What a Vote Can Do

What a Vote Can Do

It is a rare occurrence that so many Council terms are expiring at the same time. Much talk will take place about who will run. While that is important, equally important is the reason why a candidate would run. For decades, we have been subjected to the dominance of a very, very small group of influence peddlers and profiteers. In fact, the only interest group that has not had their pocket filled or their palm greased is the Stratford taxpayer.

What we would like you to imagine is the election of at least seven strong willed, independent representatives of the voters of Stratford. With seven votes, a Council can make a mayor almost irrelevant. We would also like you to imagine what that could mean to voters/taxpayers.

  • An independent forensic audit of the Town’s books which would include the Board of Education.
  • Conversion of the Town Attorney’s position to a salaried position.
  • A review of the policy and procedures of each department.
  • A conversion to zero based budgeting.
  • A review of all consulting and contracted services and fees.

With these few steps, an independent Council would be able to lower taxes and, yes, sewer fees. Imagine Stratford with the mystery and secrecy gone from Town Hall and the Board of Education. Imagine the pride residents and businesses would have by virtue of simply being here as victors instead of victims. It could happen. But it can only happen when voters stop paying attention to the “R’s” and “D’s” after a candidate’s name and start paying attention to what they are saying.

Each of the above points are entitled to a thorough debate. It is not enough to say to voters, “I am running because they couldn’t find anyone else.” You have to have a plan, a mission, a goal to achieve that your potential constituents agree with. This space is, of course, available to any candidate who wishes to use it. There are other spaces as well that are free to use. But if you, Mr./Ms. Candidate, choose to remain silent and depend solely on the placement of lawn signs, we certainly have no reason to vote for you.


39 Responses to “Possibilities”

  1. I have to say, I was somewhat disgusted with the article in Sunday’s Connecticut Post. I’m not sure when John Burgerson, MelvinMason or any other “reporter” (if that’s what you want to call them these days) is going to actually report the full fact. Burgerson’s article, fifth paragraph: “Town Hall maintains that the sale will remov[e]…$37 million in debt.” While that might be true, that’s not the FULL truth! It only removes it off of Stratford’s books, but that $37 million in debt will continue to be divided among the sewer use taxpayers. That’s TRUTH and FACT. The problem with Burgerson, Mason and others – they only print what they are allowed to, and nothing that will cast doubt onto the issue.

    DTC Council Chair Len Petrucelli is 100% correct – Harkins, et al have created a mess – far and above the one Jim Miron created (and that’s coming from me, someone who was very opposed to much of what Miron did). Jim Miron was, however, accessible.

    Further, down in the article, 6th District Councilman Ken Poisson gloats that “people have seen their taxes go down.” Why is that? Your constituents asked you to do that? So, you are the reason property values have gone down, leading to a decreased property tax bill! It’s great the taxes were lower, but not great that it was due to decreased property values. Despite towns around us seeing their property values bouncing back, ours have yet to see any bouncing. Ken, please don’t use “taxes went down” on your re-election campaign! If you leave out the FACT that property values have not gone up or bounced back. And, Councilman Poisson’s stand on the WPCA – verbatim from what Council Chair Kubic said at the April 6th presentation on the possible sale.

    Now, let’s bounce to the next candidate – Gavin Forrester, running for the 7th District. The article states that Gavin is “an old hand on the town political scene.” All the more reason he should be OUT! During his term – SAEP was still stagnant, Stratford Festival Theatre was still stagnant – no serious economic development happenings – so, why should he be voted back on to the Council? He’s one of the “old hands” that should be out – a Town career politician, bouncing from Town Council to the Board of Ed and back again. Both the Town and BOE are seriously screwed up, so really? Sorry, Gavin, time for NEW BLOOD, not the same old, same old!

  2. 2 jezebel282


    “Town Hall maintains that the sale will remov[e]…$37 million in debt.”

    What do you expect the RTC to say? We’re selling your $100 million plant for $11 million? We’re giving up the $2.5 million we’ve been stealing every year for $200,000 in legal money? We’re leaving you liable to hundreds of million of dollars in current and future GNHWPCA debt and fines?

    Transferring the $37 million “off the books” is the only positive thing the RTC can say about this horrible deal. The trouble is that it doesn’t take the $37 million off of our backs.

    And yes, they think we are that stupid.

  3. Jez ~ the TRUTH would be nice, but that’s way too much to expect from Harkins, et al. And, lest we forget to mention that Lou DeCilio should go too! Too many career politicians bouncing between the Town Council and BOE.

  4. 4 jezebel282


    “the TRUTH would be nice, but that’s way too much to expect from Harkins”

    We’re pretty sure that’s what Mrs. Harkins said too. Once you’ve lied to your spouse, children, family and friends how much is left of your credibility? We are going to go with “not a lot.”

    We are aware that Stfdprofessor1 never lets an opportunity go by without mentioning this, but as they say on every TV court drama, “It goes to credibility, Your Honor.”

    Harkins has no problem lying to his own family so, seriously, how can anyone believe a word Harkins says? We won’t even get into the Economic Development Director’s over-the-top salary or Taxpayer funded…umm….excursions and transportation.

  5. 5 jezebel282


    Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority playing wait-and-see
    By Melvin Mason on July 16, 2015

    Mr. Mason continues to be Harkins’ chief spokesman for the sale of the WPCA and pretty much anything else. It is rare to see such an uncritical eye examine anything as complicated. According to Mr. Mason, nothing at all is negative about the sale of the sewer plant. Nothing. Only positive aspects (which are unexamined) are described in his articles.

    No mention is ever made of illegally moving funds out of the WPCA. No mention is ever made of the existing equity we own in the WPCA nor its market value. No mention is ever made of the energy credits our WPCA receives. No mention is ever made of the unused capacity remaining in our WPCA. No mention is ever made of who actually pays the balance of the $37 million debt once it is “off Stratford’s books” (that would be us).

    “The Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority is keeping the light on in case Stratford voters decide to vote for regionalizing its sewer services.”

    We would have suggested the metaphor of a group of thieves waiting in their car until we turned the lights off in the house.

    “Sidney Holbrook, executive director of the GNHWPCA, said Tuesday that the authority will wait until town residents vote at a referendum”

    As if he had a choice…

    “Holbrook said. “We’re all set to go forward. Everything from our perspective is a go.”

    We are absolutely certain they are. Who would turn down free property and free money? On the other hand, if we changed the terms of sale to what is was actually worth ($100 million plus $2.5 million/year in PILOT) would they be so ready?

    “I don’t have a crystal ball or a (magic) 8-ball, so I can only say the work that’s been done has shown us that this would be good” for the town and the authority, he said.”

    How does a “reporter” miss an opportunity like this to ask why it would be “good” for any Stratford resident or business?

    “If Stratford voters decide against the sale, Holbrook said the GNHWPCA will continue operating with the four towns as it currently does.”

    As if he had a choice.

    After numerous articles on this subject by Mr. Mason where he gushes admiringly about Harkins, Nocera and other pro-sale employees, there has yet to be an article fully describing the negative aspects for Stratford residents of this sale or the immense amount of effort that went into blocking it.

    We have not seen Mr. Mason spend any significant space on Lisa Donnelly, Matthew Catalano, Tina Marie Manus, Philip Young or Marianne Antezzo. Not even Ben Proto, who masterfully out-maneuvered and out-argued Harkins and Bishop at every turn. If not for the efforts and expense of these citizens, the sale would have already taken place.

    Maybe Mr. Mason missed all of that while he was copying press releases from Town Hall.

  6. 6 appalledandamused

    Mason is the same as his predecessors (think Jack Kovach). Lazy journalism, if you can even call what the Stratford Star emits as “journalism”. The RTC must have a direct line to Mason’s keyboard and writes the drivel for him…..just as they did with Jack. I haven’t seen a critical take on the Republican leadership in Stratford coming out of the Star in years.

  7. Sadly, I always attribute the “sucking up” aspect of journalism to access. Stratford Star and Ct Post reporters must feel if they write impartial or negative stories about the Mayor or the town administration, then they won’t be allowed any ‘inside’ info from those same people. I recall an investigative piece that Greg Reilly of the Star did two years ago on the Town Attorney’s office in response to their excessive budget. The article consisted of self-serving platitudes from Tim Bishop without any follow-up to what he was saying.

  8. 8 jezebel282


    “won’t be allowed any ‘inside’ info from those same people.”

    Although we understand the point, it also begs the question; what difference would it make? Most of what ends up in the Star/Post can be found on the Town website (The Town publishes it’s own press releases, you know.) There is very little “news” in either the Star or the Post relating to Stratford.

    The problem for Stratford voters and the whole “informed electorate” thing is that when Mason or Burgeson phone it in and act as a paid spokesperson for Harkins and Decilio it seems to most readers as if that is the entire story and there is no other credible point of view. And any reader who has spent any time on this site knows better.

    The journalistic crime of Mason and Burgeson is credibility. They give credibility to Harkins/Decilio and degrade the credibility of anyone else. Should we call that “Credibility Theft”?

    We will see this happen soon. You will see all sorts of statements from Harkins/Decilio and probably a few current Councilmen like Forrester who think they can be re-elected by calling a “No” vote for the sale of the WPCA “partisan politics”, started by a “fringe group” or some sort of “revenge”. Everyone one of these statements will be prominently featured if not headlined in the Star and Post. Rebuttal comments, if they are printed at all, will appear in the text at the very bottom and probably misquoted. This is Stratford’s version of “Democracy”.

  9. 9 stfdprofessor1

    The biggest problem I see in this geographic area is LAZINESS. The reporters are lazy and only print what’s spoon fed to them via town hall. Most of the taxpayers are lazy as well and don’t fight the corrupt status quo oozing from the mayor, the clowncil, the RTC or DTC.

    The three exceptions have been- this blog, the wonderfully refreshing group that got together with the petition drive to save our water treatment facility and Jody Harkins, who in record time booted out onto the street- that lying, philandering cheater “John” and divorced him in record time.

    Hats off to all three!!!

  10. 10 jezebel282


    It’s not even laziness. It takes literally no effort at all to click on http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=FBTCV136038783S or sign up for the alerts.

    It will be no surprise at all if the Town’s legal fees for this case exceed $250,000. Florek (at the direction of Tim Bishop & John Harkins) and then Berchem Moses & Devlin filed motion after motion and continuance after continuance.

    That is $250,000 more into lawyer’s pockets instead of ours. Will the decision appear in the Star or Post? As bad as it makes John Harkins, Ron Ing, Sue Collier and Tim Bishop look it is not very likely. Of course that did not stop them from printing Harkins side when Tom Murray first filed the suit: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Retired-assistant-chief-disputes-pension-amount-3554344.php#ixzz1ukRAIwUu

    At the end of this story (which we truly hope is now) every penny of what Murray receives over and above his normal pension as well at attorney fees for both sides is due to the incompetence of Ron Ing and John Harkins. Even more tragic will be that the ones who will pay for another horrible decision by Harkins are the taxpayers. This won’t cost Harkins a dime.

  11. 11 jezebel282

    We are very encouraged by the recent announcements of Tina Marie Manus, Mark Dumas, Neil Sherman and most recently, Marianne Antezzo as candidates for Council seats.

    We sincerely hope there might even be debate between Ms. Manus and Paul Hoydick in the 10th District. Even more interesting would be a debate between Ms. Antezzo and Gavin Forrester in the 7th District. We would pay money to see that one.

    A word of mention here. Marianne Antezzo and Tina Marie Manus were two of five dedicated and concerned citizens who spent the money and time to sue the mayor for us in order to stop the horrible deal to sell the sewer plant. If not for them and their colleagues, we would no longer own the plant. The mayor and his 8 weak and stupid councilmen would have sold it for peanuts a month ago.

    Should the fantasy come true and we are rewarded with a candidate debate, we would like to hear any or all of these points debated:

    An independent forensic audit of the Town’s books which would include the Board of Education.

    Conversion of the Town Attorney’s position to a salaried position.

    A review of the policy and procedures of each department. Especially overtime abuse and callbacks.

    A conversion to zero based budgeting.

    A review of all consulting and contracted services and fees.

    Also in the favor of these newly announced GOP candidates is that Lou Decilio hates each and every one of them.

    Now, if only we could get Sperling……

  12. 12 stfdprofessor1

    How about:

    -a (long overdue) REDUCTION in the Mayor’s staff (Town Manager did most of those jobs by himself) in the short term.

    -a committment to return to the Council/Manager form of town government in the long term.

    -a zoning plan that is good for the Town, not just for a few developers and the lawyers that support them (there’s that pesky lawyer thing again).

    “Now, if only we could get Sperling……” Sounds like Sudds

  13. 13 jezebel282

    Sudds had a different agenda….

  14. 14 stfdprofessor1

    And while we’re at it

    -a retroactive pay decrease for everyone in town hall who received a pay increase of more than 4% over the last few years (with the shape this town is in they can’t say they earned it).

  15. So, that’s why my ears were ringing! Here’s a great slate, okay, I’ll include myself for sh*ts and giggles – then we’d have Tina Manus, Mitzi Antezzo, Lisa Donnelly, Stephanie Phillips (since she could run again after a few, unless she opts for Mayor), myself and hmm, any other STRONG honest women out there?

    Gotta love Sudds….. And yes, a decrease in the overpaid salaries of Town Hall administration and, of course, the BOE too! It’s really getting quite ridiculous! If they want corporate pay, they should go in-house to a corporation, not a municipality! Oh, and clerical/administrative positions would no longer require a BA or MA! That’s what’s happening to some of the people in the BOE – two secretaries were terminated, the job rewritten to require a BA or MA and then an old buddy of Clarence “Buddy” Zachery personally called and told to apply. Even if there were other applicants, who do you think got the job! BINGO, Zachery’s buddy! Sounds like bad hiring practices to me!

  16. 16 stfdprofessor1

    You have my vote PC…if I was a few decades (quite a few) younger- Sudds would have a run for his money

  17. I like that line up!

  18. I can pretty much guarantee that none of these ladies, including myself, drink anyone’s kool-aid!

  19. You are 100% correct with that comment! As a child I was never a fan of Kool-aid and these days I prefer to drink “adult” beverages. If that dream line up were to become reality Harkins and everyone single one of his political cronies as well as those in his administration would be running scared. Those guys would not know how to nor be able to handle six (or more) strong women who are intelligent, compassionate, opinionated and have zero tolerance for any BS. Town Hall would never be the same…..

  20. 20 jezebel282


    In one of the most effective displays of destroying the possibilities of any change whatsoever in Stratford, the RTC has nominated its slate:

    1st District: Chris Barnaby (Wait! Didn’t he run for the BOE because he didn’t like going to Council meetings?)
    2nd District: Jim Wiltsie (even though they have and excellent candidate in Mark Dumas)
    3rd District: Jackie Davidson
    4th District: Ed Scinto
    5th District: John Dempsey
    6th District: Ken Poisson
    8th District: Vincent Chase
    9th District: Alan Llewelyn
    10th District: Mike Henrick (He’s baaack!)

    And the even more irresponsible and hidden positions of the Board of Education:

    Susan Lance, Jennifer Falotico and Town Council member Jason Santi.

    We could not imagine a slate of endorsed candidates that are more backward looking, acquiescent, lazy and willing to make any deal they are told to accept than these. Rest assured, not a single one of these RTC endorsed candidates will question or oppose any sale of Town Assets or any expenditure proposed by Harkins. After all, that is why they have been selected.

    And in the other corner we have:

    The DTC slate:

    1st District: Beth Daponte (This could have been your spot, Ms. Sperling.)
    2nd District: Neil Sherman
    3rd District: Wali Kadeem
    4th District: David Harden
    5th District: Joe Gresko
    6th District: Phil Young
    7th District: Sean Haubert
    8th District: Tom Haggerty
    9th District: Mark Juliano
    10th District: Tina Marie Manus

    And running for the forgotten, but extremely expensive Board of Education are Vinny Fagella, Eric Lazaro and Maria Buturla.

    With one or two exceptions, the DTC should be proud that it has selected mostly new opinions and personalities. Make no mistake, this slate represents a parting from the same old same old. Nice work.

    This election day the voters will have the task of killing Harkins’ awful deal to sell the sewer plant. For their part, the elected Council will have to deal with

    An independent forensic audit of the Town’s books which would include the Board of Education.
    Conversion of the Town Attorney’s position to a salaried position.
    A review of the policy and procedures of each department.
    A conversion to zero based budgeting.
    A review of all consulting and contracted services and fees.

    Let’s make sure we know how each candidate will accomplish these goals for us.

  21. I have way too much to say about the RTC slate! OMG! Lou DeCilio really thinks this is a great slate? SAME OLD, SAME OLD – just a bunch of recycled overused household names in the Stratford political arena. Come on – focus! It’s been 7 years since the beginning of the economic decline, the “Great Recession” and I haven’t seen my property value increase much – it bumps up a little, then drops right back down, bumps up, drops…. So, look at those in power over the last – let’s say 10 years. If any of those names are here, or associated with any of the names here – SAY NO THANK YOU!

    I’ll just speak for my experience first with the 1st District, since that’s my district. Chris Barnaby – really, again? Say it isn’t so! Nothing got done during his terms, why ever should history repeat itself on that one. He’s not doing much on the BOE board either! I’ll be honest – not happy with him at all – not when he was on Town Council, not with him on BOE. Addressing the BOE board – it’s sickening. I know that Andrea Veilleux put her name in the hat for the board because she wanted to do the right thing for our children. But, it’s impossible when working with a group of bullies (e.g., Chris Barnaby). The BOE administration is an absolute mess – EVERYONE knows it, but not one member of the Board has been addressing it! I’ve said it before – you’ve got a COO, or whatever he is, Clarence Zachery making a HUGE mess of things. Geeze, how much messier does he need to make it before the BOE Board grows a set of balls! Putting people out of jobs to hire friends – unfair and unethical hiring practices, etc. Come on people!

    Now for the RTC BOE candidates, wasn’t it Susan Lance, when she was the Teacher’s Union President, the one who approved the early retirement package for the teachers. Upset a great many. The RTC choices for BOE leave LOTS to be desired.

    I agree ~ the DTC slate is much more fresh, with the exception of a few. I’ll be honest – While I’ve not agreed with Beth DaPonte on a few things – I’m much more supportive of her then Chris Barnaby, so that’s where I’m putting my vote.

    I absolutely LOVE Wally Kadeem. He’s unbelievably community-oriented. I truly respect that guy! He’s a great role model, and obviously a great family man – husband, father, etc. – he’s the whole, honest package!

    Another name in there that I am happy with is Tina Manus! She’s another one like me – pulls no punches, tells it like it is. Honest, honest, honest!

    I’m not liking either of the endorsed candidates for zoning in the 1st District, especially Rich Fredette needs to be politically retired and off the 7 or 8 commissions he’s on – he can take Gavin with him too.

  22. Oh, and Jez, Lisa Donnelly and I are talking about a great slate in a couple years…. ;>D

  23. 23 jezebel282


  24. Thanks for asking. Thanks for offering the space. Thanks for providing a clear points to address. The people know the issues. It is our job as candidates to offer solutions. It is everyone’s job to vote for the best solution for Stratford:

    1) I am currently in the field of public education. As a teacher, as well as an advocate at the state and national level I know how to look critically at a BOE budget. I also understand how cutting corners impacts students and teachers in the classroom. Efficiency is key and we need to reach out to teacher-leaders in the district to help.

    2.) I want a closer examination as to why huge salaries are paid to a town attorney, and many town legal issues are still “farmed out” to other attorneys in town? It does not seem economical, especially in recent memory.

    3.) Again, as I said regarding the restructuring of the SWPCA on my own page, I am an advocate for 21st century organizational leadership. This means that discussions regarding policies and procedures are done WITH employees who do those jobs every day. Employees know their workspace best, and have ideas regarding more efficient methods—if only they were asked about them!

    4.) Conversion to zero based budgeting is necessary and will help to build a more sustainable Stratford.

    5.) As a Department Head who manages 5 different budgets and deals on a regular basis with both selecting and contracting within the state of CT system—bidding is key. Why huge contracts are granted without bidding is a mystery. For example, a $850,000 fire truck contract went to Sheehan, a member of the BOE, under my opponent’s last tenure on council. Now this person is a campaign contributor—palms seem greased and ready to me. We need to be more efficient. Business should go to the company who offers Stratford the best price. We are a service provider, not a cash-cow for friends and cronies to line their pockets with our tax dollars!


  25. 25 jezebel282

    Ms. Manus,

    You are, of course, more than welcome to post here. We do not expect anyone in favor of selling the WPCA to actually communicate with voters. We wouldn’t hold out much hope for you to debate someone about it here.

    Just a minor correction in item 2. The Town Attorney does not receive a salary. The TA bills us by the hour. Well, by the 6 minute increment thereof. We believe it is $150/hour. More than double that for actual court time. The other attorneys he hires like Pullman and Comley? The sky is the limit. It’s only our money, you know. Who cares?

    The only limit on the amount a TA can bill us is up to the mayor. Unless the Council sets a salary in the budget…….

  26. “…unless the council sets a salary budget.”

    Well, how could a council person be expected to vote for that, if his or her candidate committee is accepting campaign contributions from the town attorney right now? How these contributions are even allowed is beyond me! My money paid to fight him, for him to fight me, and now for him to fund my opponents campaign so he can ensure he doesn’t stop getting unlimited payments….must nice!

  27. 27 jezebel282

    Have you been to Stratford?

  28. 36 years, 5 months, and 25 days…it is sad. I grew up knowing good people like Mrs. Fritch at the library, or working on “In the Spotlight” with Tammy Trojanowski & Mary, or even leading summer camps run by Pat Patuski, Skip Lance, and Al Vasquez—there are good, good people here…doing great, great things–I want to know what Stratford these other people are from…because it just isn’t where I grew up. It just isn’t the same values. It feels like the whole thing was either a charade, and this is reality—or maybe there really is magic kool-aid and it stop being delivered at my tap…either way—I refuse to believe anyone can be all bad (or all good)—and I have to believe that my town will make it. People just have to remember, right?

  29. 29 jezebel282

    It’s hard to remember because for the last 11 years we’ve had sociopaths and adulterers running things. And that’s in addition to the common thieves we were used to.

  30. 30 stfdprofessor1

    Actually the republicrook town committee did everyone a big favor with their ludacris slate. I mean seriously- Barnaby, Forrester and Hendrick??? They would have been better off offering up members of the John Birch Society!!!

    HAAAAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAHAAhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!! Gavin Forrester, Chris Barnaby and Mike Hendrick- the only thing better would be if they could dig up Norm Aldrich and squeeze Joe Kubick back in for another term with them.

    King Louie and John the “John” better get ready for a new political term in Stratford…wait for it…DEMOCRAT MAJORITY!

  31. 31 stfdprofessor1

    BTW, in the Star photo…is it just me or does Ed Scinto and Jack Dempsey look like they were just yanked out of a casting call line for “the Sopranos” ?

  32. 32 jezebel282


    “new political term in Stratford…wait for it…DEMOCRAT MAJORITY!”

    We are not sure we care at all whether or not there is a Democratic majority on the Council. We would happily settle for 7 (or more) out of 10 individuals who had ethics and a concern for the voters who elected them.

    It really doesn’t seem like a lot to ask. Listen to the people who elected you, be reasonable and, from time to time, vote for the benefit of all of your constituents. How hard can that be?

    On second thought, we can identify 8 people that can’t do any of those things.

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

    In a way, it is a good thing. Voters now know which candidates will for vote anything they are told to vote for. No matter how bad. It would be extremely naive to think that any candidate selected by Harkins/Decilio would behave any differently.

    Which is why we endorse Marianne Antezzo and Mark Dumas as Republican candidates for Council. But especially Ms. Antezzo. Actions such as hers in fighting Harkins and Tim Bishop with her own money and time deserve to be rewarded and not punished. It just restores our faith in humanity. And that is not a little thing.

  33. 33 hornrims

    Antezzo sounds like a good choice over Forrester – and what a bonus if she refused to be influenced by the boys club of Mill River. Certainly she won’t be their candidate of choice. Little Lou will likely get his posse to sign their names to his handcrafted hit pieces in a campaign against her.

  34. 34 stfdprofessor1

    “what a bonus if she refused to be influenced by the boys club of Mill River.”

    Really??? I think Ms. Antezzo deserves a LOT more credit than a statement like that.

  35. 35 jezebel282


    Tina Marie Manus, Matt Catalano, Philip Young, Lisa Donnelly and Ben Proto.

    Along with Marianne Antezzo, these are Stratford heroes. They alone stood up to Harkins and the RTC and demanded our right to vote. And they did so four times. Incredible.

    We all have to remember that Harkins, Bishop and the Council (see above) all said that we, the voters, have no say in Stratford’s future. They and they alone can decide what is best for us even when it is clearly not.

    To be sure, there may be a letter or two to an editor before election day extolling the virtues of “regionalizing” (They never say “sale” do they?). And we are certain there are at least a dozen or so citizens that pay scant attention to Stratford who might that think “regionalizing” sounds like a good idea. The balance of those who support Harkins either serve at his pleasure or depend upon the Town of Stratford for their income or revenue.

    What we have to remember is that our right to have a say in this horrible deal was denied by Harkins and his weak and stupid Council.

    When we vote on this in November it is only because Marianne Antezzo, Tina Marie Manus, Matt Catalano, Philip Young, Lisa Donnelly and Ben Proto fought for us and won.

  36. 36 shanliss

    Any chance that Daponte can be “shamed” into actually running for this seat in District 1 ?? It really should up for grabs, as Barnaby is part of the revolving-door crowd, and doesn’t really appear to like attending meetings. A campaign strategy consisting of “a noun, a verb, and a PhD” is not going to be enough, though, just as it wasn’t the last time. But there are at least a half-dozen issues on which any candidate ought to be able to take a stand, and motivate those taxpayers down there, who are subsidizing a lot of silliness these days.

  37. 37 jezebel282


    “It really should up for grabs, as Barnaby is part of the revolving-door crowd, and doesn’t really appear to like attending meetings.”

    We agree. We didn’t think Barnaby could set the bar any lower (have you tried to get down Main Street to Barnaby’s District lately?) than by stating to anyone who would listen that he didn’t want to be on the Council and go to meetings anymore. At least he was honest because he didn’t go to very many BOE meetings either. Have you seen a BOE budget? Really? We haven’t.

    Of course Peter Massey tried to outdo Barnaby by selling us all out and voting exactly the way Harkins/Decilio told him to vote.

    Let’s hope Daponte has something to say instead of just posting her resume or reading it aloud.

  38. 38 jezebel282


    This year we have some very important primary votes in Stratford. Primary elections are usually decided by totals in the single and sometimes double digits. We are saying that 20 or 30 votes can make a huge difference. In no other election does your vote carry so much weight. Voting in a local primary election gives your vote more influence than any presidential election. Ever.

    From the best we can determine (because neither overpaid Registrar of Voters bothered to put an official list together on any website), we have these choices:

    For Democrats:

    In the Third District we have Michael Singh v Wali Kadeem.
    For Zoning Board Planning Dist. 1, which encompasses Town Council districts 1 and 2, we have Scott Farrington Posner v. Joyce Pastor.

    For Republicans

    District 2 Town Council will be Mark Dumas v. James F. Wiltsie.
    District 7 Town Council will be Marianne “Mitzi” Antezzo v. Gavin B. Forrester III

    We have signified our choices in bold…as if anyone cares what we think.

    If we have left anyone out, please let us know.

    The important thing to remember whether you are a Democrat or Republican (Sorry, Independents. Not this time.) is to get out and vote on September 16th. You will not again have this much influence with your single vote for a very long time.

  39. In the first Republican debate in which Donald Trump participated he called a spade a spade: he admitted that he donated to candidates, lots of money, and also admitted that the reason was so he can call on them when he needed a favor. He said that it one of the biggest problems with politics these days – corporations, millionaires, etc., supporting candidates in order to be able to call on them for something, when needed.

    Local politics – yes, right here in Stratford – is no different. Candidates are endorsed by their respective parties – some, maybe not all – primarily because (1) they are placeholders for a termed-out candidate (e.g., Zoning, District 1 and 2, Town Council District 1 and Town Council District 5). The candidates are nominated and then coaxed to be supported by other respective members of their committee in exchange for favors of support/assistance for a future run.

    “Politics in modern America has become a lucrative business, an industry that has less to do with policy and a lot more to do with accessing money and favors. As we will see, bills and regulations are often introduced not to effect policy change, but as vehicles for shaking down people for those money and favors.” (Peter Schweizer, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets). This is true from from the top right down to local level politics. Why do you think the same people get appointed to various commissions? They are hand-picked because they “play politics” well. They will play whatever game they are instructed to play. People need to start seeing it and forcing change – enough is enough.

    There are a few people who have tossed their hats into the ring, to participate, who are not Stratford “career politicians” (e.g., Marianne “Mitzi” Antezzo, Scott Farrington-Posner, Mark Dumas, Wali Kadeem, Phil Young, Beth Daponte, and a few others). These people aren’t reruns, haven’t been playing “musical chairs” for the last decade or more and are sincerely in it because, like most of us, they are sick of the games, sick of the favors, and sick of watching a Town they love, they chose to live in, raise families in, get sold out, and flushed down the sewer!

    Phil Young, along with others, is right – signs mean very little, but someone is choosing to be very immature and childish by stealing. Stealing a sign may seem very trivial; however, when they get elected, what will they be stealing from us? I don’t want those kinds of people in positions of power in my Town. I, along with every other taxpayer, is a stakeholder. We have a say, we have a voice.

    Remember a great quote from Plato: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” We need new blood running through the veins of Town Hall.

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