Down the Drain

21Apr12

Another bucketful, please.

Although previously we may have resorted to hyperbole and metaphor, in this case we are talking about literally pouring our money into the toilet. Not since the days of Miron have we seen such budget gimmicks on this sort of scale. While we all brace for the inevitable approval of 30% higher sewer use “fees” (Explain to me again how this is not a tax?) it is also the fact that not a single taxpayer will protest this arbitrary extrication of household income. Citizens and readers of this post will simply sigh and pay the bill when it comes.

But wait. Why are our “fees” going up? Is our waste more expensive this year? Have we been flushing too much? No. It is because the administration decided that they can slide it by us and we’ll just pay it. The WPCA (the sewer people) has a few new increases. The WPCA will now pay “land use fees” (rent) to the Town. The rent comes to $600,000/year. The WPCA will also contribute $300,000 to the general fund. The WPCA will also (inexplicably) pay an addition $455,000 in “outside” contractual fees. That’s $1.35 MILLION in additional “cost”.

Now, you may ask, who approved these budget tricks? Who are these WPCA people and why are they doing this to us? The answer will not surprise anyone:

WPCA Committee:

Christian Barnaby – Chairman
Stephanie Philips
Matthew Catalano
Jason Santi
John Dempsey
Kenneth Poisson
Craig B. Budnick
James Connor, Jr.
Joseph Kubic
Paul Hoydick

It is politically far easier to raise a “fee” than to increase the mill rate. (Did you happen to notice the 8-2 majority of Republicans? An extra point if you did). As a whole, the mission of the Council and the mayor seems to be to drive as many residents and businesses as possible out of Stratford.

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112 Responses to “Down the Drain”

  1. 1 1george1

    Shame.

  2. 2 jezebel282

    George,

    “Shame.”

    On so many levels. And no one will raise their voice in objection. Just business as usual in Stratford.

  3. 3 ronmoreau

    If the town is transfering my ‘sewer use fees’ into the general fund then call it a tax so I can write it off on my income taxes.

  4. 4 sudds

    “it a tax so I can write it off on my income taxes”…

    But, that would (1) expose what they are actually trying to hide and (2) require our town government to care about us taxpayers!!!

    In other words… NEVER… GONNA… HAPPEN!!!

  5. 5 1george1

    NOT EVERYONE ROLLS OVER and PLAYS DEAD

    At Stratford Town Council Public Forum April 9 – I raised the Sewer
    Fee in writing and verbally.

    At Stratford HS Budget Hearing April 11 – I raised the Sewer Fee
    issue in writing and verbally.

    At Budget Work Shops, I raised the issues.

    Last year, I protested the $ 280 Sewer Fee, and the Town Council
    woke up, because the agenda stated $ 280 and Geen T asked for
    last minute $ 345.
    – Malloy was a no show the next Town Council Meeting which Sudd’s
    favorite Councilman chaired – The increase was unnaimously defeated.

    Sudds – Beautiful Baby picture.

    Ron – good point for Letter to Editor, besides seeking REDUCED
    SEWER FEES, because they can’t JUSTIFY $ 28 – despite Larry Miller
    blather in Sunday’s CT POST = PRAVDA / IZVESTIA.

    Too bad Sudds, Ron, Jeze, and a couple other people didn’t write
    letters to the editor articulating and enumerating long trains of
    abuses by the puppets of Berchem / Burturla Kelly / Bishop, &
    Florek > Harkins + Miron + Branyan + Feeney + Barhhart + most of
    the Town Councils since at least 1996 ….

    It only takes a couple letters to encourage and educate othersNo

  6. 6 sudds

    “Sudds – Beautiful Baby picture.”

    THANKS! (we’re truly blessed!)

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    Notwithstanding the beautiful baby. but…..

    “(1) expose what they are actually trying to hide”
    They are not hiding it at all. They just think we are too dumb and complacent to bother.

    “(2) require our town government to care about us taxpayers!!!”
    See item 1.

  8. 8 sudds

    “They just think we are too dumb and complacent”

    Sadly… you are correct! And even worse is that most taxpayers are one or the other!!!

  9. 9 1george1

    Rule # 1 The customer is always right.
    Rule # 2 See rule # 1.

    General Taxpayers are ignorant of local politics and too busy
    with work and family.
    Involved Taxpayers are afraid for their jobs, health, and families,

  10. 10 jezebel282

    George,

    Except for a few meager outlets such as this one, most citizens are unaware of anything that goes on in the building next to Stratford High. My assessment is that the overwhelming majority of citizens will find out about the 30+% increase in their sewer use bill when it appears in their mailbox in July. Most will be very angry but will simply sit down and write a check to the Stratford Tax Collector (one more time: how is this not a tax?).

    On the other hand, if you are reading this, it is possible that you are one of the very few citizens that have a clue what is going on here. It is also possible that there may be some shred of democracy that remains in Stratford, although the evidence of that is very minimal.

    However, if it does exist, you could actually send an email or call your councilman and express your outrage at this budget gimmickry. You might even forward it to a couple of your friends and neighbors so they can do the same thing. What the hell, it couldn’t hurt. You might even feel a bit better about writing that check.

    Mayor
    John Harkins (R) 1036 Whippoorwill Ln 385-4001 mayor@townofstratford.com

    First District
    Christian M. Barnaby* (R) 697 Prospect Dr. 386-1506 cbarnaby@townofstratford.com
    Second District
    Stephanie D. Philips (D) 41 Yarwood St. 377-2119 sphilips@townofstratford.com
    Third District
    Matthew P. Catalano (R) 3486 Main St. 375-0265 mcatalano@townofstratford.com
    Fourth District
    Jason W. Santi (D) 29 Longbranch Ave. 522-4220 jsanti@townofstratford.com
    Fifth District
    John M. Dempsey (R) 190 Swanson St. 520-9991 jdempsey@townofstratford.com
    Sixth District
    Ken Poisson (R) 2725 Main St. 258-7448 kpoisson@townofstratford.com
    Seventh District
    Craig Budnick (R) 932 Riverton Terr. 377-5102 cbudnick@townofstratford.com
    Eighth District
    James J. Connor, Jr. (R) 71B Riverbend Rd. 414-1688 jconnor@townofstratford.com
    Ninth District
    Joseph Kubic (R) 1350 James Farm Rd. 378-4498 jkubic@townofstratford.com
    Tenth District
    Paul Hoydick (R) 55 Castle Dr. 378-9476 phoydick@townofstratford.com

    *WPCA Chairman.

    (Challenge question: Did you note that all these people make up the WPCA Board? Give yourself another point if you did.)

  11. 11 portia1776

    I have had less and less time to put in my one cent (you know who took the other one). But I couldn’t resist coming to the aid of Jez, who yields a lone plunger of truth against our town government’s blockage of evasions, legal fictions, and fiscal irresponsibility. She is on such a roll that there is little else that can be said. “Republicans” elected to at least hold the line on taxes are raising taxes. The old “it’s not a tax, it’s a fee” routine, really? Okay, I’ll play a long. How much will our tax obligations be offset by all this new revenue ,you know, from the “fee”? Let me save our dear elected officials the trouble of coming up with a response: there won’t be any reduction. There will likely be an increase. And the reason is that year after year we are damned to repeat this death cycle of profligate spending, followed by profligate taxing and borrowing, and usually some token service cutting. Money is not all that is going down the drain… so is any hope for the future. To break the cycle, we need to radically reform the what and how of town government… this latest stunt answers the why: we are our own worst enemies.

  12. 12 1cyclops

    Be careful what you wish for…..

  13. 13 1george1

    Walt Kelly’s POGO:
    “We have MET the ENEMY,
    he is US.”

    This may be a historic event in the life of this blog:
    Portia agreeing with Jeze.
    My agreeing with Cyclops.

  14. 14 jezebel282

    Portia,

    “I couldn’t resist coming to the aid of Jez”

    Thank you. For a minute there, I thought it was me. This is so obviously wrong that it transcends opinion and moves into the realm of fantasy. Unfortunately it is true. What is worse is that no one can really do anything and we will all simply pay the bill when it comes.

    The words “arbitrary” and “egregious” come to mind.

  15. 15 1george1

    Word association if Chris was still posting?
    condescending

    For a few of us?
    Sarcastic

  16. 16 1george1

    Jeze, could you create a couple of blog strings, so I and others
    can place posts appropriately?

    Taxes
    BUDGET
    Defined Benefit Pension
    Health Care costs
    Unfunded Mandates
    TEAM STRATFORD
    Raymark
    – Ground / Dumpsites
    – Ground Water > VOC Volitile Organic Compound
    – DRIVING DOWN PROPERTY VALUES – Endanering Health
    WPCA
    AIRPORT (POISON LAND/WATER to KILL BIRDS)
    AVCO
    Lordship / LBW / LB
    SIKORSKY PLANT
    ASHCROFT / Public Works Land / Frog Pond
    Commercialize Stratford Coast line
    Town Attorney Fees
    OT
    BIDS / CHANGE Orders.
    More.

    I know it’s a bit mut to ask.
    However since the next POST is # 17 = PE
    – Since so many stratford & USA are “PE” NUTS

    I guess I’ll simply cover these in the letter to the editor
    in the Stratford Start, where you posted NO ONE says
    or does anything to try to stop the gangs … (your words)

  17. 17 1george1

    April 26 – Stratford Star:
    Stratford, Not-T-ing-HAM or CAME-lot or AVON-nova?:

    I believe:
    Stratford Taxes are 40% higher than transparently justifiable.

    1-Change’ll happen “only if many, Stratford citizens and business get actively involved.” First contact Mayor, Town Councilors, and Department Heads: CEASE ABUSES! Investigate, document, run for office, and count votes.

    2-Reject ½ Mil increase, raising Sewer Fees $95, from $280 to $375!
    Sewer-WPCA is separate from Town or Education Budgets. Future Fees PLANNED: $500 annually.
    Harkins proposal: $600,000 rent; $755,000 Budget transfers into General Fund=$1,355,000 Tax Increases?

    3-ASAP need Raymark actions, for Health, Safety, Property Values and Tax Base:
    A-Inexpensive temporary cap: Cover Raybestos Softball Field; Prevent airborne Asbestos.
    B-500 acres Raymark poison ground water plume:
    *“Vacuum and pipe to Water Treatment Plant,” working at 30% capacity, 2.5 miles from Raymark.
    *“Treat in place,” organically-inorganically-other.
    *Shepherd and “capture poison concentrates.”
    C-Support “www.savestratford.com” Completely remediate Stratford! Block inland-upstream poison consolidation!
    D-Pass Town Council Resolutions and Ordinances, FINE: EPA and DEP.
    E-Block Bridgeport-Trumbull-Shelton-Milford-Hartford-DC “Eminent Domain” Commercial Stratford Coastline!

    4-Add 2 Research Librarians: with Masters Degrees in Research Sciences, and “Grant writing” abilities.
    Mayor Miron used my suggestion. 2 years: over $10,000,000 (over 2 Mils) in Grant money, assisted Stratford.
    Grants, Donations, Buying savings, and Revenue for Library, Town, and Education might make the Library self sustaining, while helping Town-BoE.

    5- Support non-profit Shakespeare Theater’s curtain raising.
    Shakespeare, Coke, and Disney are valuable BRANDS. Stratford Shakespeare Theater is a BRAND.
    I believe within 10 years, that $5,000,000 can transfer annually from Shakespeare’s non-profit to Tax Payer relief in the General Fund. (If the usual suspects’ sticky fingers are limited.) Cultural and economic impact benefits Stratford,
    Bridgeport’s Barnum Festival trailed only the Mardi Gras and Rose Festival in attendance and economic impact.
    Stratford Shakespeare facilities-venues can assist-dwarf Norwalk and Milford Oyster Festivals, and New Haven’s Arts and Ideas.
    Fund $30,000,000 for 3 phases to reconstruct World Class Theater capabilities for Touring Shakespeare or Broadway productions, and presentations’ ranges. Funding sources:
    *Patrons; Productions-Performances; Documentaries; Films; DVD; Licensing; Cable; AM-FM Radio; TV; Rent; etc.

    6-Demand the Town Charter opening: Make Town Attorney office as paid employees and not billing machines.

    7-Mayor’s salary is $90,000. Mayor was paid $111,000 in 2011. Eliminate Cash-outs.

    8- Demand Criminal investigation (Mistakes? Entrapment?) into Defined Benefit Pensions and possible quid pro quo relationships, costing 14 Mils:

    A-3 FAILED BIDS: Shakespeare Theater; AVCO;
    B-“Team Stratford:” preferred vender paid $11,000,000, 1999-2009;
    C-Town Attorneys: appointments; fees; settlements; opinions; agendas;
    D-O.T.-Pensions-Benefits-Hirings-promotions;
    E-Unfunded Mandates; Economic Exodus; Judith Terrace;
    F-Questionable BIDS-CHANGE ORDERS: like Fire Trucks-Fire House,
    G-Political State: Judges; Prosecutors; Police; Elected; Agencies-Departments; Parties’ Allies;
    H-Political Federal: Judges; Prosecutors; Police; Elected; Agencies-Departments-Military; Parties’ Allies;

    9-Demand WEB EXCEL Transparency of “Defined Benefit Pensions costs,” including:
    Name of Defined BENEFIT Pensioner;
    Department;
    Retirement Type;
    Date Hired;
    Retirement Date;
    .
    Last two years INCOME;
    Monthly PENSION;
    Annual PENSION;
    Annual Base Pay;

    Career “GROSS” Total Employee PENSION Contribution;
    >Cash Out: (Subtract leave Paid to retiree)
    Career NET Total Employee PENSION Contribution

    GROSS HEALTH CARE COST;
    NET HEALTH CARE COST;

    ANNUITY PAID;
    TOWN ANNUITY COST

    10-I’d mitigate-exculpate honest/reasonable locals against Federals-State, political-justice-intelligence traitors.
    .
    .
    .
    Above this is 500 words, excluding the Title.
    Example which can be used in a story:

    PENSIONS higher than BASE PAY or LIFETIME net CONTRIBUTIONS?
    5 samples TAKEN from 2009 list
    .
    Dept.- – – – PENSION – – Base Pay- lifetime contribution – Cash out
    – net lifetime employee pension contribution
    .
    Police – – $ 134,525.28 – $ 84,850 – – – -$ 140,107.79 – – – $ 44,438.94
    – – – $ 95,668.85
    .
    Police – – – $ 98,368.44 – $ 81,588 – – – -$ 131,692.21 – – – $ 45,388.38
    – – – $ 86,303.83
    .
    Police – – – $ 84,683.28 – $ 63,711 – – – – $ 97,526.32 – – – $ 25,529.37
    – – – $ 72,003.05
    .
    Police – – – $ 83,784.96 – $ 63,711 – – – -$ 108,437.23 – – – $ 27,731.14
    – – – $ 80,706.09
    .
    Police – – – $ 81,701.28 – $ 81,588 – – – -$ 109,696.55 – – – $ 41,696.30
    – – – $ 68,000.25
    .
    .
    I had to move these below added things which are legally available
    due to FOI,due to space & constraints within wordpress set up.
    .
    .
    – last 2 years – gross/net health care cost – gross/net annuity –

    I respect the Police Fire do put their lives & health on the line.

    .
    .
    .
    Selfish and ignorant individuals have set themselves up
    to be double crossed by NEW POLITICIANS who can make
    hay REFORMING abuses and some will see CLAW BACKS.
    NONE of the present hired will see PENSIONS … HIGHER THAN
    … ANNUAL SALARY …TOTAL LIFE TIME CONTRIBUTIONS.

    POLITICIANS want to take from the RETIRED so they can
    BRIBE their won people that they pplace into the system,
    not to investigate and prosecute them?

    If people are so corrupt, where do they turn?
    They convict temselves in the court of Pblic Opinion, who
    can relate to obscene PENSIONS, because they can compare
    their PENSIONS / SOCIAL SECURITY and own BUDGETS to the GOVERNMENT Employees, which CT POST & R attack.

    Meanwhile those people who took over the sysmem using
    DRUG MONEY
    GAMBLING
    POLITICAL JUSTICE FEES
    CRIME
    VICE
    WAR PROFITS
    PETRO PROFITS
    PENSION GRABS
    FORECLOSURES
    LABOR PROFITS

    The unions / Teamsters are a disgrace to the FLAG they
    wear on their uniforms and have destoryed unionism’s
    legitimacy, in my opinion

  18. 18 jezebel282

    George,

    “Jeze, could you create a couple of blog strings, so I and others
    can place posts appropriately?”

    If I thought for a minute that you could remain on topic, I would seriously consider it.

  19. 19 1george1

    “If I thought for a minute that you could remain on topic,
    I would seriously consider it.”

    I conceed!
    😉

    yET, maybe there are things you and others would like to post
    relative to stratford issues, that you care about, yet never really
    prioritized?

    The benefit to this is NOT have Harkins / Mirons set your agendas.

    HUH?

    The government creates news or press releases.
    The newspapers covers mostly government generated news.
    You mostly blog about what you read in the paper or personal knowledge!

    Ergo, it’s the goverment that sets your agenda about what you gripe about or suggest solutions about?

    Jeze, have you noticed that only Joe Pedoto and Steve Brill challenged any of my leteres to the editor. A couple other complain about style or the frequency in which I get published,.

    My style is off beat.
    My content is factual and diverse and usually vertical.
    I am difficult to read.
    I’m even more difficult to deconstruct, analyse, process, and draw conclusions which are uncomplicated and easily comprehended.

    Some of that is by design.
    Some of that is due to my abilities limits.

    However, I entertain, even infuriate, which interests and engages the reader, who becomes educationd in multilateral venues and generalism in a world of focused specialties, that increasing limits converstaions to text formats.

  20. 20 1george1

    Last week I FOI-ed about 16 top Defined Benefit Pensions
    and Dick Miron / John Burturla retirements.
    I made it clear to Finance, Police, & Town Attorneys offices
    of my intent to make public.
    THEY PANICKED!

    Harkin message in stratford star to pre-empt issues I raised,
    reinforced not just those issues, but his own words show he
    was writing less than the whole truth.

    What they didn’t anticipate was an ALL OUT ATTACK on the
    SYSTEMIC connections which CREATED the local PENSION ABUSES.

    What they didn’t anticipate was a DEMAND for TRANSPARENCY
    on the RELATED COSTS to Defined Benefit Pensions including last
    2 years, base pay, annuities, and NET lifetime contributions to
    the Defined Benefit Pension Plan.

    What they didn’t anticipate was an ALL OUT ATTACK on RAYMARK
    cunctation and poison GROUND WATERS, which WPCA can solve.

    What they didn’t anticipate was an ALL OUTATTACK on the naysayers
    related to SHAKESPEARE, where I INVITE REBUTTAL on this and all
    other aspects of what I believe is a conspiracy.

    If you (a reader) are one of them or their allies please spread the word
    that like Joe Louis said about Max Schmeling “He (they) can run, but
    he (they) can’t hide.”

    I have peacefully worked to protect my families’, friends/families,
    coworkers/employers families, residents/businesses of Stratford,
    and the honest best interests of workers, in government & business,
    as well as business and government.

    My time.
    My money.
    My pain.

    I neither need nor want the RIDENHOUR AWARD nor compensation,
    (No Mike that AWARD isn’t named after Police Chief RIDENHOUR)
    nor recognition.

    My objectives are far simpler, yet aggressively lofty and even meglo-
    manical.

    Yet to thyne own self be true …

    Or as the song goes …
    God is watching … and I don’t care if there is a god or not …

    Every tool can be a weapon / weepon …

    A TOAST:

    To the Rabbis, Priests/Monks, Ministers, Scholars, Mothers and
    Fathers, who helped create a better world for themselves and
    for others …. as Sylvia might have said …. Shalom //

  21. 21 jezebel282

    George,

    “The benefit to this is NOT have Harkins / Mirons set your agendas.”

    The benefit would be to have an honest, transparent, efficient and competent government. I am sure hardly anyone would disagree with me that we do not have that.

    I am a simple person. My “agendas” are not that extensive. I just want a nice place to live that is affordable and safe for everyone. I pay taxes in order for that to happen. When it doesn’t, well, I think everyone should know why.

  22. 22 1george1

    If I had not been attacked, forced to try to protect others and myself,
    all I wanted was the American Dream, like most other people.

    When I was much younger, I knew even fewer yiddish words.
    One aspiration was to be the equivalent of what i understood the
    meaning ot the word MENSCH was, as in just a decent person with
    a decent life. My life style is modest. My needs were few.

  23. 23 jezebel282

    George,

    Back on topic. We can assume that this arbitrary hike in sewer use fees is the result of a few people sitting around figuring out how they can get more revenue into the budget without having to take the blame for a mill rate increase. And then somebody came up with this bright idea.

    The only trouble with this plan is that those who are connected to the sewers are now subsidizing those who are not. It is no longer a “use” “fee”. It is now a subsidy. The same thing is happening to Stratford EMS, although they got a break and only have to subsidize the Town to the tune of $60,000/year in “land use fees”, transfers to the general fund and “chargebacks”. Not so the other “Enterprise” funds. Luckily, EMS heavily depends upon the free labor of dedicated volunteers, otherwise they would be losing money. Too bad the volunteers will have to pay higher sewer use fees.

    But if we have to blame somebody it is ourselves. We keep voting for these people. In fact, most of us don’t even bother to vote in Town elections. Who’s fault is that?

    I am quite sure that the people in Town Hall and some Town departments think I have some personal vendetta to pursue and do not, ahem, think highly of me. Well, that is sad. But it is not their town. It is ours. Yours and mine. We hired them or voted for them to run the Town and educate our children. It is easy to forget that WE are the shareholders and THEY are the employees. Eventually, they will be gone but we will still be here (if we can afford it). If we say nothing, then whatever happens is our own responsibility.

  24. 24 1george1

    Jeze, they tried the same thing LAST YEAR.
    Had I not spoke (only speaker) and complained there was
    NO JUSTIFICATION for the existing $ 280 annual fee, the
    Town Council may have slept through the BAIT & SWITCH
    VIOLATION of FOI by GEEN T.

    It was advertized as $ 280. I griped about $ 280.
    I pointed out lack of justification, and the BOND had matching
    CT. FUNDS and likely long since PAID.

    Then GEEN came up and proposed $ 45 increase to $ 325.
    IT WASN’T POSTED.

    JASON SANTI asked for copy of the INCREASE. He and others did
    not get theINCREASE. FOI was VIOLATED. About 7 Councilors made
    some sort of Statement. 4 Dems + Catalano, even HOYDIC & at least
    one other.

    Geen heard me talking to CHRIS CARROLL of the PATCH, working
    on his lap top.
    Geen saw JOHN KOVACH behind us working on his LAPTOP for notes
    for the STAR.
    Geen heard me complain to Florek & a couple Town Councilors on
    the FOI Notice violations.

    GEEN was caught

    Early they passed $ 50,000,000 BOND / REBOND.

    Within 6 months, GEEN left the CAO position for a UNION JOB in
    another Town, at slightly less money.
    .
    I’m pretty sure GEEN is a LAWYER besides the FINANCIAL expertise?
    .
    His wife just had a second child.
    Maybe they moved closer to parents.
    All I know is it wasn’t long after the BUDGETS were over, before
    GEEN was OUTTA Stratford.

  25. 25 jezebel282

    Update:

    NJ governor vows to end local ‘user fees’
    TRENTON, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie has promised to close a loophole in New Jersey’s 2 percent property tax cap law by ending a practice by some municipalities of imposing “user fees” for certain services that are beyond the cap.
    Senate President Steve Sweeney is sponsoring a bill that bars cities and towns from charging new fees for services such as garbage pickup to help stay within the mandatory tax cap lawmakers approved in 2010. The proposal would prohibit user fees from being shifted out of the property tax base…Sweeney said a user fee is just another word for tax.
    “A user fee for a municipally provided service is just another way of saying tax, and these attempts to get around the property tax cap are disingenuous and detrimental to homeowners,” said Sweeney of Gloucester County.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57425498/nj-governor-vows-to-end-local-user-fees/

    It seems our Republican Town Committee (ok, but with an 8-2 majority it’s the same thing) is not the only organization that believes a “user fee” is not a tax. It’s not like you can negotiate a better rate with another sewer provider or even control the amount of…umm…errr….”use”.

  26. 26 1george1

    Esq Richard Burturla, of Berchem, Moses, & Devlin was the Stratford
    Town Council Chairman from 1987 – 1989. (when I was being harassed
    in my Southport CT USPS from 1984-1988 – hired 1971 – no issues)

    He was the son of a stratford Police Captain who retired 1985.
    Pensions were very low in the 1970s like $ 3,000 a year for 30 years.
    In 1989 Burturla’s Town council created a MINI-TAX – double Tax.
    (Pensions started to surge, and then 1996 the Defined Benefit
    Plan was thrown to people who were mostly hired before the
    father retired. There are other factors related to U.S. Attorney
    Christopher Droney – now a federal Judge)

    In 1991 Diane Buda & Eleanor Burke created a “PUBLIC INITIATIVE”
    PETITION to have a REFERENDUM on:
    1 – Term Limits
    2 – Prohibit Financial Self Interest
    3 – 2 % spending cap

    Stratford had a 2 % cap on spending before NJ.
    Stratford Politicians circumvented that through BONDING & STEP INCREASES.

    Stratford Town Attorney Budget Fees went from $ 120,000 in
    Fees in 1998 to $ 1.8 million in 2011. They spread wealth to
    other politically conected firms. Does it BUY PROTECTION?

  27. 27 jezebel282

    George,

    “Stratford Politicians circumvented that through BONDING & STEP INCREASES.”

    I may be wrong, but I think you missed my point. Raising the sewer use “fee” is by any other name a tax. In this case it is completely egregious and, frankly, a less than ethical method of doing so. I’m not sure which bothers me more.

    The operation of an “Enterprise Fund” is not intended to drain (no pun meant) the resources of citizens and businesses. It’s intention is to operate the enterprise at little or no cost to the taxpayer by the use of fees for those who use it. Stratford EMS and the RR parking lot are examples. So is Short Beach Golf Course (Why is there no revenue posted anywhere for that? Did everyone play for free last year?). IF a “profit” exists as a result of the operations, then giving that profit to the shareholders in the form of a general fund contribution is warranted and just.

    For the mayor/council to impose arbitrary and capricious costs on these operations is opposed to the reason they exist at all. There was no negotiation of “land use fees” when the sewage treatment plant was being built with Town, State and Federal funds. It is on Town land for the benefit of Town residents and businesses. To suddenly say, “That’ll be $600,000 in rent, please. Oh…and don’t forget the $300,000 we’re going to take just for laughs.” is simply a shell game which raises taxes by a cheap budget trick.

    If the WPCA wasn’t made up of every member of the council, they would be outraged at this theft.

  28. 28 ronmoreau

    Jez,
    Very good points.

    The WPCA could simply generate a surplus by raising the sewer use fee. Then transfer that surplus to the general fund to spend as they please. It just doesn’t sound right. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that. The increase appears to be arbritrary.

  29. 29 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “The increase appears to be arbritrary.”

    I hereby challenge every member of the WPCA (the Council) or the mayor to justify any “land use fees”.

    We can expect no reply since there is no valid reason.

  30. 30 jezebel282

    Update:

    ASHEBORO, N.C. (April 30, 2:30 p.m. ET) — Injection molder Carolina Precision Plastics LLC has decided to set up an operation in Mocksville, S.C.
    Carolina Precision invested $1.9 million in the 130,000-square-foot facility, Carolina Precision President and CEO Brian Tauber confirmed in an email correspondence.
    “We are transferring our Stratford, Conn., operations to Mocksville because the costs of operating in North Carolina is less than in Connecticut and we have better control of the company when located in the same general area,” Tauber explained…
    …Tauber confirmed an estimate by North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue that Carolina Precision will invest about $5.3 million in the Mockville project over three years and that it will create about 140 jobs.The company expects to invest $5.3 million in the facility in Mocksville, about 130 miles west of Raleigh. If it meets investment and hiring goals, Carolina Precision Plastics will receive a $250,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

    The average annual wage for the new jobs will be $39,183, plus benefits.
    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/02/23/1877042/plastics-firm-to-build-in-mocksville.html#storylink=cpy

    And we are just making the cost of living in Stratford higher with this ridiculous budget.

    Hello? Is anybody listening?

  31. 31 ronmoreau

    Jez,

    The town charging the WPCA $600,000 rent?

    What’s next?

    Property tax on the equipment in the buildings?

  32. 32 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “The town charging the WPCA $600,000 rent? ”

    Umm…yeah. Pretty much.

    Except that the WPCA Board IS the Town Council. So they are charging themselves rent. I suppose it makes the negotiation much easier if you negotiate with yourself. In fact, the only one missing from the “negotiation” was the land owner; us.

    “Property tax on the equipment in the buildings?”

    Geeze, Ron! SHHHHH! Don’t give them any ideas! There’s a bunch of ambulances and fly cars sitting in EMS. Harkins is already charging EMS rent on their land too. Maybe they’ll put meters in the ambulances. Don’t forget to tip the EMT!

  33. 33 ronmoreau

    Jez,

    It seems to me I’ve seen this scenario before. A company falls under new leadership. Then split into several divisions.(enterprise zones) The divisions are then sold off, piece by piece.

    God help us all if this is the direction Stratfords town leaders are taking us.

  34. 34 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “God help us all if this is the direction Stratfords town leaders are taking us.”

    I fail to see any direction all other than taking more money from us. We’ve heard nothing, not a single word or comment from any councilperson or the mayor regarding this particular theft.

    We see incompetence rewarded, the same old insiders at the trough and nothing new or significant is happening in this Town. The sad fact is that our government is becoming less transparent than ever as evidenced by this WPCA gimmick.

  35. 35 1george1

    MOCKS VILLE? MOCKS VILLE? MOCKS EVIL ? Just too delicious:

    We are transferring our Stratford, Conn., operations to Mocksville
    because the costs of operating in North Carolina is less than in Connecticut and we have better control of the company when
    located in the same general area,”

  36. 36 1george1

    I didn’t miss Jeze’s point.
    Per usual I went on a tangent to bring collateral (pun intended)
    issues into the MOSAIC:

    I may be wrong, but I think you missed my point. Raising the sewer use “fee” is by any other name a tax. In this case it is completely egregious and, frankly, a less than ethical method of doing so. I’m not sure which bothers me more.

    The operation of an “Enterprise Fund” is not intended to drain (no pun meant) the resources of citizens and businesses. It’s intention is to operate the enterprise at little or no cost to the taxpayer by the use of fees for those who use it. Stratford EMS and the RR parking lot are examples.

  37. 37 1george1

    Jez,

    The town charging the WPCA $600,000 rent?

    What’s next?

    Property tax on the equipment in the buildings?

    HOW ABOUT a TOWN INCOME TAX on
    WORKERS’ PENSIONS (First $ 20,000 exempt-then progressive %)
    WORKERS’ ANNUITIES
    WORKERS’ HEALTHCARE (First $ 6,000 exempt-then progressive %)

    By WORKERS, I include:
    MANAGMENT
    ELECTED
    LAWYERS & FEES over $ 5,000 per CONNECTED BUSINESS.
    (a way for a 30 lawyers firm, couldn’t subgroup & aggregate.)

    INSTANTLY BRING 8 MILS back to TAX PAYERS who LIVE IN
    STRATFORD.

  38. 38 jezebel282

    George,

    “HOW ABOUT a TOWN INCOME TAX on”

    Just for a moment, let’s pretend that we’re still on this planet, OK?

  39. 39 1george1

    Naturally it would be turned into a town Income Tax to
    double the PAY, BENEFITS, and BUDGETS for the LAWYERS
    and PARTY FAITHFUL.

    That’s what happened with Weicker & the State.

    It would LIKELY INCREASE the EXODUS of the legitimate
    TAX PAYERS and the UNAFFILIATED sticking US.

    However, since the POLITICIANS always claim they have NO WAY
    around the CONTRACTS …. guess what …. here’s a way around
    the CONTRACTS.

    Would it be an UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACT of ATTAINDER? Likely.
    So what?
    Since when did the DTC, or RTC care about the Constitution?
    – The LAWYERS don’t
    – The POLICE don’t
    – The STATE POLICE & HOMELAND SECURITY don’t
    – The FBI don’t
    – Intelligence community doesn’t.
    – Last honest Government lawyers may have been on the Frank
    Church select committee on Intelligence
    * family jewels
    * coIntel
    * black ops

    While some refer to tin foil hats … check the interent.
    Those all exist.

  40. 40 jezebel282

    George

    “While some refer to tin foil hats … check the interent.
    Those all exist.”

    OK, fine. Stay on your own planet. We’ll wait here.

  41. 41 1george1

    Stay on your own planet. We’ll wait here.

    Who is we?
    I thought you had no followers, nor spoke for anyone?

    Balance moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/the-dark-side-ii/#comment-18407

  42. 42 jezebel282

    Update:

    Lies, distortions and well…lies.

    http://www.stratfordstar.com/news/73032-town-council-to-vote-on-budget-at-special-meeting-tuesday.html

    There has been talk on the Internet and at meetings in recent weeks alleging a “hidden tax increase” in the raising of sewer rates.
    Marc Dillon, chief of staff for Mayor John A. Harkins, denied that Friday.
    Dillon said the money collected from sewer fees goes into a fund toward water treatment expenses, overseen by the Water Pollution Control Authority. The WPCA consists of all 10 Town Council members.
    “It goes into a separate fund, it can’t be used for general expenditures,” Dillon said. “It’s totally for sewer expenses.”
    Included in the costs of the water treatment operations is the $60 million loan toward building the new plant, which Dillon said is coming due.
    “Unless they want the fund to go into the red,” Dillon said.
    There has not been an increase for two years. This increase would up the rate to $335.
    “It’s still one of the lowest in the area,” Dillon said.

    WTF? A “separate fund”? Mr Dillon should read the budget. The “separate fund” is called “REVENUE”. It’s right there in the budget on p.14. You know under “Revenue Summary-General Fund”? Nice to give Public works a chunk ($450,000) of WPCA funds too.

    “Land use fees”, “Outside contractual service” paid to our own Public Works Department and a straight $300,000 contribution to the General Fund. Other than those three enormous charges, the cost of service has pretty much remained the same.

    So Mr. Dillon, Mr. Harkins and members of the Council, we would all feel better if you just manned up and told us what it really is. It is a way to avoid saying you are raising the mill rate even more. But now those who use the sewer system are subsidizing those who don’t. A tax is a tax.

  43. 43 1george1

    Good Job Jeze!
    Someone help Jeze off the floor?

  44. 44 jezebel282

    George,

    “Good Job Jeze!”

    Couldn’t have done it without you.

    Don’t you just hate it when they lie AND raise our taxes?

  45. 45 jezebel282

    Update:

    Before I forget:

    “It’s still one of the lowest in the area,” Dillon said.”

    At the very least the Council should pass a resolution that the next administration official that says something as stupid as this should be fired immediately.

    If we start comparing what other Towns pay (like for Town Attorneys, pension funds or overtime) we might be tempted to…Oh, I don’t know…vote for an Independent.

  46. 46 sudds

    1) good job Jez!!!

    2) *FACEPALM* they really DO think that the public is a bunch of idiots, huh???

  47. 47 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “they really DO think that the public is a bunch of idiots, huh???”

    Yes. Yes they do.

  48. 48 jezebel282

    Update:

    SURPRISE!

    Council passes 2013 budget
    Brittany Lyte
    Updated 11:20 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    “Philips, who said she was not included in key budget discussions…said,
    “This is a start, but this is certainly not a budget that I will be able to accept.”

    Jim Connor, a Republican, barked back at Philips’ criticism. He said Philips wasn’t included in budget discussions because she made it clear early on that she would not vote for a budget at all resembling the mayor’s proposal.
    “You left it all up to us,” he added.
    “For three years in a row you haven’t supported the budget,” Connor said. “You’re not going to support it next year, you’re not going to support it the year after. … So when you say that you’re going to support the dog pound, it’s disingenuous because you’re not going to support the budget. When you say you’re going to support more police officers, it’s disingenuous because you’re not going to support the budget. The list goes on and on.”
    Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Council-passes-2013-budget-3544253.php#ixzz1uMyRAJiF

    Really, Mr. Connor? Someone exists that doesn’t support year after year of tax increases, raises for loyal department heads, expensive consulting contracts and, frankly, budget tricks? You accuse a member of the Council of not supporting the animal shelter because he/she may object to adding, oh let’s say, yet another administrative position in another part of the budget? Well, I guess you’re right. What better reason to exclude an elected member of a representative government body?

    Can we track down Mr. Connor’s high school Civics teacher? Obviously he needs some extra homework.

  49. 49 sudds

    So much for “working across the aisle”, huh???

    I don’t think I have ever heard a more asinine statement flow from the mouth of a politician (they usually try to cover up their power grabs)… Mr. Connor should be ASHAMED of his comments!!!

  50. 50 sudds

    Councilman Catalano… are you sitting down???

    “Republicans Craig Budnick, Matt Catalano and Christian Barnaby also voted against the budget.”

    Cudos sir… cudos indeed!!!

    This budget is quite possibly the biggest piece of politically stuffed @#$% EVER!!! There is NO reason why this town can’t cut it’s taxes by a good 5+%!!!

  51. 51 jezebel282

    Blodget,

    “Raising sewer fees could indicate that they are looking to privatize the facility.”

    What? That’s crazy! To whom?

  52. 52 jezebel282

    Blodget,

    “are you being sarcastic or serious?”

    Absolutely serious. It seems we have an asset that used to benefit citizens. What would the incentive be to sell it for a one time shot of cash? (After we “upgrade” it at our own expense?) And the new owners would be? A corporation that answers to shareholders? Or some regional quasi government/private/monopoly?

    What purpose does our Town government have when they can’t even provide the most basic of services?

    What’s next on the list? Solid waste pickup? EMS? Fire?

  53. 53 jezebel282

    Blodget,

    Gawd! I just thought they were being sleazy with this budget gimmick. Your suggestion brings it to a whole new level. This is way worse than Miron’s Long Beach West “deal”.

  54. 54 ronmoreau

    Jez,
    By George I think you’ve got it.

  55. 55 1george1

    Blodget is pointing out the reality of the American political system
    from even before the Robber Barons made it obvious that the
    Political appointed West Point Engineers worked for the
    Political Land Granted Transcontinental Rail Roads who used
    PUBLIC LANDS granted them by congress to raise private money
    fro PUBLIC OFFERINGS.

    SELLING EMS, GARBAGE PICK UP, WPCA, outsourcing Police / Fire
    are all ways to transfer Wealth to politically connected and gain
    KICK BACKS and long term DONATERS to PERPETUATE.

    TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL is in wyoming by BOSS TWEED.
    Dick Cheney represented Wyoming, Texas, Oil, & Halliburton.
    Cheney went to Y-ale
    Tweed New Haven Airport serves Yale in New Haven.

    Yale Skull n Bones, & Mafia reputedly use/used
    Tweed & Sikorsky Airports

    GHW Bush 1st job was selling ASHCROFT for DRESSER
    Cheney was pres / CEO of Halliburton, which owned …
    ASHCROFT / DRESSER

    Jeze – I am copying – pasting to my NEW BLOG.
    I think apporpriate for both?

  56. 56 cstratct

    Jezebel,

    You don’t remember this gem from Chicago?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-09/morgan-stanley-group-s-11-billion-from-chicago-meters-makes-taxpayers-cry.html

    Now the Chicago fiasco was implemented by a Democrat who was known for privatizing public assets, but privatization is by far more popular among Republicans.

    (Wait for the obligatory response from Portia about how this is as it should be.)

    I can’t believe you would be surprised that this would be a consideration.

  57. 57 1george1

    Hi Chris,
    Welcomed back.
    How are your wife, baby, and you?
    Any additions? 😉

    Shakespeare could sure use your help.
    since you moved out of Town, you can’t speak at Public Forum
    for Monday night.
    However if you wanted to put together your thoughts related to
    the shakespeare theater as a handout to Town Council, Public, &
    Press, signed as a former member of the Arts Commission …
    – The pro-Theater people would likely appreciate it.

    If you go to Stratford Star online, my past Letters to the Editor
    show how the Theater can be FUNDED, without Tax Payer money

  58. 58 1george1

    If PORTIA is reading and chooses to reply, don’t get baited
    into FRAMED ISSUES and misdirection.

    I agree with your posts. No offense to any other posters,
    however the posts by you, Portia, and Jeze were among
    the most intelligent and interesting arguments.

  59. 59 portia1776

    Cstratct,

    If by “privatization” you mean crony capitalism/corporate socialism — the only thing obligatory about my response is vehement disapproval. I am on the record opposing the kinds of “public-private partnerships,” aka cartels and outright monopolies, that Democrats and all too many Republicans champion. Take the phony “privatization” of Connecticut’s electricity market. On the one hand, contrary to Blodgettave’s generalization, opening the generation market to competition (what a concept!) has provided cost saving choices for consumers (amazing!). The multitude of companies competing for our business has also empowered consumers to choose the source, including partly or wholly wind and solar, of their electricity. Mind-boggling, I know, but even a somewhat free market enables people to spend their money according to their values, even values you (not I) agree with. And yet the consumer gain in generation is being increasingly lost to the government-guaranteed monopoly in distribution for UI (in our neck of the woods). Have the regulatory masters of the universe ever met with a rate increase request they did not approve? This is what Blodgettave is referring to, the kind of phony privatization that reduces consumers to marks at the mercy of businesses in bed with government bureaucracy. I am for real privatization, which means a plethora of choices for consumers. Despite what the “Progressives” say, there is no one-size-fits-all option for water treatment, electricity generation, health care, or just about everything else. Mao’s “more, faster, better, cheaper,” is only possible… if individuals are left free to choose.

    “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    In honor of Jez and George: “We still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute.”
    – Thomas Paine

  60. 60 jezebel282

    CS, Portia,

    Although I would love to insert myself into this never ending discussion of Government and private enterprise (are they actually two separate things anymore?) I will refrain and stick to the topic.

    We have an administration that is arbitrarily imposing “costs” on a service used by the majority of households and businesses in Stratford. The theory goes that it is run by elected representatives of the voters (the WPCA is the Town Council) for the benefit of, yes, the households and businesses of Stratford.

    This is one of those basic services like education, public works, police or fire that most municipalities are expected to operate. There are, essentially, no other reasons to pay taxes.

    In this case, we (you & me) are confronted with an administration and Council that think it is wholly justifiable to reach into our household incomes and extract another $100 just because they can. I have yet to hear one single reason to be charging land use fees or subsidizing public works with WPCA funds other than the obvious one: it is a tax hike without calling it a tax hike.

  61. 61 cstratct

    Hi Jezebel,

    I understand your desire to address the specific sewer issue, but it really does go to the heart of your argument regarding basic services as you described. If you believe the services you mentioned are public goods and services that mindset has a direct impact on how you believe those goods and services should be operated and paid for, correct? There are others who believe nothing should be outside the “market” and advocate for turning these goods and services over to the private sector to operate. No one knows what will happen to Stratford’s sewer system with respect to whether privatization is the ultimate goal. I’m just pointing out that if you believe these goods and services should remain in the trust of the public sector, I suspect you’ll find some people who will argue vehemently that the “market” could fix the problem you are addressing here.

  62. 62 jezebel282

    CS,

    “There are others who believe nothing should be outside the “market” and advocate for turning these goods and services over to the private sector to operate.

    Everything is relative. If Stratford were a Town of say, 5,000 instead of 50,000, then the economy of scale would make sense for privatizing certain services. However, it is not. The fundamental fact remains that a municipal government exists for the benefit of citizens and no other reason. If all of our services are privatized such as the transfer station (yes, that is on the block too), the WPCA, the Fire Department, Public Works and EMS then what, pray tell do we need a municipal government for?

  63. 63 jezebel282

    Sec 2.2.1
    The Council shall have the power to make, alter and repeal resolutions and ordinances (a) relative to the regulation of the various departments; (b) relative to the acquisition of real or personal property, within and without the Town, by purchase, gift, devise, condemnation, lease, contract or otherwise; (c) relative to the sale, leasing, management, improvement and control of such property;

    Let’s hope somebody reads this and puts a halt to the sale of Town property which, after all, is owned by you and me.

  64. 64 rex525

    It is very obvious to me that the corruption has increased exponentially since Stratford has adopted the strong mayoral system. It is also blatantly obvious to anyone paying attention that the same entities seem to be in control behind the scenes regardless of what puppet occupies the Mayor’s office. Unfortunately it does not appear that most of our residents will wake up before it is too late.

  65. 65 1george1

    Chris – I have double digit people who told me the objective on
    the WPCA was to build annual fees to between $ 500 – $ 600, &
    then sell it.

    Tonight was the first time I heard about privatizing the recycle
    station, addressed by 2 people.

    Nocera spoke to the council about rubber stamping RFQ for EMS
    BILLING. When asked the financial aspects, Nocera stated they
    have to negotiate the figures.
    – I said out loud, A BLANK CHECK?

    Harkins & Catalano had vigoruos debate about Shakespeare.
    Kubic tried to take the floor from Catalano, who then said
    “you locked me out, and now you want to shut me up.”

    I distracted Kubic with “he’s got the floor … let him speak!”

    They try to bully their way, unless you stand up to them.
    Then they slither back under their rock.

    Sudds can say or think what he wants, but Catalano spoke to
    bringing world class tallent on the stage and behind the scenes,
    at NO COST to the TAX PAYERS.

    When Catalano was verbally going toe to toe with Harkins, their
    respective true colors came out for all to see and hear.
    Catalano is red, white, & blue.
    Harkins is a slimey yellow.

  66. 66 1george1

    Public Forum speaker mentioned fund raisers for children with
    Cancer, near the dumpsites and water plume.

    Stratford Star alert let me know Legislature passed something
    about Raymark clean up that Kelly & Hoydic took credit for.

    Save stratford, RAC, OSNA, and others spoke about variety of
    issues.

    When Catalano was speaking, one Council looked straight ahead
    with his hands folded in prayer on either side of his face covering
    his mouth, and one could see him smiling.

    Everyone ELSE – every Town Councilor, Carol, & Attorneys Florek
    & Bishop had their heads D E E P L Y BOWED in S H A M E.
    Finally they all showed S H A M E.
    I wait for them to show SELF RESPECT?

    – Nocera’s blank check on EMS BILLING came about the time Town
    Attorney Bishop declared victory over Jon & Donna Best, except
    for an unknown “minor issue.”

    While the BESTS are not favorites of Jeze and others, the enemy
    of my enemy ….. is my friend!

  67. 67 jezebel282

    George,

    “Attorney Bishop declared victory over Jon & Donna Best, except
    for an unknown “minor issue.””

    Apparently, the “minor” issue is our poorly structured Charter and the power of the mayor. The Court seems to think there is a problem with it.

  68. 68 jezebel282

    George,

    “the objective on the WPCA was to build annual fees to between $ 500 – $ 600, & then sell it.”

    Of course. Why wouldn’t our waste water cost more than our drinking water? Maybe we should should bottle it and sell it to the WPCA?

  69. 69 1george1

    Jezebel for Mayor

  70. 70 jezebel282

    “Jezebel for Mayor”

    ROTFLMAO!

    Silly rabbit. Avatars can’t register.

  71. 71 cstratct

    Hi George,

    It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. Funny you should ask about additions. We’re expecting another daughter in July. I’ve been keeping an eye on the machinations regarding the theatre. It really has become a sad, sad farce. I just don’t understand the Mayor’s motivations with respect to the lock down/lock out other than it being a power play. I found the privatization issue particularly interesting because of the local, state and national ramifications. Of course I agree with Jezebel’s and blodgettave’s comments. Privatization of municipal services, along with the demonization of public sector unions, has become a common refrain. I think Jezebel and blodgettave hit the nail on the head with respect to privatization. And of course this is what some are advocating for the theatre. I enjoyed my time in Stratford and it is disappointing to continue to read about the ongoing dysfunction. Best of luck.

  72. 72 1george1

    Chris – Congrats on the coming addition to your family.
    Best health to you and your family.

  73. 73 1george1

    There is no mystery here related to Shakespeare Theater and
    poison ground waters in 500 acres from Shakespeare to Devon
    Bridge and FAGIN’S.

    Then add Ashcroft, Frog Pond, & Public Works

    HARKINS is an APPRAISER. He and friends want the entire COAST
    of STRATFORD for HOTELS, CONDOS, and DOCKS.

    None of these creatures care about 5 kids with FUNKY CANCERS!

    How much would it cost to PIPE POISONED WATER 2.5 MILES to
    a WATER TREATMENT PLANT to dilute CONCENTRATIONS of the
    POISONS, which a reasonable person might expect would LOWER
    the probability of VOC (POISON GAS)

    None of these creatures care about affordable EMS and safety
    and Health.

    They have GARBAGE POLICIES.

    JUDITH TERRACE FREE SEWERS to DOM COSTELLO’S brother &
    NEIGHBORS.

    1/2 MIL TAX INCREASE by adding $ 95 annually to 22,500 homes
    and businesses (at a higher rate)
    AVCO is 1.7 MILLION SQUARE FEET.
    SIKORSKY must be in that ball park.
    The business SEWER FEES are based on assessments.

    Will UNITED TECHNOLOGIES and ASHCROFT waive when they
    leave?
    Both Dictaphone & Ashcroft were 1,100 employees.
    Dictaohone closed with about 500 white collar Sikorsky there.
    Ashcroft down to 200 or less?

    SELLING the DUMP? Transfer Station.

    Stratford and Bridgeport are well known for GUTTER POLITICS.

    If you’ people are ticked NOW, wait until people try to start
    a PUBLIC INITIATIVE PETITION for REFERENDUMS, ONLY
    TO find THE courts AGREE with BURTURLA, that Stratford does
    NOT have a REVISED, TOWN CHARTER, but a WHOLE NEW TOWN
    CHARTER, and because of State Law differenciating them, there
    is NO RECOURCE to the chicarnery, subterfuge, subornation,
    and outright lies.

    Yeah I have a tin foil hat … butit doesn’t mean I’m wrong about
    these pagans.

  74. 74 matpcat

    It is absolutely the intention of this administration to jack up the prices so they can sell off the water treatment facility, but as one member of the majority put it “we’re not supposed to talk about that”. That seems to be the policy here. They are so strapped for revenue and have such a lack of vision that they seem to want to cash in quickly on things to cover the sins of the past. It’s very disturbing, and we the Stratford taxpayers will pay.It’s one of the reasons I voted no on the budget because the budget accounts for the increase before it was actually passed. The council figured they got a free pass because the apathy of the electorate is so alarming only about a dozen people spoke out about the budget during the hearings. I can say this; the monies transferred out of that budget line that went to PW were actually salaries of personnel that got shifted out of wpca, probably to avoid conflict with the union when they do move to privatize it.

    Editor’s note: Highlighting added. For new readers, matpcat self identified previously as Matthew Catalano (R-3rd District).

  75. 75 jezebel282

    Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free to develop their faculties, and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government.

    – Justice Louis Brandeis

  76. 76 stfdprofessor1

    Not supposed to talk about it? What happened to the “transparency” we were promised? Councilman Catalano I applaud your courage for finally speaking out about this travesty and the real person behind the “nice guy” persona, your father would be proud! Time to wake up people; we have another lemon in the Mayor’s office! I hope others join me as I call for the immediate resignation on Mayor Harkins and the corrupt town attorneys who are advising him in these treacherous aims. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

  77. 77 jezebel282

    Professor,
    Apparently according to Councilperson Connor, the Council is only supposed to agree on everything and not discuss anything.

    Mr. Catalano,
    “the apathy of the electorate is so alarming”

    This is not surprising. With an 8-2 RTC majority, most citizens simply believed there was no point. Given the history of the RTC and DTC in this Town one can hardly blame them.
    It is my hope that readers of this blog and their neighbors and friends will give the members of the Council an ear and email box full of their feelings.

    Perhaps most galling is the movement by this administration to sell off Town assets while we pay to improve them. As I have pointed out, sale of Town property is the sole purview of the Town Council. Something as critical as the Water Pollution Control facility including the $60 million upgrade debt that we have to pay is certainly something citizens expect to be discussed in public and not buried in a budget or decided without participation of, you know…the OWNERS.

  78. 79 jezebel282

    Update:

    The Transfer Station is already up for bidding:

    http://www.townofstratford.com/filestorage/1302/402/627/5524/BID_2012-037.pdf

  79. 80 rex525

    This is absolutely outrageous, how can this Administration expect to run the Transfer Station privately as cost effectively as it can with current employees in the long term? While I am sure the “pre-selected entity” has plans of a low bid to get their foot in the proverbial door, once they do WHAM the taxpayers will be holding the proverbial bag once again. I urge everyone to call their council representative immediately and stop this madness.

    Still think John Harkins is a nice guy?

  80. 81 rex525

    Did anyone notice there is nothing in the bid process to prevent this private entity from charging residents for using OUR facility?

  81. 82 jezebel282

    Rex,

    “This is absolutely outrageous,”

    Amazing but true…

  82. 83 1george1

    JEZE you deserve credit for uncovering much of the MUCK
    and exposing it to the light of DAY

    For years I created an almost indecipherable MOSAIC, which
    connected DOTS in TOWN, which everyone thought was absurd
    and many still consider it INSANE.

    For years I created an almost indecipherable MOSAIC, which
    connected DOTS between TOWN, area Municipalities, State,
    Federal, & International Governments, Macro/Micro economics,
    counterintutive poli-sci acts, & social deviance, which everyone
    thought was absurd and many still consider INSANE.

    I had a chance to practice my debate and arguments against many
    of your readers, who crown me with the TIN FOIL HAT much like
    Quasimodo was the KING of FOOLS.

    However, Jezebel allowed me to continue to practice and hone my
    positions, including brutal and insensitive critics, who I regard as my
    best challenges.

    I grew up with a high regard for jewish, catholic, protestant, and
    masonic best practices. My sense of mirror imaging dove me to be
    in denial for years. I thank Jezebel for being a MENSCH.

    All I sought as a yout was the American dream of a family, home,
    and decent life, as stated in the Constitution preamble. I sought
    being an American non denominal Mensch.

    Finally the DOTS have become CONFLUENT and the HARKINS crew
    will b making their move, backed by state pwers, connected to the
    FEDS.

    Soon the Police, Fire, Teachers, and others will be making hard
    choices, whereas I’ve worked to give additional options …

    Jeze – L’chaim – Sylvia would be smiling

  83. 84 jezebel282

    George,

    “JEZE you deserve credit for uncovering much of the MUCK
    and exposing it to the light of DAY”

    To repeat, I’m only a citizen that listens and reads. I just think everyone should know as well.

  84. 85 stfdprofessor1

    “However, Jezebel allowed me to continue to practice and hone my
    positions, including brutal and insensitive critics, who I regard as my
    best challenges.”

    Jeeze- thanks Jez…it’s now your fault!

  85. 86 stfdprofessor1

    FYI there will be a Public Hearing on this subject Tuesday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers in Town Hall. I guess they are not expecting many people to attend because it is not being held at the Stratford High auditorium. HMmmmm, I hope they’re unpleasantly surprised.

    http://stratfordstar.com/news/73249-hearing-on-sewer-rate-increase-tuesday-night.html

  86. 87 1george1

    Welcome aboard.

  87. 88 1george1

    monday i emailed council clerk cabrol as to when sewer meeting?
    tuesday carol emailed me.
    I forwarded to star & others.

    I am unsure if this is a special meeting where the public can’t speak
    or a public hearing where public can speak ONLY on SUBJECT posted.

    In ether case, a 1 page hand out can be left at the seat of each town
    councilor, clerk, & attorney.
    sometimes the mayor attends. However it’s a council meeting.
    At least 1 town attorney attends.

    Extra hand outs for Star, Patch, Post, possible other media.

    A few handouts for the Public.

    Letters to the Editor to CT POST are more likely to be published
    if signed by multiple citizens,
    Star rarely doesn’t publish, yet I’ve been pushed back as others
    for a week. I’ve had to wait as long as a month.
    Patch lets me comment.
    Won’t letter me blog, not publish my letters to editor.
    Jeze ceased editting me, but moves me when jezebel realized
    redacting or erasing post was exactly contrary to core beliefs.

    I can’t wait until the Public finds out they lost their FIRST AMENDMENT
    PROCESS for PUBLIC INITIATIVE PETITION to CREATE REFERENDUM

  88. 89 1george1

    Who is documented as the ONLY PUBLIC FORUM speaker LAST YEAR
    about the $ 280 sewer fee, and strenuous objection to bait n switch
    attempt with NO FOI notice to raise FEES to $ 345.

    The reasoning now for increasing the FEES is the prior TOWN COUNCILS
    did NOT act properly, which is the same as JUDITH TERRACE.

    Right PROFESSOR?

  89. 90 rex525

    It appears that the “Northend Republicans” have raised our taxes with more aid from the ever bumbling and confused Jason Santi. Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news but I read this on the train ride home this evening and was thoroughly nauseated. I had hoped to speak at the meeting this evening but was delayed in the city. It would appear that all I could have hoped to accomplish would to be yet another prop in this arrogant side show.

    I’d like to thank Councilpersons Philips, Catalano and Dempsey for representing the taxpayers that were elected to represent. As for the others, I’m sure they and the ever disappointing John Harkins believe that their self serving, privatizing, anti taxpayer juggernaut can not be stopped.

    I predict that not only will it be stopped, but it will be totally derailed in November 2013, just as the Democratic Party was in 2009. At this point can any rational resident see any other option to save this town than a return to the Council-Manager form of government?

    “Sewer increase approved by 7-3 vote
    Written by John Kovach
    Tuesday, 29 May 2012 20:58

    The Water Pollution Control Authority heard enough justification from the administration to vote to increase sewer rates Tuesday, May 29.

    Separate votes were taken on a $95 increase in residential rates, from $280 to $375, and on a residential increase from $3.26 per unit to $4.37 per unit. Each vote was 5-3, with councilmen Stephanie Philips (D-2), Matt Catalano (R-3) and John Dempsey (R-5) voting against both increases.

    Ten residents spoke against the increase during a public hearing before the regular meeting of the WPCA, made up of all 10 Town Council members.”

  90. 91 jezebel282

    To no one’s surprise, the Town Council threw Stratford residents and business under the bus that Harkins is driving.

    But, it gets worse. Here are the “reasons”:

    “The town’s chief administrative officer, Stephen Nocera, said the $95 fee hike is reasonable considering that residents haven’t seen a substantial sewer rate increase in recent years.”
    “We have to swallow this really bad pill because we’ve been avoiding it and it’s time to take our medicine,” he said.
    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Town-approves-95-sewer-fee-hike-3593914.php

    “Our” medicine? Did we need medicine? Who decides what time we should take it? And when did Nocera move to Stratford so he can take his own “dose”. And please, someone explain to me how it is that an increase is justified because there hasn’t been a “substantial” one in a few years (is 34% substantial enough for you?). We’re not paying this guy with our tax money are we?

    Let’s not waste time and go through the numbers again. We will simply restate that $1.35 million is going right into the Town’s General Fund (like a tax) and not toward bond repayment.

    So, dear readers, in case you were still wondering who represents Stratford residents and businesses, the answer is “No one.”

  91. 92 1george1

    CT POST:
    “What this allows us to do is cut the deficit in half and it allows us to provide the exact same service we’re providing today,” he said.

    1/2 deficit gone with THIS BUDGET
    1/2 deficit gone with NEXT BUDGET

    The following YEAR no DEFICIT, but higher SEWER BASE for NEW
    LIES & next raise?

    * Barnaby could’ve voted NO & still HAD 6-4 Votes.
    Likely his replacement is positioned.
    * Dempsey could not be credible for STONEY BROOK with a YES.
    * Stephanie constituents necessitated NO. Her comparison of the
    TREATMENT PLANT & GOLF (R-pet) COURSE was Transparent, yet
    adding the REC DEPT into the equation = Deniability/posture.

    When I gave the Council and Citizens my handout, doing the math
    seen in my string, $ 280 x 22,500 units & $ 375 x 22,500 both Matt
    and Stephanie didn’t appear very happy with me.

    Each said “just enough” to be positioned as heroes.
    Reminded me of United Democrats posturing as an alternative.

    To the average viewer or reader, none knows back stories or
    long term issues and relationships. I’m tremendously sadddened!

  92. How about this?

  93. 94 jezebel282

    From Blodgettave:

    Sewer rate increase passed – I’m betting it’s only a matter of time before the talk of privatizing starts leaking out of the administration. What better way to appeal to buyers than to have rate hikes and anti-government sentiment for those hikes already in place? No need to raise fees, since the ‘comparisons’ of local towns cited by administration officials probably reflected those rates of towns with privately-owned facilities, and what’s not to love about getting public works employees and their pensions off the town budget payroll??

    It would be wise if residents
    do some quick research of what it means to privatize this public resource and arm themselves with knowledge.

  94. 95 1george1

    The singer’s LYRICS were NON PARTISAN.
    It was social – political – economic commentary.

    Balance moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/upgrade-now/#comment-18743

  95. 96 jezebel282

    Blodgett:

    “what it means to privatize this public resource”

    As with many things lately, I am unable to come up with two items: Reason & Logic.

    I mean other than the usual lying about actual costs and not wanting to be blamed for a mill rate increase. This particular maneuver is quite a bit more blatant than the usual ones. You know, aside from withholding widows and firefighters pensions that is.

  96. 97 stfdprofessor1

    There he goes AGAIN!

  97. 98 1george1

    Comparable lyrics from 1989 – about NON PARTISAN SONG
    portrayed above. One can google the rest.

    We didn’t start the fire
    It was always burning
    Since the world’s been turning
    We didn’t start the fire
    No, we didn’t light it
    But we tried to fight it

  98. 99 stfdprofessor1

    …and again!

  99. 100 1george1

    Hi Lou …
    Playing with matches?

  100. 101 stfdprofessor1

    …and yet again, sigh!

  101. 102 jezebel282

    Blodgett,

    I think you are correct. There are many things contained in the WPCA budget that make no sense at all. It is one of the strangest budgets I’ve ever seen. You’ve got loans that are counted at “revenue” ($10,041,118) yet an expense of “other contingency” of a nearly identical amount (10,939,260) in FY 2009. WTF?

    And yet for all the numbers there are no usage numbers. No way at all to tell whether usage is up or down or whether usage has any effect at all.

    We are going to need a lot of help trying to figure this mess out. I don’t have a very good feeling about it either.

  102. 103 1george1

    the WPCA budget that make no sense at all …
    there are no usage numbers.
    No way at all to tell whether usage is up or down
    or whether usage has any effect at all.

    We are going to need a lot of help trying to figure this mess out. I don’t have a very good feeling about it either.

  103. 104 1george1

    A con artist, or a person who uses a fraud method
    known as a confidence trick

    “conceited and overconfident of knowledge but
    poorly informed and immature” I rest my case

  104. Talk is cheap….

  105. 106 1george1

    Monday night, I was asked if I could read lips?

    Mr. Ravis’ caption to the video is brilliant counter point to the
    subsequent expensive ACTS not matching fiscal responsible
    claims, never mind claims about caring for Stratford (people).

    Even better is the fact the audio is out of sinc, from the video,
    whereas lip reading and verbal text reinforce clear, plain, evident,
    and preponderant facts and circumstances.

    ALSO POSTINGS:
    PROFESSOR 6 🙂
    GEORGE 4 😉
    JEZE 2 😦
    Mike, Jim, & Ned – 1 each! 🙂

  106. 107 jezebel282

    “I’ll always treat Stratford’s taxpayers with respect”.

    That didn’t last long, did it?

  107. 108 jezebel282

    Update:

    Next week the property tax and sewer use “fees” will be mailed to Stratford residents & businesses. Those that don’t read this blog or pay attention to anything related to local Town government will be shocked that not only have their taxes gone up but they have to pay 35% more to flush their toilet.

    As a reader of this blog (If you weren’t you wouldn’t be here, would you?) consider it your civic duty to explain to your neighbor that the reason the “fee” went up is all about the bookkeeping and a way for the mayor and council members to claim they didn’t raise taxes. Remember; even though you make out the check to “Tax Collector, Town of Stratford” and mail it to the Tax Collector’s office, it is not a tax. It is a fee. No, you can’t deduct it from your federal income tax either.

    Oh…and there is that whole plan to keep raising fees so the mayor can sell off the WPCA.

  108. 109 sudds

    I sure hope the SCA doesn’t forget to build this into their business plan that they are not working on!!!

    (sidenote… SCA??? should the Stratford Center for Performing Arts be called SCPA???)

  109. 110 1george1

    moved to 3.0

  110. 111 jezebel282

    George,

    So…you really are a Republican aren’t you?
    You are self-deporting.

    LOL!


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