GOP Election To Do List

GOP Strategy Meeting

GOP Strategy Meeting

As far as we can tell, the Republican Town Committee’s agenda for the mayoral election is…nothing. Nothing at all. This is a perfectly reasonable to do list given what the Democratic Town Committee is proposing. The DTC is proposing nothing as well. In fact, things are going so well for the Republican Town Committee that they might persuade someone to run in the Second District this time. They might even win that Council seat for the first time in living memory. How much easier could it get for the RTC? They just passed a $192 million budget without even a whimper from a Democrat.

While this may be great news for members of the Republican Town Committee, it…well…sucks for us. The lack of opposition means that there is little if any discussion of the policies and expenditures effecting the 51,000 residents of Stratford. And while Stratford continues to register more Democrats and Independents than Republicans, the Stratford Democratic Town Committee remains one of the most dysfunctional Town Committees in the state. While RTC meetings must be downright gleeful, we taxpayers can only hope that they don’t hurt us too badly.


47 Responses to “GOP Election To Do List”

  1. 1 matpcat


  2. 2 jezebel282


    Yeah. Sad ain’t it? In my opinion, voters feel powerless. Their attitude is “Why bother?”. That is even if they could find the published budget on the Town’s new website.

    The budget becomes less clear every year. Salaries and wages for employees, supervisors and directors are just lumped together in one big number. Just as an example, the budget lists $251,500 in revenue for Short Beach Golf Course and $347,610 in expense. Of course that means that the taxpayers are now subsidizing every round of golf at Short Beach. $96,110 would pay for what? 2 PW employees? 2 dispatchers? A teacher or two? 2 Paramedics?

    And oh, by the way, not a single salaried or per diem paramedic or EMT (you know, the men and women who come to your house and save your life?) have received received a single penny of increase in the last four years. But the budget shows a $204,408 increase in salaries in that period.

    Don’t even get me started on the Water Pollution Control Authority….

    There is a lot to discuss about the Town of Stratford Budget. But with the Republican Town Committee maintaining an iron grip on any dissension you are not going to hear much. What voters need is an organized voice to express any sort of opposition and dissent. If only we had a Democratic Town Committee….

  3. 3 matpcat

    And then of course…..there’s redistricting.

  4. 4 jezebel282

    “And then of course…..there’s redistricting.”

    This one is really puzzling. Why bother? It’s not as if there is any threat whatsoever of the Democratic Town Committee nominating anyone that would actually be elected to anything. What more control does the RTC think it needs?

    And it’s not as if the Republican Town Committee can’t do anything it wants already. From budgets that belong in a fiction section to thumbing their nose at court decisions to willfully violating contracts.

    And there is only one DTC member that ever bothers to complain and she’s not running again.

  5. 5 matpcat

    Who are you referring to Jez? “She’s not running again.”

  6. 6 jezebel282

    Stephanie Phillips

  7. 7 matpcat

    Whoa!!!! That’s a shocker if true. Does that mean Alvin O returns?

  8. 8 jezebel282

    Shocker? How many consecutive terms can a Council person serve? Even if it’s a Republican Council person.

  9. 9 matpcat

    3, She’s on her 2nd term

  10. 10 jezebel282

    My mistake. Although Ms. Phillips could, in all probability, be Councilperson-For-Life in her district.

  11. 11 ronmoreau

    Term limits 3 consecutive terms as a council representative of a district. Here’s a good question. If Ms. Phillips gets reelected and the council district # swap occurs with redistricting, does the term limit start over since she would be elected for the first time as the 3rd district rep?

  12. 12 jezebel282


    Wait. What? I thought redistricting was only for P&Z.

  13. 13 ronmoreau

    Redistricting involves all 10 districts one way or another. District boundary’s are redrawn based on population. The population needs to be equal across all the districts. This is the purpose of redistricting.

  14. 14 jezebel282


    If the Council Districts are redrawn then obviously Ms. Phillips will enjoy another 6 years as the new Third District Councilperson…if she’s not elected as mayor.

  15. 15 ronmoreau

    It’s not the redrawing that prompts my question. It’s the renaming of the 2 districts.

  16. 16 jezebel282


    Yet again, I have to ask. What difference does it make? With a dysfunctional Democratic Town Committee we are left with a one party municipal government. Republican gerrymandering is like moving the furniture around in a blind man’s house.

    Without any candidate putting forward solutions to Stratford’s decades old problems the mayoral election ends up being who gets to drive the bus over the cliff. No voter cares what cap the driver is wearing.

    The only break Stratford residents and businesses get comes once every four years. Coincidentally, it happens at the same time we elect a mayor. We have far too many residents/businesses who vote by moving out of Stratford. Not a single resident I have ever spoken to believes that anyone in municipal government has any intention of spending tax dollars wisely. This is not just whining or complaining. Every taxpayer wonders how long they can justify living in Stratford to themselves. The answer is “fewer and fewer”.

  17. 17 ronmoreau

    “The only break Stratford residents and businesses get comes once every four years. Coincidentally, it happens at the same time we elect a mayor.”

    Isn’t it amazing how that happens. It does appear to be the lowest tax increase we’ve had in years. Sewer use fees, on the other hand. went through the roof. Town officials are just taking the money out of a different pocket. I think they call it ‘creative accounting’. I just hope home prices don’t tank before I retire.

  18. 18 jezebel282

    “…but in only a low-resolution format. Even most council members said all they had was a “nearly useless” black-and-white rendition of the map.
    “How are we supposed to make a decision if we don’t have a good copy of the map?” Philips asked…”

    Low resolution? You mean like the budget the Council just passed?

  19. 19 matpcat

    Well ladies and gents one change is surely coming… when in 30 days I become the 2nd District Councilman and Ms. Phillips becomes the 3rd District Councilwoman. And we get to switch seats. How’s that? I’m not sure but I may be the first Republican ever to be the “2nd” District Councilman. Entertainment at its finest.

  20. 20 jezebel282


    Since the Charter says that you can only serve three consecutive terms in your district let me be the first to congratulate Ms. Phillips and you on your 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th terms.

  21. 21 appalledandamused

    I question anything that Lou DeCilio is pushing as ‘good for Stratford’. He’s not a bad guy, relatively speaking – he is just rabidly political, and politically motivated to make this a one-party town. It’s not enough to hold essentially 9 chairs on the Council (let’s face it, Jason Santi is no Democrat). Putting a Republican in a solidly Democratic district is a goal that he’s long wished for, and now been able to achieve. And achieving that goal is nothing short of diabolical: as the town slept through the issue of redistricting, he’s managed to circumvent the regular election processes and put a Republican in the 2nd. Lucky for the folks in the 2nd, this time around it’s Matt Catalano, the best Republican official past and present (perhaps only) in the town of Stratford, in my humble opinion. May he stay in place for the next few cycles, but after that?? In years past, the RTC didn’t bother running anyone serious in the 2nd because they knew it was a lock for a Dem. The only lock for a Dem, and word was that the RTC chair has long stewed over that. DeCilio has reason to be a gleeful little political potentate today!

    What I’d like to know is what little prize they offered Santi to get his vote. Someone check on where Michael Singh landed in the redistricting…..

  22. 22 jezebel282


    “he is just rabidly political, and politically motivated to make this a one-party town.”
    That’s his job, isn’t it? If only the DTC had someone…oh never mind.

    “Matt Catalano, the best Republican official past and present”
    I agree. I’m not sure how the RTC allowed him to keep his conscience. He must have sneaked it by Norm Aldrich.

    “DeCilio has reason to be a gleeful little political potentate today!”
    Considering what the Democratic Town Committee did to itself (and continues to do) what is amazing is that DeCilio even bothers to try.

    “the RTC didn’t bother running anyone serious in the 2nd because they knew it was a lock for a Dem”
    If I recall correctly, you still have to live in the District you run in. The RTC still won’t be able to touch the newly created “3rd” District.
    District Map

    Let’s face it. The DTC has no plan, no spokesman, no money, no cohesion, no leadership and no support from voters. Harkins and the RTC literally have to do nothing to win election after election.

  23. 23 matpcat

    Appalled, thank you for your kind words. Just a few items for clarification; the # designation on the 2nd and 3rd districts was switched is all. The lines are basically the same, f’d up like before. Stephanie and I will still represent the same people who elected us. The number switch was to effect Zoning more than the council districts. Now the 1st zoning diistrict which by charter is comprised of council districts 1 and 2 will be 1 and the old 3rd. And the 2nd zoning district which by charter is comprised of Council districts 3 and 4 will now be the old 2nd and 4. From a political standpoint it theoretically gives the RTC a better chance of controlling 4 of the 5 zoning districts. The new redistricting also takes most of the waterfront out of the 3rd district (new 2nd) in effect putting 98 percent of the towns waterfront in districts 1,7 and 8 commonly Republican strongholds. Tactically a brilliant move by Mr. Decilio. And that’s all it was. It had nothing to do with drawing lines that made sense. And yes I believe Mr. Singh is now in the new 3rd and cannot challange Mr. Santi in 4. The other interesting side note is that 2 out of 3 council members who served on the redistricting committee voted no to approve the Republican Registrars map.

  24. 24 appalledandamused

    “Let’s face it. The DTC has no plan, no spokesman, no money, no cohesion, no leadership and no support from voters. Harkins and the RTC literally have to do nothing to win election after election.”

    This a recurring refrain here at this blog. Why is it those most vocal and knowledgeable of town issues – including what is being done wrong – are limited to writing biting lament about what the DTC isn’t doing? How can anyone who sees the rot so clearly not seek a way to make positive changes in the tangible world of action over words? This town needs a recruiting tool to bring out the residents in number to get actively involved. Something akin to the school issues that will pack council meetings with new faces willing to make changes with their time and a bit of effort.

    And it may be his “job”, but for the RTC to pass what DeCilio does as ‘working for the town’s best interest’ is precisely why cynicism continues to be the main course here.

  25. 25 jezebel282


    “This town needs a recruiting tool”

    THANK YOU! You are correct. Real Democrats need a way to effect a change in the leadership of the Town Committee. The DTC simply can’t go on with the same ole boys (or girls) and lose every election for a generation. From what I see, there are even sons and daughters lining up to take their parents positions.

    To be frank, the current leadership drowns out anyone with opposing views. The same old same old isn’t likely to succeed the next time either. One would think that losing three elections in a row (a fourth within months) would require the resignation of the Committee leadership.

    Whether or not you are a Republican or Democrat, having only one functioning Town Committee is horrible for citizens and taxpayers.

    I don’t want to be mistaken, I am no fan of what the RTC has done with our Town, its employees or our taxes. But it can do whatever it wants because there is simply no opposition. Just ask Lou DeCilio or John Harkins.

  26. 26 appalledandamused

    “To be frank, the current leadership drowns out anyone with opposing views. The same old same old isn’t likely to succeed the next time either. One would think that losing three elections in a row (a fourth within months) would require the resignation of the Committee leadership.”

    Amen to that.

    Sadly, even the Republicans that I’ve talked to agree that the lack of balance in power is a problem, but (almost to a person) will back the party line, which is WHY I keep coming back to eliminating the parties in the Council and Mayoral election processes. Until that happens – or the DTC gets their act together – the town is on a pathetic and unnecessary spiral downward. What annoys me is the number of very, very bright, very astute residents who can’t be bothered to even stop their busy lives for a moment to engage in what will ultimately affect them, their children and their property values. Some won’t even bother to VOTE, for pete’s sake.

    But threaten to shut a school down and all hell breaks loose. The DTC could learn a thing or two about what heats up the base…..

  27. 27 matpcat

    Good, decent people need to step up and take their turn in public service, period. Otherwise the politico’s just have their way. If people aren’t brave enough to stand up and speak for what’s right then we get what we get. No vision, no progress just vultures waiting in the wings to cash in. They tire good folks out and hope they go away. The ones that play the dirtiest all get paid and have something to protect. A system where party chairmen can be registrar with no conflict is broken, but “they” got an “opinion” on that so its ok. Home rule. You can break laws, be unethical, violate the charter, whatever, as long as your town attorney issues an opinion saying its ok then there are no consequences. I think most folks just want a reasonable alternative but apathy is so abundant change is unlikely, and the dumbing down of Stratford continues.

  28. 28 jezebel282


    “residents who can’t be bothered to even stop their busy lives for a moment to engage”

    That works both ways. As an example, there will be hundreds of residents on Main Street today for the Main Street Festival. Among the participants are the Republican Town Committee and George Mulligan. George Mulligan! Is the Democratic Town Committee signing up residents or collecting contact information? No.

    Hint: posting fundraisers on Facebook won’t attract new members. It is up to the DTC to attract new members not the other way around. You can’t close the deal with a new member by starting out with “bring your checkbook.”


    “Good, decent people need to step up and take their turn in public service, period.”
    As I have said many times, most people do not realize that what effects their mortgage payments, vehicles and childrens education the most are the decisions made by the ten members of the Town Council. Their attention is drawn away by silly and irrelevant arguments that dominate headlines. It is only in January and July when their tax bills come or when they get that letter from the mortgage company saying that their escrow needs to be “adjusted” that they wonder what is going on in Town Hall.

    Astoundingly, there are normally well informed residents who can’t remember the mayor’s name, don’t know where EMS is (Next to the Fire Department? Really?) or could find the Police Department. Most residents have never set foot in Town Hall.

    Sometimes the only window Town residents have to see what’s going on is right here. I have to admit, that does not make me happy. But as the only Councilperson to take advantage of this site, you have my thanks.

  29. So whats going on? is anyone from the NOW 3rd district running for town council? You don’t think an independent could get elected in Stratford?

  30. 30 jezebel282


    “anyone from the NOW 3rd district running for town council?”

    It is pretty obvious that Stephanie Phillips would be elected to a third term from that District if she chose to run. What is interesting is that now that it is a “new’ district would she be entitled to serve three terms in the Third District since she has only served two terms in the Second District? The same is true for Matt Catalano.

    An Independent? Well, I suppose anything is possible. It would be nice if whoever he/she might be that it wouldn’t be a candidate who simply had no chance of winning a primary, but someone truly independent. You know, someone who would end the Town Attorney’s unlimited compensation and create a salaried position. Maybe even directing the Town Attorney to represent the Town instead of just the mayor. Someone who would call for a real audit, forensic or otherwise, of the Town budget. And publish the results. Or perhaps, at the very least, mouth the words “lower property taxes”.

    The problem in Stratford is that voters think that the Republican Town Committee and the Democratic Town Committee have something to do with the Republican or Democratic Party. They do not. Currently they are just the gangs that rule Stratford.

    Do I think an Independent could win? Actually I do. No one has ever tried the truth before.

  31. I am a resident of the now 3rd district and ive been looking to get involved in town politics a bit because it seems this town has become very one sided. I feel Stratford needs to be more about all the residents of the town not just a small group. From what i can see, the DTC is pretty small compared to the RTC. The DTC has no website no way to get in touch really where the RTC has all of that.

  32. 32 jezebel282


    The DTC has a somewhat lame Facebook page. Ok, maybe not “somewhat”. But they do claim to meet on the first Monday of the month at 7 PM at the Baldwin Center. That would be tonight, by the way.

    “the DTC is pretty small compared to the RTC.”
    Hard to tell. The DTC membership is a mystery. I suppose you can go to Town Hall and FOI the membership list.

  33. I might make a guest appearance tonight at the DTC meeting to check it out. Seems like the DTC really needs members. Im sure i am just one of many residents getting tired with the politics in this town. I also would to hear someone come out and say “lower property taxes”, i would say it myself but i don’t know if politician is in the cards for me just yet.

  34. 34 jezebel282


    “I might make a guest appearance tonight”
    You should. You might want to leave the Camaro at home. I’m sure someone will be out in the parking lot looking to see who’s driving it.

    “come out and say “lower property taxes””
    I simply cannot recall any Stratford party member or elected official ever saying those three words.

  35. heh, someone would actually do that? Someone should come out and say it, Stratford is starting to get like Bridgeport and Waterbury with the property taxes not to mention the large hike in sewer tax.

  36. 36 jezebel282


    “large hike in sewer tax”

    It’s a “fee”. You can’t be good at politics if you start calling things what they really are.

  37. 37 ronmoreau

    One of the reasons I’m a Stratford Republican. I thought I would pass this on to Stratford Republicans, who read this blog and would like to step up and be a town leader and decision maker, moving our town forward.

    “NEXT THURSDAY – 7:30PM – June 27, 2013 Stratford Republican Town Committee.
    Attached is the agenda for our June 27, 2013 Stratford Republican Town Committee Meeting. This will be the last meeting prior to the candidate endorsement meeting being held on July 18th. lease make every effort to attend Hope to see everyone at our meeting.

    After the regular meeting we will be having a candidate meeting to discuss what the candidates need to do in an effort to be prepared for the election. If you have interest in running please attend along with any people you’d like involved on your team.

    All registered Republicans are welcome to attend the monthly RTC Meeting as well as the candidate meeting!!

    Mill River Country Club
    4567 Main Street
    Stratford, CT 06614
    Thursday, June 27, 2013

    Lou DeCilio
    Stratford Republicans

  38. 38 jezebel282


    “what the candidates need to do in an effort to be prepared for the election.”

    Other than not be a member of the Democratic Town Committee, I find it hard to believe a candidate has to do anything.

    It’s not like they have positions or plans….

  39. 39 ronmoreau

    LOL. At least we’re not as bad as Bridgeport where the only challenge is in a primary election. You win the primary and you’re in. The general election is just a formality.
    A Stratford Democratic majority on the council is not unheard of.

  40. 40 jezebel282


    Additions to the RTC agenda for the next four years:

    1. Nothing.

    “John A. Harkins, mayor of Stratford, received a unanimous endorsement of the Republican Town Committee, Thursday night, as they nominated him as their candidate for re-election in November.”

    “Councilmen Matt Catalano, Ken Poisson, Craig Budnick, James Connor, Joe Kubic, and Paul Hoydick all were endorsed to seek re-election to their current seats.”

    And as we already knew:

    “The RTC did not nominate a candidate for the Council 3rd District, where, committee Chairman Lou DeCilio estimated, only 200 Republicans reside.”

    Remember? The 3rd used to be the 2nd. My guess is that the people in the “3rd” are far smarter than the rest of us.

  41. Hmm, sounds like an progressive independent might fair pretty well against a democrat in the 3rd district. I never realized that the number of republicans were so low in that district which happens to be my district.

  42. 42 jezebel282


    “against a democrat”

    Completely beside the point. There are no actual Democrats nor Republicans running for any office in Stratford. I cannot state this often enough.

    There are simply two gangs that fight over control of $192 million (and rising) per year. There are no actual Democratic or Republican positions that are taken. Voting for a “D” or “R” because you think they are Democrats or Republicans is, well, silly in the face of the evidence.

    One thing is for sure, the RTC can raise a lot more money comparatively speaking than the inept DTC. So we will see a lot more lawn signs, mailings and ads for the RTC candidates.

    There is only one question that any voter should be asking: Why is my mill rate 34.64?

    For those of you who find mill rates unintelligible, the easy explanation is this: You will pay $34.64 for every thousand dollars the Town thinks your property is worth. Including your car.

    So… save and save and decide that it’s time to buy that new car. And you go out and spend, say, $28,000 on a new one. Nothing extra special, just a car. The Town will send you a bill for $969.92 on top of that $28,000. Every year. Just because you live here that car will cost you, on average, another $6,000 in taxes if you manage to keep it for 10 years. Your car just morphed from a $28,000 car to a $34,000 car. That, of course does not include your ever-rising mortgage payment because the tax on your home has gone up as well. I won’t even mention the sewer use “fee”.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t want to hear how much a candidate loves this Town, what gang colors they wear, how long they’ve lived here, who their family is or what kind of character they have. I want to know why the mill rate is 34.64, where that money went and how we are going to reduce it.

    Anything else is misdirection.

  43. Even if they aren’t really D’s or R’s I find that each side tends to be more of the policys of democrat or republican. Obviously town politics are different from state or national. I feel some radical things need to be done in Stratford to help out the most harmed by the taxes in our town, I feel that all the seniors who are living on low fixed incomes should be given a perecentage tax break. I feel that our towns property taxes are hitting these people the hardest and Stratford has a large senior population. I have to say I also like Joe Paul’s idea of bargaining with surrounding towns to try to drag down the cost of things. I totally agree that our mill rate is way too high in Stratford, I’d really like to know why its so high but I’m sure that is difficult to find out. I actually don’t mind paying the taxes if the services were on the money, unfortunately they are really lacking as we saw during our blizzard earlier this year.

  44. 44 jezebel282


    “more of the policys of democrat or republican”

    Really? Raising our taxes and fees four years in a row is a Republican thing? Not that the DTC was any better. Miron was as anti-union as any politician could be.

    “I’d really like to know why its so high but I’m sure that is difficult to find out.”

    $1.8 million for a Town Attorney sounds like a great place to start. The Republican mayor hasn’t even posted the approved budget that we just got the bill for. So your guess is as good as mine. But then again, it’s not like anything in the budget was actually debated.

    I’m going to take issue with the blizzard comment:
    “When State of Connecticut snowplows get stuck and abandoned, it gives you an idea of how bad it was. Every resource of Fire, Public Works and EMS were out there the entire time. When Fire and EMS arrived on scene these incredibly intrepid people did unimaginable things to get to people in need. That usually meant wading through waist deep snow and 50 mph winds on foot for sometimes hundreds of yards and literally carrying people out. When Fire or EMS became stranded themselves they would call Public Works. Equipment would be dispatched from Public Works and Public Works would rescue the rescuers. A woman in labor was carried out on a Public Works payloader. At one point four ambulances from Bridgeport, Trumbull and Stratford became stranded on Mill Hill Road (the only road at any time to the Emergency Room). Patients were carried by the crews the rest of the way.”

    Now maybe communicating how bad it really was is an issue. But saying that PW, Fire and EMS weren’t working at their maximum and beyond is just not true. On the other hand, if you were watching from the comfort and warmth of your living room and occasionally wondering when your street would be plowed while you clicked through the the guide to find a movie….

  45. 45 ronmoreau

    “I feel that all the seniors who are living on low fixed incomes should be given a perecentage tax break.”

    There are several programs,some based on income,available to Stratford Seniors. Many of whom are military veterans or spouses of same who are also eligible for additional tax breaks. The details of these programs are available in the tax assessors office. I believe the Stratford Baldwin community center will assist Seniors with many of the programs that are available.

  46. 46 jezebel282


    “Democrats in town have a tall task in November. Mayor John Harkins, a Republican, clobbered incumbent Democrat James Miron by a tally of 7,334-3,912 in the 2009 election, an almost unheard-of defeat for an incumbent mayor. This was despite the fact there are 10,300 Democrats to 5,800 Republicans in Stratford.”

    OK…let’s be honest here. The RTC could have nominated a mannequin and still have beaten Miron. Oh wait…they did.

  47. 47 ronmoreau

    You are also correct. “While we agree that $1 billion in growth is not a reasonable expectation, we do not agree that nothing else can be done.”

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