Saturday, October 31, 2015

Letter to the Editor: Former Student Praises Kleckowski for Common Council

Letter to the Editor:
 Dear friends and family in Middletown, Connecticut. Im inviting you to vote for the re-election of Councilwoman Deborah Kleckowski on November 3rd.
Deborah, has dedicated her years to helping students and parents with the resources needed so they may continue a higher education. I am one of the many students Deborah has impacted through her career. She has guided my family and I through my entire educational journey and best of all has gone far and beyond her duties to make sure that I succeeded even after college.
If you want some who is passionate about the future of her community and will go through what ever it takes to get the job done right, I encourage you to please vote for the re-election of Councilwoman Deborah Kleckowski, on November, 3rd 2015.
She changed my life, she may just change your life as well.
Rene Rosado

Friday, October 30, 2015

Letter to the Editor: Lady Justice Murdered : An update

Letter to the Editor:

I wrote about this not that long ago, but we live in a City where so much is wrong, people tend to

have a short term memory, and an issue as this cannot be far from the memories of the residents

of Middletown. I have known Francesca Quaranta for 17 years. First as a co-worker of mine

when I volunteered as an EMT for Rocky Hill Ambulance, and professionally for Aetna

Ambulance, while Francesca, then known as Frank, was a Police Officer for the Town of Rocky

Hill. I was there then to defend her life then, as I am today, as a Candidate for the City of

Middletown. In 2004, Francesca became a Police Officer for the Middletown Police Department;

Once a fine institution that I once volunteered for as a teen, as a Police Explorer, from 1993-

1997. An institution my Uncle Joe Micale served for 38 years. I respect our Police Officers for

keeping us safe by laying their lives on the line every day. Francesca led an exemplary career for

10 years as a Police Officer, laying her life on the line for all of us, and being fair in all

situations. Unfortunately this story takes an ugly turn, because when Frank, who identified as

being a woman his whole life, decided to live her life as a woman, and become Francesca, the

end result was that Mayor Dan Drew had his hand in every part of destroying Francesca’s life

and career. From illegally discriminating against her, and then firing her. Then taking part in

denying her, her rightful Disability Pension that he had a hand in creating the actual disability

she suffered from.

I began my Campaign for Mayor because I have sat back, and watched Dan Drew do things like

this, and I was fortunate enough where I was in a place in my life where I could run for Mayor,

to stop things like this from happening. Folks, this is only one instance. Dan Drew has 11

Federal, and State law suits pending. This not makes him the only Mayor in Middletown’s

history to have that many lawsuits pending against the City, filed under his administration. This

also makes him a criminal, and just from the way I have seen him treat Francesca, he deserves

nothing less than a “term” at a Correctional Institution, where he can govern a 6’X10’ Cell. The

list of lawsuits and crimes are available at http://www.middletowninsider.com/2015/10/letter-to-

editor-city-deep-in-lawsuits.html , written by the Sandra Russo- Driska Campaign.

My original article proved I had access to all the documents, medical reports, articles, internal

emails and memo’s, and most importantly, I spent hours with Francesca herself going over in

detail how this played out. Instead of going over every report and detail as I had done already, I

am going to make a timeline, and at the end I will give you the access to the original article with

all the reports and quotes. Where we start is where you would imagine we would; When

Francesca makes the decision in her life to live as a woman, as is her right protected by HB

6599, making discrimination against transgender and gender expression, illegal. Ironically signed in to

law by Dan Drew’s hero, Dan Malloy, in 2011. That doesn’t stop the “Old Boy’s Club” of the Police

Department. The problems started almost immediately, and Dan Drew wanted in on this one.

 Chief William McKenna states to Francesca that because of her, all the rules have to

change now. We know that there’s going to problems from here on out.

 Francesca, not wanting to create any waves, removes herself from both locker rooms, and

use the private bathroom on the second floor. It goes as far to where Francesca is getting

dressed for work in the back parking lot in the dead of winter.

 She gets reprimanded on many occasions for trivial issues like hair and earrings, when

other females are doing the same, and are left alone.

Free Halloween Events Middletown

On Saturday, October 31, Catalyst Church is hosting Trunk-or-Treat, a safe trick-or-treating experience at Snow School in Middletown. Volunteers will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Elks Lodge BPOE 771 of Middletown located at 44 Maynard St is hosting its annual family Halloween party 5-8 pm Oct. 31

Candidate Bio: Sebastian Giuliano (R) Common Council

Sebastian Giuliano (R) Common Council

Sebastian Giuliano Candidate for Common Council

Mr. Giuliano is a current councilman, past three-term Mayor of Middletown and practicing attorney in Middletown.  He is currently serving on the Public Safety Commission, General Counsel Commission, Insurance & Claims Commission, Commission on the Arts and Contract Compliance Board on the Common Council.   A graduate of Xavier High School, he attended the United States Military Academy for two years, and graduated Cum Laude from Boston College in 1975.  He earned his Law Degree from the Catholic University of America in 1978, and has been admitted to all Courts of the State of Connecticut, District Court of Connecticut, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United State Supreme Court.  His civic activities include membership in the Kiwanis Club of Middletown, Vice President of the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center of Central Connecticut, Director of the Xavier High School Alumni Association 1991-1996, President, Xavier Alumni Association , member of the St Sebastian Pastor’s Advisory Committee, Board of Directors, St. John Paul II Regional School, Past President of the Italian-American Civic Organization (IACO) and member of the Middletown 350th Anniversary Committee
He and his wife Paula are the proud parents of three children, Nicolas, Paul and Francesca.

More info on Middletown Republican candidates can be found at www.middletownctgop.com 

(Accepting ALL Candidate Bios! See format info here!) 

A message from Council Candidate: Jon Pulino

Jon Pulino (R) for Common Council

(R) Jon Pulino Candidate for Common Council

I currently serve as Chairman of the Northern Comcast Cable Advisory Board, The Zoning Board of Appeals and the Board of Assessment of Appeals in my hometown of Middletown. As an elected and appointed official, I take my jobs extremely seriously and diligently in order to get the work done for the people-as it they who I am working for. This local pride and work ethic began many years ago when my grandparents came from Rosalini, Sicily in 1951, it was this local responsibility that stuck with me and has carried over to my career as a public school teacher and as an elected official.  As the chairman of the Northern Comcast Cable Advisory Board, I worked with the board’s members to create a scholarship for high school kids in memory Justin Hinds, a local student that died of cancer.  As a member of The Board of Assessment Appeals, I attended over 300-tax appeal hearings in two years, while voting in favor of taxpayers whom I felt were being overtaxed by the government.  The point is that when I am asked to take a role in local government, I do it with pride and integrity as I realize that I am here for the people and nothing else.

Visit my facebook page: JonPulino4Council

For more information on Middletown Republican candidates visit www.middletownctgop.com

Meet the Candidates Live!

Jon Pulino and William Wilson interview Councilwomen Deborah Kleckowski and Linda Salafia with calls from former Mayor/current Councilman Sebastian N. Giuliano and the public. Jon Pulino is a candidate for Common Council and William Wilson is a candidate for Board of Education and Planning & Zoning.
Pulino & Wilson host 'The Edge' on Channel 15 Comcast. 

Middletown Thanksgiving Project Underway

Registration is open through Nov. 20 for Middletown families in need to apply for a basket of Thanksgiving food from the Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project. 

The Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project was established to ensure that all Middletown families who couldn’t afford to purchase a Thanksgiving meal could still enjoy a holiday feast. The Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project will assemble baskets of food for 1,000 Middletown families this Thanksgiving. 

Registration for Thanksgiving baskets will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. at Amazing Grace Food Pantry, 16 Stack Street, starting Oct. 26 through Nov. 20. 

Those who wish to register must provide proof of Middletown residence and identification for each family member. Acceptable proofs of residence are utility bill, driver’s license or state identification, lease agreement or rental receipts. Acceptable forms of identification are driver’s license, birth certificate, medical card, social security card, or DSS or housing listing.

Baskets will be available for pick up Tuesday, Nov. 24 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Fellowship Church, 1002 Saybrook Road. 

This project is supported by many generous local businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, civic groups, and individuals. 

Monetary donations are being accepted to purchase necessary food and non-food items essential to this effort. If you wish to contribute, checks can be made out to “Rotary-MCTP” and sent to MCTP, c/o Fellowship Church, 1002 Saybrook Rd., Middletown, CT 06457. For more information about volunteering or contributing a donation, please contact Lara SantaMaria at Fellowship Church at 860-346-1181 or MCTP2013@yahoo.com.

Letter to the Editor: Mayor Should Condemn Acts of Sign Vandalism

To the Editor:
The Middletown Insider recently posted a press release, “Republican Signs Vandalized in Middletown.”
It says that last Saturday morning, Middletown Republicans awoke to the widespread destruction of candidate yard signs, ranging in value from $7 to more than $800.
On Sunday, I asked Mayor Drew to publicly call for an end to this mean-spirited and childish behavior on Facebook. To date; he has yet to do so. Again, I call upon him to condemn these acts of vandalism.
This is not the first campaign season where this sort of thing has happened, and to my knowledge, Republican candidates have been the exclusive victims. Our former mayor, Sebastian Giuliano, would not tolerate this sort of behavior, nor will our future mayor, Sandra Russo-Driska.
Sandra and the entire Republican underticket strongly believe that while we may disagree from time to time, it is incumbent upon us to treat our political opponents with dignity and respect. After all, at the end of the day we are still neighbors, friends and family.
Bill Boylan
Member, Middletown Republican Town Committee

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Campaign Financing: Mayoral Candidate Russo-Driska files 58 page SEEC complaint against Mayor Drew

The campaign of Sandra Russo-Driska, GOP mayoral candidate has filed a 58 page complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Committee (SEEC) alleging impropriety on part of Mayor Dan Drew (D) 's campaign donations from person's affiliated with businesses holding city contracts. Click the link to read the full complaint (must rotate). The complaint is available via FOI and contains the names and contributions of the individuals making the donations in question.

SEEC Complaint against Mayor Dan Drew Campaign

Letter to the Editor: Councilwoman Kleckowski Cares about Middletown

Letter to the Editor:

Councilwoman Kleckowski Cares About Middletown
 
Dear Editor,

I’m writing to express my support for the re-election of Councilman Deborah Kleckowski.  During her years on the Common Council, Deb has worked to improve the lives of Middletown residents.

Kleckowski on right.
Her successes have included such mundane and routine things as simply getting potholes fixed (a quality of life matter), to securing parking passes for participants in the library'sJob Seekers program, helping many people to attend.  And, she regularly meets with local business owners to hear about their concerns.

Recently, because the acoustics in the council chamber are so bad and the sound equipment inadequate, Deb took the lead in starting the procurement process to obtain hearing devices for the hearing impaired so that those of us who don’t hear very well can more readily participate in city government.   (Updating the sound system is cost prohibitive.)

For these reasons and more too numerous to mention here, I urge your support for Deborah Kleckowski on November 3rd, and for the entire under-ticket. It is time for a positive change and the Republicans are our best hope for it.

William Boylan

Candidate Bio: Linda Salafia (R) for Common Council & Board of Education

Linda Salafia (R) Common Council & Board of Edication
Candidate Bio: Linda Salafia (R) for Common Council & Board of Education
I am running for election to the Common Council and to the Board of Education.  I previously sat on the Common Council where I worked tirelessly to bring financial stability to our City.  I come from a public school background; both of my parents at one time or other taught school in Portland.  I attended public school in Portland and graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Elementary Education plus I have a certificate from Morse School of Business in accounting. I have spent most of my working career in downtown Middletown and have lived here for the last 35 plus years.  I started working in the Tax Collector’s Office in 1987 and retired as the Payroll Supervisor in 2012 after 25 years of service.
 During my employment with the City, I worked in various positions in the Finance office and took several courses relevant to those positions.  I was active in the employees’ union, AFSCME Local 466, and participating in several contract negotiations.  At my retirement, I was Vice President of the Local.  I am married to Tom and our daughter, Molly, who attended Middletown Public Schools, is running for re-election the Planning and Zoning Commission.
I look forward to serving the citizens of Middletown again.  I deeply care about the safety, wellbeing, education, economic vitality, and financial stability of the residents of our city.
  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was born in Biddeford, Maine, but grew up in Portland, CT in where my dad taught in the Portland Public School.
I am a graduate of Portland High School and of the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont where I earned a B.S. in education, elementary with a concentration in math.  I’ve also earned a Certificate in Accounting from the Morse School of Business
I’ve worked at local businesses since high school, including Wannerstrom’s in Portland, Mallove’s Jewelers in Middletown, the Institute of Living in Hartford as a Psychiatric Aide, as Bookkeeper for Insurance and Real Estate Center, Inc in Middletown.  I’ve worked for the City of Middletown in the Tax Collector’s and Purchasing Offices.  I’m retired from the City of Middletown, where I was the Payroll/Pension Supervisor in the Finance Office. In my retirement, I have become a small business owner; I started Traditions + Treasures Gift Shop a unique craft and gift line currently located at the Ivoryton Inn's Gift Shop in Essex.
Memberships:
AFSCME Local 466 member for over 25 years, 10 years as an officer, including Vice President
FCRV (Family Campers & RVer’s), since 1993 and past Secretary
Polish Falcons
Middletown Kiwanis current member
Learn more on facebook page: Vote Salafia Women
More info on Middletown Republican candidates can be found at www.middletownctgop.com 

(Accepting ALL Candidate Bios! See format info here!) 

Letter to the Editor: Beards!

Letter to the Editor:


Typically, I am, and run, a negative, attack based, edgy campaign. Even though that all remains true, and it all can be backed up with numerous documents. That time is over. We have entered what I like to call the “sweet spot” of an election campaign, where we, as candidates, have done our very best to get our perspectives out there, and while we will not stop campaigning until 7:59pm on November 3rd, there’s just a different feel to it all. You can bet I’m not done, but I’m done attacking and being negative. I want to talk to people and see what I can do better as a Mayor and human being, for the residents of Middletown.

That all said, it’s time to be a tad light hearted, and put my money where my mouth is. I have ultimate confidence in that Sandra Russo- Driska, or myself, can absolutely beat Dan Drew outright. It’s not even a question in my mind for a nano-second . Sandra Russo- Driska, or Brian E. Clark will be the Mayor of the City of Middletown come November 10, 2015. What do I have to put up, to back that claim up? Well, that’s where it gets a bit hairy.

When I was in the Fire Service, we all have to be completely clean shaven, at all times, for our Air- Pack Masks to properly seal to our faces, and keep out smoke and toxins. After 9/11/2001, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and in December 2001, I retired for good, and went on to be a CDL Truck Driver. It was the first time in my life I was able to grow a beard! I’ve had my beard, in all varying degrees, ever since. Almost 15 years now. My Daughter has never seen me without it. So you may be asking, what the hell does this have to do with anything? I’ll tell you.

When I was in the Fire Service, we all have to be completely clean shaven, at all times, for our Air- Pack Masks to properly seal to our faces, and keep out smoke and toxins. After 9/11/2001, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and in December 2001, I retired for good, and went on to be a CDL Truck Driver. It was the first time in my life I was able to grow a beard! I’ve had my beard, in all varying degrees, ever since. Almost 15 years now. My Daughter has never seen me without it. So you may be asking, what the hell does this have to do with anything? I’ll tell you.

I am so confident that Sandra- Russo Driska, or Myself, Brian E. Clark will be victorious over Dan Drew on November 3rd, that I’m putting my beard on the line. That’s right. If Dan Drew somehow happens to win this election, I will completely shave my beard off, down to bear skin. Not a huge prize to throw down, but I challenge anyone else on the opposing side, that if you have facial hair you have had for a long time, and you believe so much in Dan Drew, I challenge you to put it up on the shaving block. Pictures can be posted later. It’s a fun and goofy idea. After all the stress this campaign has created, it’s time to have some fun.

My Name is Brian E. Clark, and I approve this Message! (And Hope to God to keep my Beard)


Candidate Bio (R): Dina Gagliardi-Ford (R) Board of Assessment Appeals

Dina Gagliardi Ford 
Canidate Bio: Dina Gagliardi-Ford (R) for Board of Assessment Appeals:
I have a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University in Psychology and Business and then went on to Saint Joseph University to obtain a degree in Family and Consumer Science. I continued there and received a master’s in Early Childhood Special Education. I have been a family and consumer science teacher at Maloney High School in Meriden for five years. I am part of the School Improvement Committee and the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Team. This year I am also co-chairing the Future Business Leaders of America club. In addition to high school, I am an adjunct professor at Middlesex Community College teaching students about early childhood education. I have a passion for teaching that gets stronger every year.

This is my first involvement with politics but when I moved to Middletown over a year ago I could tell what an amazing town it is and knew that I wanted to get involved. Running for the Board of Assessment and Appeals seemed like a great start.

More info on Middletown Republican candidates can be found at www.middletownctgop.com 

(Accepting ALL Candidate Bios! See format info here!) 

Parents Start Online Petition Against Unnecessary Redistricting in Middletown

The peition was started by Laela Simon and is available to sign here:petition
October 9, 2015
Dear Redistricting Committee, Board of Education Members and Board of Education Candidates,
We are deeply concerned that a Redistricting Committee has been convened and charged with submitting a recommendation to the BOE for redistricting the entire City of Middletown’s elementary school system effective Fall of 2016.  After review of the BOE meeting minutes, it appears that a problem of overcrowding at Farm Hill School is being solved by a city-wide redistricting effort with the goal of being in compliance with the State’s Racial Imbalance Statute.  This seems extremely premature and unnecessarily disruptive to Middletown’s families considering that at this time, all Middletown schools are in compliance with the State’s Racial Imbalance Statute.   The information shown on the State of Connecticut Board of Education (SBE) website for the most recent school year (2014-2015) does not show that any Middletown schools have been determined to be racially imbalanced.  Neither does this website show that any Middletown schools are “impending imbalance” status.  Furthermore, it is troubling to us that before one public meeting was held on this topic, plans are being looked at with the goal of implementing redistricting for the next school year. 
We sincerely hope that you are aware that the law allows for a plan to be submitted to the SBE within 120 days of receipt of notification of a determination of racial imbalance (which Middletown has not yet received).  The law also allows for an extension of up to an additional 90 days to be requested if the number of students causing said imbalance in any school is fewer than five.  We would also like to point out that the law does not require that students throughout the district be reassigned to address a racially imbalanced school.  We strongly suggest that you become familiar with the law and its requirements which do include the option to implement voluntary interdistrict and intradistrict enrollment plans as an alternative to mandatory pupil reassignment.  Becoming familiar with this statute will benefit our city if, in the future, it becomes necessary for Middletown to address this issue.  
An additional troubling aspect to all of this is that the Redistricting Committee has made it one of their priorities to balance out Middletown’s school districts based on socio-economic status.  No such requirement exists in the State Regulations.  Forcing elementary school children to attend schools outside of their neighborhood does not seem prudent just to meet an arbitrary goal set by a committee.  We feel that this is an irresponsible use of tax dollars to pay a consultant to research and present plans on such a topic when there are no such requirements. 
We feel that Middletown needs to develop a long term, sustainable plan for its school system which may not need to include something as disruptive as redistricting.  We are confident that you will find that involuntary movement of students to achieve racial balance through redistricting will have very little support among the families of Middletown.  Our town already has one large school at the levels of 6th grade, 7th & 8th grade, and high school.  All public school students attend one school at each of these levels, and, therefore, get to experience a thoroughly diverse student body for more than half of their years in the Middletown public school system.  We see no reason to break up the current elementary schools that follow the neighborhood based model and are supported by parents throughout Middletown. 
Finally, we would like to point out that other Towns have waited to be notified by the SBE (as the law allows) before they put forth a plan to address racial imbalance.  Even after being notified by the SBE several towns have submitted plans that did not include redistricting (as the law allows).  These towns include Manchester, Fairfield and Greenwich and these plans were approved by the SBE.  Also, some towns have continued to submit and revise their plan over the years without the inclusion of redistricting.  This has involved long term data gathering, analysis and community discussion.  If it becomes necessary for Middletown to submit such a plan, we would hope that the Board of Education would utilize aspects from the plans of other towns that were approved without redistricting. 
We are very concerned that Middletown is hastily making decisions and wasting valuable tax payer dollars (over $40,000 for a Consultant to study this issue!).   We understand that an immediate solution to the overcrowding at Farm Hill School is necessary.  We are certain that a less impactful solution than redistricting the entire City can be reached.  With regards to your effort to comply with the State’s Racial Imbalance Statute (which is not required at this time), we are urging you to consider a long term solution that will be the least disruptive to our school families.  We know that the formation of such a solution cannot occur and be implemented by the Fall of 2016.   We hope that you will engage in the research and public involvement necessary to do what is right for Middletown.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration in this matter,
We the undersigned concerned citizens of Middletown

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

And Justice for All; "The Columbia Connection" by John Milardo


Preface:  This Newsletter was going to coincide with a “Press Release” from Republican Mayoral Candidate Sandra Russo-Driska, requesting Mayor Daniel Drew to give Middletown residents’ truthful answers to the questions of how he earned a degree this year from Columbia University in New York, while also being Mayor of Middletown.  Most importantly, his attendance record at the school was being questioned?  Unfortunately, the Middletown Press and Hartford Courant informed Republican Mayoral Candidate Russo-Driska minutes ago, they will not run the “Press Release”, because it may not be news worthy.  Nor, are they letting the public know that former Democratic Mayor Michael Cubeta, has endorsed Republican Candidate Russo-Driska for Mayor of Middletown. 

The Columbia University questions are legitimate issues a newspaper or news outlet should have asked long ago, but they have not.  Working on many Democratic Mayoral races in the past, I can tell you from this experience that the local “Press” does not look favorably on Republicans in Middletown.  They shelve issues sent to them, but will give the Democratic candidate free advertising for himself by putting his face on the front page getting a flu shot or eating a piece of cake.

Label me naive, but I thought the “Press” was supposed to be our watchdog for the truth, and not one-sided.  Seeing how they operate, I will continue to bring you whatever issues and opinions I can to you attention.

You can get all your local news and event articles, and Mayor Michael Cubeta’s endorsement letter from the following news blogs:
The Middletown Insider (http://www.middletowninsider.com/)


Beginning of the original Newsletter

In May 2015, Mayor of Middletown, Daniel T. Drew, earned a masters degree from Columbia University in New York. (http://www.middletownpress.com/government-and-politics/20150601/middletown-mayor-earns-masters-degree-from-columbia )  My first thought was, “Wow, I give the guy credit for doing this!  I wish everyone who wants a college education could get one.”  That thinking subsided quickly.  Now I started to wonder how does he earn a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree (according to the Press article) from such a prestigious university like Columbia, while working full-time as the Mayor of Middletown, Connecticut?   Boink! “The employees at City Hall who were bugging me for the past year were right!  He’s been going to school while he’s supposed to be working!”    

In 2014, not 2015, I had contacted a local news reporter and discussed what I had heard about Drew attending college.  Both of us had even went on the University website and turned up a student email address for him at Columbia University.  At the time, we discussed this issue, but the research ended there.  Fast forward to the above “Middletown Press” article regarding Dan Drew’s Master Degree. I looked deeper into it!

The first thing I did was send Columbia University officials some emails (which I kept) regarding Mayor Drew’s attendance to their program.
 

My first question was: Are their any on-line-courses for the “Social-Organization Psychology, M.A.” program?  The answer from Lynda Hallmark, Program Manager of the University was, “It is an in person only program – no online options”
Next question; Does the “Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership” program have any on-line options?  Ms. Hallmark’s answer was, “Sorry, no, it does not.  It’s a “residential” cohort program that meets 4 times/academic year for about 10 days per module.”

I asked Ms. Hallmark one last question, which she forwarded to Dan Drew’s professor.  The question was as follows: Did Columbia University make any exceptions for Mayor Drew regarding his presence and attendance for his classes in New York?
Dr. Debra A. Noumair, the Director of the “Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership” responded with the following; “We did not make any “exceptions” for the mayor regarding his presence and attendance for his classes in New York.”

Columbia University’s website regarding the “Social-Organization Psychology MA Programs”
(http://www.tc.columbia.edu/o&l/OrgPsych/index.asp?Id=M.A.+Program&Info=M.A.+Program+Frequently+Asked+Questions) state the following for their M.A. Program – “Full-time students complete their program in two academic years, and our part-time students complete their program in approximately three to four years.”  
For the “Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership” program it states – “The program is delivered in four 1-week modules extending over one year and includes pre-work, post-work, and guided independent study/action research as part of the formal program requirements.”

So, regardless of which degree Drew earned, it was mandatory he be physically present in classes at Columbia University.  The program with the minimum time spent in New York as described by the Ms. Hallmark is the “Executive Masters Program in Change of Leadership”.  According to her response to the above email question, it is a 10 day per module, 4 modules per year, residential only program.  That equates to 40 days in New York to attend these classes at Columbia University.  The University made no exceptions for the Mayor.

Giving Mayor Drew the extreme benefit of doubt, if he did indeed get his degree in the “Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership” and not the “Social-Organization Psychology, M.A.” (M.A.) degree, the minimum days he spent in New York for classes were 40 days.  If he received his degree in the latter, days spent at Columbia University in New York will be considerably more.

According to Columbia University’s website, The “Executive Masters Program in Change of Leadership” classes begin at 8am and end sometime in the evening, sometimes going into the weekends.  Along with this time spent in classes, Dan was also responsible to complete “10 hours a week on course-related assignments and action learning projects,” and “There will be monthly virtual check-in sessions in between the modules in order to provide scheduled time for project supervision, teamwork, information sharing, and additional hot topic lectures.”

Where am I going with this?  The FOI of Mayor Drew’s calendar provides 17 hours devoted to Columbia University from September 2014 through August of 2015.  Most of it is for “conference calls” to the University.  Why isn’t there any the time marked on his scheduling calendar for the time he had took off to attend classes at Columbia University in New York?  He put everything else on his calendar.  How does a mayor of a town, miss 40 days of work and no one notices it?  Who covered it up for him?  The Middletown Press stated Drew said the program was structured in a modular format, so he was not required to be in New York City, where the university is located, on a weekly basis, and when he was needed in classes, wasn’t all that far to travel.  That comment by Mayor Drew is disingenuous at best.  How about the complete truth for the public who kept on paying your wages - while you were away at school!

Columbia recommends students live within the city when attending classes.  Did he?  I guess to Dan, attending 40 classes (days) from early morning to late evening in another state, New York, isn’t a big deal to him?   I know as a taxpayer, it is to me!  I expect the Mayor of my town, to perform his full-time duties as Mayor.  You want to further you education, that’s great!  Then take a leave of absence like everyone else, and appoint someone to be in charge of Middletown.



All this time away from Connecticut and Dan didn’t see it necessary to place the Deputy Mayor in charge during his absences.  I wonder how he got to New York - bus, train, personal vehicle, or city car?  If he used the city car, did he reimburse the Finance Department for his personal use for gas and mileage driving to Columbia?  Or, was that on the taxpayer too?

Middletown’s Charter, Chapter IV, Section 2 states; “The Mayor shall be the chief executive officer of the City and shall devote full time to the duties of office.  Full time shall mean primary occupation.”  According to Dan Drew’s own calendar, he has been a part-time mayor for Middletown.  Over the past ten (10) months, including his education at Columbia University, days off from work for various reasons, and the time he has spent with his paid political advisors of The Vinci Group, he has missed a record 89.5 days of work (and that’s based on the minimum time at Columbia).  I had to triple check this number!  89.5 days of not being around and not doing business for the taxpayers of Middletown!  The taxpayers should be outraged over this!  City employees have been fired by Mayor Drew for doing far less than this!  What makes him think he’s so special?  What makes him think he is not accountable to the taxpayers as are all the other city employees he oversees?  Rules are not meant for Dan – just everyone else? 

Dan Drew has been a part-time Mayor for Middletown, only obsessed with furthering his political career and promoting himself through his paid political advisors.  He choose to live in Middletown for a specific reason – its Democratic populous for election purposes.  His disdain for the people who pay his wages and expect him to put Middletown first and not himself is not only shameful, but in my opinion unethical.  Dan Drew thinks nothing of lying to the people who employee him – the citizens of Middletown.  He has no integrity!

The voters of Middletown need to elect someone who wants the best for their town!  On November 3rd, vote Dan Drew out of office and give him the permanent leave of absence he so justly deserves. 

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.  

Letter to the Editor: We are in Trouble

Letter to the Editor;

We are in Trouble
By Brian E. Clark

Yesterday, I spoke with Donna M. Hunter, the CEO of Hunters Ambulance, Corporation Counsel, and we discussed the current situation of the state of Middletown, and it’s Emergency Medical Services. First, This is right in my wheelhouse. I was a Certified Emergency Medical Technician, 
Firefighter, graduating 2nd in my Class for the Connecticut Fire Academy. I hold numerous other certifications issued by the Connecticut Fire Academy to complete the Firefighter Course there, but I am specialized in High Angle Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, and Pneumatic Rescue. Further, I hold 19 Certifications issued by FEMA, The Federal Emergency Management Agency in Emergency Management and Incident Command Systems, Structure and Control. I am qualified to speak on this topic.

The way the Standard Operating Procedures for Middletown are written, for Middletown right now is as follows: If it is a Fire Call, you will get 2 Engine’s, and a Ladder Truck, Initially. Reason is simple: If it is indeed an actual structure fire, The Officer, usually Highest Ranking will assume Command, and direct one engine to “Wrap” a Hydrant, and lay 5” Hose as a supply, to bring water to the scene, more importantly to that Engine, which is a pumper, and can supply water not only to the Ladder Truck, but to the secondary Engine if it does not have its own water source. The Ladder Truck Crew is initially responsible for two things: Providing a search and rescue of the building, and provide ventilation in the roof, by cutting large holes for the make to escape, and easier for the Engine crews, now equipped with 1” ½”- 1” ¾” hand lines to provide an interior attack to the fire. An Incident Commander has one thing he operates by; it’s called the LIPS system, and is an acronym for Life, Incident, Property, and Safety. While this is all going on the Incident commander is calling in for additional units to the scene, and Police and EMS personnel. The Same type of structure is done for an Emergency call (i.e.: Motor Vehicle Accident, Medical, Rescues of all manners, etc.) Our Middletown Firefighters are required to be certified EMT-Basic’s, and our Middletown Fire Department, all three of them, are the best in the world, and have the best equipment available to them for every conceivable situation.

Our Emergency Medical Services on the other hand, have a lot to be desired, and is could be potentially deadly if we keep operating like we are now. Talking with Hunter’s Ambulance, it was told to me that The City of Middletown does not have a contract with Hunter’s Ambulance. In all reality, we do not have an Emergency Medical Services system in place. So, how it is Hunters Ambulance comes to our Emergency Medical Calls. Well, it a coincidence. Hunters Ambulance has an agreement with Middlesex Hospital. They have a contract for Meriden, and Portland, and they assist in Cromwell, and East Hampton. This puts Middletown in their Primary Service Area, or PSA. In other words, because of those other contracts, they happen to be around Middletown. If an Emergency Medical Call comes in to 911, Dispatch calls Hunters, and IF they have an available BLS, Basic Life Support unit available, they will send them. Our ALS, Advanced Life Support Service is covered by Middlesex Hospital. These are the people you need if you are dying. They have the training and supplies to administer lifesaving Medications, open air-ways, and the list goes on. They are Mini- Doctor’s out in the field.

The fact remains though that we do not have a Guaranteed Emergency Medical Services program. The way we operate now, and I am being serious, is if an Emergency Call occurs, and we call Hunter’s, and they don’t have a unit available, now we have to use “Mutual Aid”, which as in Fire, requires calling different Fire Departments, or Ambulance Associations, and asking if they have a unit available. Mind you, many of these are volunteer services, which gathering a crew, transit time, and level of experience can be fatal to the patient. Our Mutual Aid list is as follows: 1.) Cromwell, 2.) Durham 3.) East Hampton 4.) Haddam/ Killingworth. I personally think Rocky Hill should be in there, but who am I?

We need a guaranteed contract with an Emergency Medical Services Company, or there are three ways we can go about this, that add jobs to the city, increase taxes, and create a base of revenue. #1.) We have Middlesex Hospital take over our Emergency Medical Services. It creates jobs here in town. The company is here in town. Ambulances would be guaranteed her in Middletown to reduce response times, and Paramedics can be used in crews to create ALS Unit’s, saving valuable time where it is needed most. #2.) Invest in our Fire Departments and have them take over Emergency Medical Services to the BLS Level, keeping Middlesex Hospital as an ALS First Responder or intercept as needed. Again, it would create jobs, increase Local #1073 & Local 3918 membership increase our tax income, keep our residents safer, by combining Fire and EMS under one roof, where in a fire department you become a band of brothers, and each knows what the other needs without asking. Besides reducing the need for First Responders, freeing up Engine’s, Rescues, and Ladder trucks to be available for other emergency calls. I do not know if the Fire Departments would be receptive to such an idea. But this is an idea that bears having a conversation over. The #3 idea is radical. It is to start an independent Middletown Emergency Medical Services, where the sky is the limit. We could limit it to BLS, ALS, or a new Concept ACLS, which stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support. With this idea, and having the Fire Department take over, apparatus could be created that are one of a kind, where rescue equipment is onboard the unit that transports the patient. I mean, Jaws or Life, High Angle Rescue, Cold Water Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, pneumatic, and Hydraulic rescue, and limited Haz-Mat, and Fire.

The things I saw when I worked the site at the World Trade Center make me know that we have to think outside the box, and be ready for anything. We do not have a plan right now. None. We are hedging a bet that Hunters will be around to bail our ass out. When lives are at stake, that’s just not good enough. When you have a bad day in that job, people die. Startup costs can be quite enormous, however, because of the way things are in the nation and the world; Federal & Private Grants are available. Help is available. FEMA will send people out to help us set these things up. Make no mistake, these are grand plans, than can take years to accomplish. We are in trouble right now! We need a commitment and contract now that guarantee’s we have Emergency Medical Services available in this city 24 Hours a day!

Taxes, Education, the Common Council, and Planning and Zoning are all important issues. But this is serious! Our residents are not properly protected. When they have a Medical Emergency, they expect an Ambulance to show up, and the way it is now is a gamble. Someone eventually will eventually come, but in the time takes, first responders can only do so much. First Responders cannot administer medications. People can die because it takes too long.
In closing I’ll leave you with this. If you witness someone suffer a heart attack and die, if CPR is not preformed immediately, the brain begins to die within 4 minutes. Learn CPR. Take a First Aid Course. Become educated! Save lives! In my career, I had to do CPR 19 times, and brought back 2. One of which was my first time.

We can change the world, folks, but it begins here, within our streets, within our homes.
On November 3rd Vote for Brian E. Clark, Write in on Line 1D