February 22, 2012

Your Invited to the CTYR Celebration


Friday February 24th, 2012.
The Connecticut Young Republicans will be hosting their first ever Lincoln Celebration!

This event will be the celebration of the life of the first ever Republican President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

***Our special guest speaker will be 3rd District Congressional candidate Wayne Winsley!!!***

The event is being held at Terminal 110/Keys To The City in New Haven. The event will be in the piano bar area and we will be treated to a piano show at 7:30p. No cover for CTYR members and CTYR Lincoln event attendees as long as you arrive before 7:00p. $7 cover after 7:00p.

$20 recommended donation to CTYR.

Please RSVP so we can have a head count beforehand.

Terminal 110/Keys To The City Address:

240 Sargent Drive
New Haven, CT 06511

Terminal 110 website - http://www.terminal110.com/Home_Page.html

Contact Shaun at shaun@ct-yr.org with any questions.

Hope to see everyone there!

February 20, 2012

Gas Tax Cap Rally A Success!


Today State Senator Len Suzio  R-Meriden & Middletown, lead a rally at Hiba Gas Station on the corner of South Main Street ;  to bring attention to his proposed bill to cap the state gas tax. A crowd of about 30 residents showed up in support.
 Currently CT's state gas tax is 47 cents per gallon. The gross receipts tax that is 7.5% on the is in addition to the state flat tax of 25 cents on each gallon of gasoline. Suzio has drafted legislation, senate bill number five, to cap this tax. Gas is predicted to rise to over four dollars a gallon this spring. Suzio states in his many reasons listed on his website that the State says that money from the tax goes to road repair ; bridge work, but this is simply untrue; the money goes to the general fund.The gross receipts tax is by percentage, which right now is 7.5 percent, so the gross receipts tax increases when the price of gasoline goes up.
“The people of Connecticut are getting gouged,” Suzio told the crowd, "Representative Matt Lesser came out and spoke against price gouging during the hurricane, but what about the rest of the year? The gouging that goes on everyday? That's why I am here."
Middletown Common council members Joe Bibisi, Deborah Kleckowski & Phil Pessina were on hand for the rally, as were former Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, Ed Dypa, chairman of the senior services commission, Molly Salafia, Planning & Zoning Commissioner, and Wayne Winsley, candidate for the U.S. Congress for the third Congressional district (Middletown). Also in attendance were former Council member & local radio show & political commentator host David Bauer, former Board of Assessment Appeals & co host of the TV show "The Edge" on cable access William Wilson, Bob Stefurak  host of the "The Diner," and current BOE board member Ryan Kennedy.



February 18, 2012

Drill Now, Explore Now, Cap the Tax Now!

This Middlefield gas station hasn't raised prices in years. Only one problem, no gas or diesel here. With our abundance of energy resources we should be able to approach these long ago prices,  $2.50 per gallon is certainly possible if we were to exploit our proven reserves, not to mention our potential reserves. Drill Now, Explore Now, Cap the Tax Now!  (John Brush Photo)


February 17, 2012

Pain at the Pump: Cap the Gas Tax Rally Middletown





Did you know that there is a 53 cent tax on every gallon you pump? CT now has the highest tax in the country! There are state representatives who would like the high gas tax to remain uncapped. To the  Middletown Insider, the phrase "Thank you Sir, may I have another?" comes to mind. If you are hurting at the pumps please come out to the rally and show your support and also sign the online petition.  Yeah, yeah we know gas is nearly $7 a gallon in Europe, but they also have a stellar public transit system, and this is not Europe. There can be environmental concerns and lessening of the dependence of fossil fuels and still keep costs down- find out how! 

Please attend to show support for Sen. Suzio and your wallet.
http://ctsenaterepublicans.com/home-suzio/

The facts as posted on capping the gas tax from Sen. Suzio's website:

"Q: Would capping the Petroleum Gross Receipts Tax (PGRT) reduce budgeted revenues?
A: No, the proposed cap is based on the total revenue that the FY 2013 budget assumes from the PGRT (for both the General Fund and the Special Transportation Fund).
Connecticut has been reaping a windfall of PGRT collections in recent years. During the last 30 months the state has collected more than $100 million of extra Gross Receipts taxes because higher gas prices effectively have triggered higher Gross Receipts taxes per gallon of gas. At its peak last year, the State was collecting approximately $0.25 per gallon compared to the budgeted $0.15 per gallon, or an extra $0.10 per gallon. If gas prices rise to $4.50 per gallon as some are projecting, the State would be collecting about $0.55 per gallon in PGRT and gas taxes!
Q: Would oil companies pass on the tax savings to consumers?
A: Gas taxes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are lower by about $0.25 and $0.19 per gallon. Gas prices in those states are almost exactly lower than Connecticut by that amount. In other words, actual experience demonstrates that the tax reduction will be passed on to consumers.
Q: Does Connecticut need the extra Petroleum Gross Receipts Tax collections because we don’t have tolls?
A: Connecticut does not have tolls on its inter-state highways because it receives multi-million dollar subsidies from the federal government. These subsidies are in lieu of tolls. In fact, if Connecticut were to restore tolls it would have to forfeit the federal subsidies. So Connecticut does not need the PGRT to make up for lost toll revenue and, in fact, that is not even a viable option.
Q: Will repairs and maintenance of Connecticut’s bridges and roads be deferred by capping the PGRT?
A: Absolutely not. The extra monies that the state receives when gasoline prices increase is directly deposited into the state’s General Fund for general annual expenditures. Not a penny of the extra PGRT collections has been used for their intended transportation related purpose."

February 12, 2012

Was it retaliation?

A strange article in the Middletown Patch this week. Middletown Democartic Town Committee (DTC) Chairwoman Lisa Santangelo, wife of Councilman Robert Santangelo responded to questions posed by Patch writer Cassandra Day about allegations about retaliation made by Christine Bourne.  Christine Bourne is quoted in the article in Patch saying: “Anybody who disagrees with them gets thrown out.” in reference to her recent "extraction" so to speak from the DTC after 16 years of participation. Chairwoman Lisa Santangelo is quoted in the same article as saying "Its a very clean process."  Huh? The Insider thinks she sounds as if speaking of some sort of medical extraction procedure, or certain situation in a certain Scorsese flick where a lot of "cleaning" took place. 
 Bourne challenged Dan Drew for the Democratic nomination for Mayor in this past election cycle. Bourne, then City Treasurer and BOE employee was also the so called whistle blower about the spending deficit, claims that were recently corroborated by an independent accounting firm hired by the City. Several members who long held membership were not reinstated as part of the DTC. Ann Tommasi, the Democratic Registrar of Voters in Middletown sought the opinion of the Secretary of State regarding the registration of Wesleyan students this past fall was removed from the DTC. The article is balanced providing responses from all parties( something the Insider likes to see),it failed to mention local Wesleyan Democrat student leaders, who denied working with  DTC to organize the mass registration of students to vote in the municipal election this fall, Ben Florsheim and Gabriela De Golia, were made official members of the local DTC. Florsheim and De Golia filed an official complaint  to the State Elections Enforcement Commission accusing former Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, who was being offered an executive counsel position at the SEEC, of  voter intimidation and suppression citing two instances where he visited campus and statements from supporters, which then played a key role in successfully persuading  the Commission to rescind it's job offer. Did Giuliano not receive this job on the sole basis  of the complaint by students? The answer is unclear; however the complaint and who it was made by cannot be under estimated in it's political weight as well- these were not your average students without their own politically charged agendas driving the complaint. The Insider sees a very odd coincidence in the timing of these events that begs the question: Were these students coerced into and then rewarded by the DTC for challenging Giuliano? Ironically enough, Ben Florsheim is the chair of the College Democrats of Connecticut, a huge voting block wielding a lot of power - a relationship that would be very beneficial to the DTC. For a politically ambitious young man such as Florsheim, doing the bidding of Democratic politicians in key  positions too timid to file a complaint themselves with the SEEC- for fear of appearing partisan perhaps - say attacking  a  former Republican mayor seeking a job in election enforcement would be a very smart move for such a young man seeking political advancement and wanting to trade favors down the line ( not that that ever happens). It's what you call.. well..  DIRTY politics. The process seems anything but clean.
The Middletown Patch article written by Day can be read here: http://middletown-ct.patch.com/articles/dem-town-committee-chair-refutes-retaliation-claim
The Insider thinks the timing of this article and response by DTC Chairwoman Santangelo is just strange. 
Oh and Christine Bourne - You go girl!

Sen. Suzio in Middletown this week- Mark your Calendars!


Sen. Len Suzio, R-13, is holding to upcoming meet and greet breakfast events. He is hoping to reach out to supporters in the community. All welcome to come ask the Senator questions and express concerns in person.
Feb. 16 at 7:30 a.m. Rise + Shine Cafe, Tradewinds Plaza, Saybrook Road, Middletown

Feb. 21 at 8:30 a.m. Connecticut Valley Hospital cafeteria, Middletown

What a contrast between this present (non) Winter and last year's Snowpocalypse. Here was the scene about one year ago near Main & Washington:
Snow and Fire

John Brush (Photo)

February 11, 2012

Welcome to the Middletown Insider!


The Scoop on the BOE Superintendent Contract

The Middletown Insider would like to shed some light on the recent drama of the BOE administration this morning. In recent weeks news has broken that there is a $1 million deficit in the budget found by an independent accounting firm hired by the City to perform an annual routine audit. It also should be noted that the "temporary" hire for the BOE payroll position is past the 90 trail period and has become permanant earlier this week.. The person who was given this job by Superintendent Michael Frechette is the son in law of Councilwoman Hope Kasper (D). The conflict of interest arises in that Kasper was on the Hiring Commitee to fill this position.. This applicant did not score in the rankings for the position.Prior to the re-election of Kasper, then candidate Councilwoman Linda Salafia wrote letters published in the Middletown Press and on the Middletown Eye Blog condemning the blatant practice of nepotism that occurred; despite the proof of this, Kasper was elected anyway.
According to Councilwoman Linda Salafia (R) as posted in her facebook group this week: "The City of Middletown's charter states that the Mayor is the hiring authority for the City and BOE for all non-certified positions. The State upheld the Union's complaint, the BOE appealed and subsequently has withdrawn the complaint and the position is currently posted. However, the position that the BOE created illegally is still occupied at the BOE??? Because the rumors that I am hearing are saying that the emcumbent employee has an employment contract until the end of the school year, the BOE is not addressing the illegal position. I requested the employment contract of this employee under the FOI Act and was given a copy of the contract which is actually anybody's right to do so. What I found interesting was that the contract has as a term: until termination. ??? Appparently this contract does not expire at the end of the school year. Also, what was interesting was that, even though this has been a issue of several years, this contract was executed in August of 2011. So... a contract with no specific length of term, open ended, was written and signed in August of 2011?? Why?"
"There are some facts that need to be posted: right after the election, the press printed that the BOE had withdrawn their appeal of the State of CT DOL decision against the BOE in regards to Ms. Haynes' position and the union position of business manager. Although that was printed in November, the actual withdrawal was not done officially until the very end of December. Took awhile. Should be noted that the employee who applied for the position has declined to take the position and now the position is posted to the general public."

Good questions Councilwoman Salafia! So far only you and Councilwoman Kleckoski have publicly questioned the sanity behind the continued employment of Superintendent Michael Frechette and Business Manager Nancy Haynes.

The Middletown Press article that was published on Super Bowl Sunday, although the deficit in funds was initially brought up during the Finance Committee meeting that previous Wednesday explains the deficit that the annual audit found. The Press writes:" Councilwoman Deborah Kleckowski, a Republican, called for the immediate termination of both Frechette and Haynes on Friday.
“The irresponsible behavior is endless...and it’s more than fiscal irresponsibility,” she said. “The Board of Education comes before the council and requests money. Once the council allows the allocation to go forward, the board of ed can do whatever it wants.”
Kleckowski said Frechette and Haynes have “demonstrated an inability to follow general accounting practices and provide clear and effective transparency.” She said the education board was granted an extra $1.3 million last fiscal year and the money “was squandered.”
“Frechette got a raise, Haynes got a raise and Senges got a raise,” Kleckowski said. “Not a single instructor got a raise.”
Kleckowski also called for an immediate review of administrators, including special education administrators, for receiving large sums of money for mileage reimbursements"."

According to his contract, Frechette does indeed have carte blanche to do (or not do) whatever he wants. This includes, hiring and firing staff at will, without necessarily publicly posting the positions, paying or not paying janitors and aids in a timely manner, giving himself and his administrator's raises, while teachers receive none and students are sent home with "supply wish lists" which parents are expected to go out and purchase for classrooms that are not properly stocked with things like paper and pencils you would expect that tax payer contributions would normally fund in a public school. Sound like a fairytale? 
Well, it is all true and available to for the average citizen to read. Written plain as day for all to read, according to his contract the superintendent is employed until terminated; he is perpetually in his second year of a three year never ending contract. In previous weeks before the discovery of the discrepancy of funds in the BOE budget (which mind you, Christine Bourne then City Treasurer & BOE administration employee brought to the attention of then Mayor Sebastian Giuliano a year ago, but thats a whole other story). According to the same Press article Mayor Dan Drew claims the deficit is merely an "over spend" and "difference in accounting practices." Is this like an "over share" or too much information moment? The Insider would like to point out when the average citizen over drafts his or her checking account, we do not get an "opps my bad" free pass from our banks as it seems the BOE administration is getting from the Mayor. The Insider would like to think that we can all agree on how to add and subtract; we would like to know what differences in accounting that Mayor Drew is talking about. Apparently, we the tax payer, have yet to get the memo on the new math being used by the BOE administration.
The bigger question is will Mayor Drew step up and call Frechette out on the carpet for all the issues that have occurred in his tenure? These include countless grievances by staff, delays in pay for staff who have worked overtime, complaints about transportation from parents over unsafe bus stops & recent action by the State Dept. of Education over this, complaints by parents about the closing of the DEAL program and cuts to Special Education,, improper hiring practices,, reports of bullying in schools, issues with requiring police to be present in the hallyways of the high school, low test scores, supply shortages in classrooms, and less than two weeks ago news that made Farm Hill Elementary the center of national controversy because of the use of what parents called "scream rooms." A truly sad moment for Middletown was when CNN & the Dr. Drew Show chimed in on un-padded, lockable, windowless, converted concrete block janitorial closets that Frechette knew staff were using to isolate both unruly students and special needs students. The Insider asks : Are we just at the tip of the iceberg with the BOE Administration as to what is really going on?
Bottomline:Today, when it comes to the budget deficit, it appears Superintendent Frechette's new nickname should be " Super Fullashitte."