Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Guesblog: 'The New & Improved Middletown" by John Milardo

“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.

Since Dan Drew became Mayor, he took Middletown by the ankles, turned it upside down,shook it, slapped it in the face to wake it up, and placed it back down so vibrant and improved, that I think I’m in Oz!

City government has been reorganized and streamlined by Mayor Drew.....NOT!
The reorganization has saved Middletown taxpayers tons of money....NOT!
The reality is that departments which were consolidated are spending more now than prior
to the reorganization. More money is spent on private contractors and less is being done
in-house. Maybe that’s one of the reasons for consolidation? Gotta take care of those
contractor/campaign contributors$...!

We are going to have a new waterfront! Middletown should have a waterfront which is
designed for families and all citizens to enjoy, not just a commercial area for tax revenue.
We lost our boat launch and fishing areas back in the 1970’s when Harbor Park was
created. The only problem is the entire area in question is a flood plain. Don’t put the
wading boots away. A couple of years ago, we were going to renovate and enlarge the
Palmer Field concession stand. The plan was rejected because the area is considered to be
a flood plain. This will be interesting.

The City is now asking to bond things which were always part of the budgetary system;
trucks. You are going to pay interest on the bond, for an item which was previously
planned and allocated for within a budget, and no interest payments. By the time the bond
is paid off, many of the vehicles will no longer be in use. The Common Council is
overspending tax dollars by allowing departments to low ball their yearly fiscal budgets
and then granting fund allocations throughout the year.
 Keep reading ...

What happened to the controversy between the Mayor and Councilman Thomas Serra
regarding the Public Works Department’s purchase of the city street lights? The
Councilman argued with the Public Works director regarding the lack of savings from the
purchase, and how they (Council) were hoodwinked by false projection savings for the
purchase. The Mayor jumped into the fray when the director was put on the spot, and
Councilman Serra and Dan exchanged heated words on the Council floor. That was a
couple of months ago, I’m sure everyone has kissed and made up by now. Someone will
need something down the road.

Dan Drew reminds me a lot of Governor Dan Malloy. Let’s see, their first names are Dan
and their shadows are joined at the hip. Both take credit for things that turn out right, and
try to hide the things that turn out wrong. Malloy wants organized labors backing, so does
Drew, and both get it! After Malloy gets backed by labor, he sticks it to them! So does
Drew. Malloy has done nothing substantial for Connecticut in the area of job creation,
manufacturing, tax decrease, and many other areas which the middle class can actually
grasp and realize. Connecticut citizens are leaving and moving to other States. Just can’t
afford to live here anymore!

Two of the City of Middletown’s municipal labor organizations are in arbitration. Have
the Unions been vocal about it? No. Have they commented on it? A vague response last
week in the newspapers. What has happened to Middletown’s labor movement? Is it
dormant, or dead? Not very long ago, these same Union members would not have been
silent. I was an “insider” once, and I can understand why a City employee might want to
keep quiet. There is the retribution factor. But an entire Union silenced is
unconscionable!

One last thing. I’ve been in organized labor most of my life, but find labors backing of
Governor Malloy distasteful at best. If endorsing the “lesser of two evils” is how labor
determines who they want to get behind, then it would be better to stay neutral. For the
record, I don’t like either candidate. Shoving millions of Union dues dollars into a
political campaign and your members still lose in the end is ineffective. Save the money
and give it back to your membership to use on health care or pensions. Remember the
phrase “strength in numbers”? That’s it in a nut shell! The candidates need your numbers
in the voting booth more than we need them!

The Democratic Party in Connecticut use to mean they supported organized labor and the
working person – it doesn't anymore!

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

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