One Less of Stratford’s Bravest

28Feb12

To: All Personnel
From: Robert J. McGrath, Fire Chief
Date: February 28, 2012

Subject: Retirement Assistant Chief Thomas S. Murray

Assistant Chief Thomas S. Murray has retired from the Stratford Fire Department effective February 27, 2012.
Assistant Chief Murray has served this department and the entire community with distinction and dedication to duty for the past 25 years as an outstanding firefighter and officer.
We wish Assistant Chief Murray a happy and healthy well-deserved retirement.

We wish Assistant Chief Murray all the best that could ever be. We are saddened for the Town that it must do without our most loyal, honest and caring firefighter that it has been our privilege to know. Of the many things that can and will be said about Chief Murray, none will surpass any expression of his dedication to the Stratford FD or the citizens of Stratford. It will be a very long time before a leader such as Chief Murray comes along again. While this post should be much longer than it is, Chief Murray’s humility won’t permit even a brief description here of his record with this Town.

We will miss you Chief Murray.

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70 Responses to “One Less of Stratford’s Bravest”

  1. 1 1george1

    Chief Murray is a good person and exceptional Union Leader,
    besides position in Management.

    However, some times the best deal …
    is not the best deal …

  2. 2 jezebel282

    George,

    “However, some times the best deal …
    is not the best deal …”

    Well, one thing is for sure. Tom Murray left the bar set at the maximum height for those that will come later.

  3. 3 1george1

    Too bad the Murrays don’t live in Stratford.

  4. 4 jezebel282

    George,

    “Too bad the Murrays don’t live in Stratford.”

    Depends on your perspective. I’ll bet every politician in this Town is ecstatic that they don’t.

  5. 5 1george1

    “Too bad the Murrays don’t live in Stratford.”

  6. 6 jezebel282

    George,

    “Too bad the Murrays don’t live in Stratford.”

    I would certainly be willing to rent a room right here in Stratford to one or both of them if either decided to run for mayor.

  7. 7 1george1

    George,

    “Too bad the Murrays don’t live in Stratford.”

    I would certainly be willing to rent a room right here in Stratford to
    one or both of them if either decided to run for mayor.


    To Jeze
    – You would have to get in line behind Sudds about one of them.
    – Mrs. Sudds might have some objections.


    I have a very high opinion of Tom.
    I don’t know much about Ellen.

    If they had to defend fire department budgets and pensions,
    they would have no chance of being elected dog catcher ….
    Actually we might need a new dog catcher ….

    Conversely, I have the highest praise for their courages and
    abilities within their chosen field, and of them as people.

    We have legitimate disagreements on relative compensation,
    when Social Security is $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 with 65 as a
    starting date and a POLICE CAPTAIN can retire about 55,
    and collect $ 4 million, if he lives 30 years after retiring &
    only putting in under $ 96,000 NET over 27 years.

    If Stratford had all 401 or Defined Contribution plans – 100%
    of management & labor would retire under Sikorsky’s $ 26 k
    for 30 years.

    I believe there is fraud and conspiracy with certain lawyers
    and certain political people who are protected from criminal
    prosecution …..

    I do not care what anyone retires at either if they deserve it
    by direct and (free market) reasonable matching funds OR
    if the STOCK MARKET went up to 26,000 …. as long as it
    COST ME and others NOTHING EXTRA.

    I want them the have good
    PAY
    BENEFITS
    RETIREMENTS

    However, things are UN SUSTAINABLE with a LIKELY MARKET
    CRASH about MAY, when EVERYTHING ELSE appears GREAT.
    By then the TAX RETURN MONEY will be invested.

    Meanwhile they are grabbing everything they can .. no different
    than Bush – Rockefeller – Big Oil – Drug Traffickers – Insiders
    Lawyers/Judges – just smaller grand theft of the “I GOT MINE.”

    The stock market does not go straight up.
    The public treasury is not inexhaustible.
    There comes a time to pay the piper (playing @ funerals)

    If privateers rob Peter to pay Paul, and find an old mother Hubbard,
    how do they pay Paul, who doesn’t take NO for an answer?

  8. 8 jezebel282

    George,

    “I have a very high opinion of Tom.
    I don’t know much about Ellen.”

    She is the smarter and prettier one.

  9. 9 1george1

    She is the smarter and prettier one.

    Rumor has it it’s true of your family too!

    Since the 1980s …. I

  10. 10 1george1

    Has the widow finally received overdue PENSION BENEFITS?

    The 1970s a 30 year retiree from the town got only $ 3500
    annual pension. I view as completely unfair & too low.

    I favor true UNION people working for the entire membership
    including retirees and widows / widowers getting decent retire
    ments, which are greatly hurt by MANAGERS & SUPERVISORS
    completely draining Public Treasury & more importantly the good
    will of APPRECIATIVE CIVILIANS.

    I would appreciate knowing the widow is being compensated
    from the Defined Benefit Pension. My sympathy for her/family.
    None of the Brothers/sisters appear to be helping???

    Real UNION people are paying the price for Government politically
    connected embezzling across the spectrum.

  11. 11 1george1

    Brothers/Sisters refer to people in the UNION who supposed
    to band together to help each other and provide job security
    & compensation not just for the Senior, but Junior people too.

    Stratford UNIONS are a DISGRACE, despite many good people
    working within the government & unions.

  12. 12 jezebel282

    Update:

    I am very happy to report from a source that after a 4.5 month delay, the Town has brought Mrs. McCabe’s pension benefits up to date.

  13. 13 1george1

    Nothing can replace a loved one.
    Good to know she has steady income.
    Thank you,

  14. 14 jezebel282

    Update:

    On the other hand, four months after having brilliantly served for 25 years, Assistant Chief Tom Murray remains essentially unemployed. No movement at all has been reported on his pension. We will continue to monitor this as Chief Murray twists in the wind and attorneys for the Town collect their billable hours from the taxpayer.

  15. 15 1george1

    Jeze & I agree on Mr. Murray being exceptionally capable as Fireman
    and I like Tom as a person. I would like to see him have a good pension.
    Jeze and I disagree at that level of pension pay.

    If Mr. Murray’s name was Miron or others, I suspect there would be
    a different position from Jeze.

    How much is the PENSION the Town offering and how much was
    his Base Pay?

    If there were honesty in government, there wouldn’t be PENSIONS
    over Base Pay, nor above 70% or 60%. There would be compensation
    along the lines of a 401 or Defined Contribution plan.

    I agree with Jeze assessment that Mr. Murray will likely win his law
    suit and get a truck load of money, while the Attorneys also bill.

  16. 16 jezebel282

    George,

    “If Mr. Murray’s name was Miron or others, I suspect there would be
    a different position from Jeze.”

    You are absolutely correct. Mostly because Miron would have neither the guts nor the dedication to serve the citizens of Stratford the way Tom Murray has. In fact, both mayors (and any future ones) would do well to learn leadership and integrity skills from Murray.

    “How much is the PENSION the Town offering and how much was
    his Base Pay?”

    However this turns out, that question is irrelevant. As I have stated many times, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. When you sign a contract it is kind of like giving your word. When you violate the terms of a contract it is kind of like, you know….lying.

    The Town doesn’t get to make an “offer”. They had that chance during contract negotiations and agreed to the terms. When a mayor signs the contract he is giving his word that the Town will follow through. If the Town finds that their actions (or inactions) were shortsighted or, shall we say “incompetent”, that does not allow them to say “Contract? What contract?”

    So, the question becomes did Mayor Harkins sign the contract? If he did, then he and he alone is responsible for any pension payment. Not Murray, not Local 998, not the DOL and not the court.

  17. 17 1george1

    JEZE: When you violate the terms of a contract it is kind of like,
    you know….lying.

    GEO: Is it your position that contracts negotiated in Stratford
    have been in the best interests of the TAX PAYERS?
    – Would ANY BUSINESS, have the types and costs of the full range
    of benefits, attorney fees, management compensation, bid process,
    change orders, economic policies, and more?

    HYPOTHEICALLY Are there multiple groups who would effectually
    have to be bribed in order for certain situations to develop in
    certain ways, where there is a huge potential payoff for key
    people in each group?

    I got Mr. Murray to get Esq Burturla to admit in front of a dozen
    witnesses, including myself, that the Town alone is responsible
    for pension computations and 1/2 of contract ratifications.

    JEZE – you and I know political realities and who is related to whom,
    in family and in business or politics.

    There were people who supported Hitler due to the transportation
    network created and rebuilding of the German economy.
    I’M NOT COMPARING HITLER to ANYONE in the USA.
    ARGUMENTS can be made by advocates for a wide range of basis,
    yet placed in different contexts, positions can be strengthened
    or weakened As attributed to Martin Luthor
    “It depneds on whose OX is GORED!”

  18. 18 jezebel282

    George,

    “Is it your position that contracts negotiated in Stratford
    have been in the best interests of the TAX PAYERS?”
    As we both know, that is irrelevant. So little has been done in Stratford in the “best interests of the taxpayers” that when it actually happens, it would be amazing news. It will have nothing at all to do with the reality of the Town losing this case.

    “I got Mr. Murray to get Esq Burturla to admit”
    You got Mr. Murray to do something? ROTFLMAO! Are you sure he wasn’t going to do it anyway? Whatever it was you think you got him to do? Sorry, George. But I cannot imagine anyone getting Tom Murray to do anything he didn’t want to do.

    “Are there multiple groups who would effectually have to be bribed”
    I am definitely not getting on this spaceship to your planet.

    My point was fairly clear. The “strong” mayor of Stratford, John Harkins, signed a contract(s) with Local 998 of which Assistant Chief Tom Murray is/was a member. After 25 years of dedicated and loyal service, it is time for Mayor Harkins to accept the responsibility and not try to place the blame on Chief Murray as he has already done:
    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Retired-assistant-chief-disputes-pension-amount-3554344.php#ixzz1ukRAIwUu

  19. 19 rex525

    Frankly I am not one for high pensions or a banner holder for Unions in general; although I do see them as a necessary evil (especially in a politically corrupt environment such as Stratford). That aside I sincerely hope Chief Murray gets every cent he is owed under his contract, especially after the reprehensible treatment he has endured under the Harkins administration. John Harkins how do you sleep at night?

  20. 20 1george1

    How many times in Stratford have appearances been deceptive,
    with actions laying foundation for counterintuitive perceptions?

    Put another way … Do conmen confess to their activities or are
    they likely to create illusions for their own purposes?

    Do people get hurt along the way? Unfortunately yes.

    While hurting Mr. Murray and keeping him from collect $ 130,000
    pension instead of $ 170,000 pension or whatever it is, does it
    benefit the political powers who can set up a bigger payoff down
    the road while still paying over $ 100,000 into the household and
    laying foundations, for deferred payment with punitive damage.

    It is not about THE professional ability & accomplishments or
    personalities. It’s not about personal.

    It is about politics and steering resources for what appear to be
    contrived reasons, where the longer term outcomes are pretty
    obvious to even the most obsequious toadies.

    Virtually everuthing related to town committees, police, fire, bids,
    change order, mandates, benefits, economic developments, attorneys, sikorsky, avco, & shakespeare has been a series of lies, hasn’t it.
    Why would they cease now?

  21. 21 1george1

    These actions are directly from dick miron play book.

  22. 22 jezebel282

    George,

    “or whatever it is”

    Well, there goes whatever argument you hoped to have. Neither you nor I know the actual details of the amount, why it is what it is or the actual terms and conditions of the contract. (Well, actually I have a pretty good idea).

    The rest of your post is incomprehensible to me.

  23. 23 rex525

    George I generally defend you, however I find it very troubling that you are so free in questioning the credibility of others with your own personal theories and assumptions. If I were you I would wait until I had some solid facts (not to be confused with hearsay) to back up any public statements I might make concerning my own personal suspicions; especially when casting those very public aspersions on someone who is now a private citizen. How can you say in one breath that this gentleman is an exceptionally capable fireman and that you like him as a person; then in another breath compare him to anyone named Miron? It boggles my imagination.

    While it may be difficult to be charged with a slander or libel complaint by a current public or elected official, I do not believe that would be the case with a private citizen.

    Nonetheless, I stand by my statement in support of Chief Murray and wish him well.

  24. 24 1george1

    I wish Chief Murray well.
    He is a highly competent and courageous fire fighter.
    He is also a veteran.
    If I wanted union representation, Tom would be a prime choice.

    My contention is NO ONE deserves PENSIONS they didn’t pay
    to recieve and are beneficiaries of political machinations. Basically
    I believe the union contracts and other are illegal.

    After Ron Ing became HR Head, he was always making tons of photo
    copies because many union documents were missing and he had to
    get copies from police / fire / others.
    – Was that the fault of the Miron or Harkins Administration? Not know!

    The math behind Social Security shows there should be far money
    available to recipients and gasp … politicians lie …

    A 1970s retiree with over 30 years service gets a whole $ 3,500 yearly.
    Is that fair?
    What do the managers and rank people with the highest Pensions
    do for all those people getting under $ 15,000 a year.

    Likely no PENSIONERS deserve more than the $ 25,000 annual that
    SIKORSKY gets, but that’s not fair to working people.
    – You’ve read me.
    – You know I point to the people who stole the stock market
    and the OIL / GAS causing people to lose homes and families.
    – I also point to the drug & war profiteers.
    – Stratford tax payers were cost $ 3 trillion because of the blue wall.
    The Wall of silence extenses everywhere.
    – How many people moved from Stratford? Are the people involved
    of destroying so many lives?

    Go back into the late 1980s & 1990s related to Town Councils &
    Town political or government personnel and I suspect you can
    find your answer found among the Burturla/Miron and others
    who appear to act in gradations, like in the Fabian society.

    FACT – Compare FABIAN SOCIETY to certain political parties’
    and leaders, including David Rockefeller according to a prior
    Wikipedia, where numerous revisions are taking place.

    I SUSPECT you will find RELATIVES of in-laws and out laws,
    connected at many levels.

    REX, I appreciate your support in the past.

    I never wrote nor infer that Mr, Murray was part of planning
    this mess, which I believe is partially straight out of a Dick
    Miron playbook, who liked entrapping people toward their
    own downfall.

    The powers liked to seduce people into acting diametrically
    against their proffered

    In my case he is decades late and there are people far smarter
    than all of us who like pulling everyone’s strings.

    The problem on this blog or will politics is the burdon is on
    the victim to prove the crime.

    The other problem is that some of the readers may be
    coconspirators? But REX you and JEZE would have to
    CONCEED that some of your friends are as bad or worse than
    those whi you demonize?

    I did make a suggestion to Mr. Murray with my reasoning
    about getting him to admit the TOWN has liability to make
    the PENSION calculations. Ergo, either way the TAX PAYER
    is LIABLE. This is a CLASSIC PARADOX DEFENSE – WIN -WIN,
    except for the KOBAYASHI MARU and the FRUIT of the POISON
    TREE. (of knowledge)

    And if JEZE doubts Mr. Murray did act on my suggestion,
    I suspect that can be easily and rapidly confirmed.

  25. 25 rex525

    “But REX you and JEZE would have to CONCEED that some of your friends are as bad or worse than those who you demonize?”

    George I couldn’t DISAGREE with you more, mainly because I have no friends directly or indirectly involved. Your statement above is a prime example of the point I tried to make in my previous posting about your broad assumptions.

  26. 26 jezebel282

    George,

    “KOBAYASHI MARU”
    Really? We’re down to Star Trek metaphors?

    “JEZE would have to CONCEED that some of your friends”
    After four years of editing this blog I have no friends.

    Perhaps you are purposely missing my point in order to throw down some well-worn conspiracy theories? But let me make another try.

    I do not think it is equitable to pay out pension benefits that are greater than the base pay for the position. The reasons why have been made abundantly clear to Stratford taxpayers. Bulking up overtime in the last two years of active employment is a prime and common example in Stratford.

    It should be noted that in Chief Murray’s case, that was not what happened. The incredible number of hours he work was due to the failure of the Town, specifically the HR department, to hire replacement assistant fire chiefs. For almost a year!

    Nonetheless, the mayor, the town attorney and the hr director agreed to and signed this contract with these specific pension benefits. It now falls under contract and labor law. It is a losing position for the Town. Delaying implementation will inevitably cost the taxpayers much more in attorney fees, court costs and possibly penalties and fines. It is certainly not an extra expense I am willing to pay for.

    Negotiating contracts that are equitable for employees and taxpayers is properly done in contract negotiations. That’s what we pay a mayor and hr director for. In Chief Murray’s case, it is far too late for that.

  27. 27 1george1

    REX: George I couldn’t DISAGREE with you more, mainly because
    I have no friends directly or indirectly involved.

    Unfortunately neither you nor Jeze can prove that to me.
    Define directly involved?
    Define indirectly involved?
    Define specifically what you are writing about and the LIMITS
    in scope about your intent?
    Do you contend you have never held and elected position that
    includes town committee and have never been on an appointed
    commission, and have no relatives who work or have worked for
    the town or Stratford (including BoE) or other government agency
    department or branch. Nor get any government contracts.

    While that may seem out landish …. Arbitrators use Union contracts
    for precedent and stuff Stratford workers get, managers get more
    (stated about 2000 by a union rep)
    REX – Please answer three questions
    1 – Of the TOP 12 Pensioners, how many are management?
    2 – Of the TOP 24 Pensioners, how many are management?
    3 – Of the TOP 36 Pensioners, how many are management?
    Define Management: Department Head, Supervisor, Chief,
    Deputy Chief, Captain, Lieutenant.

    non com are Seargeants & Detectives.
    If jeze wants Jeze can post the list which I can email.
    REX & JEZE – how would you like to write in your hours the way
    the Town Attorneys and Managers do?
    I can forward Tim Bishop’s email where he writes he has not taken
    1 penny in pay from the Town of over 1 year.
    I replied about questioning if his associates work for free and how
    is it that Kelly/firm took out $ 1.5 million last 5 years & Burturla/
    firm were paid over $ 2.5 million in last 5 years …. from attachment
    he sent me months ago. Almost as funny as Jeze’s contention.

    There are limits to what I can post, and I try to keep this PUBLIC
    ISSUES rather than personal.
    I have found that there are people in Stratford who benefit from
    actions or political / career positions of their parents, who are
    involved in PUBLIC ISSUES and nothing against their families.

    Whose parent was police, or fire, or in government managment,
    or worked in Attorney office, (including as attorney)?
    Whose in-laws? whose uncles and aunts?
    Which people from education were added to Defined Benefit due
    to the 3 year golden parachute, which a Union Rep fumingly told
    me they were never intended to be included.

    INDIRECTLY connects to a lot of people who know what is happenng,
    at least partiallly, and derive benefit from being silent.

    REX – I will conceed this – there are certain things I can’t prove,
    especially since I do not know with 100 % certainty who JEZE or
    who you are.

    Another concession is friends may be replaced by allies or people
    deriving indirect or direct benefit from the politics.

  28. 28 1george1

    BY FAR AND AWY THE FUNNIEST THING JEZE HAS EVER WRITTEN:

    “Negotiating contracts that are equitable for employees and
    taxpayers is properly done in contract negotiations.”

    JEZE CONTENDING ALL CONTRACT ARE EQUITABLE for TAX
    PAYERS and are PROPERLY DONE! ….. ?? LOL 🙂 ROTFLMAO 😉

    🙂 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO

    or as SUDDS writes: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahhaahhaahhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahajhahahahahahahahaha

    🙂 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO:) ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO 🙂 LOL 😉 ROTFLMAO

  29. 29 jezebel282

    George,

    I give up. You choose not to respond to actual events and insist on spinning wild theories, tenuous relationships, unrelated events and baseless suspicions. I’m sure if you tried you will be able to tie the sun rising this morning to pension plans.

    Yes, the place to negotiate equitable contracts is in negotiations. Not after contracts are signed. The fact that we’ve had two awful mayors in a row that didn’t do that is our own fault.

  30. 30 1george1

    The Mayors are only a product of the political spider web since 1980s.

    Remember a certain letter v Ron Pavluchuk?

  31. 31 rex525

    GEORGE: “Unfortunately neither you nor Jeze can prove that to me. Define directly involved? Define indirectly involved?”

    Honestly George I don’t feel either the obligation or desire to prove anything to you, feel free to draw any conclusion you desire.

    As far the definitions you seek, let me make it very plain to you for brevity’s sake. I do not have any friends of family involved in the Stratford shenanigans PERIOD. Is that plain enough for you?

  32. 32 stfdprofessor1

    “Define directly involved?”

    DIRECTLY [diˈrektlē]: in a direct manner; without deviation, by the shortest route

    INVOLVED [ɪnˈvɒlvd]: connected by participation or association

    “Define indirectly involved?”

    INDIRECTLY [in’diˈrektlē]:diverging from a direct course; roundabout.

    INVOLVED [ɪnˈvɒlvd]: connected by participation or association

    “Please answer three questions
    1 – Of the TOP 12 Pensioners, how many are management?
    2 – Of the TOP 24 Pensioners, how many are management?
    3 – Of the TOP 36 Pensioners, how many are management?”

    WITH ALL THESE TEST QUESTIONS YOU’D THINK YOU WERE THE PROFESSOR.

    PLEASE ANSWER THESE THREE QUESTIONS

    1- WHO IS LIVING OFF A DISABILITY PENSION FROM THE POST OFFICE?
    2- WHO ALSO COLLECTS SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY?
    3- WHO IS THE BIGGEST HYPOCRITE ON WORDPRESS?
    4- WHO CAN’T POST WITHOUT SAYING ME OR I EVERY PARAGRAPH?
    5- WHO WEARS A TIN FOIL HAT?
    6- WHO WEARS A TIRE AS A NECKLACE?
    7- WHO ALWAYS DISHES IT OUT BUT CAN’T TAKE IT?
    8- WHO IS SO ILL THEY USE THEIR DEAD RELATIVES IN MURDER CONSPIRACY THEORIES TO SHAMELESSLY DRAW ATTENTION TO THEMSELF?
    9- WHO’S POSTS ARE CONSTANTLY OFF TOPIC?
    10- WHO CAN’T GO TWO DAYS WITHOUT SCREWING UP EVERY THREAD?

    BUFFOON [bəˈfo͞on]: A ridiculous but amusing person; a clown; a ludicrous figure; a gross and usually ill-educated or stupid person; a fool; a person who amuses others by ridiculous or odd behaviour.

    IF THE SHOE FITS…

  33. 33 stfdprofessor1

    OK SO THERE WERE MORE THAN THREE QUESTIONS- I’LL CALL THEM MY HYPOCRITE TOP TEN.

  34. 34 1george1

    Rex, I accept your positions, although you don’t appear to fit
    the usual suspects who read or post, if you are as you describe
    yourself, and I believe you are credible.

    As far as the other gentleman.
    I’m 60 years old, working, and collect no pensions.
    He is entitled to his opinions and perceptions.
    He/she/it is certainly is passionate, fixated, and not very PUBLIC
    INTEREST ISSUE ORIENTED.

    “Irrelevant or profane posts may be edited for content.
    Personal attacks or threats to private citizens will be
    deleted and the user will be banned from the site.”

    REX could be admired for the adult way he replies.

    It’s all good. Sticks & stones.
    Likely to attact more venting, while I prefer to write about issues:

    LOL ROTFLMAO
    ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO
    ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO
    ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO
    ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO

    or as SUDDS writes: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahhaahhaahha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahajhahahahahahahahaha
    ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO ROTFLMAO
    LOL ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO
    LOL ROTFLMAO 🙂 ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO LOL ROTFLMAO

  35. 35 jezebel282

    Congratulations, George. You’ve managed to take the conversation completely off topic…again.

  36. 36 1george1

    moved to 3.0
    As my heart goes out the the families of the deceased.

    I reacted to inappropriate posts within this string,
    without checking which string it was.

  37. 37 jezebel282

    Update:

    FIVE months have passed since the retirement of Assistant Fire Chief Thomas Murray.

    Not one cent of retirement benefits have been paid to Chief Murray after 25 years of dedicated service to this Town. No cash outs, no town vehicle, no “expenses”, no nothing.

    All the while, we are paying the Town Attorney’s hourly billing, the HR Director’s salary and benefits as well as Harkins’ salary. In addition, Harkins has decided that the Town will fill the Deputy Fire Chief’s position at $90,000/year plus benefits plus a nice new car. That will amount to one Fire Chief, two Deputy Chiefs and four Assistant Chiefs.

    As a taxpayers and residents who have been served by Chief Murray for 25 years we should be ashamed and embarrassed.

  38. 38 mikereynolds

    I don’t understand. If someone retires why don’t their benefits begin upon their retirement date? Any idea what the issue is here?

  39. 39 jezebel282

    Mike,

    “Any idea what the issue is here?”

    Politics.

    Harkins doesn’t want to be blamed for a very high pension. The fact that the amount is due to HR’s failure to approve testing for assistant chiefs for nearly a year forcing Murray and Brennan into dividing 168 hours/week between them is simply a form of denial of responsibility.

    In addition, you have a fairly straightforward contract bearing Harkins signature that will be enforced by any court.

    So…you tell me why the Town is acting this way.

  40. 40 1george1

    I’t my understading DEPUTY CHIEF Murray would have the
    NEWEST HIGH PENSION, by F A R, if he was paid what the
    contract calls for, according to the Finance Department.

    Harkins team offered LESS than what HE & THE TOWN had
    CALCULATED what he was DUE, which was lee than the
    former & still highest PENSIONER, which JEZE & ANTI MIRONS
    are OUT RAGED.

    There are about 6 other pending or started 6 figure PENSIONS.
    Harkins people aren’t very transparent.

    Mr. MURRAY has a CONTRACTUALLY SOLID CASE, if no one ever
    raises FRAUD or CONSPIRACY to vacate the CONTRACT, which is
    NOT yet LIKELY, due to pending 2013 > massive TIME TABLED
    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

    IF / WHEN MR. MURRAY’S CONTRACT AWARD is up held, he will
    get far more money than if he didn’t have a law suit, and it will
    likely be TAX FREE, including BACK PENSION, PENALTIES, and
    PUNTATIVE DAMAGES whereas HARKINS can be made to look like
    he had nothing to do with the MASSIVE RIP OFF, which he and
    Miron, and others helped to create, in my opinion.

  41. 41 1george1

    U.S. loves cops and firefighters – but not their pensions

    By Steven C. Johnson and Chris Francescani | Reuters – 11 hrs ago..
    http://news.yahoo.com/u-loves-cops-firefighters-not-pensions-050706382.html

    Divide and rule, in politics, sociology and economics, a strategy to gain or maintain power

  42. 44 jezebel282

    George,

    “WHEN MR. MURRAY’S CONTRACT AWARD is up held, he will
    get far more money than if he didn’t have a law suit”

    Any (Town) attorney, would look at the contracts that bear Harkins signature and advise to simply pay the man. Not in Stratford though.

    “DEPUTY CHIEF Murray would have the NEWEST HIGH PENSION, by F A R,”

    Ummm… Murray was Assistant Chief not Deputy Chief.

    But let’s review: Staffing levels at the FD call for four assistant chiefs. Individually they are the scene commander at any response. That means that one of them must be on duty at all times. It’s not really that complicated. There are 168 hours in a week. Dividing by four provides 42 hours of work among each of the four assistant chiefs.
    When two of them retire (as happened) that leaves 84 hours/week each that must be provided by the two remaining assistant chiefs. And now for the problem: The HR Director allowed this situation to exist for over a year before approving appropriate testing for new assistant chiefs.

    Let’s pause and think about that. Two people working a minimum of 84 hours a week for nearly a year. A minimum of 44 of those hours every week is paid at time and a half. Plus accrued vacation, holiday and sick time.

    But wait, it gets better/worse. Once the new tests were approved and administered our HR department skirted the contract and appointed the wrong four applicants. The solution? Promote a fifth applicant at $88,000/year. And what disciplinary action was taken by Harkins for this obvious lack of foresight, planning and execution? The HR Director received an $8,000/year raise, of course. These are the facts of the case and they are undisputed.

    Now for my opinion: After having been passed over for the positions of Chief and Deputy Chief (without even an interview, mind you), Tom Murray decides that after 25 years of exemplary service to the Town, he had reached the peak of his career in the SFD under this administration. He retires.

    The Town looks at his contract, adds up the enormous amount of hours Murray was required to work and gags. To date, the Town (and by that I mean Mayor Harkins) has not issued a single payment to Chief Murray. Mayor Harkins would like to pay a lot less to Chief Murray than he is entitled to. Murray, on the other hand, points to the contract (You know, the one Harkins signed?) and says “Pay me what you promised”.

    And there it sits. Currently the only person making money due to Murray’s retirement is the Town Attorney.

  43. 45 1george1

    Town Attorney makes more money.
    Harkins plays the role.
    Tom Murray will make A LOT more MONEY.
    Tax Payers, will pay for everything.
    Political agendas against unions of police & fire are building
    in the court of public opinion, whereas it distracts from the
    witting perpetrators.

    The only thing JEZE & I disagree about is that I believe
    there is intentional conspiracy, where Mr. Murray may or
    may NOT be a witting participant.

    The focus is on the GREEDY FIRE DEPT.

    I believe the real targets to benefit are those who seek
    to control the BIG ASSETS and hired the REPLACEMENT
    POLICE, while the people HIRED in the 1970s / early 1980s
    made out too good & have signicant money to invest.

  44. 46 jezebel282

    George,

    “intentional conspiracy”

    The only conspiracy here is one to violate signed and executed contracts.

  45. 47 1george1

    JEZE: The only conspiracy here is one to violate
    signed and executed contracts.

    GEORGE: Which makes for a SLAM DUNK LAW SUIT
    and DENIABILITY, among other agendas.

    From what I can read, IF IT’S MIRON or his people WRONG.
    If it’s JEZES friends, they can DO NO WRONG.

    If it’s neither, like myself or Harkins friends, JEZE makes decisions
    based on rational & emotional biases.

    It makes for interesting debate, with positions pretty much as
    expected, which isn’t much different than most Town Council
    VOTES as DECISIONS where some people are allowed to cast their
    vote for DENIABILITY and others willingly take the HIT based on
    PRETEXT, RATIONALIZATIONS, JUSTIFICATIONS, etc…..

    Yet JEZE & I agree on STEERED FLOW of $$

    D + R + SOMETIMES here are predicatble as WWE storylines.

  46. 48 jezebel282

    Update:

    11 months have passed since Assistant Fire Chief Murray retired. He has yet to receive a single penny of his earned pension from the Town of Stratford.

  47. 49 stfdprofessor1

    Could be Harkins is trying to break the record he set trying to starve out the McNeal and Soto family.

  48. 50 jezebel282

    Prof,

    When one side has signed contracts in their hand and the other has nothing except unlimited Town Attorney fees the only tactic left is time. After all, until another mayor is elected the Town Attorney can just keep running the meter,

  49. 51 stfdprofessor1

    “After all, until another mayor is elected the Town Attorney can just keep running the meter”

    Can I get a CAAAAAAAAA-CHING!!! Hallelujah

  50. 52 jezebel282

    Update:

    It has now been 14 months since Chief Murray retired and the Town still refuses to pay a penny of his well earned pension.

    Disgusting.

  51. 53 jezebel282

    Update:

    It’s not looking good for Harkins or the Town:

    “The Court makes a further finding that there is a binding agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant Town of Stratford concerning the receipt of benefits under Section 7-433c of the Connecticut General Statutes and that the plaintiff has a colorable claim for breach of the agreement concerning the failure of the town of Stratford – acting through the pension authority – to include the 7-433c benefits within the calculation for benefits. So the appropriate remedy is a breach of contract action”
    http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/DocumentInquiryDocumentInquiry.aspx?DocumentNo=6382893

    The court is pretty good at stating the obvious.

  52. 54 jezebel282

    “failure of the town of Stratford – acting through the pension authority”

    Hey, wait a minute! “Pension Authority”? Where did we just read about that? Oh right!

    “I am proud of…leading the pension board for three years.” That would be Jim Connor (R-8th District) who just announced his intention to run again. Nice work there, Mr. Connor. This one should cost us a fortune.

    Anybody else running for Council in the 8th? Anyone? Anyone at all?

  53. 55 jezebel282

    Update:

    To no one’s surprise, the Town has lost another legal case.

    http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=FBTCV136038783S

    Three and one half years after Chief Murray retired and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees later, the Town has come up against the reality of their own actions.

    Using terms like

    “a court will not torture words to impart ambiguity where the ordinary meaning leaves no ambiguity” (Gee, that sounds familiar),

    “An assumption which would be utterly unwarranted”

    “This court declines the invitation, extended by the Town of Stratford, to practice judicial anarchy.”

    “The same rule of law which binds this court, is no less binding upon Stratford’s Human Resources Director, and its Finance Office.”

    “The court is not persuaded, and is unimpressed by the red herring special defense”. (The Town argued that the Mayor and Town Attorney did not have the authority to negotiate and sign contracts. Honest.)

    And thus the court awarded Chief Murray his entire claim, 8% interest on the monies owed to him since Feb 2012 as well as his legal fees.

    A couple of items worth noting here. This case is largely based on a previous court decision in 2002 Knapp v Town of Stratford (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ct-superior-court/1199122.html). We lost that one too. Representing the Town in that case was John Florek, Esq.

    In this case, representing the Town until nearly the very end was…wait for it…John Florek, Esq.

    The signatures on Chief Murray’s contract were those of John Florek and John Harkins. A Town Attorney, it must be said, does absolutely nothing unless directed by a mayor.

    We would congratulate Chief Murray, but we have the awful feeling that this mayor will waste more of our tax money by appealing this case three or four more times. After all, Chief Murray was in a union and we know how Harkins feels about unions.

  54. 56 jezebel282

    One additional note. After Attorney Florek either removed himself from the case or was removed, he was replace by…drum roll….Berchem Moses and Devlin.

    This Town just never learns.

  55. 57 stfdprofessor1

    [“I am proud of…leading the pension board for three years.” That would be Jim Connor (R-8th District) who just announced his intention to run again. Nice work there, Mr. Connor. This one should cost us a fortune.]

    Jim Connor- isnt this the same jackass that cost the taxpayers a fortune by being in the middle of the sewage treatment fiasco? Another legal fiasco that cost taxpayers tens of thousands to the town attorney?

    Berchem Moses and Devlin? Really…when will the taxpayers of this town wake up to the fact that we are being ROBBED through the town attorney’s office by the manufacturing of frivilous litigation???

    While i am NOT HAPPY at the size of Murray’s award i believe that I did predict a resounding KA-CHING!!!!! Can anyone seriously say the legal profiteers who fleeced the town treasury with this looser of a case did not expect the same thing?

    In November may we please “Restore the Sanity”!!!

  56. 58 mikereynolds
  57. 59 jezebel282

    Mike,

    First Amendment rights? Seriously?

    The only question we have is whether her attorney took her money too. That attorney should be arrested for theft..

  58. 60 stfdprofessor1

    CAAAAAAAAA-CHING!!!

    http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Retired-Stratford-fire-chief-wins-100-000-bonus-6397586.php

    Thanks “John”, now I’ll be eating cat food instead of ramen noodles. Lets also not forget that the town attorneys made more than twice as much as the plaintiff on this mess.

  59. 61 jezebel282

    Makes you wonder if Harkins was even there when Harkins signed the contract or if Harkins was there while Murray was putting in 110 hours/week. Oh wait! He must have been there since his signature is on the contract and disability agreement.

  60. 62 jezebel282

    It’s time for a little Kool-Aid antidote. The truth usually works:

    “We have made great strides by moving all municipal employees out of pensions and into defined contribution plans more in-line with the private sector and by issuing pension bonds to fund this huge liability. The state government should take a look at laws that allow pensions to be inflated with these types of settlements. It is very harmful to municipalities and local property taxpayers to stay on this course,” the mayor said.”

    It’s as if Harkins never saw the contracts nor did he sign them. “The state government should take a look”? Wasn’t Harkins in the state government? Is this the first time he heard of this?

    “allow pensions to be inflated with these types of settlements”.

    First things first. This isn’t a “settlement”. This is payment due as a result of contracts that Harkins signed. Even worse, every penny of the amount over Chief Murray’s normal pension (the accumulation and incorporation of overtime) is a direct result of the inaction of Ron Ing (Harkins HR Director) and therefore Harkins. For over a year, both Chief Murray and Chief Brennan were two of the highest paid Town employees due to the overtime forced on them by Ron Ing. This incompetence will now cost the taxpayers approximately $30,000/year extra for the rest of Chief Murray’s natural life. Longer if his spouse is entitled to the benefits afterwards. Say another 25-30 years? At a minimum $750,000? And remember, that’s the extra amount.

    As for the disability payment, Chief Murray could have, at the time, retired on a 100% disability pension. Chief Murray having suffered permanent and serious cardiac damage. But he didn’t. Chief Murray only ever wanted to be a firefighter and serve the citizens of Stratford. So he offered a whopping savings to the Town and agreed to accept a fraction of what he was entitled to payable upon his regular retirement. A contract stating such was signed by John Harkins, John Florek and Chief Murray. Chief Murray continued to serve the Town for five more years. This is the amount Harkins disputed.

    “Trial counsel sets up the enforceability of the compensation agreement as a straw man, which he then attempts to demolish,” the judge ruled. “In so doing, he directs unwarranted criticism towards both the mayor and the town attorney who negotiated the agreement.”

    In this the judge was somewhat in error. The way it works around here is that trial counsel answers to the Town Attorney and the mayor. Harkins is the one who signs the trial counsel’s check (using our money of course). Trial counsel does nothing unless the Town Attorney and Harkins approves it. So, Judge, any criticism directed at the Town Attorney and mayor is indeed warranted.

    And that, Dear Readers, is the whole story.

  61. 63 stfdprofessor1

    “So he offered a whopping savings to the Town and agreed to accept a fraction of what he was entitled to payable upon his regular retirement. A contract stating such was signed by John Harkins, John Florek and Chief Murray.”

    Let me get this straight, Murray settled for a fraction of what was owed him and they tried to screw him out of that fraction???

  62. 64 jezebel282

    We thought that’s what we wrote. Hang on, let us check.

    Yup. That’s what we wrote alright. Murray settled for a fraction and Harkins tried to screw him out of the fraction. Probably to cover up Ing’s incompetence since there was no disputing that.

  63. 65 stfdprofessor1

    Screw someone then make them look like the thief…OMG, this administration just gets sleazier and sleazier all the time.

  64. 66 jezebel282

    It’s kinda like someone trying to sell your car for $10 and telling you they are doing you a favor because now you’ll save all that money on gas. Just the same as Harkins selling the WPCA.

  65. 67 rex525

    I read the story in the CT Post and knew it would make WordPress. Chief Murray two thumbs way up 🙂

    I am now a happy resident of Wallingford, but I see Stratford hasn’t changed much 😦

    Jezebel keep up the good work.

    For now,
    Rex

  66. 68 jezebel282

    Rex,

    Umm…We had the story first. A full day before the Post. It probably won’t even be in the Star.

    Just sayin’.

  67. 69 rex525

    You always have been the first with the most dear lady.

  68. 70 rex525

    I loved the headline on the front page of the CT Post today-
    “Judge: Stratford stiffed chief”

    Truer words have never been spoken.


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