Redress Grievances

21Apr15
It's your right. Use it when you want.

It’s your right. Use it when you want.

Calling All Volunteers!! VOLUNTEER RALLY
WHEN: Wednesday April 22nd, 7:30-9:00pm
WHERE: Baldwin Center
WHO FOR: For all fully engaged and all who want to be part of the action
WHAT WILL I GET: Volunteer training, information sharing and networking
WHY SHOULD I COME: So many of you have been so successful in just 4 days. Learn all the best practices, tips and techniques for maximizing your time in getting friends, neighbors and fellow citizen to sign the referendum petition.
This is a can’t miss event for all working to make this referendum petition drive a success. We had a huge weekend and expect the next two weeks to put us over the top and reach our goals.
As always, let us know how we can support you and your teams.
Let’s make it happen!!

It doesn’t get more basic than this. There is probably a good reason the right to petition the government is right up there in the very first amendment. Here’s a good reason; the seven councilmen who voted in favor selling our WPCA/Sewer Plant for no benefit to Stratford residents at all do not care anything about their constituents. This couldn’t be more obvious.

In case anyone has forgotten, these seven Councilmen are:

Gavin Forrester (R)
Joseph Kubic (R)
Peter Massey, (R)
Brian Dempsey, (R)
Ken Poisson (R)
James J. Connor, Jr. (R)
Jason W. Santi (D)

Signing the petition is a unique opportunity. It is a voter’s chance to make it clear that Stratford residents pay attention and care about what their municipal government does with our money. To be sure, all ten council members should have stood up to their Mayor and Town Committee Chairman and voted to put the sale of a $100 million asset and ongoing payments up to the voters and residents of Stratford. But they did not.

Now we must.

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17 Responses to “Redress Grievances”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    Reprinted with permission:

    WPCA Sale is Irresponsible Government in Action

    Remember this date: April 9, 2015. Remember these seven names: Peter Massey, Jason Santi, Brian Dempsey, Ken Poisson, Gavin Forrester, Jim Connor and Joe Kubic. They will be known forever as the “Irresponsible 7”. Mayor Harkins and this Town Council super majority on April 9th made their most irresponsible decision and arguably the worst deal in the 375-year history of Stratford.

    If allowed to go forward, what will this deal really mean to us? To start the sale of our state of the art WPCA facility will bring less than 15% of its current worth. You the ratepayer will be saddled with another $11 million in debt repayment on top of the $37 million still outstanding – that’s over $1 million in annual interest payments you will pay. Expect your sewer bills to rise up to 12% per year for the next 3 years. That means your sewer bill will jump 38% from $400 to $585. And for what? To balance the current budget. So once again we ask the Mayor and the “Irresponsible 7”, where is the much-touted savings?

    What can we do to stop the worst deal of the last 4 centuries? The deal has not closed yet. Fortunately, some very responsible and dedicated citizens have decided to exercise our rights as written in the State Statutes and Town Charter to demand a referendum vote that let’s registered voters of Stratford decide if this deal makes sense. Please join the “Responsible 5” of Marianne “Mitzi” Antezzo, 7th District; Matthew Catalano, 2nd District; Lisa Donnelly, 2nd District; Tina Manus, 10th District; Phil Young, 6th District; who formally launched the petition drive to force the Town Council to put this decision in your hands.

    How can you help? Join the scores of citizens of all ages from all parties and every district by signing the petition when asked. Or join our growing list of volunteers to take petition, clipboard and pen to the streets asking your friends and neighbors who are registered voters to sign. Do it today.

    Henry Bruce
    https://www.facebook.com/MoveStratford

  2. 2 Rockannand

    Guess Tim Bishop was just trying to scare us off from launching this petition drive. Mark Dumas would appear to be rendering more than an opinion with this fact-based response to Mr. Bishop’s attempt to obfuscate the referendum discussions on the proposed WPCA sale. I do love to watch dueling lawyers in action.
    http://m.ctpost.com/news/article/Opinion-on-WPCA-questioned-6214846.php

  3. 3 jezebel282

    Update:

    Unbelievably, we have the immense good fortune of having even more comments from Harkins/Decilio to examine. How much fun is that?

    “Republican Town Committee Chairman Lou DeCilio, a defender of the regionalization deal, had harsh words for those pushing for a referendum.”
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/35175/pushing-for-a-vote/

    Harsh words? From Decilio? Say it isn’t so!

    “Look at the party affiliation of the speakers at the [April 3] public forum. They were overwhelmingly Democrat and a majority were DTC members.”

    Why would we bother looking at party affiliation? Most people sign up to be a Republican, Democrat or Independent as soon as they are eligible to vote. That means that most people sign up in their teens. Do we always vote for only one party in every election throughout our lives? According to Decilio, yes we do. But perhaps Republicans in Stratford are simply afraid of speaking out in opposition to anything Decilio says?

    “Matt Catalano endorsed Democrat Joe Paul for mayor in 2013,” DeCilio said.”

    Gasp! Oh the horror! Matt, how could you possibly??!!!

    “Regionalization is a good thing for our town and especially our ratepayers, who will pay less by regionalizing than if we maintained the WPCA as we do now.”

    Oh, Lou, you know that is not true. You have no way of knowing what new owners would do or what rates they would set. On the other hand, you do know that the debt burden would be the same or increase and the operating expenses would not change. No one is going to build a giant pipe across the Housatonic. Only the profit would be transferred out of Stratford.

    “The circulators of the petitions are seeking signatures and personal information under false pretenses to build a database for the election in November.”

    OK. We have to admit it took us quite a while to stop laughing at this one. This comment is from the Republican Registrar of Voters. This is the same guy who just got a huge raise from the taxpayers to…wait for it…maintain a database of voters for elections in November. We are sure that the Democratic Registrar of Voters accesses the same database. The petition is only valid if signed by registered voters. How does the Town Clerk verify this? By going to the Registrar of Voters of course!

    “This group has shown its willingness to outright lie to the public to get people to sign the petitions and are currently operating illegally and outside the constraints of Connecticut election law.”

    Which “group” is this, Lou? The group of irate taxpayers and voters or the group of lousy stinking Democrats that haunt your dreams? The Town Attorney’s opinion is just that. An opinion. The Town Attorney is not a Supreme Court Judge. He is merely a very highly paid attorney that represents Mayor Harkins.

    “There is a case pending against them at the State Elections Enforcement Commission in Hartford.”

    Oh, you mean like the election case Harkins lost? Or is it some other irrelevant case? How many cases have been filed against the Town of Stratford? Dozens? Hundreds? An, oh by the way, doesn’t “pending” mean not decided yet?

    “These people have no ideas on how to move Stratford forward, and even less credibility among Stratford residents.”

    You mean like arbitrarily using Eminent Domain to seize private property, building a $7 million amphitheater in New England, giving away Stratford land for free to Bridgeport for their airport or selling a Town asset for 1/10th it’s value?

    Wow! That was fun!

    But wait! There’s more! We even have a couple of comments from Decilio’s handler.

    “Mayor Harkins, however, still doesn’t believe a referendum vote is necessary or that it will happen, referencing Bishop’s opinion.”

    And why would he? Harkins paid good taxpayer money for that opinion.

    “The group seeking signatures is an off-shoot of the Democrat party and it is unfortunate they are misleading the public for political purposes,”

    Can somebody please explain what possible “political purpose” there could be? You mean the right to vote or exercise our First Amendment rights? There is a 9-1 Republican majority on the Council and a Republican Mayor. Can we get some clarity here? Is it the Democratic Party or an offshoot? As for misleading the public, have you looked at this horrible deal for the residents and businesses of Stratford? Even a Republican would gag at this one.

    “This group continues to advocate for higher taxes and higher sewer rates, both of which I oppose.”

    Yes, you are right. It took us even longer to stop laughing at this one. Who is the guy who has raised our sewer rates and taxes every single year that he has been in office? Yup! John Harkins! And he says he opposes higher sewer rates? In print? We will leave it to our readers, based on this comment, to determine how effective Harkins has been as mayor if he opposes higher taxes and higher sewer rates.

    “It’s also regrettable that this group continues to mislead and misinform the public in a way that is detrimental to our town.”

    Mislead and misinform? Oh that’s right. That’s your job isn’t it?

  4. 4 stfdprofessor1

    WOW, and I thought Miron was a habitual liar…he doesn’t hold a candle to these creeps!

  5. 5 Rockannand

    http://www.stratfordstar.com/35162/letter-wpca-sale-is-irresponsible-government-in-action/

    More lies from the fringe group operating outside the constraints of CT election law. Whatever THAT means King Louie. Someone should tell Louie that people in glass houses should not throw stones. Does anyone know how many complaints there are against Louie with the state election board that have been filed and prosecuted against him? Anyone care to guess? How about his side kick Barney Rubble, i mean Rich Fredette? How many tax liens against Rich who is on EIGHT town commissions and boards including Land Use, HDC, Arts, Charter Revision just to name a few.

    Yes King Louie, the gloves are going to come off soon and it will not be pretty for you and your henchmen. What a joke.

  6. 6 jezebel282

    Rock,

    “What a joke.”

    It’s not really a joke. We find it astounding and rather shocking that a Town Attorney, any Town attorney, would seek to block a vote by the electorate. There is no more fundamental right held by a citizen than the right to vote.

    We are not surprised by almost anything a Stratford politician would do. The vitriol coming from Decilio/Harkins is almost to be expected. After all, it is not as if anything about this deal could be justified by using facts to a resident of Stratford. All that is left to them is the rubbish that we’ve heard.

    But a Town Attorney should know better.

    The significance of the petition circulating in Town is much more than whether you are against the sale of the WPCA or not. By signing the petition we are reasserting our fundamental right to participate in how we live. We are doing no less than demanding our right to vote.

    It is sad that a mayor and 7 councilmen do not believe we have a right to decide how our own property should be managed. But by rushing this awful deal through they are also telling us that we do not have the right to object.

    So when we are approached by one of the dedicated volunteers and asked to sign, by all means, sign it! Assert your right to vote and participate! If you refuse, you are demonstrating that your vote does not matter.

    Sign the petition and and demand your right to vote.

  7. 7 Rockannand

    Yes Jez, its not a joke, but King Louie is. And worse the Star continues to regurgitate Tim Bishop’s false opinion that we do not have the legal right for a referendum vote. READ the statute, it could not be more clear that we do have the right. Mark Dumas, another attorney in town who has extensive experience dealing with state and local municipal issues made that clear enough in this letter on Friday:
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/35192/letter-attorney-says-town-attorney-incorrect-on-state-law/
    “Section 22a-509 is about bonding obligations after a town joins a regional authority. It has nothing to do with whether or not a town decides to join a regional authority in the first place. While the town attorney selectively quoted the part of the statute that supports his position, he conveniently failed to note that Stratford must first become a “constituent municipality” of the regional authority for this section to apply. The law clearly states that this section only applies to member towns. Stratford is not yet a member town of the GNHWPCA.”

    Using Tim’s logic you would own a house before you closed on it. We have not closed on this terrible deal and thus are NOT a “constituent municipality”. But i guess this is what happen when the town attorney works for the mayor and not the town.

  8. 8 Rockannand

    ooppss!!! Looks like someone messed up again down at town hall. The Public Works union has filed a complaint with the State Board of Labor Relations to stop the WPCA deal. The union won a strikingly similar case back in 1995 (and got an injunction to stop the Town in that case). The union served the Town with the Board of Labor Relations equivalent of a request for an injunction this past Thursday. It almost seems like the Town Attorney doesn’t know much about labor law and didn’t do his due diligence on this transaction. I wonder how much he charged the town for what looks to me like a debacle. Don’t people get fired for screwing up like this?? But since the town attorney works for the mayor and not the people, i guess that won’t happen.
    http://m.ctpost.com/local/article/Workers-at-treatment-plant-file-complaint-over-6222295.php

  9. 9 jezebel282

    Rock,

    Tim Bishop is not the only attorney. Joe Kubic is a practicing attorney and Chairman of the Town Council. He should know better. Much better.

  10. The takeaway here for the town council, mayor, and various other shills is this: schedule your ‘screw Stratford’ votes for the dead of Winter when a petition drive would be virtually impossible. Days will be shorter, all outdoor activity will be non-existent, and people will be reluctant to open their front doors to welcome the volunteers.

  11. 11 jezebel282

    Isn’t that when Budnick resigned, Forrester was appointed and Matt Catalano was crushed on the Theater vote?

  12. 12 stfdprofessor1

    “Isn’t that when Budnick resigned, Forrester was appointed and Matt Catalano was crushed on the Theater vote?”

    Isn’t that also when Mayor “John” was buisy with his little eskimo in the wrong igloo?

  13. 13 Rockannand

    Petition shows strong results in every district as of last night. 98% of registered voters when asked sign. Stay tuned for all the festivities and fanfare next week when this wraps up and the entire package gets delivered to the town clerk. Should be fuhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnn!!!

  14. 14 Rockannand

    Also, rumor has it that Mr. Mayor will be at 2Roads Thursday night tapping the first keg of maibock, a time honored tradition for Mayors that goes back to Bavaria. Maybe a free beer or two on Mr. Mayor and maybe, just maybe he signs the petition too???

  15. 15 stfdprofessor1

    Mayor “John” has such poor judgement, should he really be around alcohol?

  16. 16 Rockannand

    Referendum Petition Submission RALLY:
    WHEN: Tuesday May 5th 10am
    WHERE: Town Hall
    WHO: Volunteers, families, friends and petition signers
    WHY COME: To witness Stratford history and democracy in action

    Bring your family, friends and neighbors to see the final fruits of this amazing citizens campaign to bring the democratic process back to our town. What better way to educate our children on citizenship and democracy then to attend this historic event. You don’t want to miss it.

  17. 17 Rockannand

    Well yesterday was the BIG FU to the public by Harkins and Lou Deceitful/ Further they blasted the Post last week over Burgeson’s article on the union action on 4/25 and again on 4/30 so the editors changed the headline saying AGAIN we are misleading the public.

    Now Harkins and crew are saying this is a $60mm deal? They change their “selling” points every week as we pound away at their numbers.
    They are stealing the cash reserve to payoff the $5.4mm budget gap for this year. That is illegal. That money belongs to every ratepayer and should be returned as a rebate of at least $250 per household. We will fight that action if they try to do it.

    Bishop’s “opinion” was written by the New Haven lawyers – Robinson Cole. He is clueless about municipal law when it comes to referendum matters. They threatened all employees that they would be punished if they signed the petition. They threatened to fire Susan Pawluk if she accepted the petition. I only hope that for those they threatened who are protected by a union, that they file a grievance against they low life.

    They don’t listen, they don’t care, they ignore you. And they think they will get away with it. 7,000 people signed on to this cause in less than 3 weeks. What do you think those people are going to say if they get away with this worst deal of the 375 year history of the town? Its an election year and there are just so many people you can payoff. We plan to take dead aim at Gavin, Santi and Massey for sure. They are VERY vulnerable and have been made promises to play Lou Deceitful ball.

    So as they say in the big leagues, GAME ON!!


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