After many years of informing the Parks & Recreation Commission, Councilmember’s, and Mayors, that our parks infrastructure was deteriorating and broken, due to lack of budgetary funding, the City is now acting. Councilman Serra and Mayor Dan Drew are past Commissioners of the Parks & Recreation Commission. Councilman Todd Berch and Phil Pessina are current Commissioners. During that 20 years of neglect spoke about by Councilman Serra it is valid to point out that he served as Mayor. Several years ago, I was asked by the Commission to supply them and the Common Council with detailed information of which facilities and what construction/renovations were needed. The cost tallied almost $25,000,000. That’s a lot of neglect! Most towns understand the importance of both parks and recreation. They know it is more than soccer and little league fields. It’s about quality of life for all ages in a community and being able to partake in whatever activity you desire, and not just be a spectator.
Most, if not all of the Councilmember’s, including the Mayor and his cabinet, have no idea what the Parks department’s responsibilities to the community really encompass, or where some of our parks are even located. That is one of the main reasons the parks infrastructure system has been allowed to be thrown aside for so long during the budgetary process. I remember then Mayor Maria Holzberg wanting to close many parks and athletic fields down: “Parks and recreation are non-essential!” Was she right?
During a retirement interview with Shawn Beals, the subject of Middletown’s park deterioration was broached. I told him when the politicians are ready to reorganize departments and place the Parks division within another department (Public Works), that funding will begin to pour in. My opinion is that for political and personal reasons, the Parks division was set up to purposely fail. I’ve said it at prior public meetings and in Newsletters that once departments are on the verge of reorganizing, whatever money is needed to succeed will become available. This is just round one. If I sound bitter, I may be. When I read the Mayor thinks it’s a good idea to put lights on the Arrigoni Bridge at a cost of over $750,000 taxpayer dollars, and we don’t even own it, yeah, I might get bitter. I think of all the good we could do with that money in our parks. Perhaps Councilmember’s never understood that my passion for the Parks department and development came from a deep rooted commitment to the community in which I was raised. There was only one reason to be outspoken – and it was to provide the citizenry with great public spaces to enjoy the outdoors. I left City employment with the regret that the dreams, goals and visions for the department never came to fruition. Even if the reason for the funding and attention to our natural landscapes is ultimately for all the wrong reasons, I’m glad that the facilities might be getting the attention that they deserve.
Stay strong. Stay involved. Stay together. Seek the truth.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and views expressed in this newsletter reflect the opinion and view of the author, and should not be construed as fact or advice. The author is a life long Middletown resident and taxpayer, and is sharing his opinions as such. The opinions and commentary do not reflect the views of any political party, organization, or citizen group. This newsletter reflects opinions and commentary which the author wishes to share with his friends.
Speaking of Middletown parks and facilities, why is the Middletown High School Track locked all the time? This track will rot from lack of use. At least let the taxpayers enjoy what they pay for now that the Wesleyan track is being rebuilt. Why is the Wesleyan track used by many in the city while the MHS track is locked up?ReplyDelete
To anonymous at 10:33ReplyDelete
The lock it up because the city officials think they own this city and the people should never question them. They have an entitlement attitude. This mayor doesn't have the balls to think for himself. I thought he would be different when I voted for him. What a fool I was! They think they own what we pay for! Wake up folks. Vote them out! No more second and third chances. I don't care if your a dem or republican. Vote in people who don't owe anyone!
Good insight John! Keep up the good work!ReplyDelete
We need a "like" button on this site! :)ReplyDelete
It all fell apart on your watch John, all that OT you collected, and just neglect of our parks.ReplyDelete
Look in the mirror when you complain, buddy.
John had 40 years on the job?How did the parks fall apart during this time? I heard he was the super for at least 20 years? Sour grapes againReplyDelete
So Anonymous' 6:35 and 8:32. you want to blame me for not funding the Parks department properly over the years? As your Council leaders always say - the are the fiduciary responsible authority, and the buck stops with them!ReplyDelete
Just ask for copies of the budgets submitted over the years, and you will see our capitol and cnr recommendations, which have to do with construction, renovations, and future planning, were not funded. Funding is the Councils responsibility.
Maybe if Mr. Milardo had spent more time doing his real job during working hours instead of conducting union business, writing and emailing political newsletters that got him tossed from the AFT and having marathon coffee breaks with the wife, all the OT he scarfed down could have actually been used to improve the parks which were woefully maintained during his tenure.ReplyDelete
John is 100% right!!- $75 k to STUDY something is just as erroneous as spending $70k to STUDY the riverfront and not really do anything! These studies are just so the D-camp can give their buddies jobs. Total wastes of taxpayer money! Ask the P&R dept what needs to be done and put the $75,000 towards that! Goes back to bids- Greenskies ie Landino gets to sell the City solar panels but that didn't go to bid- low and behold they are top on the list for Drew campaign contributors!ReplyDelete
So correct. Massive O.T. for this guy. Post his pension plus the city payout and the General Public will see through this guy. You were in charge Milardo. Bottom line Parks fell apart. Blame former Mayor;s , blame council, if he did his job you wouldn't need the money needed now. But that's John. No one is as smart as him. sO YOU HAVE A PASSION BUT DON'T SPEND THE MONEY? make up your mindReplyDelete
You know something.....they all deserve each other! Seek the truth? Neither side no how to speak it. Let alone take it!ReplyDelete
If the people only knew the real truths! In time.....they will!
Time tells all. And all are telling. Soon people will know what kind of "leaders" we have and who the people they put in power really are. It's inevitable.
Whoever is in charge can't do worse then what condition parks are in now..ReplyDelete
Mr Milardo needs to put it to rest and move on. What anger this peron has.
Aaah I see that the Water & Sewer Department must have awoken from their nap times to get in some blogging during the work day. Want to see waste... go to Berlin Street. Or better yet, drive by Amici's at lunch time. Any time between 12 and 2... All department leadership having a "working lunch".ReplyDelete