284
    2010-2011 proposed budget lists $321,363 for 2009-2010

    Is this because the final numbers aren’t in for the CY? And if so, what are the projected EOY numbers for the CY?

    But here’s what is more confusing:

    2009-2010 adopted budget shows $315,829 budgeted for 2008-2009
    2010-2011 proposed budget shows $322,603 actual for the 2008-2009

    The actual numbers for 2008-2009 in the proposed budget are $6,774 HIGHER then the budgeted numbers for 2008-2009 in the CY budget.

    Why the discrepancies?

  60. 60 1george1

    Jeze,
    I am glad the medical situation is no longer an emergency.
    Good Luck. Best Wishes.

    Jeze,
    Berchem is still the BoE firm and also retains Town cases.
    I too, question why?

    Chris,
    I will make a small donation if the BoE continguency fund is over $ 50,000, if
    you will offer to do the same if it is under $ 50,000.

    I already posted I spoke to Ben Branyan and the $ 300,000 is an easy target
    to eliminate a minimum of $ 200,000 to $ 265,000

    From reading Irene Cornish’s presentation and body language, they already
    know where all the cuts are coming from.

    Irene nade it a point that she has both taken pay cuts and made donations.
    I suspect the Administrators will volutarily give back what they are NOT
    obligated to do, but do by choice ….. NOT a CYNICAL POST (as usual)

    Most Town Workers and Board of Ed are good people.
    People threw money at them.
    Are they going to say NO?
    Times are tough for everyone.
    Most of them are very well off financially (some say over paid)

    Further, more than 50 % of Teachers are at top pay $ 88 – $ 93,000.
    I expect retirements to increase starting this year.
    With every retiree, almost 2 new starting teachers can be hired.
    OR 2 jobs can be saved from getting CUT
    Unlike the TOWN PENSIONS, Teachers have State Retirements.
    There are supplemental Health Care packages for people over 65
    and age of MEDICAID, which has $ 38 TRILLION UNFUNDED MANDATE!

    POLITICIANS have always been more than irresponsible, but criminal,
    except to the people they use to keep them in power + protect them,
    in my opinion.
    However, keep up the detailed investigations and embarassing questions.

  61. 61 1george1

    You can ask Gavin, that until 1 – 2 years ago the Board of Ed never had
    a PRINTED FINAL BUDGET, which I made Ben Branyan + Gavin aware of.

    Ben was not about to go back and do the past BUDGETS, but he promised
    and created final BUDGETS.

    As far as discrepancies ….
    Some can be typos … they happen
    Some can be lack of history of translating prior proposed to finished Budgets
    and using the wrong figures.
    Some can be honest mistakes.

    What?
    You expect the STRATFORD BOARD of EDUCATION to have a 100 % grade
    PROPOSED BUDGET? 😉

    PUBLIC EDUCATION to have perfection? 😦

    I know I make mistakes and typos!

  62. 62 cstratct

    George,

    We don’t know how much of the current contingency account has been used nor do we know what it has been used for.

    For two fiscal years (07-08, 08-09) the account (762 ADM CONTINGENCY) had a $0 budget. The CY line is listed in the proposed budget as $260,442. We don’t know how much has been spent or what it has been spent on. The ONLY description of this account, “The contingency account is for all negotiations not concluded.” Negotiations for what? If these are legitimate expenses so be it. Tell us what those expenses are. And why has nearly $40,000 been added to the proposed line for this account in the upcoming FY? What specific “negotiations” are not yet concluded that might require this contingency account to be utilized?

    As far as the Superintendent is concerned, she didn’t take a pay cut. She is retiring and the Board decided to retain her for up to three more years paying her a significant portion of what she was already making. And who knows the specifics of that contract besides the BOE? If a new Superintendent is hired during a school year, does Cornish still get the full amount of the contract or is it pro-rated? Is the BOE even going to conduct a search for a new Superintendent for the upcoming year? Unless I missed something, I haven’t heard anything about a search for a new Superintendent, have you?

    And as far as “giving back,” how about administrators freezing salaries for the upcoming year? Take a look at the salaries for classroom teachers in the proposed budget. Nearly $100K LESS then last year. Proposed adminstration salaries for next year, nearly $100K HIGHER. Nearly $200K right there, and another $300K in the contingency fund.

    Look at some of the adminstration salary increases between 2006-2007 and 2009-2010. Some positions have experienced 20% increases in a 4 year period.

    Here’s just one example:

    846 ADM COO / PERSONNEL DIR / ACCT MNG / GRANTS

    2006-2007 – $239,299
    2009-2010 – $380,408 (actual adopted budget number for current FY)

    % 4 year increase – 58.9%

    I’m a strong proponent of public education, but talk about unsustainable!

  63. 63 cstratct

    By the way, for the contingency account mentioned above (762 ADM CONTINGENCY), the current proposed budget shows a $0 balance for 2008-2009 while the 2009-2010 budget shows it at $420,000.

    The adopted 2009-2010 budget shows an amount of $24,921, but the proposed 2010-2011 budget shows this amount as $260,442.

    If only $24,921 was adopted last year, why is the proposed budget showing this line at $260,442? What the hell is going on with the BOE’s budget numbers?

  64. 64 1george1

    Chris,
    Have you called or e-mailed or spoken to Ben and Irene like I have?
    I do not have the answers to your specific questions.
    Sometimes a grant or 1 time situation can affect Budget lines.
    However Ben and Irene are likely very capable of giving you answers.
    I can not guarentee you will like or agree with or believe the answers.

    – If you understand BUDGETS are a GAME and a SONG and DANCE, much
    like RETAIL PRICING on a NEW CAR, you might be able to figure the truth?

    Have you talked to the Mayor or Finance people or HR or Town Clerk?

    Have you talked to various Attorneys in Town and Town Attorneys?

    Have you attended meetings of
    Town Councils
    Boards of Ed
    Zoning
    Planning
    BoE Workshop
    Past Budget / Departmental Workshops
    Pension Committee
    Financial Advisory Commission
    Building Needs
    RAC – SAVE STRATFORD
    PYE
    Airport
    LBW Hearings
    AVCO Tours
    – I defer to your Theater expertise, but have slightly different priorities
    and preferrences, which are more or less compatable to yours

    Have you talked to UNION Leaderships
    Police – various towns & cities
    State Police
    FBI
    Justice
    Secret Service
    D. E. A.
    Congress people and staffs
    Senators and staffs
    State Senators and Staffs
    State Reps and Staffs
    various print media
    various electronic media
    State Prosecutors + Staff
    U. S. Attorneys + Staff
    Public Defenders
    Trial Attorneys
    ACLU
    CCLU
    Bunker Hunt
    John Birch
    JDL
    JADL
    White House Staff
    DOD
    CIA
    USPS
    NACL
    NLRB
    USEEOC
    Teamsters
    Mafia
    various gangs
    Fortune 5 execs
    Fortune 1000 exec
    Department Heade
    Exec Directors
    Business agents
    Business owners

    Chris – In my 58 years I have talked to multiple people
    from the above lists.

    I really do not care who believes me or not.

    I spend my own money.
    I use my own time, including flexibility in business hours.
    I will piggy back agendas, where I deem appropriate.
    I take no money from anyone, except my business dealing.
    I give credit whenever possible – some want anonymous.
    I cite issues and name names about political issues, and try
    to keep it political, except when personally attacked.

    I always have the last word when attacked on this blog.

    I still await a post supended in moderation, on my October string

  65. 65 cstratct

    George, perhaps signals are getting crossed here. I’m not asking you these questions specifically. I’m not looking to you to provide answers. I was simply posing the questions on this blog to facilitate discussion and include my opinion on the forum.

    I’ll say what I said in the other forum topic, I’m not attacking you. You’re a character at times (as are we all), but I don’t question your knowledge of certain topics because I believe you are knowledgeable in certain areas. You have provided a lot of useful information, I just don’t subscribe to the vast conspiracies you throw out there.

  66. 66 gforrester

    1. Ok Chris you have had your 15 minutes of righteous indignation over the BOE budget and I see you want me to justify that if $325,284 was adopted on a line last year and the proposed lists as $321,363, what happened to the $3,921? You want me to justify why we are REDUCING the 2010-11 allocation by $3,921.00 which means you clearly do not understand the concept of -0- based budgeting where by you wipe out last year and start from $0 and build up to what you need to run the school system. If you did you would not rail against a budget reduction of less than .01205408197% as much as did in your post to provide that the numbers don’t add up somehow.
    2. If you had been able to attend any of the BOE finance meetings or the Saturday session you would have gotten the answer to this question already: For two fiscal years (07-08, 08-09) the account (762 ADM CONTINGENCY) had a $0 budget. The CY line is listed in the proposed budget as $260,442. You want to know how much has been spent but guess what my friend, the fiscal year is not yet over (ends June 20 2010) and so far not a penny has been formally allocated, which is not to say that the funds will not be allocated because it serves two functions, one is contract settlements and the other is special education costs which are determined on literally a daily basis based upon how many special needs children we have in the system. Example we have recently had a DCF placement of some children from outside Stratford into foster care within Stratford and guess who has to pay for their education, you guessed it, we do. There is no way to budget other than a guestimate of how much special education costs will be and a percentage of those costs are not reimbursable from the State of Connecticut. In the next fiscal year we have two contracts pending which expire 06/30/2010 so even if we offer no raise we could lose in arbitration so thus created the need for some sort of contingency. The reason that the account is zero for the previous years is because once the budget is adopted and the funds used they are transferred (not unlike the town administration side) from contingency into the accounts that needs additional funds i.e special education. The line item of $39,000 and change is an admitted error by the administration as an allocation did not take place that should have. Since you don’t like the description of the account in the budget book I will work to provide language that is more palatable to your liking.
    3. As far as the Superintendent is concerned, she didn’t take a pay cut. She is retiring and the Board decided to retain her for up to three more years paying her a significant portion of what she was already making. – OK now you are just showing your ignorance on a subject. Mrs. Cornish is getting $90,000 + $50,000 in retirement benefits per year versus her previous salary which was approximately $168,000 so please explain to me how a reduction of 16.6% is not a cost savings, please I am all ears, and this contract was signed prior to my election so I can’t even begin to take any credit for it but your version of significant and mine obviously differ.
    4. And who knows the specifics of that contract besides the BOE? Hmmm who else knew the specifics of the sweet heart deals that Miron handed out; I believe contracts are subject to FOI so feel free to ask the Town Attorney on that one because the chief of Polices contract has been posted elsewhere I believe.
    5. If a new Superintendent is hired during a school year, does Cornish still get the full amount of the contract or is it pro-rated? – All I can say is WHAT? Cornish will not the be acting Superintendent if we hire a full time permanent so rest assured that there is no aforementioned sweetheart buy out deal and it is also not anticipated that she will be replaced until such time her contract expires 2 + years from now.
    6. Unless I missed something, I haven’t heard anything about a search for a new Superintendent, have you? – Ummmm it’s a 3 year contract – are you in a rush to replace her because I’m not. Gee maybe we are all used to Presidential races where people start posturing 30 days after the new president is sworn in but I have no reason to replace her.
    7. And as far as “giving back,” how about administrators freezing salaries for the upcoming year? – Existing contracts are in place but that is not stopping the Board through the Administration from opening discussions with all unions about our present fiscal position, but before we can finalize anything, we need to know what the final number our allocation is from the town council and if the mayor signs off on it. Right now I am talking hypothetical and if you have any experience in contract discussions you can talk about “what ifs’ until the cows come home. You need hard and final numbers and until that happens there can be no firm agreement.
    8. 846 ADM COO / PERSONNEL DIR / ACCT MNG / GRANTS
    2006-2007 – $239,299
    2009-2010 – $380,408 (actual adopted budget number for current FY)
    Ah there he goes again. The number went from $239,299.00 in 06-07 to $352,175.00 in 07-08 (filling the assistant superintendent position which had been vacant) and up again in 08-09 to $384,635.00 but SURPRISE in 09-10 it went down to $368,851.00 and the actual increase between last year and this year is 11,587.00 or 3.14% which is based upon the supervisors union getting a 3% contractual increase + a step increase.
    9. What the hell is going on with the BOE’s budget numbers? Chris if you take out the medical insurance costs, which George can attest too, the total budget increase is .0057% or about ½ of 1 percent. The cost driving the bus is Medical Insurance up 56% so no one is cooking the books at the BOE. For the past two years I held budget workshops as Chair of the Ordinance Committee and several hours was spent reviewing the BOE numbers. This year we had a Saturday session with the Town Council that lasted 2 ½ hours and included a power point presentation and reviewed the major cost implications for the district and we had a question and answer period with the council members and while I understand that not everyone was able to attend the effort is being made to communicate with the public in an open and transparent way. I will agree with you, as does the legislature of the state of Connecticut, that our current system of public education will be vastly different 2 or 3 years from now than it is today due to budget restraints. I’m not a hard man to find Chris, I even have an email address posted at the Town BOE Website which Jez posted on 03.19.10 so the fact that you have chosen to post on the blog “I suppose Gavin will respond here if he is so inclined” just means to me that you have less inclination to serious discussion than you do for blogging. And yes Chris just for the record I am not a daily visitor to this site but I found at 10 PM this evening I had a few moments to check in and see what’s new so here I am and you certain know where to find me if you are so inclined.

  67. 67 1george1

    Chris,

    I defer to GAVIN, who I believe is the most capable volunteer in Town.

    I believe I am safe writing Gavin and I agree on Miron – Burturla and certain
    other people. We differ on other people.

    Chris since you toned down from person attack mode, and I respect differences
    of opinion on politics locally or nationally, including possible conspiracies on both, we can agree to disagree.

    I will continually ask you to reply to 2 questionS:

    Did Miron – Burturla EVER post a COUNTER VERSION to the HANNEY DEAL?

    Please show a link where ANY BLOGGER can access the Miron-Burturla
    plan for Shakespeare.


    Thank you Chris and Gavin.

  68. 68 jezebel282

    “so the fact that you have chosen to post on the blog “I suppose Gavin will respond here if he is so inclined”

    Mr. Forrester is the most responsive elected official in Stratford.

    (And he’s so cute when he’s mad.)

  69. 69 cstratct

    Gavin,

    You speak of righteous indignation, take a look in the mirror. The reason I made my comment regarding “if you were so inclined” is because you have responded to posts in the past. You can choose to respond or not respond, it’s your choice. So getting pissed at me for asking questions about the budget could be labeled as righteous indignation as well.

    You chose to highlight the $3,961 decrease but not any of the increases, okay I get the game we’re playing.

    To your point 8:
    “8. 846 ADM COO / PERSONNEL DIR / ACCT MNG / GRANTS
    2006-2007 – $239,299
    2009-2010 – $380,408 (actual adopted budget number for current FY)
    Ah there he goes again. The number went from $239,299.00 in 06-07 to $352,175.00 in 07-08 (filling the assistant superintendent position which had been vacant) and up again in 08-09 to $384,635.00 but SURPRISE in 09-10 it went down to $368,851.00 and the actual increase between last year and this year is 11,587.00 or 3.14% which is based upon the supervisors union getting a 3% contractual increase + a step increase.”

    What does the Asst. Superintendent position have to do with this account? That Asst. Superintendent salary is included in the 770 ADM SUPERINTENDENT & ASST SUPERINTENDENT account.

    And with regard to the retiring Superintendent, the question I posed was if we do hire a new Superintendent (which from your writing doesn’t appear to be on the horizon) in the middle of a fiscal year, is the BOE obligated to pay out the entire contract or is it pro-rated? Why is that such an offensive question?

    You can get pissed all you want, but when I’m looking at a budget where 27 principals and assistant principals are each making over $100,000 and 6 of the assistants are at 2 schools (Stratford High and Bunnell), while teaching positions are being cut, yeah, I’m going to speak up and ask questions. Stratford High has several hundred fewer students than Bunnell but the same number of assistants. We’re looking at a BOE budget that is nearly HALF the total town budget, I think the residents (and myself being one of them) have a right raise these questions.

    So get mad at me, cut me down, do whatever you have to do to, but at least admit that the righteous indignation works both ways.

  70. 70 1george1

    Yo Chris,

    I will continually ask you to reply to 2 questions + Directions:

    Did Miron – Burturla EVER post a COUNTER VERSION to the HANNEY DEAL?
    YES or NO?

    Please show a link where ANY BLOGGER can access the Miron-Burturla
    plan for Shakespeare.

    Oh Chrisssss:
    “So get mad at me, cut me down, do whatever you have to do to,
    but at least admit that the righteous indignation works both ways.”

  71. 71 cstratct

    Jezebel,

    My statement was not meant to be a call out or a challenge. I was responding to your question (“Did you forward any of this to Branyan or Forrester? Or should we wait until Forrester responds here?”). It was simply an observation that Gavin has responded to posts in the past and will do so again if he is inclined to do so. We each choose to respond or not respond at our own discretion. You suggested I forward these questions to Gavin, hence my response about the inclination to respond.

    Gavin, as stated above, I wasn’t calling you out or challenging you. I missed your comment about the Superintendent’s contract so I apologize for my repeat of the question. I know you were not responsible for the contract but it is now a responsibility of the board of which you are a co-chair.

    I realize that the healthcare issues are a critical component of the budget, but I don’t believe I’m alone in my interest in seeing other aspects of the proposed budget be reduced in an attempt to off-set the healthcare increases. That is why I focus my comments on the administrative components of the budget.

    I took Jezebel’s suggestion from early on in this thread of comparing last year’s approved budget with this year’s proposed budget. What became clear was that certain numbers weren’t adding up. I stand by that assessment.

    By the way, this is flawed logic “The number went from $239,299.00 in 06-07 to $352,175.00 in 07-08 (filling the assistant superintendent position which had been vacant) and up again in 08-09 to $384,635.00 but SURPRISE in 09-10 it went down to $368,851.00 and the actual increase between last year and this year is 11,587.00 or 3.14% which is based upon the supervisors union getting a 3% contractual increase + a step increase.”

    Besides the point I made above (the Asst. Superintendent is not paid out of the 846 account) We don’t know that the number has gone down in 09-10 because as you appropriately point out, the CY isn’t over yet (“You want to know how much has been spent but guess what my friend, the fiscal year is not yet over (ends June 20 2010)…”), so using the $368K number is flawed because until the salaries are paid through the end of the year we don’t know what the final number for that account will be.

    It may be that there is a 0% increase for the proposed budget, but to say it has gone down at this point in time is a fallacy.

  72. 72 cstratct

    George,

    Really, find a new line of attack.

    I answered your questions in another post, but here are the answers again:

    If you’re referring to the contract, the answer is YES. All anyone had to do was look in the margins at the deleted text to see the ongoing proposals and counter proposals. Miron/Burturla included certain provisions in the contract (performance bond, ticket surcharge) but they were REMOVED by Knott/Hanney. There were never two contracts. There was one contract with multiple drafts and revisions that represented the ongoing negotiations. Is there something unclear about that?

    As for the Theatre itself, NO ONE had a business plan to revitalize the facility. Not Miron, not Henrick, not Julian, not Hanney/Knott or anyone else. The only town plan was to find a developer/operator to take over the project so that the politicians didn’t have to deal with it. That’s my take. But a plan for the theatre is different from the contact negotiated by Hanney/Knott and Burturla/Miron and whoever else.

  73. 73 jezebel282

    Cstrat,

    “My statement was not meant to be a call out or a challenge.”

    Relax. I was just teasing Gavin. I’ve had enough drama this week, I don’t intend to create more.

  74. 74 cstratct

    Sorry Jez, that comment was directed more to Gavin then you.

    And it’s not like I was accusing him of anything.

    This was my original statement:

    “No I didn’t forward this to anyone. Just a quick analysis I conducted and posted it here for people to consider. I suppose Gavin will respond here if he is so inclined.”

    I didn’t realize it would cause such a reaction.

  75. 75 1george1

    There were never two contracts. There was one contract with multiple
    drafts and revisions that represented the ongoing negotiations.
    Is there something unclear about that?

    Why didn’t Mayor Miron showcase Town Attorney Burturla’s last draft,
    which has to be approved by the Mayor, to showcase the superiority
    of the Miron – Burturla plan to the supposed Hanney – Council version.

    Do you honestly believe they are not working together?

    Follow the money for decades.

  76. 76 1george1

    I didn’t realize it would cause such a reaction.

  77. 77 cstratct

    George, it’s over. The current administration and Town Council did what we hoped they would do (which to many was the right thing) and rescinded the resolution approving Hanney.

    The negotiations reached a point where Hanney/Knott created a contract the terms of which Miron/Burturla refused to accept. A contract that, according to some council members, was a significant improvement over earlier drafts. Remember the April meetings? The town attorney detailed his objections to the contract and explained why it would be a bad (and potentially illegal) deal.

    Personally I think Miron should have just ended negotiations when he saw the direction Knott/Hanney were headed. But one can only imagine the outcry from some on the council had he done that. He had already been accused of negotiating in bad faith by some on the council.

    But I’m done with this now George. It’s over. I believe the Council is moving things in the right direction with respect to the theatre. Now can you move on and let this go?

  78. 78 1george1

    Actually Chris it isn’t over.

    In part it is about your integrity and credibility.
    Part of my integrity is entwined with willingly posting things that I acknowledge
    others will mock, not believe, or feel necessary to try to disparage.
    THAT is a major reason my network of information has increased, because many
    people who know PARTS of the TRUTHS, want to “add pieces of the puzzles” to
    see how it connects towards the BIG PICTURE.
    Sometimes pieces fit, but NOT where we expect them to fit.
    This blog has insiders posting where many want a better Stratford and some
    wanted their own agenda advanced.
    Suddenly a section of the puzzle becomes clear to certain people, which
    they could not quite understand.

    In part the HANNEY + lack of MIRON Plan is about the pretextuality of the entire issue and part of a time tabled plan where the Miron – Burturla – RTC were always working together whereas it appears “Allen Christopher’s group” always was the developer in waiting, behind the tormentor stage wings.

    As Jeze will begrudgingly attest, I have always posted there is a timetable
    and the key parties leaders are likely coconspirators, whereas they prefer
    the term “bipartisans for the good of the town.” 🙂

    Or is the term BUY PARTISANS? 😉

  79. 79 jezebel282

    George,

    “As Jeze will begrudgingly attest, I have always posted there is a timetable
    and the key parties leaders are likely coconspirators”

    And always in the wrong place.

  80. 80 1george1

    Jeze,
    I forgot to add that I am relatively CONSISTANT. 😉

  81. 81 cstratct

    George,

    I’ve been one of the people that has defended you here and elsewhere. Well I’m certainly done with that now. You question my integrity and credibility while you toss out all sorts of ridiculous conspiracy theories? There’s a reason many of your posts get moved and people make disparaging comments. I have made a concerted effort to avoid that despite some of your more outlandish posts.

    And now you’re suggesting that Allen Christopher is going to take over development of the theatre? Is that what you’re suggesting here? Please tell us your source for this information, and provide any proof you have to show this is the case.

  82. 82 1george1

    And now you’re suggesting that Allen Christopher is going to take over development of the theatre? Is that what you’re suggesting here?
    Please tell us your source for this information, and provide any proof
    you have to show this is the case.

    On March 9, I ATTENDED a Stratford ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MEETING
    where Bruce Allessie advised the Commissioners about the March 12 walk
    through of the Shakespeare Theater with Dogstar GM Doug Award.

    Bruce told the attendeeS there was an interest by DOGSTAR to use
    the SHAKESPEARE THEATER as a STUDIO for Allen Christopher’s CABLE
    CHANNEL 51.

    As for proof since everything I write is a conspiracy and untrue and
    I use words which I do know know what they mean, perhaps Chris or
    any blogger can check with Allen Christopher (888) 955-5 1 5 1
    (Was that supposed to be the phone number for area “51?”) 😉
    or Bruce Allessie 385-4028

    Chris you can find out first hand and sometimes interactly by
    ATTENDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MEETINGS and other
    MEETINGS, like Stratford’s
    TOWN COUNCIL + ZONING + BoE + Buildings / Needs + Pensions
    + Financial Advisory Commission + Planning + More

  83. 83 1george1

    I’ve been one of the people that has defended you here and elsewhere.

    I BELIEVE I HAD DONE THE SAME FOR YOU UNTIL YOU STARTED ATTACKING
    AND INSULTING ME PERSONALLY and NOT POLITICALLY

    Well I’m certainly done with that now.

    I AM CRUSHED.

    You question my integrity and credibility

    CHRIS YOU PUT YOUR INTEGRITY and CREDIBILITY on the LINE for
    anyone who can read that you refuse to provide a link or proof
    that JIM MIRON + DICK BURTURLA actually had a SHAKESPEARE
    PLAN which they publicly boosted for political election.
    INSTEAD MIRON “RAN AGAINST” THE HANNEY PLAN.
    > I was trying to help you understand that dispite your intelligence,
    other readers view you as a Miron apologist.
    (recently you conditionally repudiate some stuff – but refuse to
    either PROVE there was a MIRON PLAN or …..
    (you claimed NO ONE had a PLAN, which I also believe is an error.)

    Chris, we all know DOGSTAR committed AFTER the ELECTION to (BUY
    or lease or landlord or manage) the empty Mobil Chemical site.
    Chris, did you know DOGSTAR already bought the RAMADA INN?
    Do you believe they do NOT have a BUSINESS PLAN?
    Do you believe they had NOT been talking to BRUCE ALLESSIE for
    3 years (and probably other companies) without spending BIG $$?

    There was a typo where the word should have read
    “interactively”

    Sometimes in is an oversite on my part or typo.
    Sometimes what I type and saw I typed does not show up on the blog.

    while you toss out all sorts of ridiculous conspiracy theories?

    An increasing number of Americans believe a variety of conspiracy
    theories. Are there any that you believe Chris?

    There’s a reason many of your posts get moved and people make
    disparaging comments.

    YEP – And I answer them in my own name.
    To your credit, you acknowledge who you are.
    And it is very interesting how often (you could not know this)

    that people in government, in unions, in political parties, and others
    have told me that on some things I am remarkably correct
    (thanks to good people trusting me with info – from which I do not profit)

    and some things they THOUGHT were totally absurd, but now make
    sense as other events happened,

    and some things that still seem absurd.

    Chris, I do not believe the world is flat, or the universe revolves around
    the earth, or in UFOs (although I love futurism) The only little green men
    (& women) I have seen are on March 17 and sometimes 18th! 😉

    I have made a concerted effort to avoid that despite some of your more outlandish posts.

    THANK YOU

    I try to emulate and keep alive the efforts of ED HARGUS, DIANE BUDA,
    and others like MARCIA.
    Hopefully Chris, you will do for benefitting others, like they did.

    I have never questioned your motives and altruism, have I?

    I have questioned if you put your integrity and credibility in jeoparty
    to some people by dancing around a direct question, repeatedly asked?

    Chris, you appear to back Miron’s position as much as being anti- Hanney.
    My experience is people in both parties lie with back door deals, yet
    Miron’s seem to exceed others – big time!
    That hurts your credibility and peoples’ view of your integrity.

    I have high regards for your motives, alruism, integrity, and credibility,
    except you will not acknowledge the probability this was set up as
    political posturing for the “REAL DEAL.”

    March 14 60 minutes about WALL STREET applies to ALL POLITICS and
    also locals in this respect:
    “PEOPLE WHO CAUSED PROBLEMS SET THEMSELVES UP TO BENEFIT FROM
    PROBLEMS CAUSED and by BEING the SAVIORS and PROBLEM SOLVERS.”

    Best Wishes


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