To Do List

28Apr14

SIGN THE PETITION:

Budget Petition


MOVEStratford Press Release

MOVEStratford Launches Petition Drive Demanding FY2015 Budget Reform
Group wants Stratford citizens to tell their Council Representatives to oppose Mayor Harkins’
tax increases and non-union employees raises

Stratford, CT May 4th

–MOVEStratford announced the next step in the “Budget Reform NOW”
initiative with a petition that asks more citizens to voice their displeasure with the Mayor’s 2015
budget proposal. This petition, available online here demands the following actions by the
Town Council:

• Conduct financial audit of the Water Pollution Control Authority. Make the results of the
audit public to all town citizens.

• Freeze salaries and benefits of all non-union Town employees.

• Freeze the FY2014 mill rate. Implement alternative funding to taxation.

• Require the Mayor’s office to enact fiscal budgetary measures that reduce General Fund
expenditures, except for the BoE 2015 budget.

The Town Council is expected to vote on the 2015 proposed budget on Monday May 12, 2014.
“We have had multiple public hearings over this budget, but neither the Mayor nor the Council
seem interested in answering the hard questions.” says MOVEStratford Director, Henry Bruce.
“This petition is intended to show how much anger and disgust the people have over excessive
taxation for questionable expenditures. No one is getting pay raises over 100% in this economy.
We want transparency and answers now” continues Mr. Bruce.

MOVEStratford lists some of the questions that have gone unanswered since the budget was
announced in March:

• Why have sewer fees more than tripled since FY2002?

• Why does the Water Pollution Control Authority look like a slush fund?

• Why do the people get more taxes and Town Hall gets big raises?

• Why is there no comprehensive economic development plan?

• Why are property values still in the toilet?

For further information about the “Budget Reform NOW” initiative and MOVEStratford, please
go to http://www.facebook.com/MOVEStratford, or follow us on twitter. Direct access to the
petition can be found online here.

About MOVEStratford

MOVEStratford is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the
environment, historical landmarks and the integrity and heritage of the town of Stratford. We
are a community advocacy group that works with citizens and other Stratford constituents to
hold our public officials accountable to the people of Stratford, not special interest groups.

Henry Bruce, Director

MOVEStratford

Twitter: @MOVEStratford

© Copyright 2014 MOVEStratford May 4, 2014

This is the part where you get to petition the government for the redress of grievances. On the other hand, you can just sit at home and wait for the increased tax bill from the Town and the escrow letter from your mortgage company.

So…unless you are a BOE administrator or a non-union Town employee or not connected to a sewer you should probably be there tonight.

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18 Responses to “To Do List”

  1. 1 Rockannand

    Thanks Jez for the post. These hearings are suppose to be where Council and Bd of Ed officials “hear” what we’re feeling. Somehow they “hear” much better when the room is full of citizens from all over town. The focus of tonight’s hearing is sewer fees, but we will make the broader tax reform case as well. Or we might as well just flush the entire budget or use it as toilet paper.

    Thanks to all who support the cause and can make an appearance tonight or at Public Forum on May 12th when they make this raw sewage budget proposal the real deal.

    Henry Bruce
    FORStratford.org

  2. 2 jezebel282

    Rock,

    Important questions to ask about the WPCA budget are

    1. Why the pension fund contribution of the WPCA is higher than its payroll. ($1,015,942 in pension v. $1,011,040 in payroll)
    2. Why the Town charges the WPCA $600,000 in “land use”.
    3. Why $500,000 of PW’s budget has been transferred to the WPCA.
    4. Why are residential rates going up 15% but commercial rates only 5%.

  3. Didn’t know they were allowed to call a five minute recess to throw a temper tantrum.

  4. 4 Rockannand

    Camaroguy, neither did I. It was beyond bizarre and then Kubic let me finish, because he had already embarrassed himself and knew I was not going to stop reading what i prepared to say. Did you notice only Kubic And Councilman Sports Complex (Connors) left to spew some venom off camera? Makes no difference. my speech will be a letter to the editor this week in the Star. Plus i know have over 250 people following the debate on my Facebook page.

    Jez, all those questions were asked by multiple speakers. George i must say was masterful – best ever. As he and several others played the “transparency” card and challenged them all to justify the $425 fee given the above shell game maneuvers.

    To quote one of the epic songs of the 70’s from the immortal Karen Carpenter, ” We’ve only just begun …” to fight. Watch what comes next.

  5. 5 1cyclops

    Rock,
    Thanks for all you do and continue to do for us.

  6. Rock, your speech was great! I think we need to continue bringing people together in this town and form a strong coaltion. Lets face it at the rate the town is going under the current leadership no one will be able to afford to live here.

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Rock,

    While I applaud and respect your efforts I am reminded of one thing; we shouldn’t have to do this.

    The mayor, the council and the Board of Education should be responsible enough to have not to presented us with these outrageous budgets. Unless there is an abrupt about face, it will be absolutely clear that they are not.

  8. 8 Rockannand

    Thanks, but frankly surprised at your comment Jez. Responsibility is not even a remote possibility. We absolutely have to do this because the behavior and corruption is so deep seated and has gone on for so long, that most involved know no other way. There will be no abrupt change unless those being victimized stand up to the abuse and bullying and say no.

    It is already clear that DeCilio will do whatever it takes to win and that he will step on and over anyone to make it so. There are clear signs that there is alot of in-fighting up at the Mill River RTC club. I only hope that others come forward to tell their favorite Lou story. I have heard many in the last few weeks. No one likes a bully.

    The absolute clear next steps is get like minded people to join the cause and lend more voices to defeating this budget. They have no defense and are hoping and praying that they are not challenged. I plan to challenge. In the last 48 hours i have had more rumors passed around about me trying to discredit me and question my motives. No I was not on the grassy knoll, but i have visited it.

    I appreciate those that have reached out to ask how they can help.

    Other tid bits: the entire evening was planned including the “recess”. They also had a policeman there in case we got out of control. Kubik was the designated heavy instead of the light weight Massey. I found it all comical and sophomoric.

    The best is yet to come.

  9. 9 1cyclops

    Does anyone know when the budge rate will be set?

  10. 10 jezebel282

    Rock,

    “Thanks, but frankly surprised at your comment Jez.”

    I think we are actually agreeing here. The point I was making is that we voted for all of these “leaders”. We did so in the expectation that they would represent us and look after our best interests. So while your efforts are above and beyond the talent and capacity of most residents, I feel it must be stated that this should not be necessary. Our elected “leaders” should have considered the effect their decisions had on us and the businesses in Stratford. No one, not even your friend Lou Decilio, has uttered a single word in defense of the Town or BOE budget. A budget, after all, is a plan for the future. It should be a vigorous negotiation not a hidden scheme. It definitely should not be piles of numbers that no commercial calculator can add correctly.

    In fact, everything that can be wrong with a budget can be found in the Town and BOE budget. On the Town side there are enormous raises with zero justification (a Google search by HR is not evidence), irrelevant and erroneous costs (the WPCA) and a continuation of hugely wasteful practices. On the BOE side, except for administrator raises, the numbers are simply meaningless. The entire BOE budget appears to have been constructed on an I Phone while driving. Literally nothing makes sense in the BOE budget. How could any Board of Education member understand what they are voting for?

    Your efforts are to be commended and applauded. But you, as well as the rest of us, should be out playing golf or shopping with the money Town Hall wants to take away from us.

    Cyclops,

    “Does anyone know when the budge rate will be set?”

    Some say it was set months ago at an RTC meeting. But I am sure you mean set “officially”. The budget is due on 31 May. The only Council meeting I can find is on 12 May.

  11. 11 1cyclops

    How can they in good conscience pass this budget? How can they sleep? How can they face their constituents? How can they think it will all be forgotten? How can they think they we are so stupid as to accept a Google search as justification for the pay increases? How can they think we are so stupid? Is it because there is no serious threat from the minority? Is it because too much power from one side invites recklessness such as this? How can they? How can they? How can they?

  12. 12 jezebel282

    Cyclops,

    “How can they? How can they? How can they?”

    Sounds like you are running out of faith…..

    As Justice Brandeis said, “The best disinfectant is sunshine.”

  13. 13 Rockannand

    I almost don’t want to say the date for the vote because they knew i was coming MOnday night. They did not vote on sewer fee increase. I am lowering the once of silence until … well you know. MOVEing to DEFCON 3. I like the new name MOVEStratford. MOVE can have many connotations. Like sewer MOVEment. Wait the morning coffe is working. Time to get my sewer fee’s money’s worth!!

  14. 14 Rockannand

    I meant “Cone of Silence”. Remember Maxwell Smart??

  15. 15 1cyclops

    Jez,

    I am trying to hold on to hope; hearing they did not set the sewer fee increase gives me something to hold on to; however, I have to admit, I am fading, and quickly.

  16. 16 Rockannand

    Oh com’on 1cyclops, do i have to pull out the old Knute Rockne speech? Don’t you remember this quote from “Miracle on 34th St” from Fred Gailey: “Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don’t you see? It’s not just Kris that’s on trial, it’s everything he stands for.”

    You can do this.

  17. 17 jezebel282

    Cyclops,

    I agree with Rock. I am sure Harkins will still respect you in the morning.


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