Yes or No?

14Sep15

JUST SAY NO A

The lawn sign wars have begun. It appears Harkins is going with “If you tell a lie often enough…”

But we get ahead of ourselves. Let’s review a few things first. If we remember, Harkins tried to slide this deal passed the WPCA Board/Town Council (they are the same thing) with as little public view as possible. There was one (Count ’em, 1!) public hearing on the sale of the WPCA and it was conducted by Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority (GNHWPCA). Hardly a disinterested 3rd party. Three days later, the weak and stupid RTC Council passed it.

After the weak and stupid Council passed this horrible deal real citizens said, “Hold on there a minute, Buckaroo. We think we should all vote on this.” Astoundingly, within a mere two and a half weeks, citizens organized and collected 7,000+ signatures of registered voters. This was an amazing accomplishment. Any sane person would have understood the voter sentiment against this sale. But Harkins then ordered his Town Attorney to stop any referendum by claiming that voters did not have the right to petition the government. No big deal. Just take away Stratford citizens’ First Amendment rights.

Luckily for us, Marianne Antezzo, Matthew Catalano, Lisa Donnelly, Tina Marie Manus, Philip Young and Benjamin Proto all stepped up to defend our right to vote. Not once, but four times! Harkins would not go down to defeat without spending more of our tax money on attorneys and appeals. Nevertheless, he lost and a referendum was scheduled.

Now we have the Lawn Sign Wars to be followed by the Mailing Wars.

And what slogan is Harkins using? “Vote Yes, Pay Less”  Pay less what? GNHWPCA current rates are $435/year for a residential account. . All of this so we can “save” $15 per year? (Well, that is IF GNHWPCA keeps their rates the same next year which is something they’ve never done.)

Harkins, and whoever is financially backing him, are counting on the voters to not believe their own common sense. Vote Yes Pay Less is wrong. No one knows that anyone would pay less. Whether or not you support or are against this sale you cannot say that rates will go down because WE WON’T OWN IT ANYMORE.

Advertisements


166 Responses to “Yes or No?”

  1. 1 hornrims

    “Weak and stupid Council”. So apt.

  2. 2 jezebel282

    Horn,

    Not to worry. Decilio has recruited weak and stupid replacements for them. Here’s how you tell the difference between a candidate who wants to represent constituents and one who will do as he’s told; the latter will say nothing of significance.

    Incredibly, we have candidates who have no position at all. As if they have never heard of the WPCA, AAA or Contract Plating. After all, “Why would a Council do something that is not in the interest of residents?” Somebody that weak and stupid is going to make a great replacement.

    And it’s not limited to the RTC either. While Scott Farrington-Posner can’t wait to take a position on an issue and work on it, Joyce Pastor can’t find one.

  3. 3 shanliss

    I can think of three “Yes” persons who are opposed in primaries on Wednesday, by three “No”-ble candidates. Hint: one of the latter is Scott Farrington-Posner, in the Zoning contest. The other worthy opponents (Antezzo, Dumas) are running against a pair of pro-Harkins “Yes Sir!” bobble heads. However, it’s a lot more difficult to vote for them than to chuckle self-contentedly on line; you actually have to walk into a school gymnasium and cast a ballot, in an environment of deafening silence, as turnout is expected to be minuscule…Of course, that means your vote might actually count, however.

  4. 4 jezebel282

    The only reasonable action would be to make time today and vote for Antezzo, Farrington-Posner and Dumas.

    There are no lines and no waiting. And your vote will never be as influential as it is today.

  5. 5 shanliss

    While AAA responds to collisions, Stratford’s DTC & RTC practice collusion. Witness yesterday’s Star story on a “press conference” staged by the DTC candidate for Zoning (District 1) at the proposed AAA garage/depot site on Ferry Blvd:

    http://www.stratfordstar.com/40604/fleet-center-site-a-battleground-for-zoning-candidates/

    Conveniently, former Democrat and current RTC Zoning Commission Chair David Fuller appeared to pull the wrapping off of a notice dated September 10, in which Democratic Party challenger Scott Farrington-Posner is cited for a zoning violation on his property, which abuts the AAA site in question. No coincidence there, of course, that the alleged violation, involving a deck, has been there for many years, predating its current owner’s involvement.

    So the RTC-led Zoning Commission just happened to issue a violation notice less than a week before a challenger is preparing to upset the DTC candidate, a clueless party operative who’s only job it would be to keep the seat warm for her partner, the current occupant, until the next election. This is how Vladimir Putin returned as President of Russia, by the way, after a brief, legally-mandated hiatus.

    And of course the Republican candidate for this Zoning position and likely beneficiary of all this low theater is the odious Rich Fredette. It’s not difficult to see where this leads: down one road stand the two party-endorsed candidates: the RTC’s Fredette, who’s already involved in towing companies, when he’s not involved with the law, along with his possible stalking-horse Pastor, whose DTC handlers may indeed have used her to clear the way for him. Down the other road stands Farrington-Posner, a community activist who sought out the DTC nod, but who was spurned as his defense of his neighborhood did not fit into their plans. More usually incompetent, played like a violin by the RTC, this time the DTC may have actually precipitated this circus, in an effort to forestall the challenger.

    Two roads indeed: one road is clogged with hacks, dirty tricks operatives and seat-warmers; the other road is the road not taken, unless this time things are different. Stay tuned…

  6. 6 jezebel282

    Update:
    Harkins’ waste-treatment opponents prevail in primary
    By John Burgeson Updated 11:57 pm, Wednesday, September 16, 2015http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Harkins-waste-treatment-opponents-prevail-in-6509998.php

    Congratulations to the candidates and thank you and your supporters for the work you are doing for us.

    “There will be repercussion if the sale doesn’t succeed — to our library, to our schools, to our public safety,” DeCilio said. ”

    Was that a threat, Lou?

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Do we have this straight? The choice in November will be Scott Farrington-Posner or Rich Fredette?

    Really?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  8. 8 shanliss

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the room where that “talk” between DeCilio and Antezzo takes place; I’m thinking it may be her woodshed.
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/40670/triumphs-for-the-unendorsed/

  9. 9 jezebel282

    Antezzo should bring a switch with her. It should be Decilio’s woodshed moment. Decilio was a complete failure in the primary. Threatening citizens and taxpayers isn’t a winning strategy for November either.

  10. 10 missgreeneyes118

    “There will be repercussion if the sale doesn’t succeed — to our library, to our schools, to our public safety,” DeCilio said
    Is there going to be any repercussion to our registrar of voters office ?
    Maybe we should return it to the part time pay, no health benefit position it was before it became the bloated money sucking office it is now.
    That money be better spent in our library for our kids.

  11. 11 stfdprofessor1

    Hey Gavin, guess you wont be emporer and chief after all HAAAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAAHaaaaahaaaaaaaaha! Thats what you get for being a shallow lap dog!!!

    “There will be repercussion if the sale doesn’t succeed” DeCilio said

    Hey Loulou it looks like there are repercussions because of the sale right now HAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAHAAAhahahahaha, I bet that philanderer “John” in the Mayors office is feeling the sucking around his ankles as his power gets pushed down the toilet. Won’t be long until he’s in the sewer with the rest of the turds!!!!

  12. 12 stfdprofessor1

    Hey Gav, dont be surprised when you go to EMS and they hand you the toilet brush, it’ll be the promotion you really deserve.

  13. 13 shanliss

    Hey folks — a little “curb your enthusiasm” is in order here. We’ve not heard the last from our own “Little Dick” Lee Atwater. Which means that the dirty tricks are just beginning. That little zoning violation on Scott Farrington-Posner’s property, that materialized only a few days before his primary win, was no coincidence. We’re sure to hear plenty more from where that came from. Perhaps a story that Sixth District Democratic candidate (and Devon Bridge House restaurant chef) Phil Young’s bouillabaisse is made with foreign ingredients, anyone?

  14. 14 jezebel282

    Shanliss,

    You are correct. November is a long way off and there’s no telling what Harkins will push out there. When you are not constrained by truth or facts anything is possible. He certainly hasn’t had any experience using either.

  15. 15 hornrims

    Never forget: You’re dealing with very small, petty men.

  16. 16 jezebel282

    Horn,

    “You’re dealing with very small, petty men.”

    Well, you’ve certainly called that one correctly.

    Harkins has spent a few bucks and put up a website and Facebook page supporting his position. It took us a few moments to stop laughing.

    He cites all sorts of numbers that vary depending upon what claims he making on what page. But the funniest page is the first one where there are tables with columns and rows. It almost looks as if it were, you know, true. You can look up your address and see how your taxes will go up. As if we needed that to know our taxes will go up. Those numbers are total bull….err, fictitious. And here is why:
    Q: Who creates the budget?
    A: The Mayor

    Q: Who approves the budget?
    A: The Council.

    So your tax bill will be whatever the Mayor and Council decide it will be. Like always. Forget the chart. It has no meaning. It is simply the work of very small, petty men trying to scare you.

  17. Rumors are abounding everywhere! Especially with the Farrington-Posner / Fredette ticket. I’ve seen only one sign (on Catherine Street) and heard the rumor that it won’t be Fredette running against Farrington-Posner. Again, these are just rumors, but it wouldn’t surprise me for them to pull a fast one since it does seem obvious Fredette will NEVER beat Farrington-Posner! The only thing they can pull out of their hat is the deck that pre-existed the home purchase and something that they were unaware of until recently.

    Kind of sad they play these games, but we all know that’s what they like to do!

    And WOW, the political plugs at Bonfire on the Beach! Every time I turned around I heard a plug for Harkins, Barnaby and Fredette and what and thanking them for organizing the event! Wait, I thought this was a fundraiser for Swim Across the Sound! WTF! Very poor taste to plug politicals at an event like that! And, where I sat, I had Clowns (Fredette and Decilio) to the left of me and Jokers (Barnaby) to the right of me and I was stuck in the middle! If my vision was correct (and I’m not 100% sure), it didn’t appear that Barnaby, et al had a yellow wristband – bypass that donation to Swim Across the Sound? If so, bad boy!

  18. 18 shanliss

    Well, it’s certainly reassuring to know that the professional staff in our Office of Economic Development are so efficient in their work, they have extra time on their hands during the day to encourage, albeit secretively, a Yes vote in November. Apparently at 10:18 this morning (no doubt during a coffee break, from her job, Amy Knorr sent out the following email, from an account identified as “fititintraining@gmail.com” —

    “Hi Stratford Friends,
    On Nov. 3 (Election Day), there will be a very important question on the ballot. It will be asking whether the Town of Stratford should regionalize the sewer system. I encourage all of you to do your own research and vote. The result of this question will affect how much you pay for your sewer rate and your property taxes in Stratford.
    Attached is a list of reasons I think you should vote YES! (but I encourage you to do your own research).
    Please also be check out this website http://stratfordvoteyes.com/ to see how much your taxes could go up if we don’t regionalization the sewer services.
    Please remember to vote on November 3. This is a huge issue that will affect your personal finances if you live in Stratford.
    If you have questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
    Thanks,
    Amy”

    At least some of the recipients of this bcc missive are bemused by spam from Knorr…
    As for where it fits in training, heaven only knows, as there are so many fitness clubs in town.

  19. 19 1cyclops

    This is a serious violation of the referendum laws; not to mention a very serious ethical issue involving her continued employment with the town of Stratford.

  20. I’m bewildered to think a town employee would use the word “regionalization” as a verb in an email blast. No one is that stupid.

  21. 21 jezebel282

    Cyclops,

    Maybe we can get Mark Dumas involved? We hear he has experience with this type of stuff.

  22. http://www.fititinpersonaltraining.com. Apparently it’s very flexible and can work with you anytime you want.

  23. Here is what I had posted earlier on the WPCA FB page:

    The below is taken from the Administrative Policy Manual located on the Town’s website. If Amy’s email was sent from a town computer and while on the clock while working in her capacity as Economic Supervisor I believe she is then in violation of not one, but two policies from what I found. Also note that the standard work day is noted as 8am to 4:30pm with a one hour lunch, the email was sent at 10:22am.

    Work Rules and Regulations signed by John Harkins as Mayor effective May 1, 2007 and revised as of March 13, 2012 Section II Policy – violation of town rules and disciplinary steps are oral warning, written warning, suspension and discharge. Each department director or supervisor is responsible to discuss these disciplinary steps in detail with you. Generally, no conduct which is unprofessional, unethical or illegal will be tolerated. It is impossible to list all the circumstances which warrant discipline. In our opinion, the following will be considered unacceptable and inappropriate behavior and intend to take actions up to and including immediate termination, when appropriate and consistent with any existing collective bargaining agreement.

    Line item #7 – Unauthorized selling, soliciting or collection contributions for any purpose during working time in a work area.

    From another section of the policy manual – Town resource and allocated device utilization policy signed by John Harkins as Mayor effective November 17, 2005, revised August 22, 2011 Section II Town resources and devices that are provided to its employees are the property of the Town of Stratford and are provided to employees for use in the furtherance of their employment. The use of any town resources for personal or illegal purposes is strictly prohibited.

  24. 24 stfdprofessor1

    Harkins takes his strumpet to Texas on the taxpayers dime, then gives her a HUGE pay raise and a car and hardly a word is said. Then some knitwit from Town Hall sends out an email and people expect repercussions?

    Hey gang there won’t be any major changes in this Town until we get back out there with the petitions and end this foolish mayoral system we were suckered into…just sayin.

    BTW does anyone know yet what good old “John” ACTUALLY shelled out to the clown…I mean town attorney last fiscal year?

  25. 25 stfdprofessor1

    LITIGIOUS
    li·ti·gious (lĭ-tĭj′əs)

    adj.
    1. Of, relating to, or characterized by litigation.
    2. Tending to engage in lawsuits.

    Noun 1. litigiousness – a quarrelsome disposition to engage in or carry on lawsuits; “charges of litigiousness and widespread perjury”

    litigiousnessnoun
    The quality or state of being argumentative:

    SWINDLE
    swin·dle (swĭn′dl)
    v. swin·dled, swin·dling, swin·dles

    v.tr.
    1. To cheat or defraud of money or property.
    2. To obtain by fraudulent means: swindled money from the company.

    v.intr.
    To practice fraud as a means of obtaining money or property.
    n.
    The act or an instance of swindling.

  26. 26 jezebel282

    Until there is a downside to a mayor for misbehaving we can expect this sort of thing for as long as Stratford has a mayor.

    Once every four years is not accountable enough.

  27. 27 stfdprofessor1

    This morning I heard some town employees bloviating around a “local coffee pot” in the Stratford center that Mayor “John” Harkins is warning his department heads “there will be major cuts and layoffs if the sewage treatment plant sale doesnt go through”.

    Sounds like “John” is rattling the sabres to blackmail his employees jump on the “sell the plant” bandwagon. A devious way to enlist hundreds as taxpayer funded lobbyists…through blackmail no less.

  28. 28 jezebel282

    Prof,

    So let us get this straight. Harkins gave out whopping raises to his non-union employees ( especially the ones in Economic Development), pushed through two highly paid useless positions of Registrar and bought a whole bunch of new toys for some departments and only now is threatening cutbacks?

    (Did we forget to mention Harkins’ 30% pay hike?)

  29. 29 jezebel282

    Update:

    Harkins: Regionalization is a bold step forward
    By Stratford Star on September 24, 2015
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/40907/harkins-regionalization-is-a-bold-step-forward/

    We thought we might take the time to refute the points made in this “article” but decided not to waste our or your time.

    Here’s what you need to know: When they say that your sewer fees would go down, they are lying.

    They (Harkins and crew) would have sold it and have no control over rates. Once more; WE WON’T OWN IT ANYMORE!

  30. 30 shanliss

    Well, look at this!
    Here is a link to today’s half-page ad in the CT Post–that New Haven (& Waterbury?) money can’t all go to signs for Mr. Fredette to truck around town and illegally plant on public land, can it?

    http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/ConnecticutPost/server/GetContent.asp?contentsrc=page&dochref=TCP%2F2015%2F09%2F25&pageno=12&repformat=1.0&pagelabel=A12&imagekind=page-preview&type=Content&for=thumbnail

  31. 31 shanliss

    Re: finality on sign wars — as Zoning Official Gary Lorentson would confirm:
    Signs belong in the planting strip or on the lawn of consenting property owners. Any sign placed in the planting strip of town or state property is in fact illegally located, and may be “dropped” to the ground right away, but of course not stolen. After all, my sign on my lawn or your sign on your lawn is a real statement. Of commitment. Any other sign placement is merely Fredette with too much time on his hands.

  32. 32 jezebel282

    Shanliss,

    So, as good citizens, may we begin disposing of the ugly red signs that Fredette put anywhere his car would go? Like the Dock Shopping Center and every empty lot or foreclosed building in Stratford?

    And wouldn’t “dropping” the signs create a litter problem?

  33. 33 shanliss

    With respect, Jez, the signs are a litter problem already. But yes, another headache for Maurice McCarthy & Public Works (at least until that gets outsourced).

  34. 34 jezebel282

    Also,

    “Here is a link to today’s half-page ad in the CT Post–”

    It doesn’t make it true or accurate.

    Apparently, Harkins has a number of Town employees (mostly highly paid ones) “writing” letters in support of the sale to their neighbors. Some of them repeatedly mention that they are important Stratford employees like a Deputy Fire Chief or something.

  35. Hapless Rich Fredette, his modus operandi and his penchant for putting up so many signs that he turns people off and his effort is counterproductive. Who can forget last year, when running against Terry Backer, he managed to put up more signs than the number of votes he received. Now he’s placing his red signs and hopes that his multiple eyesores will pay off and get him a real job as a commissioner with the GNHWPCA.

  36. 36 jezebel282

    Left Right,

    Although, in a way we should thank Mr. Fredette. It happens that pulling up illegally placed Vote Yes signs along with Fredette signs is an enormous amount of fun while you are out walking your dog. Who knew how much fun that would be? We are going out later and see if it as much fun while riding bikes. We are guessing it is!

    Note: It is important that you do not take the signs away. That would be theft. Just lay them down. Anyone on the zoning commission will tell you the rules regarding placement of lawn signs and their removal. Hey! Wait a minute! Isn’t Rich Fredette running for…….

  37. 37 stratfordvillageidiot

    Well, one way the Town could close the budget gap would be to invest in the company that’s making the signs for Rich Fredette.

  38. 38 jezebel282

    SVI,

    Too late. Harkins is already the principal shareholder. You can’t leave voting up to the public sector. Voting, according to Harkins, is a corporate privilege not a civil right. Look how quickly he said that we had no right to vote on the sewer sale.

    According to Harkins, voting belongs to corporations willing to spend enough dollars on signs, advertisements and no show jobs. It’s in the Constitution isn’t it? “Corporations are people too.”. If you are Harkins, corporations are simply more valuable than regular unincorporated people.

  39. 39 missgreeneyes118

    Politics, n . A strife of interest masquerading as a contest of principles.
    The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

    – Ambrose Bierce 1906

  40. 40 jezebel282

    Editor’s Note:

    CHAPTER 152
    REFERENDA

    (4) Except as specifically authorized in this section, no expenditure of state or municipal funds shall be made to influence any person to vote for approval or disapproval of any such proposal or question or to otherwise influence or aid the success or defeat of the referendum. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to a written, printed or typed summary of any official’s views on a proposal or question, which is prepared for any news medium or which is not distributed with public funds to a member of the public except upon request of such member.
    https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_152.htm#sec_9-369b

  41. 41 stratfordvillageidiot

    @Jezebel282 Yep, Harkins seems to value corporations over people, and it’s too bad Harkins and his blow-up doll running Economic Development can’t attract serious corporations to Stratford other than a few nail salons and a towing service.

    It’s time for this pair to go.

  42. @stratfordvillage ~ Fredette’s signs appear to be the same used when he ran against Terry Backer with only a bumper sticker with the word “Zoning” stuck over it. As I drive around, I do see signs being “dropped” to the ground. Although, I think my favorite lawn sign along Main Street, I think it’s the corner of Hillside – “SAVE THE MALE.” Same red and white and the “yes” signs across the street from it.

  43. 43 jezebel282

    It just strikes us as amazing that Fredette, or anyone running for the Zoning Commission of all things, would run all over Town placing signs illegally and making the Town look like a giant tag sale. Just imagine what he would do if turned loose at the Zoning Commission!

  44. From what I hear, placing signs illegally would not make his rap sheet. Turned loose at the Zoning Commission? How about representing the town’s interest at GNHWPCA?

  45. 45 jezebel282

    LeftRight,

    We already know Fredette has a problem with …ummm…. restraining himself.
    But these are two separate votes.

    The only solution is a vote for Farrington-Posner ( and not just because it’s a vote against Fredette) and a No vote on the sewer plant sale.

  46. 46 jezebel282

    Update:

    And then we have highly paid Town employees like Deputy Fire Chiefs who, in order to keep their salary budget line item intact, spew all sorts of claims in writing to normal Stratford citizens about the WPCA sale. As if their contribution to his $90,000+/year salary wasn’t enough, these neighbors are expected to vote away their assets as well.

    The inaccuracies, insults and outright lies contained in this distributed letter were so many that we chose not to reprint it here.

    We only hope that this Deputy Chief is somewhat more honest in his dealings within his own department than he is with Stratford citizens.

  47. 47 mikereynolds

    Where might one find this missive?

  48. 48 jezebel282

    https://stratfordcharter.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/gottfried1.pdf

    Although we do not think it is worth the effort.

  49. 49 missgreeneyes118

    From reading that letter I see that Jon and his North end buddies have septic systems and don’t have to pay the WPCA. If we don’t sell the plant then that built in budget shortfall of the last two years will come out of everyone’s property taxes and Jon will have to cut back on Xmas parties and picnics.
    It must be tough living on a Westport fire pension and collecting full pay from Stratford too. Maybe Jon can build in some efficiencies into the Stratford Fire Dept and make more like the Shelton or Trumbull Fire Depts which cost less than half of Stratford’s.

  50. 50 jezebel282

    Green,

    We are guessing the current rate for keeping your $90,000+/year salary plus benefits is three pages double spaced.

    But we are particularly offended and disgusted that this employee not only tarnishes the reputation of the firefighters that came before him, but he uses his position to imply that what he writes is true. And it is not.

  51. Thanks for shining a light on this, I’m surprised Mr. Double-dipper didn’t use Town stationery.

  52. 52 jezebel282

    Sunshine is the best disinfectant. There’s more, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

  53. And to state the obvious, Mr. Double-dipper has no interest in his neighbor’s taxes but is only interested in preserving the infrastructure which allows him to keep feeding at the public trough.

  54. 54 stfdprofessor1

    THE FOLLOWING IS REPRINTED WITHOUT ANYONES PERMISSION by The Professor.

    It is probably the biggest load of BS I’ve ever seen coming out of these jackass’…just goes to prove that the strumpet in the town hall isn’t the only one willing to have a fling with “John” for a few dollars more (any idea how much this Bozo got for a pay raise this year Jez?).

    “Jonathan M. Gottfried
    1621 North Peters Lane
    Stratford, Connecticut 06614

    September 17, 2015

    Dear Fellow North Peters Lane Neighbor,

    Many of you know me and my wife Peggy from our thirty two years residence in our neighborhood. I am sure all our neighbors will agree that our neighborhood and our town has been a very nice place to bring up our families over the years. One consistent complaint we all talk about at cook-outs, Christmas parties, and other gatherings is the high property taxes in town. The tax rate has been reasonably stable over the past two budget cycles but has grown significantly over the many years I have lived on North Peters Lane!

    The state of the Town of Stratford’s financial condition did not just pop up over night, but rather it has suffered over thirty years, due to poor fiscal management, pension under investment by town management, the lack of an aggressive economic development strategy, the inefficiency and lack of direction by the former town manager form of government, and lack of a clear vision of where the town needed to be for the 21st century.

    Many of my friends know that I spent thirty four years working for the Town of Westport retiring as Deputy Fire Chief. One of my prime responsibilities was running the budget for the fire department. ln
    the summer of 2012 I retired from Westport Fire and was brought on-board by Stratford Fire Chief Robert McGrath, the former Chief of the Stamford Fire Department to assist Mayor Harkins in his efforts
    to rebuild the Stratford Fire Department into the best career fire department in the State of Connecticut.

    I am proud to tell you that after completing three years of service with the Town of Stratford Fire
    Department, we have brought the department to where it should have been many years ago. Well respected, well equipped, well trained and motivated to give our residents the very best service they expect. ln fact the lnsurance Service office lnc., a non-profit insurance rating agency improved our protective class rating from a split class 4/9, to a straight class 2 rating. The Stratford Fire Department is the only Class 2 department in Fairfield County. We rate better than Fairfield, Bridgeport, Westport, Norwalk, Greenwich, and Stamford which are all Class 3 or higher. The chief and I are very proud of this accomplishment and we would not have been able to accomplish this without the support of Mayor Harkins. This rating improvement should translate into a reduced fire insurance component cost of your
    homeowner’s insurance policy. ln fact, I saved S175.00 annually off my fire insurance premium by the improved Class 2 rating.

    Over my three years tenure with Stratford Fire, I have observed Mayor Harkins take the same approach with the Police Department, bringing in Chief Ridenhour from the Waterbury Police Department to lead our Police Department into 21st century with new policies, procedures, and equipment to better protect the town’s citizens, The improvement has not ended there. Our Public Works Department led by public Works Director Maurice McCarthy has made striking improvement in his division which is responsible for roads, infrastructure, all town buildings including Board of Education property, snow plowing, parks, beaches, and the golf course, Without the Mayors support, our infrastructure would look like it did ten
    years ago deteriorating and unsightly. I could go on and on about the many improvements I have observed in each of the departments that I interact with daily.

    But the most important department for the future economic well being of the town, and one that will have a direct impact on our future tax base is the Economic Development Department under the direction of Karen Kaiser. Karen has been directed to develop the economic tax base of the Town of Stratford, by seeking out businesses to locate and or expand into the town. By all accounts the efforts of
    her office have been very successful bringing in companies like FedEx to Lordship Blvd. with a 285,000 sq. ft. distribution center, the expansion of Connecticut Liquor Distributors, the 40,000 sq. ft. expansion of Aptar Inc., the Avalon development on Cutspring Road, Two Roads Brewery on Stratford Avenue, and the new Transit Oriented District Zoning initiative in the downtown area. The list of future projects in the hopper for current development is numerous. Mayor Harkins by trade, was a highly successful commercial real estate appraiser. He understands commercial development and the economic success it can bring to a town. lf you don’t believe in planned economic development, just drive down the Post Road in Westport. lf you recall in the earlier paragraph, l spent many years on the Westport Fire Department. Westport did not always have a robust economic tax base. Stratford may never develop into a Westport nor would we want it to, however all of us would like to see an improvement in our tax base with a reduction in our property tax obligations, with no reduction to essential municipal services.

    Why Have I Distributed This Letter To You !

    This is the issue in a nutshell, on my front lawn you will see a large red lawn sign, it is the same sign you see popping up over the town, lt say’s “VOTE YES PAY LESS”. Over two budget cycles the Mayors Office in conjunction with the Town Council has investigated strategies for reducing costs in government. One strategy that made good sense, was to take our Water Pollution Control Facility which is operated by employees of our Public Works Department and investigate the efficacy of either privatizing its operation, or joining a regional operating authority. With that strategy in mind, last years operating budget FY 2015 had built into it $4.5M of revenue based on the regionalizing of the plant and S5.2M of revenue for this years FY 2016 budget. The final decision made by the Town Council by legal vote, was to sell the Stratford WPCA plant to the New Haven Regional Water Pollution Control Authority. This multi-town regional operating authority (East Haven, New Haven, Hamden, Woodbridge, and Orange) is a legal municipal entity much like individual cities or towns under Connecticut State Statutes, lf the Town of Stratford joined the regional authority and transferred title of the treatment plant and the sanitary sewer system and pump stations, Stratford would get $11M in funds for the plant, and another $5M in funds from the Stratford WPCA operating fund account, plus the S37M in current bonded debt that was financed the town to rebuild the plant years ago would be assumed by the authority, thereby extinguishing $37M of Stratford’s bonded debt. Also, the cost to homeowners that are tied into the sanitary system (nobody in our neighborhood is tied in, we are all on individual septic systems) would be brought back down to $425.00 per annum per household, it is now currently $450 per annum per household. Since county government is non-existent in Connecticut, and individual municipal government is inherently inefficient; the state legislature has acknowledged this reality, and during the economic downturn of 2007, the state legislature passed regionalization enabling statutes to foster municipal cooperation to help reduce duplication in services and slow down municipal tax creep. Mayor Harkins should be complemented for his vision to avail the Town of Stratford of regional municipal services which help our local government operate in a more cost efficient manner, leveraging economies of scale with other municipalities!

    Since the proposed regionalization transfer of assets was blocked by a group of taxpayers against the transfer by going to court, the whole regionalization proposal will be going to referendum in the local elections on Tuesday November 3, 2015, lf you vote yes to the sale, you will virtually guarantee no tax increase for this year, and no reduction in municipal services. lf you and your families registered voters don’t vote on November 3, 2015 for the sale, you are all but guaranteeing an interim tax levy increase on your property in January 2016 to make up for the revenue lapse projected in the past two budgets. and vou are guaranteeing some form of reduction in municipal services which the new town council and Mayor Harkins will have to deal with in November/December.

    I believe this is a no-brainer! I for one, don’t wish to see my taxes increased. Please get your families out to vote on Tuesday November 3, 2015 “Vote Yes To Pay Less”. lf You can’t be present to vote at the polls, you may file an absentee ballot at the Town Clerks Office.

    lf you have any questions my personal cell phone number is 203-856-4097 or stop by to talk at my house.

    Respectfully

    Jon Gottfried

    PS: To find out how much your tax bill will increase if the WPCA plant is not regionalized, please visit: http://www.stratfordvoteyes.com and look up your address in the 9th voting district!”

    GIVE THIS JERK A CALL AND ASK HIM WHERE HE GOT HIS DETAILED INFORMATION FROM…ASK HIM IF HE PENNED THIS LITTLE DOOZIE WHILE WORKING ON TOWN TIME…ASK HIM IF HE’S BEEN DRINKING FROM HIS SEPTIC TANK.

  55. 55 stfdprofessor1

    Fireman Jon Gottfried said: “I saved S175.00 annually off my fire insurance premium by the improved Class 2 rating.”

    I called my son in law who has been in the insurance business over 20 years and he said insurance companies stopped using the insurance service office ratings for fire departments back in the 1980’s, your insurance is closer related to the distance your house is to a fire hydrant. He also said a $175.00 deduction in a homeowner policy is virtually impossible.

    Just to double check I found this in two minutes on a fireman website ( http://www.fireserviceinfo.com/iso.html ). It says:”But now ISO (insurance service office) ratings might have very little, if any, effect on insurance premium rates in many states.”

    Is the Lyin Miron administration back in Town Hall, cause it feels like deja vu all over again.

    If Fireman Jonny is SO GREAT why wasnt he able to make Westport a Class 2 rating…heck he had 34 years to do it.

    How much taxpayer money was WASTED getting a rating that nobody uses???

    WOW whats next a helicopter and fireboat to get to a class rating 1? Sounds like Mayor “John” wasted a big pile of money on a worthless rating. Fireman Jonny if your taxes go up I guess you have yourself to blame, but a GREAT double dipper like you should be able to afford it, I don’t think there are many 1,500 square foot houses like mine on North Peters Lane and it sounds like you dont really care about my sewer, my taxes and me. Think about that while you’re driving that nice shiney new car around town that people like me pay for…shameful!

  56. 56 jezebel282

    Prof,

    Actually, SFD does have a brand new $400,000 boat. It only costs us $1,100 to fill the tank each time. We think they took it out once or twice this year, but it turned out they weren’t needed.

    We are pretty sure they gave their nearly new $300,000 boat to Shelton. For free, of course.

  57. 57 stfdprofessor1

    I thought the police had a boat…why do we need two boats, why cant they share a boat…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHhhhhhhhhhh

    “The state of the Town of Stratford’s financial condition did not just pop up over night, but rather it has suffered over thirty years, due to poor fiscal management, pension under investment by town management, the lack of an aggressive economic development strategy, the inefficiency and lack of direction by the former town manager form of government, and lack of a clear vision of where the town needed to be for the 21st century.”

    The TOWN MANAGER never had a NAVY or 6 people doing the job he did alone. ARE WE READY TO GO BACK TO A TOWN MANAGER YET PEOPLE…ISN’T IT TIME TO END THIS DISASTEROUS EXPERIMENT YET?

  58. 58 1cyclops

    I could never imagine an employee writing and publicizing such a political statement under the town manager form of government. Only under a mayoral form could one venture such a course and only under the full sanction of the mayor.

  59. 59 missgreeneyes118

    WTF $400,000 for a new fire boat, we gave away the old fire boat worth $300,000 to Shelton. I’m sure the police boat is another $400,000. Why aren’t we regionalizing the river patrol??? Stratford, Shelton and Milford are all out cruising the Housatonic, is it really that busy? That is already over $1 million in equipment plus $1,100 a fill up and the manpower cost. Get rid of all those boats let DEP patrol it and give everyone the $175 premium savings Chief Jon was crowing about. No wonder Stratford can’t balance it’s books

  60. 60 jezebel282

    Green,

    Wait’ll you hear about the $1.5 million 95ft tower ladder the FD bought!

  61. 61 missgreeneyes118

    I’m sure that tower ladder was needed so that Stratford could attract something like the Scinto Renaissance building in Shelton. That thing is 17 stories tall and the fire dept is volunteer and their WPCA is run by the city and not regionalized,imagine that.

  62. 62 stfdprofessor1

    To missgreeneyes- That’s because Shelton is smart enough to take a free $300,000 fireboat instead of buying a $400,000 fireboat when the police already have a boat…all this so some guy can tell his neighbors how great he is by getting some funny rating that nobody uses anymore. He’s a real savior alright, now can we send this guy back to Westport so he can finish making then a 2 rated department and waste their tax dollars doing it?

    Hey why do we even need a deputy chief anyway??? There is really so much work for the fire chief he needs a deputy too? Or is this another political patronage job so “John” gets more “action” and another vocal lackey???

  63. 63 jezebel282

    Prof,

    We are almost afraid to mention that there are TWO deputy chiefs at SFD.

    (No we’re not. )

  64. Then let’s be sure we have some chief assistants to the assistant chiefs!

  65. 65 jezebel282

    LeftRight,

    Umm…let’s be clear. There are two deputy chiefs. In addition, SFD is up to five assistant chiefs and we haven’t even gotten to Captains and Lieutenants yet. We are not sure if all of them get a big Town-supplied car to take home, but a number of them do.

    Harkins likes giving cars (at our expense) to his non-union employees. And we wonder how the hole in the budget got so wide and deep?

  66. 66 missgreeneyes118

    Who runs this town Oprah?? you get a car and you get a car.
    Why haven’t we sold off Roosevelt Forrest to the National Park Service yet?
    I want answers

  67. 67 missgreeneyes118

    Back to Chief Jon’s letter

    “ln the summer of 2012 I retired from Westport Fire and was brought on-board by Stratford Fire Chief Robert McGrath, the former Chief of the Stamford Fire Department to assist Mayor Harkins in his efforts to rebuild the Stratford Fire Department into the best career fire department in the State of Connecticut.”

    And why can’t Stratford fill any of these top jobs from within?
    Like when Jon was promoted in Westport?

    Don’t the top administrators/department heads groom the people below them for future promotion?
    That’s a sound management practice that builds loyalty and employee moral within the department.

    “Over my three years tenure with Stratford Fire, I have observed Mayor Harkins take the same approach with the Police Department, bringing in Chief Ridenhour from the Waterbury Police Department to lead our Police Department into 21st century with new policies, procedures, and equipment to better protect the town’s citizens, The improvement has not ended there”.

    WTF? Jim Miron brought in the police chief, not Harkins. So the truth did not start here.

    “But the most important department for the future economic well being of the town, and one that will have a direct impact on our future tax base is the Economic Development Department under the direction of Karen Kaiser. Karen has been directed to develop the economic tax base of the Town of Stratford, by seeking out businesses to locate and or expand into the town.”

    But Jon is right on this position – Karen Kaiser was brought in under Harkins.

  68. 68 jezebel282

    Green,

    “And why can’t Stratford fill any of these top jobs from within?”

    We have already answered this one, but we are happy to provide a refresher.

    https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/one-less-of-stratfords-bravest/

    And

    https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/hosed/

    If you aren’t already nauseous from reading the second link, the update is that John Harkins lost that case too. In fact, the judge’s order was even more scolding and an embarrassment for the Town than the decision on the referendum. And that was awful.

    Instead we have employees like Gottfried and the other double dippers that are more than happy to collect our tax dollars for themselves and create the impression that their huge salaries are somehow justified.

  69. 69 stfdprofessor1

    “In fact, the judge’s order was even more scolding and an embarrassment for the Town than the decision on the referendum. And that was awful.”

    You mean this one?-

    http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/DocumentInquiry/DocumentInquiry.aspx?DocumentNo=9208384

  70. 70 stfdprofessor1

    I still want to know why they need ONE Deputy Chief, NOW THEY HAVE TWO??? and 5 assistants?????…where do they think we are CHICAGO???? This stuff has got to stop…BRING BACK THE TOWN MANAGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. 71 mikereynolds

    My guess is that there needs to be some kind of chief for each shift so 3 per day and with regularly scheduled time off, vacation, and sick time you need that many chiefs to cover all the shifts.

  72. 72 jezebel282

    Mike,

    You would think a lieutenant or maybe even a captain would be sufficiently trained to cover an 8 hour shift. We guess they are just not smart enough at that level. Or maybe FD should stop sending everybody and everything to every call?

    It’s just annoying that highly paid Town employees are this eager to relay the politician’s lies to us. And, like Gottfried, use their position to do it. (Are you listening, Amy Knorr?)

    Make no mistake, at $16 million including toys last year, SFD has become the most highly paid and equipped FD in Connecticut with the least to do. Their “Just in case!” argument is making people lose their homes. Not to fires, to taxes.

  73. 73 stfdprofessor1

    8 Chiefs for 3 shifts per day still seems very excessive to me for a town of under 60,000 people. Do they even have that many Chiefs in Bridgeport?

    now back to our newest fire liar- “Karen has been directed to develop the economic tax base of the Town of Stratford, by seeking out businesses to locate and or expand into the town. By all accounts the efforts of her office have been very successful bringing in companies like FedEx to Lordship Blvd. with a 285,000 sq. ft. distribution center”

    I guess deputy chief Jon Gottfried the double dipper who came in and “saved the day” , either LIED to his neighbors or he doesnt know that facility has been there for YEARS and years before mayor “John”s girlfriend got hired.

    “By all accounts the efforts of her office have been very successful”…that’s something mayor “John” could probably agree with (wink-wink) !!!

  74. 74 stfdprofessor1

    after reading your letter Chief Jon, this certainly comes to mind:

    nar·cis·sism
    ˈnärsəˌsizəm/

    extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

  75. 75 stfdprofessor1

    “Mayor Harkins by trade, was a highly successful commercial real estate appraiser. He understands commercial development and the economic success it can bring to a town”

    WHAT A CROCK OF POO POO AND BUTT SMOOCH SMOOCH

    …IN REALITY Mayor Harkins worked for his Dad, he never had a “real” job in his life, then he became a professional politician and lived off the sweat of the taxpayers brow. He has no independent real world experience which is evident in the further decline of Stratford under his leadership.

    in·com·pe·tence
    /inˈkämpədəns/
    noun
    noun: incompetence; plural noun: incompetences

    inability to do something successfully; ineptitude.
    “allegations of professional incompetence”
    synonyms: ineptitude, ineptness, inability, lack of ability, lack of skill, lack of proficiency; inadequacy, ineffectiveness, inefficiency, deficiency, insufficiency;
    amateurishness, clumsiness;
    informaluselessness
    “his dismissal was based only on his incompetence”

  76. 76 stratfordvillageidiot

    I just read the Gottfried diatribe. It’s great that he is giving credit to the current Economic Development blow-up doll when the real credit for any of these projects should go to Bruce Alessie (RIP). How soon they forget!

  77. 77 Rockannand

    Well isn’t this special. The 700+ sewer bill sent out was a total mistake.
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/41337/extra-sewer-bills-voided/
    This is my shocked face :O. What a crock of $#it that no one will take responsibility for. There is absolutely no way that thos bills went out without Harkins and Marc Dillon’s explicit knowledge and approval.

  78. 78 jezebel282

    Village,

    “I just read the Gottfried diatribe.”

    It’s not so much as a diatribe as it is a pile of flat out lies. Almost nothing in his letter is true. Even the little items are lies.

    “ln fact, I saved S175.00 annually off my fire insurance premium by the improved Class 2 rating.”

    Go ahead, call your insurance agent and ask him/her about a Class 2 ISO rating (not to be confused with the International Organization for Standardization). Your agent will tell you that he/she has never heard of such a rating and that no, your premium will not go down. Gottfried’s premium went down because the taxpayers (Yes. Us again.) paid for a new fire hydrant 300 feet from his house.

    Oh…and that new 95 foot tower ladder that Harkins bought SFD for $1.5 million? It needs a whole pumper truck to go with it (if we ever get a structure that’s 95 feet tall that catches fire). How much is a pumper truck? We are going with $549,000 if you have a no-bid contract like we have.

    If you are counting (somebody should) that’s over $2 million in shiny new trucks for SFD. Nearly half of the hole created in the budget by Harkins that the WPCA sale was supposed to fill.

    It’s just shameful that Gottfried would tarnish SFD with these outrageous lies.

  79. 79 mikereynolds

    “Oh…and that new 95 foot tower ladder that Harkins bought SFD for $1.5 million? It needs a whole pumper truck to go with it (if we ever get a structure that’s 95 feet tall that catches fire). How much is a pumper truck? We are going with $549,000 if you have a no-bid contract like we have.”

    Most career departments don’t purchase ladder trucks with pumps for 2 reasons.
    1. The added weight and equipment needed significantly increase the cost of the truck.
    2. The ladder truck crew can’t perform ladder truck duties as well as pumper duties without adding manpower.

    Fairfield’s 2 ladder trucks don’t have pumps. Shelton’s truck does.

    Stratford does not need to purchase a new pumper to go along with its new ladder truck because it has E1, E2, E3, E4, E7, E8, as well as TAC 5 that can pump water.

  80. 80 stfdprofessor1

    “The ladder truck crew can’t perform ladder truck duties as well as pumper duties without adding manpower.”

    Well they have 8 chiefs they ought to have $#@%&* damn manpower…and if we taxpayers paid for a new hydrant 300 feet from Jon Gottfried’s house he should know THAT is what made his insurance go down NOT this stupid 2 rating he brags about.

    Why do we keep hiring these LIARS who keep getting tangled up in politics instead of doing their jobs? LIAR, LIAR, LIAR…where’s your self respect???

  81. 81 jezebel282

    Mike,

    Maybe they are planning on having two ladder trucks. Oh wait. Never mind. They already have two ladder trucks. Besides, it only $2 million. Who cares? Not SFD or Harkins. That’s for sure.

  82. 82 mikereynolds

    “Well they have 8 chiefs they ought to have $#@%&* damn manpower”

    Spoken like someone who doesn’t have a clue as to what they are taking about.

  83. 83 mikereynolds

    “Maybe they are planning on having two ladder trucks. Oh wait. Never mind. They already have two ladder trucks”

    Yes they do. E2 has an aerial on it.

  84. 84 jezebel282

    Do they get better reception with that?

  85. 85 jezebel282

    Are you counting the tower truck hidden in Oronoque?

  86. 86 stfdprofessor1

    “Spoken like someone who doesn’t have a clue as to what they are taking about.”

    Earlier posts said there is one chief, two deputy chiefs and five assistant chiefs THATS EIGHT ISNT IT MIKE???

    Then you (Mike) said- “My guess is that there needs to be some kind of chief for each shift so 3 per day and with regularly scheduled time off, vacation, and sick time you need that many chiefs to cover all the shifts.”

    Is math different if you’re an apologist for “John” Harkins et al? Im still trying to wrap my head around needing more than one Chief…How many police chiefs do we have…eight more. I guess they took their example from the board of ed where there are 37 principals at each school. No wonder these bozo’s have so much time to write these manifestos for “John” and the gang, they have mucho free time on their hands it seems.

    a·pol·o·gist
    əˈpäləjəst/

    noun
    noun: apologist; plural noun: apologists

    a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial.
    “an enthusiastic apologist for fascism in the 1920s”
    synonyms: defender, supporter, upholder, advocate, proponent, exponent, propagandist, champion, campaigner; informalcheerleader.

  87. 87 mikereynolds

    You insinuated that have 8 chiefs and assistants is plenty manpower for a ladder truck to also perform pumping duties.

    I’m not apologizing for anyone.

    I’m simply saying you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

  88. 88 mikereynolds

    Are you counting the tower truck hidden in Oronoque?

    No, I assume that is the replaced one? Maybe they’re going to keep it as a spare or sell it or donate it to a rural department?

  89. 89 jezebel282

    Donate it? We sure are generous, aren’t we?

    So what is the recommended amount of 100 foot tower ladders for a town that has no building over 4 stories and averages 2-4 structure fires per year? Do you think maybe three or four tower ladders and pumpers should do it? That’s only another $4 million after all.

  90. 90 missgreeneyes118

    Those ladder trucks look real cool when they are draping down American flags at special events. You can’t do that with a pumper.
    Only a straight class 2 rating FD can do this. Stratford is no longer a split class 4/9 town lets keep moving forward, Continue the pride, it’s about Stratford.

  91. 91 mikereynolds

    “Donate it? We sure are generous, aren’t we?”

    I’m sure there is a tax deduction involved if we donate it. And I’m not saying we should, I’m just wondering what we can do it with it. Maybe they’ll keep it as a spare when ours goes down for maintenance or loan it to another department.

    “So what is the recommended amount of 100 foot tower ladders for a town that has no building over 4 stories and averages 2-4 structure fires per year? Do you think maybe three or four tower ladders and pumpers should do it? That’s only another $4 million after all.”

    I haven’t seen the replacement schedule but since 2009 we’ve purchased a lot of new equipment to upgrade the older stuff. I can’t imagine needed new engines yet.

    But you seem to always have all the answers so fire away.

  92. 92 jezebel282

    Mike,

    “I’m sure there is a tax deduction involved”

    Municipalities don’t pay tax. No deductions in sight for us.

    Our only point here is that SFD has become a huge drain on the budget. Maybe for not that much return. But it is very clear that their top management is willing to lie about everything. At least their deputy chief is.

    We could easily focus on the BOE instead. They haven’t published a real budget in two years. And they always cry and moan about the children. No one has been able to demonstrate any correlation between say, an assistant principal’s salary of $110,000/year (entry level) and a student’s education.

    In the next two weeks or so when we hear about holes in the budget, deficits, increased taxes or fees it is because we were all under the assumption that Harkins, the Council, Robinson and the BOE were watching out for us. It turns out they weren’t. They were watching out for themselves and putting it on our credit card..

    And that is why we are in this mess.

  93. 93 shanliss

    Needless to say, this won’t be helpful news to Town Hall:
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/41451/greater-new-haven-water-pollution-control-authority-facing-lawsuit/
    This could become a, um, Crowning achievement for the Harkins administration. 26 Crown, to be exact, the address of the property whose owners are suing the GNHWPCA, our soon-to-be-overlords.

  94. 94 missgreeneyes118

    Let me start by saying I am against selling Town property.
    But when you are behind on the budget by $5 million… You may need to sell a couple of tower trucks and a hugely expensive boat.
    Why is this town continuing to spend like a drunken sailor for any trinket or big ticket item the FD thinks they may need someday?
    By the time anyone builds a multi-story building that requires the tower truck – will we be told the old truck is obsolete and no longer running?
    Will the trucks be worn out by raising the flags for the BARF events?
    We need a referendum on going to a volunteer fire department like Trumbull and Shelton.
    How much taxes would that save me Jon?
    Probably a lot more than regionalizing the sewage treatment plant.

  95. 95 stfdprofessor1

    “Why is this town continuing to spend like a drunken sailor for any trinket or big ticket item the FD thinks they may need someday?”

    UMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm…perhaps to get us into a financial situation where we NEED to sell a big asset like…oh I don’t know…maybe a water treatment plant? Could be why “John” doled out all of those HUGE raises to his henchmen as well.

    Follow the money because someone has GOT to be getting one HUGE personal benefit out of this sale. That’s the only logical explaination for all of the political suicides taking place over this issue. FOLLOW THE MONEY

  96. 96 stfdprofessor1

    “You insinuated that have 8 chiefs and assistants is plenty manpower for a ladder truck to also perform pumping duties”

    The only ones getting pumped here is US!

    BTW- I received both a red “vote yes” card in the mail addressed to “The Professor Family” and a white and red “vote yes” flyer in my mailbox (that was unaddressed)…lots of money floating around this issue…FOLLOW THE MONEY.

    I gagged when I read “As your Mayor, I feel it is incumbent upon me to deliver…” yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll bet you said the same thing to your wife too “John”.

  97. 97 missgreeneyes118

    Before they latched onto the 7000 or so EMS calls per year to justify their large budget… they had about 500 calls per year..maybe.
    Oronoque and Lordship fire houses did 3-4 calls per week.
    When they started responding to every medical call they just stood by and watched EMS do actual transport of patients. FD just rolled up with a huge pumper truck.

    Service requests

    Water Rescue. <1%
    Structure fires 1%
    Fire/smoke Alarms. 3%
    MVA. 6%
    EMS 80%
    Other 8%

  98. 98 missgreeneyes118

    New building codes and construction techniques have reduced the number of house fires dramatically from years ago.
    And commercial buildings/schools are required to have sprinkler systems that can quickly put out a fire – plus alarms to alert occupants.
    Occupants have much more time and warnings to get out of a burning building now as in the past.

    Now with our aging population – the majority of the emergency calls are for EMS, not burning buildings.
    It would seem to make sense to beef up the services that are needed , and if fires are declining – adjustments need to be made.
    EMS should have a rig and crew at each fire house – because in a medical emergency like a heart attack or stroke – seconds count.
    Backup ambulances can be manned by cross trained firemen to help our EMS, rather than calling for a backup rig from out of town.
    As firemen retire – it would make sense to transition to hiring for more of a medically based operation as needed.

    The town needs to be realistic – if the needs are becoming mainly medical – the services need to move in that direction – more EMS.
    A smaller fire department will always be augmented by mutual aid of surrounding towns like Bridgeport, Milford, Trumbull and Shelton.

    Shelton and Trumbull have a lot more economic development than Stratford, and a volunteer fire service does not hinder that development.

    How many career Stratford firemen are comfortable enough with a volunteer service to reside in Shelton, Derby, Ansonia,Trumbull. Orange, Bethany, Woodbridge, Beacon Falls, Oxford, Watertown, etc?

    It makes no sense to keep growing the fire department when the number of medical calls are up and house fires are almost non-existant.

  99. 99 stfdprofessor1

    WOW missgreeneyes118 has made a GREAT point that only a professional town manager would appreciate. Mayors on the other hand look for support where ever he can buy it so they get re-elected.

    Getting back to the main topic can anyone explain why I got a white and red “vote yes” flyer in my mailbox that was unaddressed? Does “John” actually have volunteers who are going door to door passing these lies out? I find that very hard to believe.

  100. 100 stfdprofessor1

    Water Rescue. <1%
    Structure fires 1%
    Fire/smoke Alarms. 3%
    MVA. 6%
    EMS 80%
    Other 8%

    What's "other", writing deceitful letters to their neighbors on the taxpayers time?

    de·ceit·ful
    dəˈsētfəl/
    adjective
    adjective: deceitful

    guilty of or involving deceit; deceiving or misleading others.
    "such an act would have been deceitful and irresponsible"
    synonyms: dishonest, untruthful, mendacious, insincere, false, disingenuous, untrustworthy, unscrupulous, unprincipled, two-faced, Janus-faced, duplicitous, double-dealing, underhanded, crafty, cunning, sly, scheming, calculating, treacherous, Machiavellian, sneaky, tricky, foxy, crooked

  101. 101 mikereynolds

    “Getting back to the main topic can anyone explain why I got a white and red “vote yes” flyer in my mailbox that was unaddressed? Does “John” actually have volunteers who are going door to door passing these lies out? I find that very hard to believe.”

    Apparently last week the WPCA Yes group paid a few teens to go door to door to drop flyers.

  102. 102 stfdprofessor1

    Thank you Mike, that also explains why it was in the mailbox and not the door.

  103. 103 missgreeneyes118

    Just putting it out there – in looking over the budget….

    Why doesn’t the mayor cut out funding some Deputy Chief positions in the Fire and Police?
    Reduce Administration staff in Town Hall, Registrars, Police, PW, and Fire?

    Close Town Hall offices one day per week. Works for Shelton and saves a lot of tax dollars.

    Hire a corporation council like Shelton and slash legal costs by 90%!

    Eliminating all marine patrols would save a boat load of cash too.
    That’s what the Coast Guard is for.

    Looks like $5 million is not that hard to find, but it will irritate a lot of cronies who depend on the mayor’s largess with our tax dollars

  104. 104 stfdprofessor1

    missgreeneyes PLEASE run for mayor 🙂

  105. 105 jezebel282

    Green,

    Nice ideas. All of them. Probably the easiest to achieve is converting the Town Attorney to a corporation counsel (salaried position). The Town couldn’t even make the case that our legal representation would diminish since the current Town Attorney loses every case so that he can appeal it and lose again.

  106. 106 jezebel282

    And let us know when you are ready to comment on the BOE budget….

  107. 107 stfdprofessor1

    “since the current Town Attorney loses every case so that he can appeal it and lose again.”

    KA-CHING, KA-CHING, KA-CHING…billable hours are billable hours Jez no matter how you manufacture them. It’s not like its their own money you know.

  108. 108 missgreeneyes118

    Honest budgets are not rocket science.

    You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

    Look at cities and towns around us that are successful in economic growth and have low taxes.
    Implement similar practices.
    Trim the fat, keep qualified effective people, eliminate non:performers.

    Put attorneys on notice – you lose and cost tax dollars – you are not getting any more work.
    Not the ridiculous billable hours with no accountability we now have.

    Milford, Fairfield, heck – even Derby has a fully funded pension plan.

    Are the people running these places really that much brighter than the Stratford regime?

    Or are they working for the betterment of their community first – not politics and favors ?

  109. 109 jezebel282

    Green,

    “Put attorneys on notice – you lose and cost tax dollars – you are not getting any more work.”

    Unfortunately, that solution depends on a mayor who cares about citizens. We call it the “Blanche DuBois Theory”. The difference being that we would be dependent upon the kindness of a mayor. We haven’t had one of those yet.

    The last two Town Attorneys have created a specialty practice of only losing cases and costing us a fortune do so.

    A Council has to take control since a mayor won’t. Conversion of the position to a salaried item (Pick a salary, it almost doesn’t matter. If it’s anything under $2 million, we’d save money.) is the only way to reign in the unlimited billable hours of the Town Attorney.

    And then maybe we can do something about Deputy Fire Chiefs who use their position (and the salary we pay) to shamelessly lie and promote political agendas.

  110. 110 stfdprofessor1

    Jez- “And then maybe we can do something about Deputy Fire Chiefs who use their position (and the salary we pay) to shamelessly lie and promote political agendas.”

    Are you talking about the latest fire liar’s propaganda in the Stratford Star? THE FOLLOWING IS REPRINTED WITHOUT ANYONES PERMISSION by The Professor.

    “To the Editor:

    Most Stratford residents will agree that our town has been a nice place to bring up our families over the years. One complaint we all have is the high cost of property taxes. The tax rate has been reasonably stable over the past two budget cycles but has grown significantly over the many years I have lived in Stratford.

    The state of Stratford’s financial condition did not occur overnight, but rather it has suffered over 30 years, due to poor fiscal management, pension underinvestment, the lack of an aggressive economic development strategy, the inefficiency and lack of direction by the town manager form of government, and lack of a clear vision of where the town needed to be for the 21st century.

    As a member of the Stratford Fire Department I am proud to say that we have a well-respected, well-equipped, well-trained, and motivated fire department to give our residents the best service they expect. This is due in large part to Mayor Harkins supporting structural improvements in our department.

    Mayor Harkins has taken the same approach with the Police, bringing in Chief Patrick Ridenhour from Waterbury to lead our police into the 21st century with new policies, procedures, and equipment to better protect the town’s citizens. Our public works Department, led by Maurice McCarthy, has made striking improvement in his division which is responsible for all public infrastructure. Without the Mayor’s support, our infrastructure would look like it did 10 years ago.

    The most important department for the future economic well being of the town, and one that will have a direct impact on our future tax base is the Economic Development Department under the direction of Karen Kaiser. Karen has sought out businesses to locate and/or expand in town. By all accounts the efforts of her office have been very successful bringing in companies like FedEx Ground, the expansion of Connecticut Liquor Distributors, the expansion of Aptar Inc., the Avalon development, Two Roads Brewery and the new Transit Oriented District Zoning initiative.

    Great things are happening.
    John Gottfried
    Deputy Chief, Stratford Fire Department”

    SOUNDS LIKE SOMEONE CAMPAIGNING TO KEEP THEIR JOB…OR EVEN FOR A PROMOTION.

  111. 111 jezebel282

    Prof,

    It sounds to us as if it were a description of a parallel universe where nothing that actually happened is spoken of.

    We expect the usual amount of lies and bullsh*t to spew out of Town Hall. Apparently, it’s not like they have anything else to do.

    We suppose we could take the time, again, to refute every sentence in Gottfried’s letter. We certainly hope he is more educated and knowledgeable about what firefighters are supposed to do than he is about how government and democracy works. After reading two of his letters we seriously doubt it though.

    On a separate note, we wish Mr. Gottfried would at least give credit where it is due. Almost all of what Gottfried credits our “Economic Development Director” with was actually accomplished by the late Bruce Alessie. He did that work on his own for a fraction of the compensation Kaiser gets. But, as Gottfried knows very well, he is no longer with us to defend himself. That sorta makes Gottfried a liar and a coward, doesn’t it?

  112. 112 stfdprofessor1

    “That sorta makes Gottfried a liar and a coward, doesn’t it?”

    It also sorta makes one suspect that Gottfried’s huge pay raise and all of OUR money spent on the “well-respected, well-equipped, well-trained, and motivated fire department” were part of a concerted effort with mayor “John” to put the budget deep into the red, forcing the sale of the water treatment facility…FOLLOW THE MONEY

    A concerted effort would also explain all of the cheerleading for mayor “John”s girlfriend!!! I sure hope the new town council takes a look at this character, makes him part of a budget cut and sends him packing.

  113. 113 jezebel282

    Update:

    This response to Gottfried’s letter is the best we’ve read…so far.

    “Mike
    an hour ago
    I take the author to mean “The Stratford Fire Dept. supports the sale of the WPCA so the the taxpayers can continue to fund our high salaries, pensions, benefits and multi-million dollar toy collection”. With industry gone and our future apparently based on transit housing perhaps it is time to look at a volunteer service now that we know where the FD stands.”
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/41482/letter-great-things-happening-in-stratford/

    So the next time we see one of those big red trucks parked in front of a deli, we’ll know that there is such a thing as a free lunch. Thanks, Chief Gottfried!

  114. 114 missgreeneyes118

    I have lived in several very old houses for over half my life….and I never needed help from a fire department. Ever.

    Police…maybe 3-4 times for an accident or neighbor’s dog barking.

    EMS…6-8 times for sick family members.

    Public works..every time it snows ….or floods, or storms down trees.

    Sanitation – picks up every week.

    Sewage – works every day for me.

    Sewage and sanitation cost me the least…. and help make my life better on a daily or weekly basis. People need to use the sewage treatment plant from the day they are born until the day they die. Several times a day.
    Gotta have it.

    But the FD budget is the highest….

    Some thing seems wrong.

  115. 115 stfdprofessor1

    Maybe we should sell the fire dept. to greater new haven instead? How much should we ask???

    Chief Gottfried gets to collect a pension from WESTPORT,,,then work for Stratford and pay HIS taxes with OUR tax money…then has the nerve to complain about it??? WHAT A PATHETIC LEECH!!!!!

    GET RID OF THEM ALL!!!!

    leech
    lēCH/
    noun
    noun: leech; plural noun: leeches

    1.
    an aquatic or terrestrial annelid worm with suckers at both ends. Many species are bloodsucking parasites, especially of vertebrates, and others are predators.
    2.
    a person who extorts profit from or sponges on others.
    “they are leeches feeding off the hardworking majority”
    synonyms: parasite, bloodsucker; More
    informalscrounger, sponger, bottom feeder, freeloader
    “the welfare system is supposed to help the needy, not feed the leeches”

    verb
    verb: leech; 3rd person present: leeches; past tense: leeched; past participle: leeched; gerund or present participle: leeching

    1.
    habitually exploit or rely on.
    “he’s leeching the taxpayers”

  116. 116 jezebel282

    Update:

    On the other hand, District 2 voters could always vote for George Mulligan.
    His campaign website is certainly notable: http://www.transmute-gigo.net/
    (No, we don’t know why he called it that either.)

  117. 117 stfdprofessor1

    http://www.transmute-gigo.net/

    HOLY CRAP…WHAT A MOON UNIT…I laughed so hard my dentures fell into my soup.

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAHhaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaa!!!

    Time to take off his bib, make him a new tin foil hat and drive him to the rubber room!!!

    The only one more delusional on the blog lately is that crack pot Jon Gottfried.

  118. 118 stfdprofessor1

    delusional
    [dih-loo-zhuh-nl]

    Examples

    adjective
    1.
    having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions:
    Senators who think they will get agreement on a comprehensive tax bill are delusional.
    2.
    Psychiatry. maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness:
    He was so delusional and paranoid that he thought everybody was conspiring against him.

  119. 119 jezebel282

    Actually, we’d rather read the…ummm….undisciplined writing on George’s site than the ridiculous letter that appeared in the Star from Jason Santi, Gottfried or the other shills for Harkins. But we have very little tolerance for lies.
    At least George’s site is entertaining and will keep anyone from voting for him.

  120. 120 stfdprofessor1

    Although George and I have had our differences, I wish I voted for HIM in 2009 and I’ll bet I’m not alone.

  121. So now there are two forums scheduled at the high schools. Only one side appears to be represented the VYPL side. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a forum where BOTH sides are represented?

    I heard John Harkins bombed at the Oronoque forum and couldn’t answer the honest/hard questions about the transaction that were being asked. He apparently just wants to shove the VYPL rhetoric and not deal with the questions of the fiscal mismanagement that created this mess!

    Stratford is great, but the people in power SUCK!

  122. 122 jezebel282

    PCS,

    Wait. We are confused. Wasn’t there supposed to be a public forum in Council chambers next week?
    “WPCA Open Forum. Hear what both sides have to say about selling it with questions from a moderator and from the public.

    WHEN: Thursday 10/22 7:30 to 9pm
    WHERE: Town Hall Council Chambers
    WHO: VOTE NO vs VOTE YES leaders

    The public is invited to hear what both sides of this vitally important referendum question that will be decided on Nov 3rd. “

  123. 123 jezebel282

    And while we’re at it:
    http://wtnh.com/2015/10/19/campaign-signs-stolen-from-stratford-storefront/

    Why would Stratford PD waste even 10 minutes on the alleged “theft” of maybe $12 worth of lawn signs? With so many of them placed illegally by Rich Fredette who can tell if one or two are missing?

    We can hardly wait for the PD press conference once the case is solved. We hope Stratford PD can handle it by themselves and they don’t have to call in the State Police, FBI or the JTF.

  124. 124 stfdprofessor1

    Let me save our local gendarmes some trouble…”perhaps” some of the local politicos cooked this caper up for some free publicity and FREE ADVERTISEMENT for themselves and their cause??? You know like the same local politicos who put these same signs on public property and vacant lots all over town in the first place. I wonder how much all this FREE TV ADVERTISEMENT would cost if they had to pay for it????

    Then “perhaps” the stratford police didn’t want to be “one upped” by the fire dept. when it comes to kissing mayor “John”s backside on this WPCA mess (right Chief Gottfried…wink, wink). WITH ALL OF THE DRUGS AND PROSTITUTION TOLERATED AT TWO AREA HOTELS I CAN’T BELIEVE THE STRATFORD POLICE ARE WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS TO INVESTIGATE THIS??? There must be something more beneath the surface, that’s the only thing that explains this kind of UTTER STUPIDITY.

    As for the transparency mayor “John” promised, it’s transparently obvious that the SPD and SFD are both fastly becoming political entities working for corrupt politicians. I hope the next town council looks into this and takes the appropriate action.

  125. 125 jezebel282

    Prof,

    You have to feel sorry for all the Fire, Police, BOE and other Town employees that live in Shelton (and there are a lot of them). It seems Shelton taxpayers have big problems too!
    http://www.sheltonherald.com/77275/letter-shelton-residents-are-being-over-taxed/

    Letter: ‘Shelton residents are being over-taxed’
    October 19, 2015 • By Mandy Kilmartin

    “Shelton Residents are being over-taxed.
    Yes, you read that correctly. As I write this letter, over $12 million taxpayer dollars are sitting in an un-managed surplus account”

    Honest!

    What is WRONG with Stratford?

  126. 126 missgreeneyes118

    With a $12 million surplus maybe Shelton wants to put in a bid on the Sewage Treatment Plant sale.
    And then Lauretti can lease it back to GNHWPCA and Stratford …making money for the City of Shelton to keep their taxes low…Again.
    If it is a good financial investment for GNHWPCA, then why not for Shelton?
    Or is Lauretti a little sharper than that?
    And is that why he has a $12 million surplus, instead of a $15 million hole in the budget over the next 3 years?
    Why won’t Lauretti share his successful budget tips with Harkins?

  127. 127 Rockannand

    “Why won’t Lauretti share his successful budget tips with Harkins?”
    Thanks MIssgreeneyes. Your insights into the budget are extraordinary. I found $3mm for this year and next by not selling the plant and cutting some of the fat just in Town Hall – all the “nice-o’have” stuff, but you found much much more. Wirth your approach, we would would either have a $5mm surplus or we could ,,,, GASP …. cut the mill rate!!. Sewer fees should be more like $395 or even $375 if we did not over-fur it for that nice juicy cash reserve the Mayor has had his sites on for 3 years.

    No even if Lauretti shared his tips, Harkins would not listen because he is too focused on his privatization agenda. He needs a success on his resume so the Koch Bros people who made him National Co-Chair of ACCE will realize he can become their poster child, hire him for a nice cool $200+ plus consulting gig and he can live the good life while cruising the country speaking on behalf of ACCE and use the WPCA sales as prime example one of how to make privatization work in municipalities all across America.

  128. 128 missgreeneyes118

    How many cars are leased by the town and who has them? 26?
    What about take home vehicles?
    And what are the meager salaries being paid these folks who need to be given a car so they will keep working for the town?
    Not to mention free gas, tires, insurance and maintenance.

    I pay for my own car to drive to work and on my errands.

    I bet if you took half of the cars away – few of the individuals would move on to a better job elsewhere.

    It would be enlightening to see this information in the Stratford Star before the election

    And while we are looking to save…does Shelton or Trumbull have two highly paid registrar of voters? With benefits?
    Or is Stratford the only town foolish enough to pay for this nonsense?

  129. 129 jezebel282

    Green,

    Well, if you are a chief, deputy chief, director or a big time supervisor you get a car! And you get to take it home or to your second job or your vacation home or shopping or to Florida or wherever you want. And you don’t have to worry about paying for gas or insurance either. We taxpayers will handle that for you too.

    After all, we pay these people $100,000 + benefits per year. How can we expect them to come to work using their own car like we do?

  130. 130 stfdprofessor1

    “You have to feel sorry for all the Fire, Police, BOE and other Town employees that live in Shelton (and there are a lot of them). It seems Shelton taxpayers have big problems too!”

    If a volunteer fire dept. is good enough for them it should be good enough for us too. That should reduce poor Chief Gottfried’s taxes to an acceptable level. Of course the poor chief will have a new car payment then too though. Hmmmmmmmmm

  131. 131 missgreeneyes118

    27 luxury cars provided by the town for employees?
    Why doesn’t the mayor threaten to take away cars?
    And lay off half his staff?
    And cut back to a part time registrar? And cut town attorney budget?
    Because people would be happy with those cuts to his regime?
    It makes absolutely no financial sense to sell the sewage plant.
    Just like it makes no sense to have two full time registrars.
    How do these people manage their own finances?
    Are they mortgaged out the butt?
    Or do they have a rich uncle in the region to bail them out?
    Fiscal incompetence seems to be the only financial plan here.

  132. 132 Rockannand

    The Mayor was in rare form last night in his sparsely attended forum on the sale. They made a big deal about people being civil and then he proceeds to slam Chris Rooney and me saying Chris’ law firm filed the law suit was politically motivated because he supports the Vote NO idea and gave money to us. What a crock of $#it. He misquoted me from a private meeting in May i had after he cried in the CTPost that no one came to him to complain about the deal. Oh boo hoo. I will pull out my notes from the meeting because he said some incredible things that were so outrageous i had to write it down.

  133. 133 missgreeneyes118

    It is great that so much information is being disseminated about the sewage treatment plant sale.
    To me it is very clear that selling the plant is shortsighted and is a bandaid approach to a much larger, long term budget issue.
    I hope others in town are paying attention to all the information, not just the political hype.
    But it seems like we have come into a generation of politicians that ask “What is good for me?”
    But that’s the way many were raised. Their parents never said “No” and it created an expectation of instant gratification without consideration for the long term consequences.
    We need to think beyond the next budget or election.
    We need to think long term.
    And we need to consider the real consequences.
    This is not a deal that can be reversed in a couple years if it does not yield the politically promised results.

  134. 134 jezebel282

    Green,

    Psychotherapy for all ?

  135. 135 stfdprofessor1

    “I hope others in town are paying attention to all the information, not just the political hype.”

    Don’t bet on it, 70% of our residents NEVER HAVE A CLUE of what’s going on. If they did this crap wouldn’t be going on in the first place…just sayin.

  136. 136 stfdprofessor1

    BTW anyone know who’s pushing the gestapo tactics at the PD??? At this rate the FD will be hosing down the “Move Stratford” folks at the polls.

  137. 137 jezebel282

    Prof,

    As you say, “Follow the money”.

    Who in the PD owes Harkins the biggest favor?

  138. 138 Rockannand

    “BTW anyone know who’s pushing the gestapo tactics at the PD???”
    STDProf I’m surprised you don’t know th answer to your own question. It’s Lou Deceitful. Further its more like the Stazi then the Gastapo. I think if ti were the Gastapo, they would not bother with this petty BS.

    Lou is getting desperate because the handwriting is on the wall and the target they will focus on is squarely on his back. He has the most to lose politically, personally and financially if this goes south for the RTC. There are many inside the RTC who are gleefully watching for this to unfold.

  139. 139 Rockannand

    “Don’t bet on it, 70% of our residents NEVER HAVE A CLUE of what’s going on.”

    More like 95% IMHO. BUT people are waking up and that has the Mayor an Lou Deceitful chomping at the bit.

  140. 140 Rockannand

    I tell you , i LOVE MissGreenEyes. You think EXACTLY the way i do. This deal will be forever if it is allowed to go down.

    To all the others who hate the Mayor form of govt, think about it for a minute. Think what it took to get this petition derive done and the campaign for the referendum.

    If we attack the town charter to go back to the way it was 10 years ago, every persons who has been feeding at the trough of municipal govt – lawyers, town employees, developers …basically many of your friends and neighbors will stand to los out on the gravy train. Are you ready to confront that assault? Unit you answer yes to that question you are pissing into the wind.

  141. 141 missgreeneyes118

    Is it just like the story of “The Emperor and His New Clothes?”

    Only those of above average intellect could see the fine clothing he was wearing.

    All the peasants thought he was naked.

    Can it be just like that with our sewage treatment plant deal?

    Some of us common folk cannot understand how it can be a good deal for us taxpayers?

    But maybe it is because we don’t have a strong financial background or advanced accounting degree?

    The benefits are there, but we can’t see them because of the financial complexity of this transaction?

    However those with a very high IQ and strong financial backgrounds can clearly see what is going on here?

    I thought learning to use the internet was the answer.

    Now I think I need to get an accounting degree to know what is going on.

    Then I can figure out the economies of scale of doubling the Registrar

    budget for no benefit to the voters just the staff in that office. Who

    proposed that?

  142. 142 Rockannand

    “Now I think I need to get an accounting degree to know what is going on.
    Then I can figure out the economies of scale of doubling the Registrar
    budget for no benefit to the voters just the staff in that office. Who
    proposed that?”

    Well those of us from the “that fringe group” know who. And if recycled candidates like Barnaby, Dempsey, Henrick, Poisson, Julian and Fredette-About-It somehow get elected we can be sure those great economic decisions will continue to get approved.

  143. 143 stfdprofessor1

    “STDProf I’m surprised you don’t know th answer to your own question. It’s Lou Deceitful.”

    I know Lou D is the political driver but someone high up at the PD has to be giving the “underlings” their orders. I think Jez adequately answered that question. Their deputy comes to my mind.

    “If we attack the town charter to go back to the way it was 10 years ago, every persons who has been feeding at the trough of municipal govt – lawyers, town employees, developers …basically many of your friends and neighbors will stand to lose out on the gravy train. Are you ready to confront that assault?”

    Of course I’m ready to help confront that assault, 50,000 residents aren’t feeding at the trough. It’s the only way to correct this mess. Rock, I think you’ve done one heck of a job on the WPCA, but IMHO your organization is THE ONLY VIABLE OPTION at this point in time of cutting the head from this serpent and saving our town. IMHO this is also the only time where it stands a better than reasonable chance for success. People nationwide seem to have had enough of career politicians like mayor “John”, Lou Deceitful and the rest of the RTC and old DTC insiders. One look at Trump and Carson’s poll numbers verifies that. This attitude is even stronger with the enlightened minority of Stratford residents.

  144. 144 missgreeneyes118

    If you can register to vote at DMV when you renew your license, then the state has already regionalized the registrar’s office.

    And can’t you also register to vote at the Town Clerk’s Office?

    So I have to ask again – How do the taxpayers benefit by having two full time highly paid registrars?

    Seems redundant, no?

    I would love to see their daily activities documented.

    I am going to bet it will fit on a small index card 99% of the days that they “work”.

    How about a work/time study like they do in industry?

  145. 145 stfdprofessor1

    “So I have to ask again – How do the taxpayers benefit by having two full time highly paid registrars?”

    WE DON’T BENEFIT ONE IOTA

    Political patronage – the dispensation of favours or rewards such as public office, jobs, contracts, subsidies, prestige, PAY RAISES or other valued benefits by a patron who controls their dispensation (in this case the mayor and town clowncil)) to a client (in this case the RTC party chairman).

    Seems like quite a bit of political patronage under the “restore the pride” and “transparency” branding of mayor “John”s administration. Kinda makes those Miron parting bonus’ look miniscule. In retrospect I’m sure “John”s town attorney made more off of those bonus’ than the recipients. With a mayoral system we can expect more of the same.

  146. 146 missgreeneyes118

    http://www.ctpost.com/business/article/Shelton-official-retiring-after-decades-6585548.php

    Maybe Harkins can bring him is as a regional consultant

    “Shelton has low taxes and available land, plus a reverse commute and affordable housing,” Ryan said. “The key is always having a plan to keep growing.”

    “The mayor made downtown a priority,” Ryan said. “The whole story is about the team. I’m just staff. Nothing can happen without political support.”

    In addition to his work in Shelton, Ryan and his organization have helped lead the regionwide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the 18 municipalities that make up the Naugatuck Valley corridor. Having such a strategy allows town and cities to compete for federal development aid.

  147. 147 Rockannand

    “If you can register to vote at DMV when you renew your license, then the state has already regionalized the registrar’s office.”

    What a great idea!! We cold keep the part timers. We’d save almost $140K annually plus benefits. You can add that to tab MissGreenEyes that is rapidly approaching $10mm of cuts in the budget. I can’t wait to see what Lou Deceitful comes out with this week in response to the budget challenge put down by Stephanie in her full page ad in the Star. She only scratched the surface of the low hanging, nice-to-have line items to go after. I love that one of her line items includes the redundant asst town clerk for the WPCA, Dave Fuller. If ever there was a patronage job created for someone who does nothing, its that one last year. But then again if they manage to see the WPCA, that job won’t be needed!!

    I love the fact that they created that position and pay him on an hourly basis so they could “legally” appoint him to the Historic District Commission – Town employee cannot be on that commission, but th fine print according to Bishop is that it states for “salaried” employees. Seems Harkins was pissed at all of us who live/lived in the Historic District so he dropped Lisa Donnelly, Tom Yemm and Paul Joy and replaced with Fuller, Kaz and Fredette-About-It.

  148. 148 jezebel282

    We may not get to do this again before November 3 so we will take this opportunity to rebut these silly arguments one more time.

    LETTER: So many benefits to selling WPCA plant
    http://www.stratfordstar.com/42254/letter-so-many-benefits-to-selling-wpca-plant/

    “I read the Oct. 12, Connecticut Post article on information published by the allegedly “non-partisan” group “WPCA Stratford Get Answers” represented by their spokesman Harold Watson with keen interest. I have always wondered why the Town of Stratford would want to own and operate any type of utility on behalf of its residents, particularly one focused on processing human waste water.
    I imagine that there were no other viable options available when the town fathers were making this particular decision. They seem to have been able to avoid setting up Stratford’s own telephone, electric and cable TV companies, or else certain residents would bathe in the nostalgia of town owned utilities as “assets” when there are professional organizations which can spread their operating costs over a broader base of users and provide better economics as a result.
    Mr. Watson seemingly is strongly opposed to “sale of town assets,” in this case the WPCA facility. It might help if Mr. Watson had a few facts to work with. The “sale” of the Town of Stratford water treatment facility, is actually a transfer to the quasi-government Greater New Haven Regional Water Pollution Control Authority. In return for the transfer, the Town of Stratford will also transfer the mortgage on the facility which is a liability to the tune of $37 million. Greater New Haven will assume the loans, which come off the town’s books and will also be responsible to make the interest payments on the debt.
    The loan is off the books forever.
    The Town of Stratford will receive an asset in the form of cash equal to $16 million.
    Here is the best part – we still get to flush our toilets. Forever.
    The WPCA is a liability of the Town of Stratford including the debt service, costs to operate and maintain the facility and the supporting infrastructure. Let’s let the GNHWPCA have the opportunity to own this “asset” and pay the Town of Stratford for the privilege of managing our flow.
    Vote yes on the sale of the WPCA facility on Nov. 3.
    W. Brian Harrigan”

    Where to begin?

    We can start with the usual insults:

    “…published by the allegedly “non-partisan” group “WPCA Stratford Get Answers” represented by their spokesman Harold Watson…”

    Now why would you put non-partisan in quotes? Why not just say “group” or something neutral? Because if you listen to Harkins/Decilio it is a fringe group of wild-eye maniacs. So you do what you can to marginalize it. In actuality, WPCA Stratford Get Answers is a group of responsible citizens that believe that selling the sewer plant is an awful idea. They just need a better name.

    “I have always wondered why the Town of Stratford would want to own and operate any type of utility on behalf of its residents”

    We must admit that we now question whether Mr. Harrigan ever attended Civics class in his primary education. Government exists for the benefit of its citizens. The same way municipal government paves the roads, plows them when it snows, maintains the street lights, operates the traffic lights, disposes of solid waste and recycling, puts out fires, protects life and property and…oh yeah…educates children. Why wouldn’t municipal government maintain the septic system?

    “particularly one focused on processing human waste water.”

    So, if it smells it’s not important?

    “They seem to have been able to avoid setting up Stratford’s own telephone, electric and cable TV companies, or else certain residents would bathe in the nostalgia of town owned utilities as “assets” when there are professional organizations which can spread their operating costs over a broader base of users and provide better economics as a result.”

    We need to familiarize Mr. Harrigan with PURA (Public Utilities Regulatory Authority). That is government control of utilities so that they do not have a strangle hold on citizens who have no choice whether or not to use a utility. A utility is vastly different than a competitive supplier and Telecommunications and electricity depend upon telephone poles and not gravity as sewage does. You simply can’t efficiently spread the cost of sewage uphill, Mr. Harrigan.

    “The “sale” of the Town of Stratford water treatment facility, is actually a transfer to the quasi-government Greater New Haven Regional Water Pollution Control Authority.”

    Can someone please explain the difference between “sale” and “Transfer of ownership” to me?

    “Greater New Haven will assume the loans, which come off the town’s books and will also be responsible to make the interest payments on the debt.
    The loan is off the books forever.”

    The loan is not off the books forever. The loan still exists and we still get to make payments on it. How many times do we have to make this point? Stratford residents will be the ones who pay off this loan no matter who owns it.

    “The Town of Stratford will receive an asset in the form of cash equal to $16 million.”

    Except that $5+ million is cash we give to them. Why can’t we be honest about the amounts, Mr. Harrigan? And what is the value of the asset that we are selling for this $11 Million?

    “Here is the best part – we still get to flush our toilets. Forever.”

    Except it will cost us more. Forever.

    “The WPCA is a liability of the Town of Stratford including the debt service, costs to operate and maintain the facility and the supporting infrastructure.”

    This is simply not true. It is not even close to true. The WPCA, like the RR Parking Lot and Stratford EMS are the only three Stratford owned entities that generate a profit year after year without fail. If you want to sell some liabilities there is the Fire Department, the Police Department, Public Works or maybe even the Board of Education. But the WPCA is a money maker.

    “Vote yes on the sale of the WPCA facility on Nov. 3.”

    You’d have to be crazy to do that.

  149. 149 1cyclops

    To: Fellow Stratford Citizens
    Subject: WPCA Sale

    I have waited until now to weigh in on my thoughts behind this proposal because I wanted to gather as much information as available and to be as informed as I could before I make a recommendation. After weeks of exhaustive research, here are my thoughts for those of you who want to know them.
    (1) Where is the Business Plan? If there is one, please direct me to it.

    (2) A Business Plan should display a 5-year analysis as to personnel, operational costs, infrastructure upgrades etc. This is a very basic forecast as to how much it will cost to manage the plant at the Town level compared to how much the regional entity estimates the cost will be over the same 5 years. This regional entity, who is looking to acquire the WPC Plant should know how much their costs over a 5 year period will be as well as how much investment is required to maintain/upgrade its infrastructure. Why has this data not been released? Can they operate a a lower cost? If so, by how much?…..again,where is the analysis? I could not find it. What do they forecast staffing to look like? How many personnel do we need to operate the plant? more/less than what we have? What do they project the sewer rate to be over the next 5 years? These basic facts are known to the town and the Region, it is the basis for the sale price. But no one wants to share it with the public.

    (3) All I hear from the town is fear mongering (cutting BOE funding, cutting services, massive employee layoffs, etc but no mention of a business plan.

    (4) It is my understanding that the State of CT subsidizes all infrastructure upgrades. Therefore, there would be no savings, as the regional unit would get the same funding amount. Can they do it for a lower amount? They would be required to follow the same bidding requirements, unless of course, there is “hanky-panky” going on at the Mayor’s level in the bidding process.

    (5) It is my understanding from the mayor that we are selling this Plant to purge ourselves from debt, although I am still confused as to how much and to what savings was already built into the budget. It leads me to think whatever happened to professional fiscal management? No one would build in a multi-million dollar shortfall into the budget when adopted? Haven’t we not learned from our neighbors??? But, its politics, so I guess not!

    (6) It appears we are giving away local control for 2 seats on a board for someone who lives in Hartford, Simsbury, Danbury, West Haven, to tell us how much we must set our rates and at what level needs to be invested in OUR sewer treatment facility. What is to say that it will now be 5 million, 10 million or 20 million for each of the next 5 years? Decisions of this magnitude are best made at the local level, by US!

    (7) So lets assume this is all for an election, short term savings…so we are once again selling our future for some small time political gain, which we will never ever get back.

    (8) Finally, what is the pressing need to to this? Is our system failing? How many violations have occurred? A business plan, please and NOW!

    (9) If a Business Plan is not publicized vote NO SALE on November 3rd and remove the representatives who support this unprofessional management of our Town.

  150. 150 stfdprofessor1

    “It leads me to think whatever happened to professional fiscal management?”

    We voted for a change to the town charter that rid us of that pesky professional fiscal management and gave us a system where decisions are made by someone who considers his own political interest ABOVE WE TAXPAYERS! That’s what happened to it!!!

    “so we are once again selling our future for some small time political gain, which we will never ever get back.”

    Yep, that about somes it up…however mayor “John” will benefit from that small politcal gain, as well as some others. I suppose that’s why “The Professor Family” got more junk mail from these lying theives about this again last week. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

  151. 151 missgreeneyes118

    Several times Harkins has claimed that selling the sewage treatment plant will take $37 million dollars off the books for the Town of Stratford.

    What he fails to mention is that the $37 million dollar debt is being put onto the backs of the ratepayers.

    So it is not going away, you can just pay it out of your other pocket.

    And if there is $5 million in the WPCA account, why would that go into the Town coffers to relieve taxes for everyone?

    Including people like Jon in the north end with a septic tank… when they never paid into the WPCA account?

    Doesn’t that money really belong to the ratepayers?

    And shouldn’t it be used for paying down the $37 million debt – that was taken off the Town books – and put back onto the backs of the very WPCA ratepayers who actually put in the $5 million dollars?

    Double talk?

    Or double taxation?

    The sludge from the plant is clearer.

  152. 152 jezebel282

    ” put back onto the backs of the very WPCA ratepayers who actually put in the $5 million dollars?”

    Which is probably why the State of Connecticut says it’s illegal to use sewer fees for any other purpose than the WPCA. Because that way people who are using the sewer system are being taxed twice. Unlike Chief Gottfried who has no sewer hook up but does have a fire hydrant near his house.

    Harkins and Sue Collier have been illegally looting our sewer fees for 6 years and nowhere in the budget will you find $5.2 million in overcharges or as they call it “cash reserve”.

  153. 153 Rockannand

    Here are the names of the people and businesses who funded that mailer and shamed our town, their families and their friends and fellow citizens:
    Tom Molloy
    John Dobos
    John Frey
    Brian Albenze
    Robert McGrath
    Ronald Ing
    Christopher Pia
    John Harkins
    Michael Mauzerall
    Tim Bishop
    Randy Vidal
    Thomas D’Aulizio
    David Fuller
    Lou DeCilio
    Patricia Gallagher
    Joseph McNeil
    Laurence Condon
    Brian Oliver
    Edmund Oliver
    Thomas Cotter
    William Harrigan
    Michael Ryan
    Patrick Gribbon
    Laura & Paul Hoydick
    John Florek
    Frederick Hyatt
    David Dunn
    Paul Antinozzi
    Patrick Rodenhour
    Andrew Testo
    Mike Henrick
    Thomas Brattaglia
    Rosati & Rosati
    Winthrop Woods Developers
    Burns Construction
    Good Erath Tree Core Inc
    N&S Electric
    The Carlsen Company
    Aircraft Facilities Group LLC
    Mt Showerdoor Inc
    Vimini Valmation Services
    Bridgeport Fittings Inc
    Main St Mortgage
    Mitchell & Sheahan
    Barnum Wine & Spirits
    Day Smith Steele LLC
    Karen Kaiser

  154. 154 Rockannand

    And Don’t forget that Bridgeport Fittings is Jim Connor’s company.

  155. 155 stfdprofessor1

    and dont forget

    **Robert McGrath STFD FIRE CHIEF
    Ronald Ing $TFD HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
    John Harkins $TFD MAYOR (for now)
    Tim Bishop $TFD TOWN ATTY
    David Fuller $TFD TOWN WATERBOY
    Lou DeCilio $TFD REGISTRAR OF VOTERS
    **Joseph McNeil $TFD DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF
    Thomas Cotter $TFD TOWN ATTY
    John Florek $TFD TOWN ATTY
    David Dunn $TFD TOWN ATTY
    **Patrick Rodenhour $TFD POLICE CHIEF
    **Rosati & Rosati $TFD TOWN ATTY’s
    **Day Smith Steele LLC $TFD TOWN ATTY’s
    **Karen Kaiser $TFD ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR (wink, wink)

    **non Stratford residents with no reason to be involved!!!

    PAY TO PLAY- lots of town attorneys and dept heads on this list- FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

  156. 156 stfdprofessor1

    I dont see Jon Gottfried on the list, his taxes must really be killing him so I guess he wrote a stupid lie filled letter instead.

    HAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAHAAAAAHAHAhahahahaha!!!!!!!

  157. 157 missgreeneyes118

    A reasonable and prudent person would not sell or buy a home or business without an independent expert appraisal with a comprehensive written report to know a fair market value.

    This protects the buyer from overpaying and the financier from loss.

    It also helps the seller to get the best return on investment by having an impartial expert do an appraisal.

    Can we see the appraisal of fair market value of the sewage plant and all the associated equipment that is Included?

    I am sure the mayor would agree that the market appraisal report plays an important role in making informed, intelligent decisions.

    As sellers – where can we see the market appraisal report?

    New Haven seems to have an appraisal… “The GNHWPCA will be purchasing $62 million dollars of Assets for $52 million dollars.”

    http://www.gnhwpca.com/~gnhwpca/images/docs/Meetings-Minutes/2015_BODMeetings/20150430BODMinSpecialMtg.pdf

    So, even by the numbers cited in these minutes, New Haven is to receive an asset worth $62 million at a cost of $52 million.

    To free up $5 million to balance the budget this year?

    This means Stratford is at a minimum leaving $10 million on the table for GNHWPCA.

    What’s not to like?

  158. 158 mikereynolds

    I believe we were to receive $16 million. $5 million for the WPCA cash reserve and $11 million from GNHWPCA which of course we as ratepayers have to pay for. What a bargain!

  159. 159 Rockannand

    One last indignity form this horrible deal – by not completing the WPCA Sale, Stratford must pay GNHWPCA a penalty of $250,000. That on top of the close to $500,000 we paid Pullman & Comply for negotiating the deal the past 2-3 years and another $100-150K to fight the petition. The new Council can certainly balance the budget by simply forcing the town to use lawyers that are not total screw-ups and bill by the hour. Given that the monies spent with Pullman & Comley were never authorized by the WPCA board, shouldn’t we require a refund from Pullman & Comley ? Or maybe fire the town attorney and get someone who gets the job done.

  160. 160 jezebel282

    The answer is for the Council to convert the Town Attorney to a salaried position and let GNHWPCA take us to court to try and collect. Of course, that would be right after we fired the Town Attorney responsible for approving this contract.

  161. The Town Attorney has more than once demonstrated his incompetence.
    But the fact is that he/she serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and the buck stops there. A new Council and a fresh beginning, it’s time for the Mayor to go and I don’t care if the door hits him on the way out or not.

  162. 162 stfdprofessor1

    “it’s time for the Mayor to go and I don’t care if the door hits him on the way out or not.”

    $250,000 penalty to the GNHWPCA and $500,000 to Pullman & Comply, screw the door hitting him, lets hope for a truck!!!

  163. 163 missgreeneyes118

    Yeah the mayor blew about a million dollars to justify his five million dollar budget fix, ….but it was for attorneys.

    So it must be OK.

    Lawyers always cost a lot and they are always paid…win or lose.

    Thanks to people’s vanity, stupidity, or pig headed actions… lawyers make a lot of money.

    So they are smarter than the average person

    The buck stops here?

    Why do we have a mayor?

    Harkins find the money to pay.

    From his salary, IRA, contingency accounts, surplus accounts, secretary accounts, lunch money…secret EMS slush or Sewage Plant….whatever he has.

    Will he put the people first?

    He made promises.

    Is he a man of his word?

    Or does he pass the buck?

  164. 164 missgreeneyes118

    Don’t look to the registrars office to save money right ?

    http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Stratford-registrars-first-to-register-for-6625595.php

    What a joke this article is
    “It’s not the job it used to be,” he said. “In the old mechanical machine era, the town clerk would handle much of the load,” he said. “But today, there’s a lot more paperwork involved with the new optical scanner machines. On election day, Rick and I work from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the job is far more complex”

    This is what travel agents would say to stop you from booking on line “it’s complex”
    Wow election day requires long hours for one day, there is no way to justify the full time salaries for the year
    Especially with only 30% voter turnout

    Milford, Ct services the same size population of voters for ½ the cost
    But so long as both Dems and Repubs are in on the money together who is going to want to change it?

    “We work well with one another,” DeCilio said. “In some ROV offices, the Democratic and Republican registrars won’t even look at speak to one another, which doesn’t help matters any. You have to leave politics at the door.”

  165. 165 jezebel282

    Green,

    Let’s see, 26 hours of Town subsidized instruction completed within two years? Not even a GED required? For a $67,000/year plus full benefits job?

    “Rick and I work from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m.”

    No naps? No breakfast? No lunch? No dinner? One day per year? What does the rest of the schedule look like?

    Anyone want to guess what the certification requirements for an EMT or paramedic are and how much the Town pays them?

    Can we call a Registrar of Voters if we have a voting emergency at 3 AM? For this kind of money, we should!

  166. 166 missgreeneyes118

    no need to call at 3am just go on line

    https://voterregistration.ct.gov/OLVR/welcome.do

    I found the link with without the 8 week UConn course

    “We look forward to the opportunity of bringing this new knowledge back in an effort to continue serving the people of Stratford effectively and professionally.”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: