Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Through the Looking Glass an alternate view of Wednesday's P/Z Meeting -Part 1

Who are the opponents?
Liberal hypocrisy at it's finest. 170 College St.
Introduction: As most of you know, a boat load of people piled into and around city hall on February 27, 2013 to voice opposition to MX Zoning change proposed by Robert Landino, a local developer who plans to bring a Starbucks, Chipotle and other stores to Middletown if the zone change is granted by the Democrat majority Planning and Zoning board in town. At one point, Wesleyan University, who is selling the land, had their green non-corporate eye on bringing their student bookstore to the parcel of land diagonal from St. Sebastian's Church. Acting as if they were Yankee reliever Mariano Riveria, who is usually brought into a game in the late innings to save the day, Wesleyan pulled their plans for the bookstore from Landino's plans. It appeared that Wesleyan saved the day, by pulling their bookstore interest from project.

Guess what? They are still selling the properties; they are still making a truckload of money off the deal if and when it goes through.

Why no one sees that Wesleyan partially caused this problem?
Imagine the carport at the Starbucks with their idling cars putting toxins in the air. Who would be really responsible? Can it be that a University that prides itself on being pro-environment and ant-establishment has sold out to the man? (Research project: Why did Wesleyan buy a ton of properties in the early 1990s, let them go to pot and now hope to flip them to the highest bidder?) Can you say liberal greed?

Below is part one in a series that  takes a look at rare and unmentioned elements of this ongoing saga.

Where was the Mayor?* (He doesn't care, he knows Democrats won't vote him out!)

Mayor Daniel T. Drew is 100% behind this plan! Plain and simple, although his earlier statement to The Wesleyan Argus waffled on his position when he stated:

"“On the most basic level, for me to support something that would go there it would have to be something that is aesthetically harmonious with the rest of the streetscape and the use would have to fit well into downtown and complement what else is there.”

His position changed drastically nearly a week later, when William Warner, Middletown's Director of Planning and Zoning read a letter that stated that Drew was in full support of the Landino's proposal because of "the trumpeted the opportunities an open door would bring (to the city)".

This statement was read to the audience over the microphone at Wednesday's meeting, but not one member of the pubic showed any verbal disapproval of the mayor's position. (When former Mayor Seb Gulinao spoke about his trust in the P/Z committee and the possibilities this new zoning code could offer the town, right on cue a member of the village district stood up and voiced disapproval) Let's get this straight, nobody voices opinions against Drew's (Democrat) stance, but they are against Guliano's (Republican) stance. Can you say partisan?

In this case Mayor Drew is for your enemy! He is in favor of letting Starbucks, Chipotle, etc. build on Washington Street. Yet, those who spoke after Warner read the Mayor's letter, made a point not to make any snarky remarks towards Drew or his position. Mmm, they took shots at Landino, Guiliano and Wilson? Why not take on Drew, the city chief executive who likes to back the Mayormobile into his stall at city hall? Is it because he's a Democrat? Deep down inside, those Dems who are taking the business approach to the decision may be ignored but not ridiculed. (Jeff Bianco, a local architect, who can potentially make a ton of money off the project, has been given a free pass by his liberal village friends. Why is this?)

Democrat and local artist, Dave Schultz is the exception to this rule when he expressed anger toward Drew and stated that he will not vote for him in the future. Good job Dave!

Where was Quentin Phipps? Phipps, the current town treasurer who sits on two youth agencies and is the head of the city's Downtown Mainstreet District was not present at one of the biggest and vital meetings that took  place in town. Isn't this quite odd for a guy that prides himself on attending almost every sub-committee in the city, and now blows off something that would have a huge impact on the town. Phipps, who takes his marching orders from Daniel T. Drew, most likely avoided the hostile crowds and sat it out due to creative differences, interestingly enough The Middletown Eye, choose not to mention, Phipps convenient no show in their March 5, 2013 article entitled: You Can't Tell the Players without a Program. Surely, it would make sense for Phipps to be at this meeting wouldn't it? Truth: Quentin Phipps is a Democrat, and like the Mayor, they both secretly joke about the fact that no matter what happens, the village district will not vote in a Republican! (Source: The Cantina)

Today on his blog the MiddletownEye Ed McKeon posted a piece calling out those who spoke in favor of the zoning text change as not fully disclosing their full relationships to one another.
Well, in that case here are  facts McKeon failed to mention.

Extra Credit: What members of the village district who openly opposed Bob Landino and his plans have formed an LLC an are actively flipping north end homes? Mmm, isn't that strange! It's not okay for Bob Landino to make money off the north end, but it is okay for us. Liberal hypocrisy at it's finest. Is Landino not advocating urban renewal?

Blue House LLC Records (Page 1 or 7) Town Offices

 Do as I say Not as I do. Village residents Scott Kessel, Rani Arbo, Catherine Johnson, Mary Alice Haddad, Lucy McMillian, Edward McKeon, Stephen Smith, and Monica Belyea formed Blue House LLC in 2010 to fix up and flip for potential profit the  multi family house at 170 Washington Street. In 2011,  Blue House LLC supposedly outbid the Connection Inc. The Connection Inc is a non profit, affiliated with group and half way homes through out town. This dormitory style property could have made an ideal group or half way house. While these liberals love to brag about the non profits they support, could it be their actions make it appear that they don't want these types of "things" in their back yard?  By Blue House LLC converting the former dormitory into a two family house, it makes the property less desirable from this happening. Most of the residents listed spoke out against the zoning change. They claimed to have rescued a blighted property from being acquired by a slum lord; is Landino not doing the same? Are those opposed to the text change protecting the the neighborhood or their future projects and profits?

 Other outspoken villagers against future development are no stranger to development themselves. In the 1970's Community Health Center (CHC) founder Mark Masselli and and Wesleyan alum now Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (D) bought up at rock bottom prices historic properties on Main Street and in the north end.  The duo formed various corporations such as Hilda Associates LLC to purchase the properties.Why use an alternative llc? To perhaps not raise attention from those who might have criticized the future development of those properties into non commercial and untaxable uses? Later, when the  CHC acquired these properties and used them to house Community Health Center facilities and doctors' offices. Now there are over 100 CHC locations around the state many of which are housed in public schools. The CHC consolidated into a brand new building demolishing several historic multi family houses  to the north to build its parking lot. Where was the outcry then? What will happen to all the store fronts the CHC used to occupy? If the CHC holds on to them, then the rent will certainly be profitable, correct?

Liberals make money too, just have an issue when others want to make some also.
 The CHC receives  public money and from this Maselli, like many other CEO's of a non profits- despite the wonderful things the charitable org does for those without money - he too draws salary. Are Landino and Masselli that different both being entrepreneurs making personal profit? 
 Masselli's wife is Jennifer Alexander founder of KidCity - the non profit, ( unlike the CHC, KidCity is  not reliant on government grants), children's museum on Washtington Street. Ed McKeon and Jennifer Alexander co founded the Middletown Eye blog. Alexander had a historic convent converted and moved to house half of the museum. Alexander and Masselli were given honorary doctorates from Wesleyan for their work in the community which is praised by many as "urban renewal" of the north end. Alexander spoke out against the recent zoning text change allowing more development in the area. Why does McKeon leave this out of his essay if there is nothing wrong with these facts?

Ed really is for Ed. 
 McKeon critizes political associations he claims are the basis for support, yet fails paint a clear picture.  McKeon spoke out against those who said because Chief McMahon didn't worship or live enough of the week in Middletown he should not be police chief, yet in his own article, McKeon casually mentions City Planner William Warner lives in Middlefield in a blatant attempt to question his professionalism. Also in his essay McKeon rails against Attorney Wilson and his support of Mayor Giuliano, and draws a shaky conclusion that this is why Giuliano spoke in favor of the text change.
 To McKeon it matters as who each player has supported politically for some reason. If this is the case why does McKeon fail to mention Attor.Wilson also contributed to Democrat Susan Bysiewicz's various campaigns? Why does McKeon fail to s that some who spoke out were contributors to defamed Democratic candidate Chris Donovan? Some might think that's not d something to be too proud of.  Why does McKeon fail to mention that Wesleyan Green Party chair  Ross Levin spoke against the development?  Why does McKeon fail to mention that Democratic Town Committee member and WesDem vice president, former Malloy intern & shoe fortune heir Ben Florsheim  who helped to get local Democrats elected in the past 2 election cycles had his friend and fellow WesDem Gabriela DeGolia  read a statement against the development?  Why call out some but not others? None of this matters, but if apparently it does to Ed4Ed, let's get it all the political associates of those at the meeting out in the open.

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