April 8, 2015

Riverfront Zoning Text Amendment on P&Z Agenda Tonight

Tonight the Planning & Zoning Commission meets at 7 pm April 8th in the Council Chambers to hold a public hearing and vote on a floating zone text amendment for zoning of parcels near the riverfront. A copy of the agenda and proposed text amendment is available on the city website here:
http://middletownplanning.com/

April 3, 2015

Middletown GOP Chair to Mayor Drew: Obey the Law Fill Committee Seats

It isn't for lack of willing citizens that's behind unfilled city committees.  Local Middletown Republican Town Committee Chairman Ken McClellan recently sent a letter to Mayor Dan Drew and copied to media outlining the mayor's lack of attention to state statute in filling empty committee seats in a timely manner and with legally required balances of majority and minority political party representation. McClellan states he tried to work with the Mayor's aide Joe Samolis and City Treasurer Quentin Phipps to get the matter resolved on several occasions. to with no results. McClellan also describes instances where individuals were encouraged to change political parties to fill seats. These instances, McClellan points out, Mayor Drew acted immediately to put that individual on a committee.  (That's some dirty sh*t.) As McClellan points out, this puts any decisions by committees in violation in jeopardy of not being legal; and lawsuits for the city costs us the taxpayers money! Didn't Drew campaign on ending lawsuits?

 McClellan does the job that the Council Clerk ought to be doing outlining which committees are in violation.  Marie Norwood, Council Clerk, a position that was upgraded to over $90K a year in salary, is on the Technology Committee and in charge of keeping council meeting minutes & therefore up to date records of committee appointments as made by the Mayor and approved by the Common Council. These should be made available on the city's website. The City website operates on circular logic with no conclusions. The city site has links to committee lists under the "Community Involvement", however; no lists are attached, only outdated meeting minutes for some of the committees.

What's with all the sloppy practices?  As mayor, Drew also set forth an official rule that all committees were to meet after 7 pm so that members of the working public could better attend. Many committees, such as Design Review & Historic Preservation (DRHP) meet much earlier in the day violating the decree. Harbor Review hasn't met in months, despite recent attention to riverfront redevelopment. Redevelopment Agency & the Riverfront Redevelopment Committee have taken several months of hiatus for unknown reasons, much to the disadvantage of the public. Here is a link to the yearly meeting schedule of the Riverfront Comm. which basically says it will meet when "needed" which from the looks of it means never. DRHP and others are permitted to operate outside of Robert's rules, issue rulings without legal quorums, and don't keep accurate meeting minutes. Speaking of representation, Mayor Drew often names committees "task forces" to attempt to thwart the state statutes of minority representation- 'ala the Task Force on Government Efficiency. Try getting meeting minutes, schedules or agenda's from the City's website and one will find many committee's minutes are several YEARS out of date.  Despite the progress to decommission the City sewage plant and allow new development of the riverfront, the Riverfront Comm., according to the city website last met in May 2014- almost a year ago. As McClellan points out, the last minutes for Redevelopment Agency are from 2011! Who knows what meets when or what goes on! 

Unfortunately this thwarting of the law is nothing new.  McClellan has been attempting since 2013 to get accurate committee lists directly from city hall and he hasn't been the only one . Also, in a 2013 via an official FOI request filed with the Town Clerk MRTC Vice Chair William Wilson tried to obtain list of vacant committee seats & active members from Norwood whom indicated to Wilson the lists of committee members could not be provided because they "did not exist." Wilson's FOI letter can be read here.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Middletown Republican Town Committee

PO Box 1121

Middletown, CT 06457

March 30, 2015

Mayor Daniel Drew

City of Middletown

245 DeKoven Drive

Middletown, CT 06457

Subject:  Board and Commission Appointments

Many appointed commissions are out of date or out of balance without the representation required by the state statute.
This non-compliance means that some commissions are not properly constituted, and opens any decisions rendered by those commission to challenges.  In the case of Inland Wetland Commission, whose decisions have a financial impact on home owners, businesses and developers, it opens the possibility of lawsuits challenging decisions.

Since February of 2013, I have tried repeatedly to get a current list of appointments, and to work with Mayor Drew to ensure that all boards and commissions are properly and fully staffed.  Mayor Drew, on various occasions you asked me to work with Joe Samolis and the City Treasurer, Quentin Phipps, to bring the list up to date, and to receive recommendations on minority party appointments.  Neither has responded to my requests for information, and the mayor has acted extremely slowly on the recommendations that I have made.  You did, however, act quickly when an individual, after a lifetime as a registered Democrat, changed party affiliation to Independent, and was appointed to a minority seat on a commission within 2 weeks.  While possibly legal to appoint someone that quickly after a change in party affiliation, it definitely violates the spirit of minority party representation required by the state statute.

The ‘current’ appointment list published by the city does not match the member lists published for various commissions or the city website.  Neither list matches the members listed in Meeting Minutes published by the various committees.  So it is not possible to know who the members are, what political party they represent, or what actual vacancies exist, in order to make nominations to fill those vacancies.  It makes it difficult to determine if the individuals attending meetings and voting on issues were properly appointed.

The Inland Wetland is an example.  The current composition of the commission, according to the city website, is:

Joe Carta  (Dem)
Robert E. Whitney Jr.  (Dem)
Hector Bartoli (Dem)
Fred J. Terrasi (Rep)
Trevor H. Davis Jr. (Dem)
David Pritchard (Dem)  (Listed as Republican on official appointment list.)
Daniel Paul Pelletier (Rep)
Paul Henry Turenne (Dem)
Member – Vacant
Member – Vacant
Alternate – Jack Pieper (Dem)
Alternate – Gabriel Russo (Dem)
Alternate – Vacant
Alternate – Vacant
Alternate – Vacant

David Pritchard is listed as a Republican on the list of members, however, the David Pritchard on the committee is a registered Democrat.  His son, of the same name and address is registered as a Republican.  If this is a mistake on the part of the Mayor, it is certainly a careless error.  The result of this error is that, with two vacant seats, and both Alternates being Democrats, the commission has a de facto 8 to 2 membership, even though the state statute requires 1/3 membership be non-majority party, which would be 4 members.  As such, this commission is currently not legally constituted under the state statute, and any decisions rendered are subject to challenge.  

Redevelopment Agency:   Joseph Tine is currently listed as a member, on the city web-site, although he passed away last year.  The most recent published minutes available on the website for the Redevelopment Agency are from May 2011.

Conservation Commission
The member list in the meeting minutes do not match the members listed on the city website, and does not match the report I received from the council clerk.

Website Members
March 15 Meeting Minute Members
Kate Miller(Chair) (D)
Sheila Stoane(Vice-Chair) (U, Former D)
Liv Baker
Jane Brawerman (D)
Ellen Lukens (I)
Steven Ladd (D)
Lee Sawyer
Jonathan Morris
Joan Liska (I)
Diane McGrath
Vacancy
David O'Brien (alternate) (D)
Vacancy(alternate)
Vacancy (alternate)
Chairperson Kate Miller (19)
Vice-Chair  Jonathan Morris (17)
Shelia Stoane (16)
Diane McGrath (17)
Steven Ladd (16)
Jane Brawerman (19)
Joan Liska (20)
Lee Sawyer(17)
Liv Baker (16)
Eric Mosher (15)
Ellen Lukens (17)
Alternate: Michael Singer (16)
Alternate: David O’Brien (19)
Alternate: Vacancy (16)

Eric Mosher is listed as a member whose term expires this year, but he’s not listed on the website member list.  Michael Singer is listed in the minutes as attending meetings, but is not listed in the City website as an appointed member.  Are these two legally  members or not?

In addition, Shelia Stoane was registered as a Democrat until shortly before she was appointed to a ‘minority’ seat on the Conservation Commission.  She changed her party affiliation to Independent and was quickly appointed to the Conservation Commission by Mayor Drew.  I also understand that she spoke to Mayor Drew about an appointment before changing her party affiliation.   Her appointment violates the spirit of the minority representation provision in the state statute.  Several Republicans have requested and have been recommended for appointments to the Conservation Commission, all of which have been ignored.   The current composition of the commission may be technically legal, but  could be open to challenge in court.

Citizen’s Advisory Committee
Website Members
March 15 Meeting Minute Members
Deborah Kleckowski (Common Council Seat)
Grady Faulkner (Common Council Seat)
John Rumberger (Middletown Housing Authority Seat)
Vincent Szynkowicz (Planning and Zoning Commission Seat)
Robert Blanchard (At-Large Seat)
Linda Szynkowicz (At-Large Seat)
Ronnie Bantum (Low/Moderate Income Seat)
Harvey Cushing (Elderly Seat)
Richard Pelletier (Disabled Seat)
Sean King (Westfield Seat- Census Tract 5412, 5413, 5414)
Jessica Broderick (Westfield Seat- Census Tract 5412, 5413, 5414)
Pat Murray (Downtown Seat- Census Tract 5411, 5415, 5416, 5417)
Karlene Duplessis (Downtown Seat- Census Tract 5411, 5415, 5416, 5417)
Howard Reid (South Farms Seat -Census Tracts 5418, 5419, 5420, 5421, 5422)
Susan Owens (South Farms Seat- Census Tract 5418, 5419, 5420, 5421, 5422)
D Kleckowski
G Faulkner
R Rumberger
V Szynkowicz
R Blanchard
L Szynkowicz
R Bantum
H Cushing
R. Pelletier
S King
J Broderick

K Duplesis
H Reid
S Owens

Pat Murray is listed as a member on the city website, but are not listed in the meeting minutes, either as present or absent.  Is this a valid vacancy or an oversight?  Party affiliation is also not available, making it impossible to determine if the commission is properly constituted.

The examples above are not the full scope of the issues with appointments to boards and commissions.  There are other problems, both with vacancies and non-compliance with party affiliation requirements.  As I said earlier, I, as Chairman of the Republican Town Committee have tried to work with Mayor Drew, and at his request, with his designated representatives, with no positive results, which has prompted me to write this letter.  

But the real danger of not filling the commission seats properly, in accordance with state statute, and by not complying with minority representation, as required by the state statute, is the liability to which the city is exposed.  If the commission is out of compliance, that brings all of its actions into question, and an aggrieved party could cite this as a basis for appeal and potentially, a lawsuit.  And lawsuits, as the Mayor has told us, are not good for the City of Middletown

I would like to continue to work with you and your staff to correct these discrepancies, and would appreciate your response.

  
Kenneth A. McClellan
Chairman
Middletown Republican Town Committee

Suzio: Good News About Fight to End Early Release!

From the Office Len Suzio State Victims' Advocate:

A few days ago I wrote to inform you that no public hearings on Early Release were scheduled for this Legislative Session.
Apparently so many of you responded to the news and contacted legislators that the Judiciary Committee has now scheduled a public hearing on Raised Committee Bill SB 1129
SB 1129 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A PILOT PROGRAM TO IDENTIFY AND TRACK THE HOMELESS, ADDICTED OR MENTALLY ILL PERSONS ENTERING THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND CONCERNING THE EARNED RISK REDUCTION CREDIT PROGRAM.
How would  the proposed legislation affect the Early Release Law?
The proposed legislation will not repeal the infamous Early Release law, but it would reduce the number of criminals who would be eligible for early release by expanding the crimes that disqualify a criminal from eligibility to get a reduced sentence under the program.
Currently criminals guilty of only 6 crimes are not eligible to receive Early Release credits:
  • Murder
  • Capital Felony
  • Felony Murder
  • Arson Murder
  • Manslaughter First Degree
  • Manslaughter with a Firearm
The proposed changes would add the following crimes to the ineligible list for RREC's:
  • Assault on a pregnant woman resulting in termination of pregnancy
  • First Degree Sexual Assault 
  • Aggravated Sexual assault of a victim under 13 years old
  • Class A Felony Home Invasion
  • Persistent Dangerous Felony Offender or Persistent Dangerous Sexual Offender
The very fact that persistent dangerous sexual offenders, a crime with a high rate of recidivism, are currently eligible for Early Release underscores how dangerous the current law is!
The proposed disqualifying crimes for eligibility for Early Release fall far short of crimes should be ineligible for getting out of prison early, but it is a small step in the right direction.
The hearing is scheduled to start at 10:30 am in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building. If you can come and testify it would be great. But if you can't come, please send letters that you support the proposed changes - and keep the pressure up on the Legislature!! 
Call or write your State Rep and State Senator to support passage of this bill. Massive public pressure is the only hope for passage of this badly needed reform.

Please share with us any responses that you get for your State Rep or State Senator so we know where all legislators stand on this issue and let me know if you plan to go to the Hearing on Wednesday.

April 2, 2015

South Fire District Annual Charity Flower Sale

A Message from South Fire: Our annual Easter Flower sale starts Thursday April 2 at the firehouse on Randolph rd. The funds we raise help support local organizations like, Amazing Grace Food Pantry, Middletown Little League, Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center, and the Adopt-A-Family program. We will be there from 8am till 7pm Thursday through Saturday, hope to see you then!

March 26, 2015

Your Daily Spin from the Middletown Mess: Dubious Drewbious

"If your lips are movin', you're lie lie lying."
Today the Mess published an article copy and pasted from a press release from the Drew camp. Aside from a few added lines, its regurgitation of the talking points Drew is using to launch is campaign for a third term. Mayor Daniel Drew received an honor from the progressive organization called the New Deal org.  The New Deal is a "non profit" made of up liberal minded elected officials around the country headed by Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado. Hickenlooper was co founder of the Community Health Center of Middletown back in his Wesleyan days, you can connect those dots..The Mess, oh so conveniently fails to mention what this group & award are really about. Must be an election year if the paper is already doing its due diligence as local Democrat's personal soapbox.

 Below are a few corrections to the congratulatory accolades Mayor Drew bestowed on himself in his auto- bio. http://www.newdealleaders.org/leader_drew_daniel

So what is the NEWDeal Org?? Basically a PAC founded by liberal democrats to give out fake awards to each other. Is it really news for politicos to give fellow politicos awards for towing the party line? The ND Org seems to be a millennial version of the Democratic Leadership Council, a '80s "non-profit" used to recruit young D's as future politicians & donors. A worth-the-click article explaining what this Democrat bank rolling machine is all about can be found here: http://www.vice.com/read/the-democratic-party-future-dark-money-fracking


"Since becoming mayor of Middletown in 2011, Mayor Drew has closed the $8 million deficit in the city budget and upgraded the city's bond rating with the lowest interest rates in city's history. (FALSE: All municipalities bond ratings have gone down in light of the economy! He created a deficit. Since he has been in office he has proposed & passed budgets increased by $13 million. Today there are more grievances being filed than ever before, 19 from Union 466 workers at the BOE alone, despite his campaigning to end the lawsuits. Also a record number of lawsuits by private citizens are being settled for big bucks instead of being contested, costing us all a lot more than they should. The City recently settled two for $250k and $400k that may have been disproved if they went to trial. But that would be bad publicity for Mayor Drew as the  "make nice" guy)He has also improved the efficiency and efficacy of City government by implementing large-scale re-organizations that will save taxpayers millions.(FALSE: This has never been proven with data presented to the public. In fact you can read here how in reality MORE money is being spent) Mayor Drew has restored highly competent leadership to the police department and added several new officers to the force. (FALSE: 3 officers have lawsuits for wrongful termination. Drew contested one officer's PTSD diagnosis. Since when is Drew an MD?) Several new businesses and manufacturers have opened or are under construction in Middletown. (where?)He has also enacted a senior tax relief program which will significantly aid seniors on a fixed income( most seniors don't qualify) in addition to a prescription drug discount program for Middletown seniors. (FALSE: Drew was against the Senior Center at Eckersley Hall and proposed it be crammed into the Council Chambers. The prescription drug program is independent of the city of Middletown, run by the state only low income seniors qualify for.)
In addition, he has re-negotiated a large energy service contract for the City of Middletown, saving taxpayers $1.4 million. (FALSE: Drew proposed budgets significantly raising the millrate each year he has been in office. NO savings of his attempts to consolidate departments have ever been shown.) Mayor Drew has saved taxpayers $800,000 by reducing pension fund costs. He also merged city and BOE finance operations, substantially increasing transparency. (FALSE: Outside legal costs are are at an all time high. Read it here)Mayor Drew graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2002. He will graduate from Columbia University in 2015 with an MA in social and organizational psychology.(Drew is attending college during work hours and still being paid, not too shabby, and why the hell not taxpayers sent him to CHINA once before)"

March 25, 2015

Suzio: Democratic Legislature Has No Intention of Reforming Early Release of Violent Felons

Len Suzio is CT's Victim Advocate, a
former state senator from Meriden, and leader in
 the movement to
 end the state's Early Release Program
 for violent felons.

Proposed Repeal of Early Release Program
Many of you have contacted me inquiring about the movement to end or reform Connecticut's scandalous Early Release Program. I have not written to you because I had hopes that our legislators would make a serious effort to repeal or reform this terrible program. But it is apparent that although legislation was proposed to prohibit criminals guilty of violent crimes from being eligible for Early Release the Democratic controlled Legislature has no intention of reforming this tragically flawed program.

What is even more disappointing is that there will be no public hearings where victims and citizens can express their desire to see this terrible law repealed. We knew from the get go that the Democratic leadership would not support the repeal of the law, but we had hoped that through a special legislative process there would be public hearings that would allow the public to put pressure on our lawmakers to end or reform this failed and dangerous law that shows more sympathy for criminals than for the victims of crime and their families.  Unfortunately no Legislator led the effort to petition for public hearings on SB 649, An Act to prohibit criminals guilty of violent felonies from being eligible to get Early Release credits.

We know now that the safety of our citizens is a low priority for our legislators. We are led by a Governor who appears to have more sympathy for our criminals that for their victims. And apparently no leader in the Legislature was willing to make a serious effort to call for public hearings to end this abominable law.

All is not lost - there is still a chance that Early Release could be changed by an amendment to other legislation
If you would like to express your strong support for the repeal of the Early Release law I encourage you to contact by phone or e-mail your state senator and your state representative. If you don't know who they are just e-mail me your name and voting address and I can provide the information to you. There is still a possibility a vote may happen if a legislator introduces an amendment to other legislation. So all hope is not yet lost for this year.

March 23, 2015

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK

 
What do you think? 
Is Public Works being conscientious when it 
comes to spending your tax dollars?
                                Let the threads speak.


From: Billboy Baggins
Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2015 7:09 AM
To: Russo, William
Cc:
Subject: Plowing
Dear Mr. Russo,
At 5:00 AM I heard a snow plow pass my house on East Main St. and saw another plow on Jenson Place.  Looking out at about 5:30, I noticed that the pavement in the driveway was still visible.  Putting on a pair of flip flops, I walked to the end of the drive and observed that the street had received no more snow than did the driveway and that it had been sanded and salted.  While outside, I could hear plowing going on around the neighborhood.
Less than an hour later, another plow passed my house; and again, at 6:55 another.  That is three times in less than two hours.  (Twice in the same direction)   The total snow accumulation in my driveway at this time, 7:08, is 5/8".
Mr. Russo, while it seems reasonable to sand and salt ahead of the 1 to 3 inches of snow predicted by the national weather service, I have a hard time understanding why our city's plow operators would think it necessary to have the plows on the pavement, when there is virtually NO snow on it.  It is also difficult to understand why, an hour later, with little to no accumulation, they would come back and plow what had just been sanded and salted, and an hour later, to do the same.
Operating plows under such circumstances does not seem to be reasonable.  The noise it creates unnecessarily disturbs people's sleep, (I'm up at that hour, anyway) and unnecessarily adds wear and tear to the plows and the trucks and leads to additional fuel consumption. (not to mention overtime)
I urge that in the future, city employees be restrained from using city resources in such a wasteful manner.
Very truly yours,
BillBoy Baggins

On Thursday, March 5, 2015 09:31, "Russo, William" <William.Russo@MiddletownCT.Gov> said:

We wanted to make sure that everything was completely bare for school , which was going to start with no delay. When it comes to safety, especially for school children, I don’t believe we were unreasonable or wasteful.
  I’m very sorry we disturbed anyone’s sleep. Our driver’s haven’t slept home more than two nights in a row since the beginning of February
                          Bill

On Thursday, March 5, 2015 09:54, Billboy Baggins
  said:
Dear Mr. Russo,

Thank you for your courteous reply.  However, I must respectfully disagree with your assessment that that it is not unreasonable or wasteful to plow half an inch of snow.  And, having a granddaughter in 3rd grade at McDonough, (sp) I don't accept the "for the safety of the children" argument.

No less than eight times, perhaps more, (twice since I sat down to write this), since 5AM, have the plows come up and down my street with the plows engaged! There is less than an inch of snow on the ground, now, and at 5:00 there was only a dusting.

I can see sanding and salting ahead of the snow, but to sand and salt, then plow away the sand and salt and re-sand and salt makes no sense, at all.

How much has the city exceeded this year's snow removal budget?   While I appreciate the job the plow operators perform, I don't feel the least bit sorry for them not sleeping at home more than two nights in a row since the beginning of February.  With the overtime they are getting, they can all take a two week vacation to the Caribbean, on the taxpayer's dime.   

Bill

I received no further responses to the above.
Here we are 16 days later . . . 
On Saturday, March 21, 2015 12:39 PM, BillBoy Baggins wrote:


Dear Mr. Russo,
It is 12:12 PM, the sun is shining, the temperature is 34 degrees and the national weather service predicts an afternoon high of 43.  Is there a logical reason city trucks are plowing bare, wet-at-best pavement?
Does not the public works dept. have any regard for the prudent, responsible use of the city taxpayer's money?
Very truly yours,
BillBoy Baggins
There has been no response to this, yet.
If This sort of thing irks you, start speaking out!

 

March 13, 2015

And Justice for All: "Going for a Third Term" by John Milardo

 Going for A Third Term Issue 
And Justice for All #34 Opinions Of A Citizen March 1, 2015 
By John Milardo  
“And Justice For All” is a newsletter involving my opinions, views, and commentary as a life long Middletown resident. In my capacity as a former employee and staunch labor leader of City of Middletown (retired) for over 42 years, I have a different perspective regarding how and why public figures do what they do. 

I hope everyone is safely getting through this tough winter. Only a couple to a few more weeks and we’ll be on our way to warmer weather!

I see Dan Drew has announced he’ll be running for a third term as Mayor of Middletown, which is now a 4-year term of office. It’s sometimes funny to read how great some people believe they are. Dan Drew is one of those types of people. I don’t know if it’s a politician being deceitful or just plain arrogant! The following is from his January 15th campaign announcement.

“In the past three years, our community has come together to do incredible things,” Drew said in his statement. “We have increased economic development, increased public safety, cleaned the environment and ended the conflicts with the schools left by the previous administration, saving millions of taxpayer dollars.”

It would be nice if Mayor Drew would have made factual statements instead of the same old political rhetoric. Just like when he said his City department reorganizational plan would save the taxpayers money and increase productivity. We now have in place a reorganization Committee to determine what, if anything, came of the merger. I didn’t want to wait for what Drew’s committee has to say, so I took matters into my own hands, using the same public on-line budget information his panel will be utilizing. I’m simplifying all the information, so I don’t bore you with 100 pages of budgetary line items.

Now mind you, there haven’t been any significant employee increases, because three (3) of the City Unions have been without new contracts for the past few years. (Mayor Drew can’t claim wage increases have impacted the budgets.) Nor could Mayor Drew claim increased wage salary because of increased hiring, as he claims in another statement he has reduced the municipal work force. The 2014-15 budget was not used as it is currently in use and will not be completed until June 30, 2015.

Reorganizing of the Parks Maintenance Division into the Public Works Department
The fiscal budgets for these two (2) individual divisions/departments in 2010-2011, prior to joining them together was $6,040,000. ($1.32 million for Parks, $4.72 million for Public Works) The 2013-2014 fiscal budget which is after consolidation of these two (2) departments is $6,214,000; an almost $200,000 increase to perform the same work as prior to the consolidation, with less personnel. The only difference is that the Public Works department doesn’t borrow equipment from Parks anymore, they now confiscate it. These figures do not include any additional expenses not included within the department budgets for work performed by private contractors.

Reorganizing of the Personnel Department into the Legal Department (aka Office of General Counsel) 

The Legal Department has always included the Risk Management division. The reorganization of departments consolidated the Personnel Department, (aka Human Resources).

Prior to the consolidation, the 2010-2011 fiscal budgets totaled $716,000 annually. $370,650 for Personnel, and $346,000 for Legal/Risk Management departments.

Post consolidation, the 2013-2014 fiscal budget totaled $903,430; an almost $200,000 increase to perform the same work. (This cost does not include any monetary awards which have been paid to plaintiffs.)

There are still private legal fees paid to outside lawyers to represent the City against lawsuits brought against the City (Mayor Drew) for various reasons. There are several outstanding suits which will probably cost the taxpayers big bucks in settlements.

As of right now, I can say the reorganization of City departments cost the taxpayer approximately $400,000 plus for the same or less service which they have received in the past.

Mayor Drew states he has saved the taxpayers millions of dollars brought on by the prior administration because of conflicts with the Board of Education. Show us! Legal fees were in the tens of thousands for both parties. Where have millions been saved? The Board of Education budgets have gone up every year since Drew was elected. It was the newly elected BOE who terminated the then BOE Superintendent and his administration to correct the problem. It wasn’t Dan Drew! He’ll take credit for it anyway. If millions were saved, why weren’t they passed on to the taxpayers?

Taxes have steadily increased since Dan Drew was elected Mayor. Luckily, the Common Council didn’t approve his City wide budget requests, they cut them, or the mil rate increases to taxpayers would have been double of what it has been!

I recently read a legal document regarding a City employee who has won a settlement award from the City due to an action taken by Mayor Drew and administrators of the City of Middletown’s habitually worst run department. If the Mayor was in fact dedicated to the citizens of Middletown and wanted full transparency in government, both of these department administrators should be terminated before they cost the taxpayers more than just money. But that won’t happen. Mayor Drew condones their actions. This same director and Mayor terminated a department employee a couple of years ago, for using threatening language. Just a month or so ago, another department employee used almost identical language, and received a light suspension. Why the discrepancy? Gender based, politically connected, or both? To all Common Council members, newsflash! This is why this department has so many problems! Issues in this department have always begun at the head of the snake! But y’all know that, just don’t want to do anything about it. Do yourself a favor and ask the Office of General Counsel for a copy to read.

On a positive note, the new Senior Center is up and running, and seems to be a welcomed improvement for our Senior citizens. I read in the newspaper when the new facility opened, how Mayor Drew couldn’t praise it enough, and felt it was long overdue. Maybe others don’t remember, but I do. When Dan Drew was a Councilman for a short period of time, thanks to Vin Loffreddo, Dan voted against the purchase of the of the building which he now praises. It wasn’t a priority at the time. One of the most important things a politician relies on is that “the voters have a short memory!”

Rumorville: Someone gave me a call a while ago, stating Mayor Drew was away from his office for 2-3 days a week back then. Rumor was Mayor Dan was attending classes at Columbia University on the City’s dime, and continued to receive his pay just as if he was working. This is a rumor as far as I know, and don’t know if it is true or not? If he did go to Columbia, more power to him. If he didn’t use earned time off to go, shame on him. Besides being unethical, it is a misuse of power and resources - perhaps the great Mayor should Google: Rowland, Ganim, and other Connecticut political leaders that were brought before the justice system for their deeds.

The next municipal election is critical as we will be installing a Mayor and Common Council to 4 year terms. Voter’s need to become educated beyond what a simple press release states. It’s easy and unfortunately all too frequent that politicians place themselves on grandiose pedestals touting records that are far less lustrous when you pull back the layers of fake gold and silver. Remember…. If all these glorious feats were indeed factual… why did our mil rate for general government go from 26.40 in 2011 to 32.70 in 2015???? `

Stay strong. Stay involved. Stay together. Wake up and seek the truth.

February 4, 2015

Comments from the Public about the Middletown's Board of Education

Comment originally published in the last Rumblings section



Really !! Don't blame the new BOE manager...that place was screwed up way before she got there... from my understanding, she is doing a fabulous job in straightening out the mess over there. The person that should be looked at is the Facilities / Band Director. What qualifies a Band Director to run Facilitates?? Oh wait, He brought in a contractor to do his job while he continues to screw things up. ( Can you say payoff ) Someone ( Gaylord ) has got to be getting something in return to keep defending Sadexo who is doing a terrible job and who let one of the schools run out of oil. They are a waste of tax payer's money and need to go He may be doing more underhanded things like hiring his kids AND himself for doing jobs not related to him,,, can you say conflict of interest !! How do we know if he's fudging the hrs for them... Oh my, the list can go on and on.. sooo,the board may want to dig a little deeper in this guy.. and his associates on More Rumblings about Middletown! Read Carefully Insider Lover

January 27, 2015

More Rumblings about Middletown! Read Carefully Insider Lovers!

1. The Middletown Press, umm, The Middletown Mess ran a story today reminding us Rep. Joe Serra is still alive after getting a call it had been a full 72 hours since a “S “family member was mentioned in the paper. Serra is still "working" to "help" seniors.  In fact, he has gone on record to promise that he will introduce a bill in the next Connecticut House Legislation that will promise to reduce aging for anyone over 62.  It’s sort of like a reverse Logan’s Run thing.  (Google it)

2. How's that Rt. 9 on ramp fix going the DOT proposed in November Rep. Serra? Oh wait that was just a campaign ploy.  How long have you been a State Rep who sits on the transportation committee? Long live CASHO!

3. Mayor Dan Drew has been tweeting all day how he has been out in the snow with emergency crews. Reportedly, an ambulance was stuck on Farm Hill Rd and Drew, with his mighty Asgardian Hammer, helped push it clear, delivered a baby in a snow bank, swaddled the newborn & & breast fed the infant himself while the mother recovered from shock.  He then made damn sure Joe Somalis called Victoria Sunderkistqust at The Mess to put it in the Press, why not? It's an election year suckers.  Taxes still keep going up! Vote Dem! (They have controlled the town's budget since 1991)

4. The roads are 75% clear; the roads are 50% clear. Too soon? Next year, I the mayor will meet with Zeus and the other Olympian Gods to stop the storm. I will take the mystical horse Pegasus up to the heavens to stop the storms.  I fight for YOU, the citizens.  Oh yeah, Obamacare it is the way to go!! Opps, right, the prices continue to go up for that too.

5.  Rep. Matt Lesser (D) Middletown proposes a bill for "legal equality" of snapping turtles, or as Latino Caucus member calls them Tortugas. Christie Carpino (R) Cromwell proposes a bill to allow break-ins to prevent hot-car deaths. What the hell about turtles trapped in hot cars? Unbelievably insensitive. Come on guys and gals, let’s be political correct about everything.  Why not, it’s the 21st Century!  (Trivia: Matt is a member of the Hispanic/Spanish caucus up in Hartford? Jesus, he is whiter than Wonder Bread and he is now hanging out in that Caucus)

6.  The Connecticut Freedom of Information (FOI), Commission has scheduled a March 2015 to hearing for FOI requests for reports and more importantly budget information with regard to the Middletown Board of Education budget.  More importantly, a member of the Middletown Board, Linda Szynkowicz who cannot get an itemized copy of the budget, filed the FOI request.  Don’t believe it? Try to get a copy for yourself or better yet visit a BOE meeting? The budget presented utilized broad numbers and takes the public in circles whenever a logical question was presented by member Szynkowicz to the board.  What happened to transparency Ed4ED?    In unrelated news, there seems to be a matter of a large shredder missing from the BOE basement on Hunting Hill Avenue.  I guess you could check Brochette’s basement on Coleman Road, but don’t hold your breathe!    Where the missing 1.2 million?

7. Did anyone send a letter to Mayor Drew recently seeking an appointment to a vacant City Commission & not receive a answer? Please review the following new instructions in order be appointed by King Drew: Democrats: send your letter of intent to City Hall, 245 deKoven Drive.         

 Republicans: Tie a rock to your letter & toss from Arrigoni Bridge. Aide Joe Samolis will retrieve. Shit that is funny!  Perhaps, anybody living on Wilcox Island will hoard the GOP requests and make a giant paper teepee out of them or it may be revealed that the real BOE budget is hiding on Wilcox Island next to Stephen Devoto's ego.

8. Deer head reportedly found on Wesleyan campus. Where is Stephen Devoto when you need him?  Heck, the Yeti thing was funnier.

9.Connecticut State Sen. Dante “I only won by 213 votes” Bartolomeo is upset that new CT Transit facilities won't have restrooms. DOT states there are no funds to maintain such facilities & that if towns want potties then they should foot the bill. Bartolomeo: "Isn't that what illegal aliens are for?" Yep, she did indeed!

10. Wife killer defender & City Hall leech John Hall of the Jonah Center says it will supply bio-degradable poo poo bags to rail commuters. "If you have to go & are waiting for the train, you have to go somewhere. This way, you can save it, take it home and compost it in your garden, or just toss it from the platform." Bags will feature pictures of  snapping Tortugas & be handed out by volunteer unicyclists lead by Dic Wheeler at stations between Meriden and West Haven. BTW if the City hired a real environmental planner, can't we dump the biology reverend hippy? Hall has asked Mayor Daniel T. Drew to ignore David Messenger’s negative side and let him work with Treasurer Quentin Phipps in the future due to all the checks balances the treasurer has to do with regard to checks and balances and organizing folks to protect that position’s stipend. (Seen rant below)

Translation: The Dems and the GOP wanted to defund the Phipps’ position because it costs the city nearly $5,100 a year and the elected official does NADA!  The job has been phased out years ago 
folks, ask member  Dr. David Larsen, he’s a Democrat so he must be right.  Phipps, after already being muscled out of the city job by Drew and the downtown district, freaked out and made this a an issue that rhymes with lace. Yep, the elected Dems got nervous and stuck the treasurer job back in, even though their own findings said the treasurer position in Middletown should be moot. What happened next?  Phipps claimed on his Facebook page that he was working at a school in the Bronx, a few days later he was called on this and it turned out the school was in Stamford.  Must be nice to say what you want!

11. Despite being hired for an unfunded Environmental Planner position, and despite that 466 does not have a no lay-off clause making it perfectly legal to drop this person, Council majority and hanger-on council members (you know who you are) rumored to keep Michele Ford in her recently acquired position & find the funds. NOTE: they won't be found in any culpable party's pocket. Is employing someone for possibly next 25+ years with full benefits & pension cheaper than a lawsuit or dropping the ax on those who made the boo boo? Who is the mysterious Michelle Ford?  Who does she know? What is her connection with Drew or with Malloy?

12. Senior Center Library named the Phil "ITS FOR THE CHILDREN" Pessina Library. Find the irony in that one.

13. Park & Rec study shows need for new fields and sports facilities in Middletown. Ironically the fields supposed to be built across from a certain Serra's house no longer proposed as needed. NIMBY.