Hosed!

13May12

Answer: Nope, not here.

Just when we think politicians can’t sink any lower, they have the ability to amaze us and do exactly that. This instance is particularly stunning. Rather than negotiate a contract dispute between parties, this administration has decided to take their position public by pursuing their case in the media. It is not by accident that the CT Post “investigated” this story. It is obvious that this story was “suggested” by Town Hall. Let’s make no mistake about how this story was prepared or how it was intended to make one side look unreasonable. And, what the Hell, let’s throw in a wife too.

The actual arguments over contract law, years of service, understaffing and missed opportunities are never mentioned in the article. We will not hold our breath waiting for those issues to appear in the CT Post. What we will note is the mean spirited and unethical use of the media to make a case for reneging on clearly defined contractual obligations. But hey, what can you expect of a politician?

Retired assistant chief disputes pension amount
Brittany Lyte
Published 08:57 p.m., Saturday, May 12, 2012
Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Retired-assistant-chief-disputes-pension-amount-3554344.php#ixzz1ukRAIwUu

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150 Responses to “Hosed!”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    Full Article:

    Retired assistant chief disputes pension amount
    Brittany Lyte
    Published 08:57 p.m., Saturday, May 12, 2012
    Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Retired-assistant-chief-disputes-pension-amount-3554344.php#ixzz1ukRAIwUu

    STRATFORD — When former Assistant Fire Chief Thomas S. Murray retired in February, he stood to earn the second- highest annual pension in town history — $122,850.
    That’s nearly 36 percent higher than the $90,598 base salary he was earning before he retired from the Stratford Fire Department after 25 years of service.
    The town already is paying Murray’s wife, former Assistant Fire Chief Ellen Murray, an annual pension of $92,050 — about 5 percent higher than the $87,959 salary she earned before retiring on June 14, 2010.
    Ellen Murray, 51, is now deputy fire chief in Naugatuck, a post that comes with an annual salary of $68,000.
    That pensions can be higher than base salaries reflects the fact that overtime pay for Stratford firefighters — as in some other municipalities –are added to salaries when calculating retirement benefits.
    But Thomas Murray, 48, is disputing the town’s calculation. He’s arguing that he’s entitled to more.
    Daniel Hunsberger, a Ridgefield-based attorney representing Thomas Murray in the pension dispute, said he and his client are contesting the workers compensation component of the town’s calculation.
    The town is back-pedaling on a signed agreement concerning Murray’s workers compensation, and thereby short-changing him on his pension, Hunsberger said.
    “In the workers compensation claim, (the town) drafted a voluntary agreement,” Hunsberger said. “Tom agreed to that voluntary agreement and the town is now reneging on that agreement. It was their draft. We agreed to it. And now we’re saying, `You’ve got to live up to the agreement you’ve reached.’ ”
    Hunsberger declined to state the details of the agreement. He would not divulge the amount he is arguing Murray is entitled to. But he said Murray has not received any pension payouts since his retirement.
    Human Resources Director Ron Ing said the town attorney is working with Murray and his lawyer to resolve the issue.
    Town Attorney Tim Bishop said the town stands by its calculation.
    “The agreement Mr. Murray’s attorney refers to is between Mr. Murray and the town in connection with a workers compensation case,” Bishop said in an email.
    “The pension fund was not a party to the agreement or the proceedings, so it has absolutely no effect on the arbitration award or Mr. Murray’s pension benefits.”
    Bill Hansen, president of the Stratford Fire Union, declined to comment on the situation while contract negotiations between the town and firefighters union are under way.
    The town last week offered to begin paying Murray monthly installments of the part of his pension that is not in dispute. But Murray declined payment until the issue concerning his workers compensation figure is settled.
    “He’s afraid that by accepting anything less than full value, the town would say, `OK, well, you accepted less, so now you’re stuck with less,’ ” Hunsberger said.
    Stratford’s top-earning pensioner is Mark DeLieto, a former police captain who left the department in 2008 after 27 years on the force. DeLieto was 54 when he retired with a $134,525 pension — nearly 160 percent of his former salary.
    Among the 71 town employees who retired between 2006 and January 2011 and for whom human resources officials provided data, more than half are earning more or nearly the same amount of money in retirement than they did from their former base pay. Pensions exceed former salaries for 74 percent of the top-earning pensioners in this camp.

  2. 2 1george1

    This was prepared by Town Hall.
    There are many things within this I do NOT know.
    I asked for pension information about:
    Dick Miron – not defined benefit
    John Burturla – not defined benefit
    Mr & Mrs Murray – I got Mrs.
    Mr. & Mrs. Ulawtowski – I got Mrs.
    Mr. & Mrs. Naylor – I got Mrs.

    The Administration made it a point to give me information I didn’t
    ask for, which was there 15 year projections of how much the 2 %
    annual increases would be for Mike Imbro & Pat Ulawtowski.
    – In 15 years (actually about 10) with compounding 2 % annual
    increases, both Pat & Mike will be OVER $ 100,000

    Mike Imbro is brother in law to Tom Moore, retired state troops
    and former R Town Councilor a couple of times.
    Tom has been a loyal standard bearer for the Harkins Team that
    the Henrick Town Council created the FINANCIAL ADVISORY
    COMMISSION, which had TOM MOORE, JOE KUBIC, & GAVIN as the
    INTERVIEWERS, for people to be on the FAC.

    I believe (& expected) they wanted me to have my name on the
    FAC REPORT where they intended to have a FINDING of
    “NO DISCERNABLE WRONG DOING.”

    Harkins / Kelly / Burturla – betrayed the FIRE UNION.

    I spoke to Deputy Chief McNeil a couple weeks ago and he NOW
    UNDERSTANDS the POLICE were ALWYS set up to be BETRAYED, the
    SAME WAY certain peoples greed want the EMS for their own
    PIG BANK – not PIGGY BANK = PIG BANK!

    I showed Deputy Chief McNeil the math and asked if it’s sustainable?

    $ 134,500 annual pension if paid for 30 years is over $ 4 million!

    Is that sutainable?

    Highest Pensioner, I never use names except attorneys and now I’m
    ready to ask about Norm, & Team Stratford.

    Highest Pension contributed $ 140,000 lifetime, but got $ 45,000
    Cash out, so his NET LIFETIME CONTRIBUTION in 27 years = $ 95,000

    Put in 27 year NET $ 95,000 – TAKE OUT 30 YEARS $ 4 MILLION.
    SUSTAINABLE?
    Forget FAIR – Life’s not FAIR.
    The THIEVERY is simply NOT SUSTAINABLE.
    The POLICE have to see how all of the DOUBLE CROSSES have hit
    like FIRE UNION; SAVE STRATFORD; Board of Ed; others.
    > New head of SIKORSKY???
    > Dom Costello Jr. pled guilty about same time.
    > Fabrizi guilty COKE abuse = no JAIL TIME
    > Jail time to canary the FBI wouldn’t let SING
    > Jail time for a MINOR PLAYER in Team Stratford
    > Dick Miron = no JAIL TIME
    > WILLINGER related to SAL & NANCY DENARDO (D)
    > BERCHUMP / U R BRUTAL major contributors all PARTIES
    > John Burturla in VA. Near Quantico. Near FBI. Near DOD.
    ?? HAND WRITING on the WALL ??
    ?? DOUBLE CROSS ??
    I’m the ONLY ONE – the ONLY ONE who can mitigate/exculpate
    the PLAN + ENTRAPMENT.

    HIGHEST ever career Base Pay $ 84,850.
    ANNUAL PENSION $ 134,850.
    Annual PENSION is $ 48,650 higher than highest BASE PAY.

    Did he hold that PAY GRADE the whole last 2 years?

    POLICE GRIEVANCE, (NO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION) noted the
    Highest PENSIONER signed off on his OWN HOURS.

    Further, he took the SAME class, 2, 3, 4 times.

    The grievance & FAC FINDINGS show it was impossible for him
    to have worked ALL the time he claimed, get 8 hours sleep &
    commute even a 1/2 hour total for coming & going.

    Have I made this an ISSUE – YUP!

    Have I always POINTED at the State & Feds? YUP!

    Have I always warned about a DOUBLE CROSS? YUP!

    When it comes to ETHICS, Stratford & politicians only know
    how to SPELL the WORD.

    Check my posts on the PATCH per BUGET about question if
    x, y, or z has CONFLICTS of INTEREST?

  3. 3 1george1

    I have PENSION INFORMATION for a total of 16 people,
    redacted by Sue Collier’s office and it was handled by
    the Town Attorney’s office.

    3 of the 19 Defined Benefit people requested weren’t
    provided to me.

    I specifically sought information about retirement compensation.
    DICK MIRON
    JOHN BURTURLA

    If anyone knows any police or fire UNION PEOPLE, they might
    start asking PENSION / RETIREMENT COMPENSATION QUESTIONS
    about DICK & JOHN.

    I have an attachment from Finance showing Burturla’s / Firm
    getting $ 2.5 million or more
    Kelly’s / firm getting $ 1.5 million or more

    It doesn’t include BoE.

    I’ve been trying to get people to cease running over the cliff.
    Blame me?
    It doesn’t change the MATH!
    It doesn’t change the FACTS about WARS on UNIONS!
    It doesn;t change the probability of ENTRAPMENT?

  4. 4 stfdprofessor1

    http://stratford.patch.com/articles/retired-assistant-fire-chief-disputes-town-pension-amount#comment_3307197 “Murray isn’t satisfied with the $122,850 annual pension” writes Fred Musante of the Stratford Patch (Miron Democrat). Funny but I didn’t read that little factoid in the Post article.

    Bad enough Musante isn’t sharp enough to write his own bad article (recycled by Brittany Lyte at least three times in the past year), but then Fred feels it necessary to make up his own sensationalized facts after stealing the story. This entire subject reeks of yellow journalism at its very core. It appears that the Harkins crew now needs to send out inflammatory and sensationalized stories to cover their own incompetence. I’m sure they hope it will get everyone off the sewer tax, Shakespeare debacle, town attorney fees, etc. Good old character assassination at its best (but it’s OK, John Harkins is a nice guy).

    I’m sure some of the “usual suspects” whispered into the ears of a few of the local gadflies to make them unwitting co-conspirators as well. George it kind of sounds likes something you’d fall for. Murray strikes me as many things; greedy, selfish and incompetent would not be among them. One thing’s for sure, this is going to get good.

  5. 5 jezebel282

    Professor,

    “Funny but I didn’t read that little factoid in the Post article.”

    There are plenty of factoids that didn’t (and won’t) make it into this published story.

    The first factoid is that there must be a scene commander on duty 24/7/365. In Stratford the scene commander is an Assistant Chief. Stratford has had the bare minimum of these for as long as anyone can remember. There are four. The math is simple: 168 hours in a week divided by 4 = 42 hours each per week.

    The second factoid is that two Assistant Chiefs retired within 6 months of each other. (You might ask at this point if any effort at all was made to talk them out of it? Answer: no.) That left two Assistant Chiefs. If we remember the lesson from above: 168 hours in a week divided by 2 = 84 hours each per week. Throw in a hurricane or snowstorm as a variable and you get a LOT of hours.

    The third factoid is that HR and the administration did absolutely nothing about this for almost a whole year.

    Somehow the responsibility for all this overtime got left out of the article. Go figure.

  6. 6 jezebel282

    Editor’s Note:

    Just to be clear, we do not believe the practice of incorporating overtime into pension amounts should be a standard practice. However, when you sign a contract you are obligated to abide by the terms of the contract. That is the purpose of a contract and without that business in this country would cease.

    The proper way to change a contract is to renegotiate the terms. It will not happen by whining or moaning.

  7. 7 1george1

    Part of the PENSION calculation includes
    Unused VACATION TIME – which is ALSO CASHED OUT
    Unused SICK TIME – which is ALSO CASHED OUT
    HOLIDAY PAY – which is ALSO CASHED OUT
    Uniform ALLOWANCE.
    Uniform ALLOWANCE??

    If a retiree chooses to retire Januar 2 or later, he /she get
    the FOLLOWING YEAR’S
    VACATION PAY + SICK LEAVE + HOLIDAY PAY + Uniform ALLOWANCE

    I have NO ISSUE with NEXT YEAR’S
    VACATION PAY + HOLIDAY PAY, being paid at FULL PAY prior to
    the actual start of retirment.
    – Workers had to put in a year or part of year to accrue, initially.

    SICK LEAVE is normally prorated INTO a PARTIAL YEAR

    I never heard of UNIFORM ALLOWANCE being part of PENSIONS’
    CALCULATIONS, as found by the TOWN COUNCIL FINANCIAL ADVISORY
    COMMISSION investigation and report.
    (then “no discernable wrong doing”)


    Oh – all of the UNUSED + all of the following years stuff is added
    into the CALCULATIONS, to determine PENSIONS.

    The Calculations aren’t just based on the LAST 2 YEARS’ actual pay,
    nor Base Pay.

    There was a 60 % Cap on base pay.
    There was a 70 & Cap on base pay.
    There is NO Cap on base pay.

    Stratford Professor is right about the ADMINISTRATION wanting
    to use this as a DISTRACTION / DIVERSION, however they threw
    themselves under the BUS.
    1 – Raymark POISONS – the Ground WATER has become the issue
    over the ASBESTOS. It causes VOC – POISON GAS causing cancer.
    * 5 different Stratford Children in our area had Fund Raisers.

    2 – AVCO Army’s report of 2002 was they could convey immediately
    after cleaning up only 1 parcel # 32.

    3 – SHAKESPEARE plays have been the source of almost as much
    ANGLO & AMERICAN & EUROPEAN LITERATURE as the OT & NT.
    > AVENGERS passed $ 1 BILLION in 2 weeks. Characters were based
    on Greek Gods.
    > short sighted morons who want to STEAL all of STRATFORD’S
    COAST line for their plans with 744 acres of Bridgeport East end
    & redevelop the VALLEY. Conspiracy? YOU BET!
    * Developers * Appraisers * Lawyers * Real Estate * Construction
    * FAA * EPA * DEP * DOT * Treasury * kick backs to the PARTY
    * Police * State Police * FBI * Fed US Attorneys / State Prosecutors
    * FED / STATE JUDGES * FED / STATE LEGISLATIVE & EXECUTIVE.
    > It’s all about stealing money for THEM.

    4 – Throw themselves under the BUS?
    They went back to 2006 in Brittany Lyte, from HR + Town Attorneys,
    when Miron’s first year with Burturla, whose friends were intimately
    involved in the 1996 DEFINED BENEFIT GIVE AWAY.
    – However EVERY SINGLE PENSION BOARD has been completely or
    almost completely REPUBLICANS & UNION.
    – Conspiracy of SILENCE? Who amongst them blew the whistle on this
    compounding Ponzi Scheme?

    Professor, how would you like it if you had to pay me “$ 4 million” over
    30 years, while in 27 years I contributed only “$ 95,000 en toto?

    If they are MIRONS / BURTURLAS’ buddys, and 2003 – 2008 Pension
    Obligations went up 62% in 64 months = JEZE OUT RAGED.

    If they are JEZE’S friends … not living up to a CONTRACT which is
    a PONZI SCHEME and E V E R Y O N E will admit it in PRIVATE!

    I KNOW THERE WAS FRAUD + CONSPIRACY. I KNOW IT.
    I ALSO KNOW THERE WAS ENTRAPMENT. I KNOW IT.
    I can mitigate & exculpate.
    I believe I can protect PENSIONS to be at Defined Contribution level.
    (RANGE? Maybe $ 18,000 to $ 23,000 maybe? = Better than losing 100%!)

    I know how UNIONS can make up some of the MONEY, but NOT from
    the TAX PAYERS.

  8. 8 1george1

    Professor – FYI
    – I’ve been the leading person on this issue for 8 years.
    – The people who stole all the Petro/Carbon money & stock
    market need to corrupt everyone and anyone who can
    investigate and prosecute them.
    – the entire Political justice system was SEDUCED to become
    TRAITORS to their OATH of OFFICE, because part of the scam
    was creating ILLEGAL / UNCONSTITUTIONAL WARS to drive up
    OIL / GAS PRICES, and BUY UP the STOCK MARKETS.

    However, NONE of you people look at MACRO – ECONOMIC
    STRATEGY nor TACTICS

    SUN TSU – ART OF WAR:
    To sunder an ENEMY’S DOMAIN – NOT SO GOOD.
    To take over an ENEMY’S DOMAIN – is the BEST OBJECTIVE.
    (Not an exact quote)

  9. 9 rex525

    stfdprofessor1-“It appears that the Harkins crew now needs to send out inflammatory and sensationalized stories to cover their own incompetence. I’m sure they hope it will get everyone off the sewer tax, Shakespeare debacle, town attorney fees, etc. Good old character assassination at its best (but it’s OK, John Harkins is a nice guy).”

    BINGO, I couldn’t have said it better. I can easily predict the big winner in this…THE TOWN ATTORNEY! The billable hours will go through the roof. Chief Murray will undoubtedly win his legal argument and the head of human resources Ron Ing will not be held accountable for any of it. He may even receive ANOTHER substantial pay raise. I wish I had the time and the energy to start a petition for a recall election. (note to Harkins, please save us the trouble in the future and do not run for reelection!). BTW Jez, I understand there are new moves being made by these incompetents behind closed doors to privatize not only the sewage treatment plant BUT ALSO THE TRANSFER STATION on Watson Blvd. Can you shed any light on this? That ought to cost us taxpayers another fortune in years to come, because we all know who runs the private refuse business nationwide. Sounds like a select few will be getting a another private payday again.

  10. 10 jezebel282

    Rex,

    “BUT ALSO THE TRANSFER STATION on Watson Blvd. Can you shed any light on this?”

    This is true as well. It only took a little checking. It seems this administration cannot resist any one-time cash infusion that may be followed up with much, much lower concession fees.

    Of course, residents will have to fork over cash each time they find it necessary to go to the transfer station. This, of course, could be made much more profitable for the buyer if the Town restricts what it will pick up even further.

    And let no one think property taxes would drop a dime as a result.

    “Chief Murray will undoubtedly win his legal argument and the head of human resources Ron Ing will not be held accountable for any of it.”

    This is almost a no brainer. Murray will no doubt win at the Department of Labor and perhaps in Civil Court as well. It’s a CONTRACT. It’s not like it isn’t WRITTEN DOWN.

    What the $%^& is going on here lately?

  11. 11 rex525

    “What the $%^& is going on here lately?”-Jez

    Incompetence and corruption, it’s not lately it’s constant remember “this is Stratford”. The only difference is it now wears a “nice polite guy” face.

  12. 12 ronmoreau

    rex525,
    “I understand there are new moves being made by these incompetents behind closed doors to privatize not only the sewage treatment plant BUT ALSO THE TRANSFER STATION on Watson Blvd.”

    Let us not forget the par3 at short beach

  13. 13 ronmoreau

    Jez,
    I believe the people behind the political partys have been setting this up for years. The only thing that was missing was the one person that can make it happen. A MAYOR. The one person the “Can do what ever the f$@* he/she wants.” It has nothing to do with being a Republican, Democrat or independent.

  14. 14 1george1

    2 public forum speakers asked about the Transfer Station sale?
    Harkins using (wormy) BAIT n SWITCH?

    The Stratford Garbage museum didn’t close.
    It transferred to the MAYOR’S OFFICE.

    Guy committs what should be political SEWER-CIDE.
    His POLICIES are GARBAGE.

  15. 15 stfdprofessor1

    “The Stratford Garbage museum didn’t close. It transferred to the MAYOR’S OFFICE.”

    perfect place for it!

  16. 16 jezebel282

    Professor,

    “perfect place for it!”

    Wait a minute. Isn’t Harkins operating Economic Development by himself out of the same office?

  17. 17 1george1

    When Sterling House Bill O’Brien was giving Mayor Harkins
    an award, the appraiser got minimal applause – faint praise.

    Your home and money is how they prosper.

  18. 18 1george1

    Sue Collier & Stephen Nocera were at the Podium to answer
    questions about the reserve for paying for Retired HealthCare.

    1 – Not a single question.
    2 – Not a single dissenting vote.

    Collier & Nocera were stunned.
    They understand, this further taxes the Tax Payers with another
    RATIFIED Pension Obligation, besides the Defined Benefit Pension
    plan, the annuities, and the Health Care for the Retired now has
    a separate & Town Council RATIFIED FUND OBLIGATION.

    RUBBER STAMPS of the well OILED spoils system.

    Harkins and North End super majority are steam rolling everything.

  19. 19 jezebel282

    What do we get for $150/hour?

    Town Council rejects new deal with firefighters

    Written by John Kovach
    Monday, 14 May 2012 22:42

    Citing a need for clarification, the Town Council unanimously rejected a tentative agreement on a new contract with firefighters Monday night, May 14. Making the motion after a half-hour executive session, Councilman Christian Barnaby (R-1st) said the rejection was based on the need for “a clarification of the definition of compensation.”
    Town Attorney Tim Bishop said the issue is whether heart and hypertension disability benefits can be included in the definition of compensation.
    Heart problems are presumed to be job related when a claim is made by a firefighter hired before 1996. Those hired after that date only receive the disability if the heart problems occur during a call.
    Bishop said town administrators will approach the union to see if both sides interpret compensation the same way.
    Bill Hansen, president of Stratford Firefighters International Fire Fighters Association Local 998, said he could not comment as negotiations remain open.

    Answer:

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ct-superior-court/1199122.html

    Interesting to note who was representing the Town Of Stratford in the above case.

  20. 20 rex525

    Although I carry a certain amount of admiration for Chief Murray, I am not happy with this situation. I certainly do not think that pensions of these amounts are sustainable to this or any trust fund, especially given the amount of contributions collected by our employees and the apparent lack of funding in the past by our elected “representatives”. Personal feelings aside, I can not blame the Chief for expecting what he is apparently entitled to under the law. In all honesty I can say many of us would expect the same if we were in his position.

    What really upsets me is the fact that these circumstances have apparently BEEN IN PLACE FOR THE PAST 10 PLUS YEARS. Why have they not been successfully negotiated out of all employee contracts in that time? Why does this situation suspiciously come to light on the eve of a contract ratification vote? WHO IS WATCHING THE STORE and how does Mayor John A. Harkins justify the astronomical amount of OUR TAXPAYER MONEY that is being paid out through the town attorney’s office with oversights like these?

    OR

    Is this just another “accidental” oversight to fuel another gold mine of litigation, again filling the pockets of our esteemed legal eagles? I think we should ALL pay close attention to how much MORE of our money is going to wasted by dragging out this apparently futile mess? In the real world people would be fired over much, much less, I can only hope that in 2013 many of you will be!

  21. 21 1george1

    Published in Stratford Star 2 weeks ago:

    I believe: If Stratford had the winning $ 640,000,000 power ball ticket, I don’t believe the $ 640,000,000 would completely cover a projected $750,000,000 (3/4 $billion) estimated lifetime cost of the “Defined Benefit Pension.”

    Breakdown estimation? $175 million paid by Taxpayers 1996-2012. Approximately $300 million obligated and projected $275 million future obligations to the Defined Benefit Pensions.

    4 Mils, $19,000,000 paid to 620 people? (1 Mil is 4.5 Million.)
    Stratford Tax Payers pay 4 mils to Pensions.
    Fairfield Tax Payers contribute nothing to (fully funded) Pensions.

    Do Mayor Harkins and others political people want everyone looking to the future and not investigate causations and foundations of issues, by their past political actions?
    1996: Army started closing AVCO, PAYING $90 Million to date: Enough to remediate AVCO for 18,000 jobs.
    1996: Town Management, Council, and Political Parties gave employees the Defined Benefit Pension Ponzi Plan.
    1996: Esquire Burturla’s Berchem Firm first became Town and Education attorneys.
    1996: Councilman Harkins became State Representative Harkins.

    Why did Mayor Harkins, who’s rarely seen or heard about disseminating substantive information, present pension issues as his column? Was in because of the FOI request I made 2 weeks earlier for top 10 and 10 recent “Defined Benefit Pension calculations, where huge RED FLAGS exist.

  22. 22 1george1

    Published in Stratford Star 2 weeks ago:

    Get FREE EXCEL of 620 Defined Benefit Pensioners, with Tabs for: Alphabetical; Highest to Lowest Pension; and by Retirement Date; by emailing FOI: scollier@townofstratford.com
    They contain Names, Department, Hire and Retire Dates, and Annual Pensions.

    Add FOI: “Base Pay, last 2 Years Earnings, and Lifetime Gross Pension contributions, for Pension Calculations. Cost 50 cents per retiree.

    Many Stratford Annual Pensions are higher than BASE PAY?

    Many Stratford Annual Pensions are higher than LIFETIME “NET” CONTRIBUTIONS?

    5 samples (combined information) from January 2008 Pensions
    investigated by Town Council Financial Advisory Commission.
    I believe that Town Council and key members lied:
    “NO DISCERNABLE WRONG DOING.

    Dept.—PENSION—BasePay—contribution-“cash out”–net contrib
    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

    Subtract CASH OUT from LIFE TIME (GROSS) PENSION CONTRIBUTION:
    LIFE TIME (NET) PENSION CONTRIBUTION.
    ANNUAL PENSIONS are higher than:

    1-BASE PAY

    2-LIFE TIME (NET) PENSION CONTRIBUTION

    I’m glad my NAME isn’t on TOWN COUNCILS’ BUDGETS who
    approved those pensions.

    Management and Lawyers appear to have had protection by
    International, Federal, and State political connections?

  23. 23 jezebel282

    Rex,

    “In the real world people would be fired over much, much less”

    But we live in Stratford. Here people are given raises for this.

    In this ridiculous instance you have 10 Council people looking to someone for an explanation (that is perfectly reasonable). The Town has an extremely well compensated Attorney plus a Human Resources Director who’s job it is to know these things.

    Perhaps in order to save taxpayer money we should provide an Ipad in the Council Chambers so that they can Google their questions and get their answer in a few seconds.
    Sec. 7-433c
    Connecticut General Statutes as amended to January 1, 2007
    Benefits for policemen or firemen disabled or dead as a result of hypertension or heart disease.
    http://wcc.state.ct.us/law/rel-stat/2007/7-433c.htm

  24. 24 portia1776

    Tom Murray, a brave and talented officer, deserves better than this reprehensible smear. Can someone explain how the size of his and his wife’s pensions, quantifying the percentage those pensions are larger than their base salaries, and mentioning how much his wife earns now are relevant to a pension and workers compensation dispute? Of course they are not in the least bit relevant! Pensions are determined by a lawful contract. One can make the case that the contract is good or bad, serves the public interest (as in the taxpayers who foot the bill) or not, and argue over the needed reforms to ensure budget and pension fund sustainability, but those discussions are not germane to the issue at hand.

    Tom put in years of service under the existing contract. It really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of the money he earned, whether “36 percent” above base or “100 percent” above base. The point is he earned it, fair and square — and by risking his life to save the lives and protect the private property of others. How could the CT Post not mention this indisputable fact?

    The numbers, of course, are included for sheer shock value, to poison public opinion on the basis of the supposed “unfairness” of the amount of money the Murray’s are/will be making. This is no less disgusting when done by Stratford “Republicans” and juvenile journalists than it is when the coveter-of-others-success-in-chief Obama does it. I won’t say this is “class warfare” because “classes,” like “society” or the “economy,” don’t exist. But this is a war over fairness, which properly means that an individual has the right to earn an honest living and benefit from the fruits of their labor without apology.

    Ellen or Tom should have been made chief. It is a travesty that they were passed over. Anyone who wants to complain about their pension calculations should bear in mind that we could have been paying either of them a comparable amount to continue keeping us safe. That would have been an ideal and cost efficient policy. Now, in Ellen’s case, Stratford’s loss is another town’s gain.

    P.S. Some people with limited faculties will presumably say my support of the Murray’s is strange or even hypocritical. I’m supposedly for privatizing everything, for “people over profits” (profits come from providing value to people) and for demonizing public employees for the fun of it (nope, just those who incompetent, corrupt, and whose jobs should not exist). Of course all of these accusations are spurious. Nothing I have ever written, and the quantity of my writing here is not lacking, can possibly be construed to substantiate those charges. But let us be clear, what is not a core government function should be privatized so as to make service providers competitively accountable to their customers (a novel idea!), not politicians and bureaucratic middle men. Electricity generation, garbage pick-up, running a golf course or a theater, and arguably education and water treatment are just not core government functions like the provision of public safety. I have the highest regard for our Finest and Bravest, and believe they deserve to be well compensated. But what most compels my hand to write in favor of the Murray’s is the law. We are supposed to live in a country of laws, not men. If no one should earn more than what the ignorant and jealous (aka the Obama administration and its “Occupy” rabble) think “fair,” we’re doomed.

  25. 25 1george1

    Portia > Tom Murray, a brave and talented officer, 100 % aGREED.

    Pensions are determined by a lawful contract. 100 % aGREED.
    HOWEVER if a CONTRACT, ARBITRATION, or COURT CASE has
    PROVEABLE FRAUD or CONSPIRACY, then the CONTRACT (or..)
    is NOT LAWFUL.
    Would ANY reader / blogger disagree?

    Circumstancial evidence can be adduced & proven plainly, clearly,
    and PREPONDERANTLY by adding elements of certain FACTS:
    * Position(s) of Power * Animus (motive) * Timing * Law Violation
    * Jurisdiction * Mens Rhea (mental state) * Foreknowledge
    * Disparate Treatment (compare these/private sector contracts)
    * People involved in decision process
    * More

    Published in Stratford Star 2 weeks ago:

    1996: Army started closing AVCO, PAYING $90 Million
    to date: Enough to remediate AVCO for 18,000 jobs.

    1996: Town Management, Council, and Political Parties
    gave employees the Defined Benefit Pension Ponzi Plan.

    1996: Esquire Burturla’s Berchem Firm first became
    Town and Education attorneys.

    1996: Councilman Harkins became State Representative Harkins.

    4 Mils, $19,000,000 paid to 620 people? (1 Mil is 4.5 Million.)

    Stratford Tax Payers pay 4 mils to Pensions.

    Fairfield Tax Payers contribute nothing to (fully funded) Pensions.

    Why did Mayor Harkins, who’s rarely seen or heard about
    disseminating substantive information, present pension
    issues as his column?

    Was in because of the FOI request I made 2 weeks earlier for
    top 10 and 10 recent “Defined Benefit Pension calculations,
    where huge RED FLAGS exist.

  26. 26 rex525

    It’s not too hard to see why the administration initiated this smoke screen at Chief Murray’s expense after reading the following revelations by Councilperson Catalano

    https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/down-the-drain/#comment-18497

    https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/the-old-grey-lady-flashes-the-bard/#comment-18498

    It’s the same old Stratford shell game, while they have you concentrating on the left hand you don’t pay much attention to what the right hand is doing. Well, John Harkins promised us transparency, and this attempt is about as transparent as he has been. While some on this blog have called for the resignation of our illustrious mayor and his “well to do” multi million dollar town attorneys, I’d like to add Human Resources Director Ronald Ing and Finance Director Susan Collier to that list as well.

  27. 28 1george1

    moved back

    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/upgrade-now/#comment-18511

    George, you do not decide where it belongs. I decide.

    Reminder: “And if we find anything irrelevant posted in another topic it will be moved here without mercy, George.”

    Keywords: “Without mercy”.

  28. 29 nedsmithy

    As George said:
    “Pensions are determined by a lawful contract. 100 % aGREED.
    HOWEVER if a CONTRACT, ARBITRATION, or COURT CASE has
    PROVEABLE FRAUD or CONSPIRACY, then the CONTRACT (or..)
    is NOT LAWFUL.”

    I would guess that the short answer would be that lets wait & see if the “Fraud or Conspiracy” can be proven? If not, write the big check and move on! Sounds something like “Buyers Remorse” on the part of Stratford? Now they want to figure a way to turn back the hands of time. I really don’t see that happening but I’m sure it’s going to be entertaining watching this “Sausage” being made!!!

  29. 30 1george1

    Nedy – Wait until someone creates a PUBLIC INITIATIVE PETITION
    and the COURTS THROWS it out because of the POLITICAL TRICKS
    of the LAWYERS & POLITICIANS.

    They (you?) STOLE our (your?) 1st Amendment process, in order to
    create a huge payday for all the politically connected from our area
    to Hartford, to DC & Federal agencies, in my opinion.

    Nedy, it is easy being SMUG when you are on the INSIDE of a GANG
    and the GANG splits the PLUNDER.

    There comes a POINT when the BIGGER FISH, no longer need the
    smaller fish and want their share, such as a 1,200 member local
    union wanted to add $ 70,000 union dues to their SWAG by forcing
    a 120 member local union to merge bigger.

    What happens when they take YOUR PENSION due to CORRUPTION,
    per CT STATE LAW passed while HARKINS was in HARTFORD?

    What happens when a Stamford or Hartford, or NYC huge Law firm
    decides to cause PROSECUTION of a FIRM like BERCHEM, so they
    can take over all of their Municipal, BoE, Housing, Parking, and
    private sector companies in Insurance, Real Estate, Construction,
    Accounting, etc?

    Both Ganim & Rowland ran for Governor.
    Each thought they were invincible.

    Didn’t Grand Sachem Finkelstein turn John Lindsey loose on the
    Mafia held Judges & gold shields, which the since revised KNAPP
    COMMISSION showed 100 % dirty city wide.
    – If all the NYC Judges & Detectoves are dirty, all of the US Attorneys
    & FBI come from their ranks.

    Nedy – when your OLD PATRONS are DEAD & OUT of POWER, why
    should they HONIR dirty contract, which they caused, because when
    they were ready to change the guard with new leaders, those
    retired no longer had viable biographical leverage.

    When the dirty steal from the public and then are DOUBLE CROSSED,
    by a different set of dirty, where do YOU TURN?

    Lose YOUR PENSION?
    Under R.I.C.O. lose all of your POSSESSIONS.
    Your children and grandchildren are shunned by contemporaries.

    Where are you going to TURN?

    The ETHICS COMMISSION, when you have NO ETHICS, and the NEW
    POWERS which are have replaced YOUR ALLIES, with THEIR ALLIES?

    It’s YOUR WORST NIGHT MARE.

    And because of YOU NATURE and belief structure about Mirror
    imaging, YOU, more than MOST READERS understand ….

    THAT’S THEY WAY YOUR ENTIRE LIFE has EXISTED …
    Picking up the CRUMBS from the STUFF they STOLE.

    PROVE IT?

    I lived it.
    I watched as they FLOATED down the RIVER, like CITY LOGS.

  30. 31 nedsmithy

    GEORGIE my man, get a grip!!!! Your in a state of confusion! That confusion is that you really take me for somebody that gives a chip of the ole stack of human excrement! But I guess I should expect no less, after reading most of your dim witted dribble in this thread alone. I can tell from reading just this thread, that you & the blog admin. spent most holidays together?

    I will be thoughtful enough to give you a couple of “free” clues. I’m not from Stratford. Do not & have not ever worked for Stratford. Wished I had & made it as far as Chief Murray, so I also could get those BIGGGGG checks also!!

    I’m an interloper, here simply for the fun of watching some dim witted souls, with solders made of straw, do mental combat with a far superior force of intelligence & class.

    I get to “Poke the Kitty” and stand back & watch the Carnival Show progress! And it’s FREE!!! Great place America!

    Now REALLY Georgie, you just got to slow down, get a grip & smell the scatology!

  31. 32 1george1

    Nedy – I’ve smelt the scatology of your kind for decades.

    You’d fit in fine with the sewer bottom feeders.

    Any coward and moron can anonymously claim superior force
    and intelligence.

    Do you content police and fire are superior to scientists, doctors,
    and nurses?

    I never demean the courage nor competency of the working people.
    It is a question of compensation and compassion, which you obviouly
    lack, which reflects poorly on your upbringing.

    I’d rather be a dimwit trying to benefit people than a creature like
    yourself, who apparently has no redeeming qualities.

  32. 33 1george1

    Blod is correct:
    CT POST should be renamed ComPost.
    Reporter’s email address is homonym to BLIGHT
    Favors expanding airport – never addresses stratford public safety

    Harkins:
    Garbage policies need a home
    Garbage museum closed
    Judith Terrace Sewer Fees waived $ 313,000
    Sewer Fee Tax $ 95 year increase x 22,500 = 1/2 Mil
    Sell Garbage station
    POISON ground water = could be cleaned by WPCA
    Nedy – Sewer Rat? Like DemonCrat or RepubliCan’t


    Could it be the Harkins Administration is posturing towards
    Chapter 11 which repudiates all contracts?

    There are movements across the country related to clawbacks
    and chapter 11.

    The real enemies are those who threw money to corrupt the
    system and break it.

    Even ethical sluts like nedy is likely to conceed corruption issues,
    unless he owns an oil well, or more likely a gas well?

  33. 34 nedsmithy

    Georgie,
    Y’all have a great day now. Don’t forget to change your bib. It’s dawned a new and wonderful day. Bye Bye now.

  34. 35 blodgettave

    Good point about filing for bankruptcy, 1george1. They’ve done it elsewhere in the country (michigan) to devastating effect for municipalities – however, does’t that take the power away from town officials and hands it over to a financial manager designated by the governor? Can’t imagine the town officials letting that happen.

    Pushing towards volunteer fire is more likely. Could the union be unwittingly roped into keeping the status quo with no serious pushback in order to help move towards at least a partial volunteer crew? A reasonable defined benefit package would save a great deal of trouble.

  35. 36 1george1

    Blod,
    I’m against ROBOCOP & AUTOMATED FIRE APPARATUS.
    I’m against Voluteer Fire Dept & privatized police.

    I favor good government with workers having good pay,
    good benefits, and good pensions.

    Thank you for the good point, praise.
    However while you can’t imagine that point, Harkins was in Hartford
    1996 – 2009.
    Doc took him under his wing and hooked him up, only to be betrayed
    like the RTC does to everyone.
    .
    .
    The only solution to the pension issue is everyone is in DEFINED
    CONTRIBUTION – under no circumstances does Defined BENEFIT work!
    – Those that have DBP, want to keep.
    – Those that don’t have DBP, want to get it.

    I was told 10 years ago, this was the government plan of the same
    way they catch monkeys in AFRICA …

    They put a cookie in a sturdy glass jar, with a narrow neck.
    They tie down the Jar.
    The monkey can put his hand in the JAR & grab the COOKIE.

    However the monkey can’t pull his fist out of the JAR.

    The monkey WANTS the COOKIE, more than he wants FREEDOM.

    To be FREE, all he has to do is ….OPEN his FIST & LET GO of the
    COOKIE.


    I am not equating police & fire as monkeys.

    Someone else’s story.

    Likely more appropriate the RTC + DTC + LAWYERS are monkeyss.

  36. 37 1george1

    FYI – In the Stratford Star I suggested a REFERENDUM for the
    POLITICAL POWERS (Lawyers, Team Stratford, etc) to pay for
    the DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION & HEALTH CARE.

    Let those who get the KICK BACKS (if there are any?) pay for
    their decisions, since they were the ones who made all of the
    committments, let them pay with THEIR MONEY to POLICE, FIRE,
    TEACHERS, PW, REGISTRARS, etc.

    I honestly don’t care how much union people get, as long as I’m
    not paying the bill and tax payers aren’t paying the bill.

    If the stock market went to 30,000 and the Pension was never
    under funded, we wouldn’t be on the hook for any money, just
    like Stratford.

    If politicians and lawyers are incompetent or corrupt, they kicked
    the ball down the hill …. let them go find it….

    Maybe Berchem will see his mal practice insurance rise faster than
    HEALTH CARE? 🙂

    FEED BACK is that my tactics and strategy is finally seen for what it
    is and the union people see that I was backing them from being
    entrapped.

  37. 38 jezebel282

    George,

    Apparently the new plan is to renege existing contracts and sell off Town assets in order to eliminate union positions. Of course taxes will not decrease and we’ll have all sorts of new “user fees” to pay.

  38. 39 stfdprofessor1

    “Of course taxes will not decrease”

    yeah, but think of all the extra loot the town attorneys will get to split

  39. 40 rex525

    mattcat- “This whole thing is not about the money or personal greed – it’s much bigger than that – it’s the principal.
    It is about one little guy volunteering to fight city hall for the rights of all the guys – so they will not be shortchanged in the future.
    It’s just another selfless act by this dedicated guy.
    He can’t be stopped from caring for the other guys.
    This town has been made better by those who cared since 1639.
    Too bad he does not live in town – then he could run for mayor.”-copied from another site and re-posted here because it helped me make sense of this situation.

    Councilman Catalano again exhibits political courage and leadership. Something that John Harkins apparently lacks (but can fake well at times).

  40. 41 1george1

    Mr. Catalano is following in the footsteps of ideals best shown
    in Frank Capra type movies. Like the Jimmy Steward character.

    I have given props to Matt & Jeze.

    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/upgrade-now/#comment-18550

  41. 48 nedsmithy

    Rex525, your post on May 18th was spot on, in a personal view of Chief Murray! I only WISH that I could have the fearless dedication and desire to protect my fellow man to “Run into a burning building that everyone else is running out of”! If we could but speak with just one of the lives that this man has been responsible for giving the gift of being able to grow old with their loved ones, I would bet they would reach into their own pockets, if they were called on to do so. Just try spending a week in the shoes of a first responder and you’ll come away with a different point of view! Spend a week with a Nurse on the Hospice Unit. Thank God for all of them!

  42. 50 jezebel282

    Enough already.

  43. 52 jezebel282

    Last time:

    Further irrelevant posts in this topic will simply be deleted instead of moved.

  44. 53 nedsmithy

    So noted by myself. Sorry for straying.

  45. 54 1george1

    Please see appropriate venue.

    At no time have I ever insulted the courage and professional
    abilities of any government actual worker.

    I simply disagree about sustainability of pensions and when the
    rank people, who are management and not real union take advantage

    Thank you.

  46. 55 nedsmithy

    Can the town “legally” renege on the retirement without first going through bankruptcy? I think the last one to consider that in our area was Mary Moran of Bridgeport?
    In “some” cases, is it such a bad thing in the grand scheme of things?

  47. 56 1george1

    There are precedents for going Chapter 11, which can eliminate
    all pensions.

    In some of the oldest pensions retired workers were paid $ 3,000
    – $ 3,500 after 30 years and that is horrible.

    There are many, who did not game the system and were content
    with the former high of 60 % of base, honestly believing that what
    they were entitled to receive.

    I DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT SUPPORT CHAPTER 11.

    Please see the rest of this post (complete) in my venue

  48. 57 nedsmithy

    Jeze:

    Given your post:

    jezebel282 on May 15, 2012 said:

    What do we get for $150/hour?

    Town Council rejects new deal with firefighters

    Written by John Kovach
    Monday, 14 May 2012 22:42

    Very interesting read and given this:

    Answer:

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ct-superior-court/1199122.html

    I’m not a learned reader of law but it would appear to my laymen reading of the case, that Stratford is dead at the gate for this “Horse Race”?

  49. 58 nedsmithy

    After reading these 2 links I would ask why Stratford would even consider going to court over this?

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ct-superior-court/1199122.html
    http://wcc.state.ct.us/law/rel-stat/2007/7-433c.htm

    I’m by far not an expert on reading case law, BUT from a Layman point of view these 2 links make Stratfords case mute?

  50. 59 nedsmithy

    Is there anyone other then Chief Murray that is being affected at this time?

  51. 60 jezebel282

    Ned,

    “Is there anyone other then Chief Murray that is being affected at this time?”

    To the best of my knowledge, this is the most egregious case. Unless you want to consider Lt Tom McCabe’s widow who I hear has yet to receive a penny from the Town. We did name a street after Lt McCabe, maybe someone forgot that you can’t eat street signs.

  52. 61 nedsmithy

    Jeze,

    How does one even reply to a case like Lt. McCabe. Shame, it’s plain old shame!

  53. 62 1george1

    If LT. McCabe’s family is not getting death benefits, nor 1/2
    pension normally due widows, it is disgusting.

    Another situation to cause Attorney Billing?

    It’s even more sicking than the persecution of the 91 year old
    woman who cared for her cats.

    Another situation to cause Attorney Billing?

    Lost in the arguments about highest pension is the fact that the
    vast majority of them are MANAGEMENT and NOT REAL UNION.
    In private sector, most MANAGEMENT are SALARIED. NO O.T.
    > I get bombarded with calls, emails, in person questions and
    strong feelings about pensions higher than base pay.
    > I tell them, why don’t you get involved … (can’t do that)

    I like Tom Murray as a person.
    I absolutely believe him, fire, & police exceptionally competent.
    I admire their courage.
    If I had a grievance, I’d want Tom as a Union Rep.
    I believe Jeze is correct, that Tom & Ellen will win their LAW
    SUITS, which conveniently will increase Attorney Billing and a
    couple of SEALED SETTLEMENTS.

    I further believe Hartford & D.C. are intentionally destroying
    the property values and tax base, so they can do whatever
    they want and make those victimizers into heros.

    It may include a double cross, planned since Harkins was in Hartford?

  54. 63 1george1

    Who has led the way on PENSION ISSUES?

    Who PREDICTED the UNIONS would be DOUBLE CROSSED
    and SCAPE GOATED?

    Who PREDICTED the NEWER UNION employees and UNION
    people who retired years ago to far too low PENSIONS would
    be RESENTFUL of PEOPLE they absolutely KNOW, better than
    all of the OUTSIDERS, don’t deserve UNSUSTAINABLE PENSIONS.

    Who pointed out the REAL ENEMIES are ANTI-UNION War, Crime,
    Weapons, Drugs, Insider Trade Profiteers, who use MANAGMENT
    dressed under UNION CONTRACTS?

    Tom Murray has likely crossed the “T” and dotted the “i.”
    However, will it do any good when the double cross is implemented.

  55. 64 nedsmithy

    George, I do realize that it is hard BUT can we stay on topic as requested by Jeze? Yes Tom appears to have “Crossed” his T’s and “Dotted” his i’s. Unlike you, of whom it appears that “I” is 50% of your vocabulary with the remaining being “Me”! Please stay on topic or post your dribble over in your own “Litter Box”!

    Sorry Jeze, but it just built to the point that I had to “Air it out” !!!

  56. 65 1george1

    Who has been hosed more than Stratford Tax Payers?

    Who deserves criticism and blame. Who doesn’t?

  57. 66 1george1

    New DARPA technology extinguishes flames without
    water or chemicals
    The U.S. military could soon have an eco-friendly way
    of extinguishing fires

    No more Police or Fire? All Robots or Mercenaries?

    Read more at http://www.tecca.com/news/2012/01/23/darpa-fire-extinguishing-wand/#IfWyarT4HTfbLbTC.99

    http://www.tecca.com/news/2012/01/23/darpa-fire-extinguishing-wand/

  58. 67 1george1

    http://www.tecca.com/news/2012/01/23/darpa-fire-extinguishing-wand/

    Rumored to have been dropped off by Black Helicopter
    near certain bloggers homes who doubt Tin Foil Caps

    Videos which shown vehicles, ships, & aircraft made invisible.

    Videos of robotic birds, bugs, fish, snakes, & animals.

    UFO @ Sea? Looked kinda photo shop special effects? Speeding
    cone changing colors even becomin invisible.

  59. 68 jezebel282

    George,

    “No more Police or Fire? All Robots or Mercenaries?”

    Lemme know when people start driving better and we don’t need anyone to extricate victims from the wreckage.

  60. 69 1george1

    Pot stirred. You were only one paying attention.

  61. 70 jezebel282

    “You were only one paying attention.”

    It’s a curse….

  62. 71 1george1

    Immediately after Japan nuclear reactor disaster I wrote
    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/upgrade-now/#comment-19452

  63. 72 1george1

    Time to turn over hole cards in the Murray debate.

    JEZE is it true, that Ellen Murray’s father was a Stratford Police
    officer during the time Ray Voccola’s nephew & Dick/John
    Burturla’s father were Rank Stratford Police?

    Is it true that in 1996:
    * Harkins & Tony Ross voted to create the Defined Benefit
    Pension plans which allowed Dan Ross & the Murrays to gain
    their average of over 6 figure pensions?
    * Kubic finished Harkins Town Council term, when the appraiser
    was elected to Hartford?

    How many attorneys in Bishop Kelly Jackson firm have foreclosure,
    Real Estate, contract, & civil litigation comparatively narrow specialty
    when compared with Burturla-Berchem, diversity?

    How many Municiple governments/BoE/Housing/Parking do or
    have Burturla-Berchem, have/had relative to the 169 of CT.?

    JEZE …. is it true that you are really either Dick or Jim Miron?

    Aren’t the above verifiable facts?
    (except the last one …)

  64. 73 jezebel282

    George,

    1. I have no idea.
    2. I don’t care.
    3. No one else cares
    4. So what?

    Here is what counts: The mayor (and therefore us taxpayers) signed contracts with Local 998 and Murray. The courts will uphold their validity. We will end up paying additional legal fees and perhaps penalties &/or fines. Of this there is no doubt whatsoever.

    That’s pretty much all anyone needs to know. Everything else is irrelevant.

  65. 74 1george1

    That’s pretty much all anyone needs to know.

    PRETTY ARROGANT STATEMENT.
    IF THERE WAS PROVEN FRAUD & CONSPIRACY ,,,,, POOF!

    Everything else is irrelevant.

    WE AGAIN DIFFER ON OPINIONS.

  66. 75 jezebel282

    George,

    “PRETTY ARROGANT STATEMENT”

    Not really. Anagrams, vague suspicions, magical thinking, extremely loose connections of time & place as well as a few unfounded allegations have rarely served as evidence in an actual court.

    “WE AGAIN DIFFER ON OPINIONS.”

    True. But there can be no difference of opinion on facts. That is the nature of a fact. The fact is Harkins signature is borne on two contracts with Murray and Harkins is seeking to violate both. That, my friend, is a fact. There is no dispute about that.

    Now, whether or not the Town pursues this indefensible position is a subject for opinion.

  67. 76 1george1

    JEZE you parse FACTS you choose to USE.

    We can agree or disagree on relevance, like dismissing patterns
    which can be verified, while disagreeing with possible conclusions.

    JEZE – DO you verify or deny:
    JEZE is it true, that Ellen Murray’s father was a Stratford Police
    officer during the time Ray Voccola’s nephew & Dick/John
    Burturla’s father were Rank Stratford Police?

    Is it true that in 1996:
    * Harkins & Tony Ross voted to create the Defined Benefit
    Pension plans which allowed Dan Ross & the Murrays to gain
    their average of over 6 figure pensions?
    * Kubic finished Harkins Town Council term, when the appraiser
    was elected to Hartford?

    How many attorneys in Bishop Kelly Jackson firm have foreclosure,
    Real Estate, contract, & civil litigation comparatively narrow specialty
    when compared with Burturla-Berchem, diversity?

    How many Municiple governments/BoE/Housing/Parking do or
    have Burturla-Berchem, have/had relative to the 169 of CT.?

    JEZE – Your whole world is watching.

    JEZE – You had backed HARKINS.
    You found HARKINS lacking

    You had limited content to Stratford only.
    You opened up to state, national, & international …..

    You had deemed only Stratford was relevant.
    You including affect of State & Feds on Stratford.

    You were obsessed with anti-Mirons / Burturla.
    Time has at least partially healed & you are less obsessed with
    those (heels)?

    I acknowledge the ability & courgage of Mr. & Mrs. Murray.
    I acknowledge the practices / past practices favor Mr. Murray.
    > Practices (Plan) changed.

    If there are certain changes in situations or conditions met
    contracts can be abrogated & repudiated. FACT.

    Do I contend Mr. or Mrs. Murray actively caused the DEFINED
    BENEFIT PLAN.
    NEVER have.

    Do I contend there is very likely quid pro quo in Stratford politics
    where certain people benefit, while other pay and/or are victims?
    YES.
    – I SUSPECT you would “generally concur.”

    Do I contend there HAVE BEEN family relations affecting Stratford
    politics & questionable PAY & BENEFITS?
    YES.
    – I SUSPECT you would “generally concur.”

    Now – simple question if on the 4 cards laid out face up on the table,
    do you:
    1 – Verify / concur, per item
    2 – Deny, per item
    3 – Don’t know in any or all of the 4 items.

    Are you going to do the MIRON SMOKE & MIRRORS,
    or will you address each of the 4 items?

    Remember a non answer is an answer.

    Remember every viewer makes judgements on credibility
    of my self, you, bloggers, and political players.
    Most of those viewer are actively involved in the conspiracy,
    whether they intended to be in that situation or not, due to
    the legal parameters related to conspiracy laid out in the
    Mossman Civil Trial, where the Attorneys “have to meet certain
    standards” or else ….they open themselves up to malpractice.
    > Attorneys & Arbitration can throw cases in such a way they
    meet minimum standards, while protecting themselves, which
    is not dissimilar to …… Labor contracts.

    > However, when confronted with clear, plain, & preponderant
    facts & circumstances (including patterns & modus operendi)
    which are self evident … situations change.

    > as for:
    “Anagrams, vague suspicions, magical thinking, extremely
    loose connections of time & place as well as a few unfounded
    allegations have rarely served as evidence in an actual court.”

    I suspect even JEZE & viewers would agree that WORK PROCESS
    or WORK PRODUCT is different than a FINISHED PRODUCT
    for the COURT of PUBLIC OPINION.
    > The VILE attacks on me in this BLOG prior to 2009 Mayor debate
    helped prepare me, whereas even Mike Reynolds posted that I
    came across very well in the WICC Jim Buchanon debate.
    (I felt I stood out less there as Dom & Harkins finally got active
    against Jim, who seemed almost complacent.)

    > JEZE wisecracks & putdowns, helped prep me for the Channel 12
    debate & the ROTFLMAO “Pinocchio comparison.”

    > Even Weisel gave me props on the Stratford HS “POWERBALL”
    crack as the solution to Stratford Ponzi Politics. It took me wearing
    a slashed tire around my neck to get Weisel to even acknowledge
    that I participate in Town Council Public Forums.

    The PLAY WRITE endorsed me over Gavin.
    JEZE grants me props on integrity & intent.
    Kim Meuse gave me 3rd party credibility (which I actively sought)

    While the above is about me …. it’s more about the PROCESS of
    getting the loose or illfitting facts & circumstances to be known,
    understood, connected, & building credibility TOWARDS clear,
    plain, evident & preponderant information suitable to effect change.

    Even my most hardened critics have come to understand that some
    things they believed true, were not true, and some of the positions
    I posted as they truth, are not as outrageous and non credible as
    they previously believed.

    Self interested recognize facts for what they are and prefer some
    facts to be otherwise.
    Many people simply took status quo as acceptable.
    Many people simply took the Public Treasury as an infinite source
    of revenue for themselves & others with no harm / no foul, & that
    since everyone else does it, they can rationalize / justify.

    The vast majority were not evil, nor intending harm.
    They have a conscience.
    They also are kinda stuck.

    There are people, including highly intelligent people who are or
    have been ignorant. Things are changing. They won’t be able to
    maintain the Ostrich pose.

    Then there are others who are completely selfish & still others who
    enjoy the cruelty.

    I suspect none of the blogger fall into that category, even Jimmy.

  68. 77 jezebel282

    “JEZE is it true, that Ellen Murray’s father”

    I simply have no idea, nor do I think it is in any way relevant to anything. But here is what I do know. Ms. Murray passed the CPAT and written exams and placed high enough to be hired as a Stratford firefighter. She was the only (I’m pretty sure) female firefighter employed by the SFD back then. She also passed her EMT course and went on to be a nationally registered paramedic. I know for a fact that paramedic licenses are not given out like candy no matter who you are related to. She went on to rise through the ranks of the SFD to be Assistant Fire Chief. She retired from the SFD after 25+ years of service. She then applied for, interviewed (against some hefty competition) as Deputy Fire Chief for the Naugatuck Fire Department (another loss for Stratford) and one of the handful of female Deputy or Fire Chiefs in the State of Connecticut.

    So when you ask if her father was a Stratford cop, my answer is “so what” and “why would anyone care”?

    “JEZE – You had backed HARKINS.
    You found HARKINS lacking”

    Remind me again. What were the choices?

  69. 78 jezebel282

    Update:

    There are currently four assistant chiefs in the FD. One can retire with full benefits at any moment he desires right now. There is another that can retire with full benefits within the year.

    If that happens there will be two assistant chiefs left that will have to divide 168 hours/week between them. Sound familiar?

    Thank God there is a current promotion list of firefighters that could be appointed immediately.

    Huh? What’s that you say? There is no list? There is no approved test for candidates to take? HR has no clue you say?

    But wait. Aren’t they disputing an Assistant Chief’s pension because…oh, never mind.

  70. 79 1george1

    No thumbs up in Stratford

    A recent article in the Connecticut Post gives credit to Mayor John Harkins for getting the town of Stratford’s pension problem under control. And recently the opinion page of the Post gives a “thumbs up” to town officials and the fire union for completing negotiations to eliminate pensions for all new hires.

    What’s not mentioned in either article is that the major problem regarding the pension being under-funded is the overly generous pensions paid to some senior union members.

    The major reason for these enhanced pensions is not the saved vacation and sick time as mentioned in the article on Aug. 19, but rather the overtime these union members work the last few years before they retire. This overtime, when factored into the pension often results in exceeding the annual pay by more than 100 percent, in one case, nearly 160 percent.

    So, the agreement between the mayor and the union leaders was to basically throw the new union members under the bus (since they get no pensions) to placate the senior union members (seems nothing has changed since I was a union member).

    What we have now is three different agreements in each department, doing the same job.
    The “have-nots” (no pension),
    the “have-some” (pension, but not enhanced with overtime) and
    the “have-a-lots” (enhanced pensions with overtime).

    If you have voted for this mayor, I would expect you’re having buyer’s remorse, unless, of course, you are a senior union member.

    Joseph Zorpette

    Stratford

    Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Letters-to-the-editor-3831844.php#ixzz25YA3Kdd3

    Until tonight I never spoke to Mr. Zorpette. We are both pro union.
    We both believe in good pay, good benefits, & good retirements.

    We see a 3 tier system. Like JEZE ranting about the unfairness
    of the 1 % in the US Sytems, it exists right here in RIVER CITY!

    Mr. Zorpette pointed out the NEW EMPLOYEES without PENSIONS,
    will NOT be CONTRIBUTING to the Defined Benefit Pension.

    In 1, 2, or 3 years, when there are police layoffs among junior workers,
    those presently employeed but not on the gravy train aren’t going to
    be very happy.

    In 2017, when there is likely to be added revenue from AVCO & the
    OVERBUILDING / RAPE of STRATFORD, HOUSATONIC RIVER,
    LORDSHIP …. the EXTRA TAXES will all be going to the $ 30 to $ 40
    MILLION a year that the PENSION OBLIGATIONS will GROW to within
    10 years, over 100 HIGHER PENSIONED will join the 600 who are
    now COSTING $ 19 MILLION ANNUALLY, with about 150 of the TOP
    PENSIONERS ADDING $ 15 MILLION OBLIGATION since 2002.
    The other $ 4 million obligation are the OLD PENSIONS & the lower
    BoE & other PENSIONS thrown to the 2003 golden parachute.

    Maybe JEZE will voluteer to write a CHECK to cover YOUR SHARE?

    Actual top 100 without Mr. Murray from $ 124,000 to $ 52,000
    List moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/upgrade-now/#comment-19642

  71. 80 1george1

    100 NEW PENSIONS x $ 80,000 = $ 8 million
    The Majority of the approximately 240 eligible DBP can retire
    in the next 5 years, between Town Hall, PW, FIRE, & POLICE.

    But JEZE is like the HONEY BADGER …. of Stratford when it’s …
    The HONEY BADGER doesn’t give a s***!

    150 NEW PENSIONS x $ 80,000 = $ 12 million

    Existing Pension Obligation as of MAY = $ 19 MILLION
    or 4 Mils $ 4.5 Million per MIL.

  72. 81 jezebel282

    George,

    “But JEZE is like the HONEY BADGER”

    Yet again, I am unsure of what your accusation is. I don’t recall ever being part of a Stratford union negotiation concerning pensions. However, after 30+ years of commercial contract experience, I am pretty sure what a court would say when a contract is clearly violated.

    The sad truth is that literally dozens of Town Councils in the past had never taken pensions seriously and had invariably made decisions based on the whatever they thought the next mill rate would do to effect their re-election chances. As usual, the ones who are responsible and accountable for this is the same as it always is: the taxpayer.

    As I said at the beginning of another topic (not that you would pay attention), agreeing on a new pension arrangement is a baby step forward. Currently the entire FD and the majority of the PD are still covered by the old pension plan and in about 60 years or so those payments will end. “Someday” is better than “never”.

    In the meantime, because we are grownups, we have to deal with what is not what should have been or what we would like to have been.

  73. 85 1george1

    I see the graphics with the QUESTION:
    GOT ETHICS?

    JEZE then chooses to write about a Fireman issue,
    but falls back on ETHICS.

    My QUESTION about DOUBLE STANDARDS relates
    directly to the QUESTION: GOT ETHICS?

  74. 87 1george1

    😉 Kilroy was here!

  75. 88 jezebel282

    Update:

    Seven (Count ’em, 7!) months have passed and not a single penny of a pension earned over 25 years has been paid to Chief Murray

  76. 89 1george1

    When the settlement comes in,

    Tom is likely to be able to buy a small island, between the back
    pay & punitive results. Maybe as planned & agreed?

    If the Town Attorneys happen to poorly argue the handicap issue,
    then the lump sum & subsequent payments are likely tax free,
    aren’t they?

  77. 90 jezebel282

    George,

    “When the settlement comes in”

    It is doubtful there will be a settlement. There is no doubt that there will be a court decision and the Town (that’s us, as usual) will lose. The “winner” will be the Town Attorney who will have innumerable billable hours to submit for payment.

    Over and over again we have seen this tactic used by the Town. The Town (using our “unlimited” funds) attempts to wear down a plaintiff with delay after delay hoping the plaintiff gives up or becomes so financially weak that continuing is no longer an option. This tactic is not unreasonable since the Town usually has no valid case.

    In this instance, the hope that Chief Murray succumbs to this tactic is akin to thinking that by putting the signed contracts under their pillow at night that their signatures will disappear in the morning.

  78. 92 1george1

    People who really got hosed, among other people across the U.S.

    http://news.yahoo.com/calif-dairies-going-broke-due-feed-milk-prices-163004062–finance.html

  79. 93 jezebel282

    Update:

    It has been more than eight months since Assistant Chief Tom Murray retired. To date he has not received a penny from the Town of Stratford after 25 years of dedicated service. I am ashamed of this Town.

  80. 94 anyonebutharkins

    Ironically, Harkin’s “unexplaiable expenses” check comes out right on time.

  81. 95 jezebel282

    Are you talking about Harkins’ $111,769 in compensation versus the $90,000 called for in the Charter?

  82. 96 anyonebutharkins

    Pretty much, yes. lmao

  83. 97 anyonebutharkins

    This is paradisegreen by the way, can’t remember my old password… so this was quicker. lol

  84. 98 mikereynolds

    I’m pretty sure that Mr. Harkins isn’t running again. Unless the RTC gets puts up a good candidate I fear that Mr. Miron will once again be Stratford’s mayor.

  85. 99 jezebel282

    Mike,

    HUSH!

    I know the DTC is incompetent, but crazy too?

  86. 100 mikereynolds

    Well they have to put someone up. I wonder if they’re considering Jason Santi.

  87. 101 jezebel282

    Mike,

    “Well they have to put someone up.”

    Maybe. The Democratic Town Committee couldn’t find a single soul to even put up a token campaign against Kevin Kelly.
    And let’s not forget that in the last round of Council elections they lost 8 of of 10 positions. And this is in a Town where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. Not what you would call a record of achievement is it?

    Beyond that, the DTC elected Richard Buturla of all people to head the DTC. That also is not an example of learning from your mistakes. Stratford voters, to their credit, have stated rather loudly (several times) that they want nothing to do with Miron/Buturla.

  88. 102 mikereynolds

    Well we can all rest easy based on Mr. Miron’s reply to my question.

    “First, I am sure the incumbent, Mr. Harkins will run again. After all, he orchestrated a nice raise for himself.
    Second, I have no plans to run at this time is not lawyerly but just true. Never say never.
    Third, IF (and that is a BIG and hypothetical ‘if”) I did run it would not be as a Democrat or Republican as I believe the two party system in Stratford is to blame for much of the inertia and “politics”.
    IF I was to run (and that is a big and hypothetical “if”) I would run as a candidate that would – because of a lack of party affiliation – be able to work with Democrats and Republicans equally. My hope would be that both parties woudl be willing to work with me (and I them).
    But again – I have no such plans at this time.”

  89. 103 jezebel282

    Mike,

    “I have no such plans at this time.”

    LOL! Whatever…

    This is kind of like when he was on the Charter commission and signed an agreement not to accept a paid Town position and then promptly ran for mayor.

    Err, were his lips moving while he said this?

  90. 104 jezebel282

    Update:

    It has now been nine full months since Assistant Fire Chief Tom Murray retired after 25 years of stellar service.

    Not a single penny of his retirement has been paid by the Town of Stratford. No negotiations, no offers, no discussions. This has been the Town’s primary tactic in all disputes. Pay the Town Attorneys, pay HR, pay court costs and hope the other side withers and dies from the financial strain.

  91. 105 rex525

    “withers and dies from the financial strain”

    Jez, I don’t think that is going to happen with this fellow, he seems pretty tenacious. I predict the chief will get through this with all his finances and dignity intact. He will win and in the process hopefully he will shed some light on the shenanigans going on in Town Hall by the Harkins gang and their greedy attorneys. The attorneys will win because they will get paid even after their loss; and we taxpayers will lose even more money because of the greedy attorneys dragging out the inevitable.

    This situation is even more shameful than what happened to Captain McNeil and Lieutenant Soto. After what I saw John Harkins do to those two courageous officers, the debacle Harkins caused this summer over Shakespeare and this, I think John Harkins is the most gutless and heartless leader this town has had in its three hundred and seventy three year history. I am absolutely ashamed that I voted for him. After talking to other people in town I know that I am not alone. I wish Chief Murray all the luck in the world, despite what it may cost me.

    BTW, I was in Mary and Beth’s diner the other day and heard some of our local politicos talking about the Mayor’s former chief of staff Adam Bauer. They were saying Bauer left Stratford for a job in New Jersey because he foolishly sent emails to Jason Perillo (State Representative) of CBG Strategies concerning hiring Phil Onofrio to head EMS BEFORE all the applications for the job were even in and any interviews were held. They said Harkins was rattled because Bauer did this from a town computer, through the town email system which is subject to freedom of information requests. They also were saying Rep. Perillo got Phil Onofrio’s old job when Onofrio was hired by Stratford on “Perillo’s recommendation”. It gets even better, these politicos weren’t Democrats, they were high ranking REPUBLICANS. How much do you want to bet that this is a key point in Donna Best’s lawsuit? Again the lawyers will win and we taxpayers will take it on the chin.

  92. 106 jezebel282

    Rex,

    “he seems pretty tenacious.”

    LOL! “Tenacious”? That has to be the understatement of all time. Anyone with even a passing acquaintance of Chief Murray knows that “battle” is not something a sane person would choose to do with him. Which probably explains why the Administration is doing just that.

    ” a key point in Donna Best’s lawsuit”
    Geeze!

    You would think that these “strong” mayors would learn after a few years that Town Hall is the largest sieve in the country. Nothing remains secret for very long. Maybe it is the stench that these deals give off?

  93. 107 stfdprofessor1

    Well so much for “transparency”, is this Harkins way to “restore the pride”? This town is getting worse than Waterbury, I think it’s time the FBI stepped in to investigate these corrupt practices.

  94. 108 nedsmithy

    There are two words that I would guess are not part of the Chiefs vocabulary “when he believes that he is in the right” ? Quit & Compromise! The sooner the “Jack Boots” at Town Hall realize this, the better it will be for them. “Hell hath no fury like a women scorned” ? Try whizzing in the Chiefs Corn Flakes & see what happens!

  95. 109 jezebel282

    Ned,

    Having never whizzed in anyone’s cornflakes, can you explain that one? You lost me.

  96. 110 rex525

    Jez I believe it references urinating in ones breakfast.

    As cute as all this is I can not fathom the lack of outrage at the money spent by Harkins with his buddy Perillo and CBG. Let’s see, the town spent untold thousands of dollars with CBG and they hired Onofrio at EMS so Perillo could get Onofrio’s former job…apparently before the CBG search was even complete.

    Then Harkins paid CBG to find Riddenhour for Police Chief when Riddenhour was already sitting behind the desk.

    Then the town pays Perillo/CBG to find the Governor’s right hand man for fire chief???

    I’m sure there is more, but I would be interested to know how much this political payola and sideshow cost us taxpayers. Due to the apparent lack of outrage about it on the blog I am sure this abuse will continue. I do wonder though how loud the outcry would be if Harkins’ last name was Miron when this type of abuse happens. Just shows me what a bunch of republican hypocrites this blog has for posters. This is the exact reason I am a proud independant.

  97. 111 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    “Rex525” description is accurate. I used Corn Flakes, but back in the day (USAF 1959 – 1963) it was Rice Krispies. Back in my Dads days (Army 1942 – 1946) it was “Mess Kit”!

  98. 112 jezebel282

    But why would anyone….oh never mind.

  99. 113 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    You just have to had been “IN” the Military to REALLY understand the saying. Let’s just say that it is a “Guy Thing”!!!!

  100. 114 jezebel282

    OK.

    But you can forget about me having breakfast at the VFW…

  101. 115 ronmoreau

    Rex,
    “This situation is even more shameful than what happened to Captain McNeil and Lieutenant Soto. After what I saw John Harkins do to those two courageous officers, the debacle Harkins caused this summer over Shakespeare and this, I think John Harkins is the most gutless and heartless leader this town has had in its three hundred and seventy three year history. I am absolutely ashamed that I voted for him.”

    I’m confused!

    Wasn’t it under Mr. Mirons administration that that McNeil and Soto were per
    secuted?

    Shakespeare debacle?

    Would have voted for Mr. Miron?

  102. 116 ronmoreau

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  103. 117 ronmoreau

    I miss Georges coments.

  104. 118 mikereynolds

    Since everyone is ready to oust John Harkins from Town Hall who is going to run for mayor against him? Let’s throw some names out there that the DTC might consider. I’ll start.

    Jim Miron
    Jason Santi
    Terry Masters

    Anyone else?

  105. 119 rex525

    Q- “Wasn’t it under Mr. Mirons administration that that McNeil and Soto were persecuted?”

    A- Yes, but they were suspended without pay LONGER under John Harkins. While returning them to full duty may not have been a politically viable option and it’s not hard to see Harkins looks at politics harder than right and wrong; they certainly could have been suspended WITH pay (to pay their bills and feed their families) with one nod of Harkins head. That however would have required guts, something the current Mayor is in short supply of.

    Q- Shakespeare debacle?

    A- Come on Ron, the whole act of taking the keys away from the volunteers was because of a political squabble with Catalano. Please don’t insult our intelligence by echoing the party line on the possible hazards to the volunteers. I have lived three blocks away from Shakespeare for years and have seen public works employees periodically working in there for days on end, now all of a sudden it’s a big hazard. Bunk…it was politics through and through.

    Q- Would have voted for Mr. Miron?

    A- Never did and never will. I thought he was terrible for this town, unfortunately the current occupant of the Mayors office doesn’t seem much better and from where I and other political outsiders sit he seems worse in some areas.

    Now Ron would kindly respond to a question from me? IF what I overheard about Harkins/Bauer/Onofrio/Perillo is true, how would you feel about those types of shenanigans from the Harkins administration???

    I hope this helps your confusion Ron, you always seemed to be one of the VERY FEW free thinkers on the RTC and I always respected you for that. BTW, I miss George as well, HAPPY HOLIDAYS GEORGE!

    To answer Mike’s question from my perspective, I don’t think there is a Democratic standout that could/would be viable in a Mayoral run. Honestly though, I feel there are many, MANY more problems AND EXPENSES since we foolishly left the Council-Manager system and I personally would like to see it restored. Since that is not likely to happen in the next eleven months I hope someone worth a damn runs, REPUBLICAN-DEMOCRAT or INDEPENDANT because if I have to stomach another four years of John Harkins or Jim Miron, I may just give my house back to the bank!

  106. 120 stfdprofessor1

    “BTW, I miss George as well”

    Not me, there’s actually intelligent dialog on this blog now and people stay on topic. Rex, I do agree with your opinions of Harkins and the Stratford Repubs though, but I hope you don’t really expect a straight answer from Moreau.

  107. 121 ronmoreau

    Rex,
    “Yes, but (McNeil and Soto) were suspended without pay LONGER under John Harkins.”

    True. I have no idea why the Mayor allowed that to continue. I certainly didn’t agree with it. John did tell me that he would right the wrong done to these 2 fine officers.They have subsequently done very well under this administration.

    “Come on Ron, the whole act of taking the keys away from the volunteers was because of a political squabble with Catalano.,,,it was politics through and through.”

    That may very well have been the case. But The Mayor also has the responsibility to protect the public. Securing the decades shuttered building to test air quality and safety is essential for public safety. I would expect nothing less from a Mayor. Matt wanted to have the recent performances inside the theater with bleachers set up as seating.

    “I am absolutely ashamed that I voted for him.(Harkins).
    “Never did and never will.” (vote for Miron).

    So I guess you would have voted for George or not voted at all.

    “Now Ron would kindly respond to a question from me? IF what I overheard about Harkins/Bauer/Onofrio/Perillo is true, how would you feel about those types of shenanigans from the Harkins administration??? ”

    Rex, This is 3rd hand information…. We all know that there is always a preferred candidate for any position offered in industry. Town positions are no exception. How many times I have heard,’Ya got to know somebody to get a job there.’ Posting and job searching the position is a formality and I believe is required by law. Is it illegal or unethical? I don’t know. You tell me.

    Thanks for clearing up a few things.

    Mike,

    Stephani Philips comes to mind.

  108. 122 stfdprofessor1

    Haaaaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaaa ha—–I told you Rex. Preferred candidate in industry my ass, why did our tax money get wasted on CBG then? Than ding-a-ling Ron Ing couldnt have held bogus interviews for what he makes??? Smells like CORRUPTION to me!

  109. 123 ronmoreau

    Well Professor it wouldn’t be the first time and certainly won’t be the last time our elected leaders create a law to spend and stear our tax money.

  110. 124 stfdprofessor1

    Not to mention STEAL our tax money.

  111. 125 rex525

    So much for dismissing third hand information:

    Judge: Mayor illegally hired EMS head
    Daniel Tepfer CT Post

    BRIDGEPORT — Stratford Mayor John Harkins illegally hired a new emergency medical services director in 2011, a state Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.

    In a 10-page decision, Judge Howard Owens ruled the mayor violated the town charter when he hired Phillip Onofrio, at about $100,000 a year, to replace Donna Best, who was paid $82,000 a year, without Town Council approval.

    Best, who held the top EMS job for 12 years, was given a lesser position in the office.

    “This was all about money and the mayor trying to spend taxpayers’ money on behalf of some folks he wanted to help,” said Leon Rosenblatt, the lawyer for Best.

    “We respectfully disagree with today’s ruling,” Harkins said. “As you may recall, 23 of the original 24 claims in the suit were dismissed, and we are confident we will prevail on this one remaining issue on appeal.”

    Best sued the town claiming Onofrio’s hiring was retaliation for her husband, Jon Best, running against Harkins in 2009.

    Although the town argued that Best was replaced because of poor performance, Owens refused to hear evidence of that allegation. Instead, he made his decision solely on claims that Onofrio’s hiring was illegal.

    Stratford’s director of human resources, Ronald Ing, testified that Onofrio assumed the position of EMS director in March 2011 without any authorization from the Town Council to pay for his salary.

    “If the mayor wanted to create a new or additional director of EMS, the charter mandates that he seek the approval of the Town Council by ordinance which he never filed,” Owen said. “In fact, the defendant Onofrio has failed to present any evidence to show complete legal title to his office.”

    dtepfer@ctpost.com; 203-330-6308; http:// twitter.com/dantepfer

    Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Judge-Mayor-illegally-hired-EMS-head-4098009.php#ixzz2EL90YaEu

  112. 126 stfdprofessor1

    “We respectfully disagree with today’s ruling,” Harkins said. “As you may recall, 23 of the original 24 claims in the suit were dismissed, and we are confident we will prevail on this one remaining issue on appeal.”

    SOUNDS LIKE ANOTHER BIG PAYDAY FOR THE TOWN ATTORNEY IN THE WORKS!

  113. 127 stfdprofessor1

    Can all of you taxpayers reading this say CHA-CHING

  114. 128 stfdprofessor1

    Rex are you psychic or a secret agent?

  115. 129 mikereynolds

    So what we learned is that the ends don’t justify the means. Looks like Harkins is wrong in hiring Onofrio despite more calls handled by the town instead of mutual aid, more money coming into the town, and morale of EMS going up.

  116. 130 rex525

    I believe that the “more calls handled by the town instead of mutual aid, more money coming into the town” was due to hiring more paid personnel hired to cover the openings. That translates into giving Onofrio the tools to guarantee the success of the organization that they never gave Best. As far as morale going up, it is obvious that you haven’t talked to anyone at EMS. I understand morale is at an all time low with most of the volunteer AND paid personnel.

    Professor, I’m a psychic and my next prediction is all the RTC sympathizers will either be silent on this issue or try to “spin doctor” this latest corruption. Could you imagine the outcry if this happened under the Miron administration? It just shows the hypocricy with some writers on this blog.

    Ron, Although I like George and think he has more genuine honesty in his pinky than all the other candidates combined, I now wish I vote for Dom Costello. I think if he ran again and hammered home the corruption in both parties he could win by a landslide.

  117. 131 mikereynolds

    Rex, I have spoken to a few EMS members. It appears that the only ones who are unhappy are those officers who were part of the Best group who were “above the law”. In addition to the removal of the “Best group” there has been an influx of equipment and a removal of the oppressive rule by Donna and by extension John.

  118. 132 rex525

    “all the RTC sympathizers will either be silent on this issue or try to “spin doctor” this latest corruption.”

    Mike, the new officers were picked by Onofrio, what do you think they would say. Talk to the rank and file volunteers and I think you will get a different answer, but thanks for verifying my psychic abilities. For my next prediction the Harkins gang will try to divert more funds from EMS to the general fund to slip out the back door to their friends in the Town Attorney’s office.

    I grow so tired being one of the very few who is man enough to say I misjudged Harkins during the election and made a mistake by voting for him. I now tire from debating the corruption issue which is now plain for all to see and I won’t waste my day off doing it. Let’s face it, we were all duped. Now all we can hope is something is done about it.

  119. 133 mikereynolds

    Sorry Rex but you’re just wrong. I have talked to the rank and file members…they contradict what you say. Its clear that you are a Best supporter which certainly discredits much of what you have said. Enjoy your day off.

  120. 134 rex525

    Actually I am not a Best supporter, I don’t even know the woman. What I am is a taxpayer supporter and vehemently against corrupt practices. Thanks for the kindly regards on my day off, now its off to the mall to battle the crowds for gifts for the grandchildren. I’ll leave you with this thought.

    “or try to “spin doctor” this latest corruption”

  121. 135 mikereynolds

    Actually not spinning. I think they way the Harkins administration went about this is wrong. They should have just fired Donna. They had enough evidence to do so with cause. Instead they tried to placate her and Jon knowing they would sue the town on the basis of a political vendetta against Jon Best. That all of the Best’s issues raised in court were either thrown out or ruled against the Best’s except this one issue shows the town should have just fired her for cause.

    My disagreement with you is rooted in your statements about the state of Stratford EMS when I know for a fact that you are incorrect. I can’t let false information to be posted here without being refuted otherwise people who read these comments will think morale is low when in fact it isn’t.

  122. 136 stfdprofessor1

    liar liar pants on fire…I just got off the phone with someone from EMS and they said Rex was right MISTER SPINDOCTOR. They said most think Phil Onofrio is just as bad as Donna Best and some think worse. Maybe readers should just ask people on EMS directly and avoid the spin! “Actually not spinning” Haaaaaa haaaa haaaaa haaaaa ha

  123. 137 jezebel282

    Update:

    Actual decision: Court Decision

  124. 138 mikereynolds

    This town can do nothing right.

  125. 139 jezebel282

    “This town can do nothing right.”
    Nope…not a thing.

  126. 140 jezebel282

    Just to keep focus here, this is neither about Donna Best nor Phil Onofrio. Both of whom have dedicated years & years of service to the sickest and neediest of us.

    What it is about is a functional deficiency in our “strong” mayor form of municipal government. The fault ultimately belongs to us. We voted for it. This is certainly not the first instance of a lack of any sort of control on a mayor. Remember Miron?

    What, you might ask, is the the function of the Town Attorney in protecting the citizens of Stratford? The answer to that is “none”. The Town Attorney is appointed by the mayor and serves at the pleasure of the mayor. The TA’s revenue is solely approved by the mayor. The TA is essentially the mayor’s attorney, not the Town’s. That’s why we get obviously wrong opinions such as the following from the TA: “Town Attorney Timothy Bishop, however, said the mayor has exclusive authority over personnel matters.”The council has zero authority on personnel matters and a council member can even be removed for interference under the charter,” he said in an email.”
    Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Councilman-Hiring-of-EMS-director-violates-town-1277221.php#ixzz2Ew0fegzx

    At the end of this story, there will be an abundance of aggravation, frustration, decreased morale, decreased credibility, stress and, of course, money. The money will come from the taxpayer as usual. The question really becomes what happens to the people who caused this? What price will the mayor, HR Director and Town Attorney pay?

    Raise your hand if your answer is “None”.

  127. 141 stfdprofessor1

    WELL I WILL BE THE FIRST TO RAISE MY HAND! The Mayor will no doubt say he acted under the advise of the town attorney…ummmm- I meant his attorney -IF HE SAYS ANYTHING AT ALL. The HR director will get another big raise and the town…ummmm -I mean mayors attorney will appeal the thing all the way to the US Supreme Court if he can get away with it…all for billable hours for Senator Kelly’s…ummmm- I meant his law firm. Can I get a big KaaaaaaaaCHING people?

    I bet Georgie porgie is just wetting his pants without a public outlet now that there is a REAL conspiracy to sink his teeth into. It’s probably the best thing that could happen to him though, if he stays off the internet and keeps his black helicopter & CIA theories to himself for the next 9 months- at the rate this administration is imploding he just may have a real shot at getting elected.

    anyone but harkins 2013

    “could I do any worse”- HELL NO GEORGE- YOU’VE GOT MY VOTE!!!

  128. 142 stfdprofessor1

    “At the end of this story, there will be an abundance of aggravation, frustration, decreased morale, decreased credibility, stress and, of course, money.”

    Oh I almost forgot -you forgot to mention loss of productivity Jezzy. I talked to someone at EMS who said Onofrio has been over at town hall constantly for the past few days…probably getting together with his co-conspirators (confederacy, conspiracy – a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose – criminals, crooks, felons) to get their stories straight, shred documents, delete emails and such.

  129. 143 jezebel282

    Prof,

    Once again, what these pages have pointed out over & over again are the structural problems of our unique municipal government. When you have so many “at-will” directors, department heads, attorneys, advisers & consultants who can be fired for the color of their hair, the only answer you will ever get out of them is “Yes, Mayor.” That is not usually a basis for a sound decision.

    Remember 10 years ago when the RTC started pushing for a “strong” mayor? If I recall, everything was supposed to be better and more efficient. We were supposed to have deals closed left & right without the “interference” of a Council. The decision making process was supposed to take minutes instead of months, red tape was supposed to be outlawed and the Town would be inundated with rainbows and lollipops. And, oh yeah, because of this new efficiency our taxes were supposed to go down.

    Now we have a Council that is impotent and a chief executive who, for four years, can pretty much do whatever he/she wants. In the private sector, CEO’s answer to shareholders and Boards regularly. Their results appear on every P&L statement. The way we structured things, mayors get reviewed once every four years. A lot can happen in four years.

    Somebody posted a Charter paragraph on Council investigatory powers on another blog. The problem with that is that an individual councilperson cannot initiate an investigation. It has the be “The Council”” which is not defined. A majority vote? A unanimous vote? Who knows? Let’s ask the Town Attorney! See the problem?

    Which brings us all the way back to Assistant Fire Chief Tom Murray. Here is a dedicated employee with 25 years of service who, even though he has signed contracts in his hand, has not received a single penny of his retirement from the Town for 10 months now. What do you think that will cost the taxpayers?

  130. 144 stfdprofessor1

    KAAAAAAAAAAACHING!

  131. 145 nedsmithy

    “Which brings us all the way back to Assistant Fire Chief Tom Murray. Here is a dedicated employee with 25 years of service who, even though he has signed contracts in his hand, has not received a single penny of his retirement from the Town for 10 months now. What do you think that will cost the taxpayers?”

    I can only PRAY that it’s a KAAAAAAAAAACHING that will be note on the seismograph machines in Japan!!!!!!!!

    Then and only then will the “Top of The Food Chain” listen! The “Wallet” will ALWAYS get their attention!

  132. 146 jezebel282

    Ned,

    “The “Wallet” will ALWAYS get their attention!”

    Umm…that would be our wallets, you know.

  133. 147 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    Sorry, but it’s called collateral damage! The voting citizens put the leadership in there. As one of the latest Supreme Court Rulings stated, “Voting has it’s consequences”!

  134. 148 jezebel282

    Update:

    It has now been over ten months since Assistant Fire Chief Tom Murray retired. To date he has not received a single penny of pension payments from the Town of Stratford.

    After 25 years of exemplary and dedicated service, Chief Murray is not even able to collect unemployment compensation.

    This remains a shameful and despicable reaction by the Town of Stratford and the Harkins Administration.

  135. 149 jezebel282

    Update:

    http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=FBTCV136032492S

    MURRAY, THOMAS v. TOWN OF STRATFORD

    The only way anyone would bet on the Town in this one is if there was a bookie in Town giving 50 to 1 odds….or better.


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