RAW AND UNFILTERED

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Public Comment on City Budget Tonight, Drew Raises Taxes 2nd Year in a Row

Public Comment on City Budget Tonight April 30, 2013
7pm. Council Chambers.

THE FACTS:
Last year, Mayor Drew's budget raised taxes 3.8% tax increase for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
This year if adopted, Mayor Drew's budget will raise taxes 3.3% for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
Mayor Drew ran on the platform of lowering taxes.

Letter to the Editor: Councilmember Salafia: City Dept. Mergers Don't Save Resources

Below is a essay by Councilmember Linda Salafia. All opinions expressed are that of the author and not necessarily that of the Insider staff. 

The City Reorg will be voted on at a special council meeting open to the public at 6 pm Thursday May 2, 2013 in the Council Chambers.

Salafia previously commented on this re-org in an earlier letter to editor:
Read full article here.
 
The objective of the task force appears to contain a predetermined remedy for what were yet-to-be discovered problems. Salafia points out that many of the positions will still have to be filled and therefore the cost savings is a false assumption. Kleckowski cited departments becoming dysfunctional as a concern. In a previously published letter from the actuaries hired by the City to City Finance Director Carl Erlacher, the actuaries expressed concerns that the pension fund be in trouble as early as 2014. Apparently, Mayor Drew knows better than the professionals.
Editors Note: Background Information and financial breakdowns:
The package is available to read here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B1OYjxtLEgUwUm9EZ1gzYUdsODQ
The smoking gun letter from the actuary is here:   https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B1OYjxtLEgUwUm9EZ1gzYUdsODQ
 Previously published posts on this subject can be read here:
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Councilmember Salafia's Letter to the Editor:
I want to respond to John Milardo's newsletter however I don't think the space for comments will allow me room to say what I want.
The vote on the merger of the Personnel Department into the Legal Department is scheduled for May 2, and most assuredly will pass.  However, I plan on voting no to that and to any other resolution presented as a result of the merger.  There are several reasons why I don't agree with this particular merger and don't think that it will either streamline, improve the efficiency of government or save money.

First, I don't agree with the report issued by the Task Force formed by the Mayor to improve efficiency in government shortly after he took office.  I believe that the Mayor gave them the charge to reduce the number of employees that report directly to him; not that the committee did an unbiased assessment of the workings of the city government.  The report stated that 20 employees reported directly to the Mayor, I'm having trouble coming up with those 20.  Also, I understand the concept of having outside eyes look at the procedures; however, they need to have a basic understanding of the current procedures before you make changes.  I had to point out to them that even though only one employee in a truck driver position was retiring that in reality they were losing up to 7 drivers who drive snow plows during storms.

Secondly, I don't agree with the numbers presented on how this merger will save money for the city.  As part of the package given to the Council outlining the savings, as John says, the second Deputy City Attorney position is included in the current funding column and also in the proposed column so that there is no effect on the bottom line.  While this is technically true, since the position of second Deputy Attorney is in the budget now, it was done so on the expectation of the merger happening.  It was not in the budget prior to this year and therefore should be included as a new expense.

Thirdly,  I truly believe that the Personnel Department has different duties and functions that although could often use the advise of attorneys, they should remain separate and distinct.  The volume of work needed to handle the hiring process of the city by itself should illustrate the need for a separation of duties.  Now you will be filtering the public and employees through the City's Legal Office.  The Personnel Department was a department of 4 employees and that had been reduced to 3; this merger is proposing 2 for this function.  I find it difficult to believe that 2 people are going to be able to handle the required duties without additional help considering what's on the horizon such as needing to hire a new Fire Chief, and the review and filling of the other positions that are open as a result of the retirement incentive given.  (That's another whole article about why I didn't agree with that either - as far as, I can see, there's been no actual savings with that.)  Paralegal has come up in discussions.

Also, included in this merger may be a change in the council committees which is going to be another problem and will require another whole discussion and I believe that should happen before any merger or change takes place.
Therefore, based on those reasons and more, I will not be voting in favor of this merger.  
 
Sincerely,
Linda Salafia
Councilperson, R

Monday, April 29, 2013

Guest Blog: Department Merger Begins by John Milardo

 Below is a essay by John Milardo. All opinions expressed are that of the author and not necessarily that of the Insider staff. The essay in its original format can be downloaded here:https://docs.google.com/file/d/1JdYt1P4HN0CPb-B3Mi8qtOXC4yIWrbTyQ7VJbNEG-cDgCfYmgxL7H_1mziVX/edit?usp=sharing

The Common Council will the vote on Mayor Drew's proposed budget just around the corner, the Council will be voting on the government re-org soon. Milardo discusses the impact below. See the Editor's note at the end of the article to read our past posts on the same subject for further background. Past newsletters from Mr. Milardo can be accessed on our site by typing in "And Justice for All" or "John Milardo" into the search area at the top of the page.
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 “And Justice For All” is a newsletter involving my opinions, views, and commentary as a life long
Middletown resident. In my capacity as a former employee of Middletown (retired) for over 41
years, I have a different perspective regarding how and why public figures do what they do.

The merger of City of Middletown departments begins according to an article in the
Hartford Courant by reporter Shawn Beals. ( http://www.courant.com/community/middletown/hc-

middletown-legal-personnel-0426-20130425,0,1041366.story )

The article states that City officials estimate a yearly savings of $92,000 for the taxpayer,
and more efficiency in government because the present Personnel department will be on
the same floor as the legal department. The below is an excerpt from the Courant article.

The city attorney's office and the risk management office are on the upper level of city hall,
while the personnel department is in the basement. The three offices frequently have to
work together on labor issues and other matters, and Smith said proximity would boost
productivity.

"Being in the same office, it's going to have much more efficiency and shared knowledge,
and that comes to saving tax dollars," said Council Democratic Majority Leader Thomas
Serra. Smith said he plans to have weekly staff meetings.

Mayor Daniel Drew said the merger of the three departments, a major shift in internal city
operations, would ensure a smarter approach to labor and legal decisions.

"We're consolidating operations by putting our personnel function in our legal office,"
Drew said. "It will give us the ability to avoid future problems by ensuring that personnel
decisions are not made in a vacuum in terms of the legal effects personnel decisions have."

The newly hired City Attorney Brigg Smith comes from Michigan, and has absolutely no
knowledge of how Middletown government operated. Councilman Serra should know that
just because a department is moved within another does not guarantee more productivity.

Consolidating may have the reverse affect on productivity if the City Attorney is a micro-
manager and there are personality conflicts within the proposed consolidation. Various
past ways to get around the two floor difference was by using phones, emails, stairs, and
the elevator.

Mayor Daniel Drew’s statement: "We're consolidating operations by putting our personnel
function in our legal office," Drew said. "It will give us the ability to avoid future problems
by ensuring that personnel decisions are not made in a vacuum in terms of the legal effects
personnel decisions have."

What past problems is he referring too? His statement about personnel decisions being
made in a vacuum is total hogwash! Every Mayor before him instructed the Personnel
Director which way to proceed on any given matter, and approved the final decision of
ALL personnel issues. That is the Mayors primary function as the immediate supervisor
of all department heads. Let’s call a spade a spade… the Mayor does not want to be
bothered having more than a handful of directors talking to him. That will put a damper
on the amount of time he spends in Hartford.

How the City Officials came up with a $92,000 per year savings is beyond me. Before this
current reorganization of departments, the City Attorney’s Office consisted of one (1) City
Attorney ($120K) and one (1) secretary ($54K). The Personnel Department consisted of
one (1) Director ($102K), one (1) Deputy Director ($87K) and an Assistant ($54K).
Total of $363K.

The newly proposed “Legal Counsel” department will consist of a City Attorney ($130K),
two (2) Deputy City Attorney’s ($120K per attorney), a Human Resources Director
($102K), and a legal secretary ($54K). Total of $526K.

Now, these wages do not include benefits, and are cost out at their maximum wage, as it
seems that is how Mayor Drew likes to hire people. So, let’s do the math; $526,000 minus
$363,000 = $163,000 increase. What! An increase? Can’t be! I must have hit the wrong
keys on my calculator. Let me check my numbers again. 526 minus 363 = 163 no, no, no,
I mean a savings of $92,000 a year. Yeah, that’s right, a savings of $92K a year. Damn
calculator! It just kills batteries.

Perhaps the Officials calculator has different function keys, and can show how there is
such a huge discrepancy – their $92K decrease to my $163K increase – a $255K
difference. It could be moving from two floors to one is where the savings is?

More interestingly though will be to watch the competitive hiring process for the 3rd
Deputy City Attorney. Curiosity is building to see if the top candidate just HAPPENS to
be a former City Councilwoman…

I guess the only fact of this entire article is that Mayor Dan, his Democratic
Councilpersons, and two Republican Councilpersons, believes that the public doesn’t
know how to add.

Stay strong. Stay involved. Stay together. Seek the truth.

 John Milardo

All City Middletown Public School Festival in Photos

The annual All City Music Concert took place in the hockey arena at Wesleyan on Saturday evening. Master of ceremonies was Middletown Music and Arts Department Director and high school band teacher Marco Gaylord. The festival was the  31st Annual and featured students from grades 4-12.



Letter to the Editor: Please Pass South Fire Budget

Editor's note: All letters to the Insider are printed as a courtesy to readers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Insider.  We want to hear from you! Please submit thank you!
A letter by resident Dan Penney in opposition to the proposed budget was published previously and can be read here:
http://www.middletowninsider.com/2013/04/letter-to-editor-upcoming-south-fire.html
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 This week you ran a negative letter from Dan Penney regarding next Tuesday's South District Budget Vote.   Myself and the other four Fire Commissioners would hope that our position on the budget can be published before Tuesday.  Our statement is attached.  Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Any Questions, contact Commission Chairman David P.Gallitto or myself.

Statement by Members of the Board of Fire Commissioners – South Fire District
On Tuesday, April 30th, Voters in the South Fire District will be asked to approve the proposed $4,605,680 budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.  As the duly elected stewards of Middletown’s largest Fire District, we the members of the Board of Fire Commissioners would like to offer some facts before you vote.
The proposed budget carries no increase in taxes. The Tax Rate will remain at 3.648 mils.  Compared with other Fire Districts in the State that are staffed by career firefighters, that rate is low, very low. In fact, the mil rate for South District is more in line with the tax rates for districts that are all volunteer or a combination of volunteer and paid.
Within our own City of Middletown, the Middletown Fire District has a tax rate of 5.8 mils. West Haven, is another City with three Fire Districts. All are staffed by paid firefighters with a handful of volunteers. There the tax rates range from 7.55 to 8.63 mils.   The Thompsonville Fire District, a career department in the Town of Enfield has a mil rate of 6.6.  We believe our mil rate is a bargain in comparison.
We have heard criticism recently regarding the overtime portion of the current district budget being substantially over spent.  While that is true, the salary portion of the budget is being under spent.  This is due to several vacancies.  It takes time to seek and test applicants to fill those vacancies.  In the interim, shifts must be filled, yet we persevere in addressing this problem.
Public Safety organizations are unique in that shifts MUST be filled 24/7 regardless of the number of available employees.   South Fire District is staffed with a minimum of 1 Lieutenant and 5 firefighters, 24/7. It takes four platoons, each working 42 hours per week, to provide around the clock coverage. While this is substantially less than what would be considered adequate staffing for a district with the commercial, industrial and residential fire potential and the physical size of South District, we believe it is the best we can afford in this economy.
As a public safety agency, we cannot leave the department unstaffed.  The shifts must be covered, regardless of the amount of overtime that is required.  Fires or medical emergencies won’t wait for the next platoon to show up in 10 or 14 hours. Also, we cannot predict with any certainty, the number and severity of fires or serious emergencies that will be encountered in a given year.  This also generates overtime over which we have no control.
As the Board of Fire Commissioners, we believe we have presented a very tight and fiscally sound budget. Please know we encourage any resident of the District to ask questions of your commission and to participate to ensure a healthy, sound South Fire District.  We urge a YES vote on April 30th and thank you for your continued support of our District.  Voting is from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm at the firehouse on Randolph Rd.
David P. Gallitto,         David F. Darling            Edward J. Creem Jr.
William F. Gregorio Sr.        Mary A. Bartolotta

Friday, April 26, 2013

Middletown Republican Town Committee: Meeting Monday April 29 All Welcome


Press Release:The Middletown Republican Town Committee is holding its monthly meeting Monday April 29th at 7 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the committee is welcome & encouraged to attend.
They may also email Vice Chairman William Wilson at : uconnone@sbcglobal.net
The Middletown Republican Town Committee is seeking candidates for the Municipal election to be held in November, 2013.  The following candidacies are available:  Common Council, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission Alternate, and Board of Assessment Appeals.  Anyone interested in being considered to become a candidate must submit a letter of intent stating the office he/she is seeking.  The following information must also be included:  Name, address, phone number and email address. 
THIS LETTER OF INTENT MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE TOWN COMMITTEE CHAIR NO LATER THAN JULY 2, 2013.  
Mail to:
Middletown Republican Town Committee
Kenneth A. McClellan, Chair
P.O. Box 1121
Middletown, CT 06457

Guest Blog: Greetings Patriots from Palin Smith Conservative Roundup

Below is a roundup of Conservative events being held this week. Complied and submitted by Palin Smith. Opinions are that of Palin Smith and do not necessarily reflect that of Insider Staff.
 

GREETINGS PATRIOTS

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch is coming to Connecticut.
With the terrorist attack in Boston still etched into our national psyche, you may like to hear in person from the man who is alerting America to the encroachment of Sharia Law and its intended goal of destroying the Bill of Rights.
Mr. Spencer will be lecturing at the weekly meeting of the Connecticut Restoration Coalition 
 http://ct-rc.org/  Bring your own chair and a snack.
KING 33
75 Aircraft Road
Southington, CT
5 PM Saturday
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The gun grabbers preach public safety in their relentless assault on the Right To Bear Arms. Countering their argument by reciting the 2nd Amendment will not make a dent in their devious designs. We must deploy logic and employ emotions, more than history, to try to breach their beachhead in the hearts of America’s parents.
We attended a North Haven town hall meeting, a public hearing in Shelton and the Hartford CCDL Gun Rights Rally in the past week. Some of the best arguments in favor of the citizens’ traditional rights were individual testimonies about personal safety and public safety.
When you speak to friends, colleagues and family about your own gun ownership,  don’t instantly erect a barrier by invoking the Constitution. Many people don’t know or don’t care. However, they do care about the safety of themselves and their family. Listen to them explain how they would have reacted to the Watertown, Mass. Lockdown, and then slowly reel them in.
The following are links to the three events:
North Haven Fasano/Yaccarino Gun Law Town Hall
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5wsVsNCEygrZs8IbR0J7b_PD8X3nMDM
Some people have had trouble accessing this link….
Just click on video manager to access all the play lists
Shelton Public Hearing on a Gun Free Zone Ordinance.
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5wsVsNCEygoU4IMVBA6vJK6J8debTTbK
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 There is also a very strong political theme that threads together all three of these events.
If someone takes a public oath and violates that oath, why would anyone want to have anything to do with that person? Why would you have a system that doesn't punish those that intentionally lie and deceive? How long are you going to be lied to and make excuses for your abuser?
We’ve seen the song and dance routine. They say the law might have been worse.
Well so be it. Remember the prophetic words of Benjamin Franklin and apply them to your own position in the debate that has yet to be fully enjoined.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
No safety was obtained. They said it but we all know they lied. They imposed a disgusting set of more regulations. They think we are all petty criminals. They will try to balance the budget on the backs of gun owners. It’s all about money. It always is. They don’t give a damn about public safety!
And we know who they are - we’ve got the list of 133. And that brings me to where we stand today. If you haven’t yet heeded the call to organize for the 2014 election, please heed it now. Send me the name of your state senator. Do you know good people, future leaders whom you would trust more to represent you in Hartford than those 133 scoundrels who voted YES?
We can’t wave a magic wand and change history, but we can change history by volunteering our relentless toil and our sweat. Build your own political groups. We can empower a congress of patriots early next year that can serve as a counter-weight against the two political parties. Now is the time to find and recruit our own brand of candidates for state senator and state representative.
Many patriot groups are coming together in identical purpose. Connecticut is NOT a blue state. We’ve been brainwashed to believe that hogwash. We all desire more rights and less taxes. We all want more freedom, not less. We want to retain our gun rights. We Republicans, We Democrats and We Unaffiliated. There are hundreds of bad laws that need repealing. That’s plan B.
It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. (Samuel Adams)
Pass the matches……
Palin Smith
PS   Are you irate yet?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thousands turn out for CCDL 2nd Amendment Rally Hartford April 20th

A crowd of over 1,500 people gathered April 20th on the steps of the Capital  for a rally sponsored by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League.The CCDL is a nonpartisan, grass-roots organization formed in 2009 and advocates for the right to keep and bear arms in Connecticut. CCDL which meets monthly at the Elk's Lodge in Middletown has over 7,000 members. The next meeting is Tuesday, May 14 2013, 7:00pm - 9:00pm. Anyone wishing to join is welcome to attend or email.

Key note speakers included John Lott Jr., author of the book "More Guns, Less Crime," and Former congressional candidate Wayne Winsley.
Guest blogger Palin Smith sent us videos and photos of the event, thank you Palin!


Letter to the Editor: Upcoming South Fire Budget Vote, CVH Burden Services Still Burden Taxpayers

Editor's note: All letters to the Insider are printed as a courtesy to readers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Insider.  We want to hear from you! Please submit thank you!

Editor's Note Update: As of today we have been informed by Dan Penney that he also submitted this letter to the Mess. The Mess ran it as a print editorial on Saturday, however, unlike the pro-budget editorials, have failed to also publish it on their online page. Coincidence?
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To the editor: April 23,2013


The South Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners has scheduled voting on the 2013-2014 proposed budget for Tuesday, April 30,2013 from 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the South District Firehouse.

The current 2012-13 budget includes new spending of $650,000,an increase of some  16 %. The proposed budget,while appearing to be level,certainly suggest that the south district taxpayers were unnecessarily overtaxed with approval of the 2012-2013 budget.  

Not surprisingly and only after the south fire district fiscal administrator presented a comprehensive sound 2013-2014 budget did the commissioners act to effect changes that denied taxpayers possible savings.The final proposed budget contains expenses that could have easily been eliminated and/or reduced so as to provide much needed tax relief for the south district taxpayers,including homeowners and local businesses. 

Most alarming,the proposed budget includes an unprecedented pay increase of 50% for Commissioners ( 7708 Directors’ Compensation) who acted to pay themselves regardless of being elected to serve in such public service. District financial records also confirm that such payments are made even when meetings are missed thus demonstrating a sense of entitlement never before witnessed. In light of limited fiscal resources and in the true best interest of our firefighters and taxpayers this is clearly a budget line item that could have been eliminated. 

Overtime is also increasing ( 7603 Replacements/Call Backs) from $134,673 to $146,000. Most concerning, the current overtime spending is at $232,398 or $97,725 over budget as of March 31,2013. Such ongoing activity certainly brings into question the lack of management controls as well as effective stewardship. 

Another missed opportunity for significant savings is the most recent decision of the Board of Fire Commissioners to proceed with the recruitment of a Fire Chief.The public had called for this management position to be eliminated and such services retained via a simple memorandum of understanding with the City, at significant cost savings for both the City and South District taxpayers.

Additionally, south fire district support continues for CVH, a State facility where the burden of fire services expenses was shifted on the south district taxpayers when CVH initiated actions to reduce its longstanding fire services. 

Until such practices have been corrected and the resulting tax breaks extended to the south fire district taxpayers, I recommend a NO vote next Tuesday on the proposed 4.6 million 2013/ 2014 budget. 

Dan Penney
Middletown,CT 06457 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Middletown Public School All City Music Festival This Weekend

This weekend is the music departments 31st Annual All City Music Festival. The Music Festival will highlight our music program and display the scope and sequence of our choral, recorder, and instrumental program from grades 4-12. All of our elementary schools, Keigwin, WWMS, and MHS will be represented.  We hope you can join us on April 27th @ 6:00PM. The performance will take place at Wesleyan University Freeman Athletic Center Hockey Arena.

Shop Local: Cash Mob Fundraiser at LadyBug Boutique


A reminder that this Sat. 4/27/2013 Lady Bug Boutique will be having a fundraiser to benefit the Middletown Republican Town  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Ladybug Boutique is located at 122 College St. Their website is http://www.ladybugboutique.net/
 The Ladybug Boutique will donate a percentage of its sales on 4/27 to the Middletown Republican Town Committee
Fundraising benefits:
*Sales over $2,500 = 20% donation
*Sales of $1,000-$2,500 =15% donation
*Sales under $1,000 = 10% donation
All we need to do is drive traffic to the Ladybug Boutique on 4/27 and the MRTC will reap the benefits. The more sales, the more money we stand to gain.
Ladybug Boutique is a Mom-run store and carries a wide variety of items including: Yankee Candle, Willow Tree Angels, greeting cards, hand painted wine glasses, gourmet dips...and much more!
There is also a vast collection of country and seasonal home decor and many more unique and hard to find items to accent your home.
And of course lots of great ladybug items too..including "Ladybug Girl" books.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

City Receives Loan for Remediation, Welcomes Back Kleen Energy Explosion Contractors



The Mess published an article today that the state has already awarded O&G Construction LLC the contract for brown field remediation of land owned by Middletown Transit that the transit authority wishes to expland on.  Where was the public bid process??  Loan Middletown $1 million? That's like Middletown paying the state interest to allow ourselves to do the dirty work...LITERALLY!  O&G Industries is the the company that were the contractors of the Kleen Energy Plant at the time of the horrific explosion at the plant's construction site 3 years ago on February 7, 2010 that injured dozens and killed six people. O&G was found to have been in violation of a number of regulations leading up to the explosion. Although the state concluded in it's criminal investigation that no charges were to be filed ($$fishy$$). The Courant reported that Federal work-safety regulators issued more than $16 million in fines against O&G  its subcontractors and identified over 100 violations at the plant at the time of the explosion.

 And really, no one else can do this job?? Follow the money folks! So not only is Middletown welcoming back this company- the City has been told by the State this is who the City will HIRE to do the work at the Middletown Transit!

http://www.middletownpress.com/articles/2013/04/18/news/doc516f338827380386937834.txt
Rep. Matt Lesser, you "championed" the bill for gas line "gas blow" testing regulations, what say you about inviting the violators back??  Rep. Bartolomeo, Doyle, Serra- are any  of you listening? 
Judge Holzberg, you presided over the wrongful death cases, what say you?
Can any of you look the family in the eyes with a clear conscience?

Does anyone else find it offensive to those who lost their lives to give this company a second shot in so little time?

Kiwanis Annual Pasta Scholarship Fundraiser Lunch & Dinner

,  
 First Church, 190 Court Street (side entrance), Middletown, CT  
Lunch is 11:30 to 1:30pm. Dinner is 5 to 7pm.
Tickets are $10
and can be purchased at the door or in advance from Smith & Bishel Hardware, 155 Main St. Take Out Available. Lunches of 5 or more can be delivered. Call 860-833-6724 on day of event.
Come and have a great time with your friends & neighbors while supporting you community!Be sure to bid on many great items graciously donated by supporting businesses for the silent auction. Your participation will help Kiwanis raise money for the various projects and programs they support including:Warm The Children, Middletown & Portland High Schools Key Clubs, Middletown Little League, Bicycle Safety/Rodeo, Middletown Health & Safety Day, Ryan Woods Autism Foundation, Middletown Diaper Bank, College Scholarships, Mount St. John School, Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen, Amazing Grace Food Pantry, MARC,  Gilead Community Services, Even Start Program at MAE, Middletown Park & Rec Easter Egg Hunt, Recognition of local high school graduating Valedictorians and Salutatorians.
Middletown Kiwanis Club holds their weekly meeting at the Cantina Restaurant Wednesdays from 12:15 to 1:30pm. Anyone interested in becoming a member can come to a meeting and/or contact Club President Chris Conley at 860-833-6724.T

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

H.B. 6692 Bill to Prevent Frivolous Litigation Part II: Supplemental Testimony

     On Monday CT Attorney Wyatt Kopp proposed legislation in front of the Judiciary Committee to curb the state taxpayers from financing frivolous litigation through court fee waivers. The proposed bill in its entirely is discussed in our blog post linked below. http://www.middletowninsider.com/2013/04/hb-6692-bill-to-prevent-frivolous.html     Kopp encourages people w ho support this to write the Connecticut Judiciary Committee an e-mail supporting HB 6692. The e-mail address for the Judiciary Committee is Jud.testimony@cga.ct.gov ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
SUPPLEMENTAL TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF RAISED H.B. 6992
I wanted to thank the Judiciary Committee for hearing my testimony on H.B. 6692 which would reform the present fee waiver system.  Rep. Ritter made a very interesting comment during the testimony when he noted that it is difficult to determine which cases are frivolous.  The wisdom of the proposed reform is that it takes that determination out of the hands of third parties and places it on the litigants themselves to make that determination.  
An indigent litigant, under the proposed reform, would simply have to ask themselves whether the case is worth doing the community service to pursue.  In that sense, the reform offers an alternative that achieves the very some consideration that a litigant who is not eligible for a fee waiver has to make.  The proposed reform takes the determination of whether a case is frivolous and places it where it belongs which is on the litigant themselves rather than third parties.  When access to the system is completely free, there is no incentive whatsoever for a litigant to self-regulate their claims.
The presence of court fees serve the dual purpose of both funding the court and encouraging litigants to make a determination of whether a case is worth the fees to file it.  In this sense, the presence of fees encourages the self-regulation of claims.  On an even more general level, money results in the allocation of scarce resources and it sets priorities.   It is because of the presence of fees in the system, for those who do pay, that you do not see any cases of frivolous litigation by persons or businesses who do have to pay the fees.   Frivolous litigation is not a problem among persons and businesses paying the fees for the very reason that they have to ask themselves, is this case worth the initial investment of fees to file it?
The significance of Rep. Ritter’s comments are that they support H.B. 6692 for the very reason that the litigants themselves should be determining whether their claims are frivolous and the present system has taken away all the incentives to do so.  As a result, third parties such as judges are called on to make that determination because the litigants themselves are encouraged by the present system to file claims for any petty grievance no matter how small because it is free.

Letter to the Editor: Councilwoman Deb Kleckowski

The Republican party is looking for good candidates for all elected positions. If you are dissatisfied with the current administration get involved and run for an office! We can only win if people get involved. If you are not interested in running for office volunteer! Interested? Feel free to contact me: votedebktoday@yahoo.com or visit www.middletownctgop.com

Next REPUBLICAN Town Committee meeting April 29, 2013 7pm Council Chambers.

There are also many appointed positions. Many opportunities for you to participate in the political process and to make a difference!!!

Councilwoman Deborah Kleckowski

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mayor Drew to Attend Margaret Thatcher's Funeral

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

We Mourn with Boston

Today everyone at the Middletown Insider blog wishes to express our deepest sympathy for those lost and injured as a result of the explosions yesterday at the Boston Marathon. All too familiar in our minds is the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, a tragedy of unspeakable scale.

We would like to thank all the first responders: police, fire, emt, dispatchers, National Guard, doctors, nurses, regular citizens who became heroes, and everyone else we may have missed.
It is these individuals who make us proud to be American everyday.

Please readers and citizens of Middletown, keep Boston in your prayers today. As reports pour in, there are just no words to describe the despair over such violence.

Below is an image we found published by the Huffington Post this morning.

Guest Blog: Greetings Patriots from Palin Smith Conservative Roundup

Below is a roundup of Conservative events being held this week. Complied and submitted by Palin Smith. Opinions are that of Palin Smith and do not necessarily reflect that of Insider Staff.
GREETINGS PATRIOTS
http://www.ccdl.us/
If you want to attend the CCDL Gun Rights Rally at the State Capitol Saturday at Noon and don’t have a ride, be advised there are several buses reserving seats, and car pools in the process of being formed. To find a ride or volunteer to drive a full vehicle, follow this link, which is also the Face Book invite to the event.




And there still is plenty of time to print out the PDF of the flyer and post it around your town. Be sure to go back and remove them next week.



Last Saturday at the Connecticut Restoration Coalition  http://ct-rc.org/   meeting at KING 33 in Southington, the sister of the baker who created the cake “seen ‘round the world” attended for the first time. This video tells her story.


THE PRESCOTT BUSH DINNER MAY 20 IN STAMFORD.
The Connecticut Republican Party is set to present an award to Senate Minority Leader, John McKinney, at the dinner. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been booked as the keynote speaker.
If you remember, conservative Tea Party favorite, Walker, handily won a costly recall election last year. This is what can happen in a formerly “blue” state when a good conservative takes the helm of the Republican Party. Walker brought the establishment Republicans together with the Tea Party Conservatives in a stunning victory.
Walker had attracted the ire of unions and national Democrats after transforming Wisconsin into a right to work state. Many Tea Party friends from Connecticut traveled to Wisconsin at their own expense to aid in that campaign.
There is an opportunity to unite established Republicans in Connecticut with conservatives and Tea Party Patriots. Many RTC Chairmen, including those in Enfield and Woodbury, have voiced their intentions to boycott the Prescott Bush Dinner over the announced award being presented to Sen. John McKinney. Most Republicans are highly disappointed with McKinney’s actions during the gun control debate. His vote was observed as trampling on the 2nd Amendment!
If you resent the Senator’s apparent lapse of judgment, you can make your opinion heard in the following manner:
1. Call Chairman Jerry Labriola at the GOP HQ      860-422-8211
2. Call Governor Walker’s office in Madison          608-266-1212
You can call your town RTC chair to find his or her position as well
Faxes and emails are also appropriate.
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We do not intend to do damage to the CT Republican Party. The Party has been adept at self-infliction. Perhaps we can learn from this moment in time to follow Governor Walker’s leadership. As a gesture to unite the Party with the people.
I remember a scene from the Academy Award winning movie, BRAVEHEART.
Let us resolve that the Connecticut Republican Party will never again be subjugated to the whims of weak leadership or misguided bi-partisanship!
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It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. (Samuel Adams)
Pass the matches……
Palin Smith
PS Watch for one final eblast before Saturday’s Rally.

Bad Insider! Why Tweeting Chris Murphy is WRONG


Earlier this month Insider staff decided it was time to get with the program and get on Twitter.
We tweeted a total of 11 tweets. We had 35 people following us in 23 hours. We were following 198 people and had the account for approximately a week. Now mind you, Justin Bieber tweets about 20 tweets a day!


On the third day of being twitter twits, we noticed Senator Chris Murphy is quite the interwebby attention whore, and tweets about every 2-3 hours. So we tweeted him asking a very legit question that went something like this :

Middletowninsider: @ChrisMurphyCT "You tweet more than any representative we know, do you actually do any work?"

Does he tweet and work? Does he have a staffer? Do taxpayers pay an official tweeter?  
 

Mind you all of our other tweets were links to our own articles. About every two weeks our facebook account is suspended from adding friends or sending messages for 30 days. We have even gotten suspended from posting to our own wall! So every 30 days, we have about a 2 week window where we can friend folks or send messages.  Mind you, we post our own links and photos, and post to walls of groups we have been invited to join. We also post mostly links to charitable events or links our readers have sent.  But none the less, we get nixed.
 Granted these are private web services and can censor any which way they choose. However, why don't they just come out and say they have a liberal agenda we don't fit???

Alas, 4 days later Twitter has suspended and deactivated our account

Moral: Don't question liberals or you get booted from Twitter!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Guest Blog: Changing Neighborhoods, an Essay

Below is a essay by Middletown resident William Boylan. All opinions expressed are that of the author and not necessarily that of the Insider staff.
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Changing Neighborhoods, an Essay. By William Boylan


Alex Haley;s book, “A Different Kind of Christmas”, was given to me as suggested reading; something lighter than the usual reading fare to distract from the enormous problems our society faces at a turbulent time, in a turbulent world.


On page three, a phrase caught my eye and stuck in my mind as relevant,

“. . . changing neighborhoods is not always a solution to problems.”
You see, for the longest time the idea of fleeing my adopted state of Connecticut has lingered in the back of my mind.  Preventing it were finances, something not insurmountable but problematic and that Linda’s parents were still here and that she would never be able to leave them.  (can’t fault her for that)  Though I have some close friends, my family here is estranged, therefore I have no heavy anchor and so what other reason is there to remain?


Prodding me to leave is frustration and dismay over the political climate and the steady erosion of liberties by a legislature that ignores the Constitution.  Rampant taxation and debt, a populous willing to sacrifice liberty for a false sense of security, social and ethical decline, a shrinking income and an ever increasing cost of living are major contributors to my desire for a change of scenery.

Not being one to run from adversity though, something about the idea of fleeing just doesn’t rest well in my gut.
In junior high I was bullied until I got fed up one day and fought back . . . and won.  I was never picked on, again.  In fact, I earned a measure of respect from fellow classmates.

In high school, someone stole a watch my parents gave me for Christmas.  At 17, I filed a suit in small claims court . . . and won.

As an adult, I battled several unscrupulous landlords . . . and won.

Once, a prosecutor who didn’t like my attitude, brought me up on non-support charges, even though I was current and making regular payments to my ex.  She did this without standing.  My ex never filed a complaint for non-support, nor did the prosecutor ever talk to her about it.  I fought back . . . and won.  (I believe it cost the prosecutor her job.)

It just ain’t in me Irish blood to back down from a fight!

But, the fight we face today is not about me.  It goes far beyond my narrow, personal interest.  What we face today, is a battle for the future of our state and nation, and indeed the world.  If Liberty falls in America, the world will fall into the abyss with her.  We are certainly the last bastion of hope (outside Christ) for the world.  If Connecticut falls, so surely will another state fall, then another.  Before long, there may be nowhere left to run!  What of our children, grand children and generations yet unborn?  Our posterity has a stake in this, too.  What will be the legacy we leave unto them; liberty or tyranny?

What of the oath we took and renew each week at the Connecticut Restoration Coalition meetings; the oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic; the pledge of our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor, so help us God?  Do we fulfill that oath by fleeing?  Do we truly mean what we say or are our words hollow platitudes?

Maybe I think too much, but what of the Founders, the original American Patriots?  What of them?  What of their sacrifices?  What of their pledge of their fortunes, their lives, and their sacred honor?  They truly meant it and lived it.  Many lost everything they had; money, property, family, life.  What would they think of us if they could look down and see what we are doing, today?  Do we honor their sacrifices by running or do we follow in their footsteps and live as we speak?  Or, are we simply paying lip service to a romantic notion?

Our mettle is about to be tested; do we pass the test, or do we fail?

“. . . changing neighborhoods is not always a solution to problems.”

Bill Boylan, HSD (high school dropout)
AKA, Murphy’s Bain

Some of Connecticut’s Patriots, courtesy of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, http://www.connecticutsar.org/patriots/

Patriot List

Isaiah Adkins - served the Connecticut Line for 6 years
Rev. Ebenezer Baldwin - a patriotic preacher.
John Barker, M.D. - citizen, patriot, doctor
Israel Bissel - alerted colonists of the British attack at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.
General Henry Champion - a brave and efficient officer
Col. William Douglas - colonel of New Haven Regiment.
Oliver Ellsworth - Jurist, Statesman and Naturalist
Capt. John Gilbert - killed during the Battle of New Haven
Daniel Griswold - one of Knowlton's Rangers.
Capt. Nathan Hale - the man with only one regret.
Capt. Nathan Hale - 2nd version
Capt. Nathan Hale - 3rd version
Capt. Nathan Hale - scholarly report on Nathan Hale
Cmdr. David Hawley - whaleboat warfare on the sound.
CLICK TO CONTINUE LIST

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