Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Guestblog: And Justice for All "Money Don't Mean a Thing!" by John Milardo

 Below is a newsletter published by John Milardo and republished here with permission and as a courtesy to readers. Read the newsletter in its original format here.
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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 different perspective regarding how and why public figures do what they do. 

I’ve been reading the Middletown Press, Hartford Courant, Middletown Insider and 
Middletown Patch for my local Middletown government news, the same places most 
people in town probably rely on. One thing stands out to me over the past couple or so 
years - the amount of bonding and appropriations the City of Middletown Common 
Council members are approving. 

Each month, there have been funding appropriations on the Common Council agenda. 
Whatever happened to City Department Directors being told to live within the budgets 
they created and the Common Council adopted? Maybe the bigger question is why are 
there so many appropriations coming before the Council? Is it poor planning from 
department heads? Is it because there are no properly funded Capitol or CNR budgets, so 
infrastructure and equipment projects and projections have been discarded and there is no 
planning? Or, is it due to plain old simple politics? 

Politics? I’m sure some Department Directors have been told not to put certain things in 
their budgets, because it will be funded through a Common Council appropriation during 
the year. This way, the Council can approve what looks like a lower budget to the voter. 

In reality, they are spending much more than the public believes. 
I’ve seen LOCIP money (State money for municipalities), awarded to the privately owned 
youth soccer league field complex for fencing, and other improvements. Why isn’t that 
money being used on municipal owned projects? I thought Middletown voters said NO to 
financially assisting youth soccer field complexes in a referendum vote a few years ago. 

Did the Council forget about that? Do the citizens care or have they given up? 
How about the big savings Mayor Dan Drew said the taxpayers were going to see when 
departments were consolidated. How much did we save with the consolidation? What do 
you mean you haven’t heard or seen the big savings? Because it didn’t happen! How 
many of the Common Council members were up in arms about that? 

Then there was the big savings the taxpayer got when the City purchased the street lights 
last year! Oops! That didn’t happen either. As a matter of fact, the cost savings 
projection the voters were told would happen fell way short! Didn’t you read about how 
the Director and staff were chastised and disciplined by the Mayor and Council members 
for incompetency! Gee, you missed that one? You must still be waiting for that 2013 
snow storm report too? 

Where are the investigative reporters and news reports? (I know why the politicians don’t 
care about these issues.) Any good government is only as good as its free press and free 
speech. Are there any investigative reporters that are even a little curious to look into how 
much money the Common Council approved over the past two years, which is above and 
beyond fiscal operating budgets? All a reporter has to do is ask the Finance department 
how much department consolidations have saved? Don’t forget to ask how much of an 
increase there was for private contracting and consultants work in those departments too. 

Stay strong. Stay involved. Stay together. Wake up and seek the truth.
John Milardo


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.

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