Monday, November 04, 2013

Letter to the Editor: John Milardo: Get Out and Vote!

Below is a essay by John Milardo. All opinions expressed are that of the author and not necessarily that of the Insider staff.
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 There are many political signs all over Middletown for Tuesday’s local election. I’ve seen candidates who are seeking political seats hoofing all over, knocking on doors, speaking to citizens, and handing out information. Just this past week, some Republican candidates canvassed our street and surrounding neighborhoods doing just that. 

For a point of information, candidates have every voters name and address, along with which Party they belong. For instance, my wife is a registered Democrat, and I’m Unaffiliated. It is no surprise when candidates knock on your door, and ask for your support. 

Today, I was surprised to hear Democrat Mayor Dan Drew, who is not being opposed, was going to houses in our neighborhood along with Councilmen Gerry Dailey, Grady Faulkner, and Councilwoman Mary Bartolotta. To my surprise, they walked past our house and our neighbors. Okay, you have a registered Democrat and an Unaffiliated voter living at our address, with two Republicans next to us, and you don’t stop in to ask for their support? 

At least speak to the Dem. You just walk right on by! Is it something I said? Gee whiz! I thought there was a big bipartisan effort going on in our City. Mayor Drew and Councilman Serra are always commenting on how great both parties get along on the Common Council floor. I guess the Democrats only want to speak to other Democrats and hear what’s on their minds — no one else counts! Bipartisanship begins and ends on the Council floor. I really wish they would have stopped by. I had a lot of questions to ask them about the bond issues on the ballot we will be voting on next week. 

“You ask what kind of questions?” Under the $15.2 million road bond, is a list of dollar amounts for work on each road to be performed. One of my questions would have been, “What kind of road work are you doing on Abbey Road for $6,050? Or, how about Avondale Court, $7,260? Are you fixing a curb, a sidewalk or catch basin only? When the City paved Sisk Street this year, the new asphalt driveway work at Councilman Tom Serra’s house cost more than both of the work on these streets put together.

All I keep on hearing is that Middletown has an open and transparent government now that the Democrats are in the Mayoral seat. Give the public ALL the information needed to make an educated decision on how to vote, not just some of it so you could sneak thing by us. 

Another question I had regarding the $15.2 million road bond is a mathematical one. If the road bond work as listed is going to cost the entire $15.2 million dollars, where is the funding coming from in the bond for “public works building and structure improvements”? There is nothing listed on the bond information. 

The other bond question to vote on is for the purchase of street lights from CL&P, so the City owns them outright. The best I could tell is that the bond is for $1.15 million dollars. That is for just the outright purchase of the light fixtures. Not included in the bond is yearly cost for the maintenance, equipment, employees, and dollars to upgrade the system. That will be an additional budget cost each and every year thereafter, if the bond is approved. 

One last question I would have asked is where is the funding coming from for the approximate $750,000 of new trucks and equipment for City departments? Has it been snuck into one of these bonds we are going to vote on? 

Bonding equipment over a 20-year period, when their life expectancy is half that is insane! You will be getting rid of these vehicles and equipment half way through paying for them, and purchasing new replacements. We will be doubling payments and the interest for something that has always been fiscally budgeted for, until now. That is of course if this issue is part of these bond questions. 

It would have been nice to ask Mr. Mayor and his fellow Democrats these questions, because I could not find the answer anywhere else. There is nothing on the City of Middletown website for the public to read regarding the upcoming vote on the bond question. Is that intentional? The bigger question is what do these bonds include that are not being mentioned on the ballot for this Tuesday? 

Get out and vote. Middletown is your town and it's your money they are spending

John Milardo, Middletown

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