Sunday, August 16, 2015

And Justice for All: Can you hear me???!!! by John Milardo

To put you completely in the proper mindset for the following opinion piece, I would like you all to watch (control/click) the following very short (30 second) “YouTube” video of comedian and political satirist Lewis Black.  When you read this Newsletter, please put his tone and passion in my words to get its true feeling.
(Warning:  This video contains adult mature language, and may be offensive to some individuals.  Lewis Black and censorship just don’t work as well!)
Back to local politics!  I try to stay abreast of issues involving my hometown, Middletown.  I was born, raised, schooled, worked, and lived in this town for my entire life.  I’ve been around local politics most of my life - worked for several mayoral and Common Council candidates and their campaigns over the last 45 years.  So I know the nature of the beast.  Most of the politicians who have been elected Mayors of Middletown had the best interest of our town at heart.  Only one (1) Mayor has put himself ahead of this town and the people who live here, and that is current Mayor Daniel Drew.

Graphic by Middletown Insider, from our files back when 
Mayor Drew took $800,000 from the pension fund &
 Councilmembers including Hope Kasper objected.
We thought it fitting for this blog piece.
Middletown’s demographics have changed over the years.  An influx of people into Middletown and the migration of adults to southern states over the past two or so decades has changed local election races.  No one, but no one, has been more methodical than Daniel T. Drew in selecting which town he would move to so he could begin his political morphing.  What is the reason he didn’t stay in his shoreline hometown area and decided to rent a house here?  He selected Middletown with its 4 to 1 Democratic voter ratio.  A sure bet that if he got his foot in the door, he would get elected to an office.  Seriously, he came out of nowhere!  He just starting showing up at events meetings and rubbing elbows.

How Drew publically portrays himself is not the same as “behind closed door Dan”.  The real Dan Drew wants to be a career politician.  He is mean spirited, vindictive, and arrogant!  I have seen it myself when I worked for the City as a manager and a Union representative.  He is so vindictive, that town employees and some local politicians in his own Party are scared to have their own opinion (not Hope Kasper).  If they don’t march to his drum, they will be privately attacked, threatened and worse!  Ask Hope Kasper!

Little Dan Dan & Big Dannel.
Don't blame Mr. Milardo for these tasteless graphics.
All Middletown Insider stock photos!
Middletown was his selected town to begin the political journey he wants to ride forever.  Being a public servant is not an advocacy for Dan, it is a career, a job.  Middletown is a stepping stone for him.  He is one of Governor Dannel Malloy’s closest political allies.  Dan Drew bends over backwards for Malloy and the big campaign money and power he brings in for him.  Dan Drew emulates Malloy’s every move – right up to his tax increases!  The local Democrats know they created a monster in Drew, who is now so power hungry that he doesn’t listen to any one in town.  It’s his way or the highway!

(My voice is getting louder now)  Mayor Drew announces to anyone who will listen that he has made Middletown better!  (Yelling now!)  He hasn’t done squat other than raise taxes, screw up City departments, go to school to further his own education on the taxpayers’ dime, and start a new State wide group called “CT Conference of Democratic Mayors”, which of course he is the chairman of (again taxpayer’s dime?).
Dan Drew can proclaim all that he has done for Middletown, but the financial ledger doesn’t lie!  There is no increase of productivity, efficiency or savings to the taxpayers!  Why are employees who work in City departments posting comments that facilities in town have never looked so bad!?  Yet, he will state on local television they look better than ever!  Where is the information from the Finance Department to prove there was a savings when City departments where consolidated?  Where is the financial report from the Finance Department which proves the wonderful street light purchase saves the taxpayer the money he said it would?  It’s a scam Dan perpetuates so he can brainwash the public to believe if it were not for him, Middletown would be another Detroit!
(no disrespect to Detroit)
Look!  A guy (Dan Drew) with a “stone face” can try to make sense of a program called
“I Did Your Mother”, (taxpayer funded) on national television, will attempt to try and sell you anything!  You don’t believe me?  Watch this video from the “Bill O’Reilly Show” featuring Dan Drew’s commentary.

Next subject!  Why are there still managerial vacancies in the Recreation Department, Public Works Department, and the Information & Technology (IT) Department? 
For the past three (3) years, the Recreation Department has a long tenured female as the “acting director”.  Mayor Drew refuses to appoint her permanently!  Why?  Don’t completely know why, but it could be that she has no connection to Hartford.  Or, maybe he just doesn’t like her?  Oh, by the way – she is qualified.  I’m not the one saying she is qualified, the City’s Human Resource Department declared her qualified.
The Deputy Director of Public Works retired several months ago, but the vacancy still exists.  The Mayor doesn’t feel it is even necessary to appoint an “acting” person to fill the void.  Why?  You’ll have to ask Dan.  There is a qualified employee within the City who has applied for the position.  Why no appointment yet?  This is an important position for this department as it requires an engineering degree, which is not a requirement for the Director of the department.  Someone must be able to recognize if road work, drainage work, parks and facility work is being performed by contractors per engineering and/or architectural design specifications.

Then there is the IT Department.  Dan places an internal department employee in the “acting” capacity as Director for over a year now, without appointing him and backfilling his position.  Everyone knows in today’s work environment, you cannot do without a properly staffed and operating IT Department.  Why no appointment?  Once again – ask Dan! 

Mayor Dan has supported and acknowledged these personnel are qualified for the position as he appoints them into these “acting” positions.  You would not place a person in the “acting” position if he/she is not qualified to do so, per Personnel Rules.  You can read the United Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU) contract language below, (previously The Teamsters Union).

Furthermore, if someone in UPSEU (all three (3) of these jobs) is qualified for the vacant position, once the positions are posted for testing, the clock starts ticking.  Mayor Dan Drew must appoint said person to the vacancy in a permanent capacity.
The UPSEU/Teamster contract language is as follows:

ARTICLE XXIV
VACANCY POSTINGS

Before filling any vacancy or newly created position in the bargaining unit, the City shall conduct a combined departmental/Citywide posting of the said position for a period often (10) working days and shall send a copy of such posting to the Union. Qualification examinations for internal bargaining unit applicants for the position shall be administered within fifteen (15) days after the closing date of the posting unless unusual circumstances, including but not limited to acts of God, budget or financial circumstances or sickness prevent otherwise. The said position will be filled within fifteen (15) days thereafter provided the applicant(s) has(ve) met all of the necessary qualifications for the said position. If there are no qualified members
of the bargaining unit for the said position, the City shall post the position as open-competitive.

The shaded area means “qualified members” are hired before anyone else.  This language was agreed upon during the last labor contract negotiations which Mayor Daniel T. Drew was involved in, as was I as a Union Representative.  In the past, Mayor Drew has adhered to this language.  I’m not sure what has changed?
My theory for Drew not making appointments is so he can claim he has reduced the workforce, when in reality it is to keep positions vacant to show an insignificant financial reduction. This is a detriment to the operation of these departments, but also for the taxpayer because of the trickle down affect regarding the City’s response and actions to citizen issues.

SO! BETWEEN DAN DREW COSTING THE CITY TAXPAYERS MONEY WITH HIS FAILED DEPARTMENT REORGANIZATION, THE PURCHASE OF STREET LIGHTS, THREE (3) OUT OF FOUR (4) YEAR OF TAX HIKES UNDER HIS REGIME, THE LAWSUIT SETTLEMENTS HE DOESN’T WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE OR DISCLOSE, AND HIS REFUSAL TO MAKE APPOINTMENTS IN KEY DEPARTMENT POSITIONS; IT JUST PROVES THAT HE IS NOT A VERY GOOD MAYOR/MANAGER!  (By the way, I was just screaming!)

The last thought comes from the final show that Jon Stewart hosted on the “Comedy Centrals Dailey Show” last week.
Stewart offered a soliloquy on what was his central job as host — finding doubletalk in the public arena and exposing it for the world to see, although he used a stronger term for it. He urged viewers to be vigilant in watching for it themselves.
If you smell something, say something,” he said.
Middletown voters need to “say something” on Election Day and say goodbye to Dan Drew! 
Stay strong.  Stay involved.  Stay together.  Seek the truth.


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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