Westfield - According to those attending tonight's annual Westfield Picnic on the cheaper side of town, Councilman Todd Berch announced to the crowd," I have decided today that I will not be running for re-election."
While some members of the crowd exhaled their disbelief over Berch's announcement others continued to wolf down their bbq chicken and corn on the cob without any worry. "To be quite honest I wasn't too shocked by this announcement," said J.J.Ramos a resident of East Street. "The Democrats have a nasty habit of tossing off anyone that doesn't kiss their (asks: Can I say that?) asses and Berch did not support their budget vote and was not present during a crucial union vote." Ramos then went on to add that he has only been to one Common Council meeting about a year and half ago, but does watch them at home when he is babysitting his 2 year old daughter. It should be noted that Democrats need to announce their slate by August 10th in order to qualify for the 2013 election and it is anyone's guess as to who will replace Berch on the slate.What's happening here? Is two time councilman, James "I keep falling on my sword for the party" Streeto coming back into the fray or could it be the Paul Lynde sounding former mayor for a day (1968?) Vincent Lofreddo returning to the noble and amazing world of M'twn politics. Keep watching and read more below:
1. Todd Berch showed signs of individualized thinking during his term, surely a sore spot with his fellow Democratic councilmen. Only those with tenure and political teeth are allowed to roll the dice in this city and unfortunately for Mr. Berch the Dems couldn't deal, so they the dealt him off. Biggest blunder in the eyes of the D's? Voting against Drew and the Democrat's fiscal budget for 2014 that raises taxes and adds more than $7 million in new spending. Berch and the four Republicans were the only ones looking out for citizens' wallets. Middletown Insider Rating: Loss for the Dems, Berch was a solid union guy who brought a freshness to the party. With the union person gone, this archetype needs filling. Step forward Labor Lawyer Jamie Mills. Mills was recently appointed to a a variety of committees (to gain name recognition) such as the Riverfront Development Task force for she has nothing logical to offer.
2. BOE member & former Chairman Ted Raczka will not seeking another terms now that his child has graduated on the city's dime, and after the Frechette Missing Million/Scream Room embarrassment. What do you mean city dime Middletown Insider? Glad you asked, when Raczka was chair of the BOE and Michael "ME" Frechette was in charge of creation, both men formed a gentlmen's agreement with regard to Raczka's son. Example: I will tell my special education team not to fight in the PPT to send your son on the city's dime to a special education school in Cape Cod. (Coincidentally, The Racka family has a home in the area- quinkiedink..) Those families who have students with severe disabilities were not able to send their kids to the famous Cape Cod school, it's only good for a fat cat Democrat who wants more of the pie.
4. A urban legend is that the queen of Nepotism, Hope Kasper, who is on the Personnel Committee knew all the sorted details about the grievances over at the BOE and the flawed accounting system before shit hit the fan awhile back.Did she accept a deal to lay low until her term is up, vote the party line and keep her mouth shut in exchange for a specially created position tailor made for son-in-law Josh Burger at the BOE Administration? This sounds quite plausible if you ask us. (Another Democrat fat cat who wants more of the pie)
5. The Democrats advocated for a decrease in treasurer's stipend, shafting Que Phipps. Rumor has it he is not well liked after advocating against increased parking fines downtown, something Mayor Drew and Majority Leader Councilman Tom Serra wanted. It is no secret Phipps covets a council seat, but will the D's give him a chance at council or retaliate and eliminate the treasurer's position all together?
6. James Streeto vacated his council seat when he was next in line to be the public defender for a high profile home invasion triple homicide case, however was not chosen. Word on the street-O! is that Jim wants back in the game, but do the D's want to play for a THIRD time? You think Street-O would man up and demand that the Dems give him more than friggin Board of Assessment Appeals after everything he has given them over the years. Rumor has it he allows Tom Serra to take his car whenever TS needs to blow off some steam.
7. People-pleaser Vinnie Loffredo strategically stepped down from his council seat to allow Dan Drew to take his place. Why? To pad Drew's swiss cheese resume and give him a first chance at actually holding any public office ever (for 5 months anyway) prior to him becoming mayor. Is it time to call on Cousin Vinnie once again to step in, make nice with the people, and clean up the D's mess?
Who is left and who is being cannibalized by the D-machine? Keep reading.
Disclaimer: Most of our information is provided by Democrats who want, yep, you guess it... a bigger piece of pie.