Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Joe Marrone For Wallingford Town Council

I am using one of my votes in November to reelect Joe Marrone to the Town Council.  Mr. Marrone has done an excellent job in my opinion as a member of the Town Council.  He shows a great deal of leadership qualities and characteristics in his actions and has spent a great deal of time in examining all sides of the issues.  That allows him to make in my opinion valid and effective votes on all topics.  Being a parent with three sons in the school system, Mr. Marrone takes an active role in what is actually going on in our schools with an eye to the future through articulate ideas.  I urge my fellow Wallingford Voters to reelect Joe to the Town Council.

From his campaign website:
  1. Stands up for families -  I have young children and family is very important to me.  I consistently push for greater access to the public schools and more parental involvement.  Just this year, I fought for greater ability for parents to question curricular decisions in schools.  I am involved in Scouting because I believe it helps families to raise responsible children.
  2. Here for the long haul -  Ours is a town that attracts families from all over to locate here.  Many of these families will relocate once their children are finished with our excellent pubic schools.  I grew up in town and my family and I are here to stay. 
  3. Responsible with your money - In my time on the Board of Education, I voted against a number of proposed budgets because I did not believe that they were sustainable over time.  Responsible government is always thrifty and tax dollars are money that belongs to my friends and neighbors.  Elected officials should take greater care with other people's money than they do with their own.
  4. Here to help, not here to make noise -  I am a dad, and as a dad sometimes you need to be there to fix things, and sometimes you need to stand on the sidelines.  If you follow town government, you will note that I am never the one to go out of my way to grab a headline or a soundbite.  This type of grandstanding is all too common, and is frankly a counterproductive waste of your time.
  5. Respects the traditions of our town -   We have a well run Electric Division, great police and fire service and great town services.  There is always room to improve every service, but we need to focus on what is really vital and be cautious about expanding services in a time when tax dollars are so tight.
  6. Running for the right reasons -  I have enjoyed my nearly 6 years on the Board of Education working to help children and families and I believe I can do more on the Town Council.  If the voters don't choose me, Wallingford will still be a great town.  I think that my background and common sense approach to government will be an asset to the town.  
  7. Is not afraid to stand alone - Reasonable adults can disagree about a great many things.  I have stood alone on a number of issues on the Board, including the budget, excessive early dismissals, and school snack policy.  I would be no different on the Council.
  8. Not interested in trends and fads -  We have major issues facing our town, including improvements to the water treatment plant, businesses leaving our town and a stagnant grand list.  These are the things we need to focus on.  There are plenty of minor issues that we can talk about, but they are often a distraction to real function of government.
  9. Is forward thinking - I am always interested in what will not only serve us today, but will help us tomorrow.  After careful consideration, I supported the cost saving and education enhancing reconfiguration of the elementary schools.  
  10. Is open minded -  I am a proud Republican, however, a good idea is a good idea.  We currently have outstanding Democrats on the Council and I would be happy to work with them on any issue for the betterment of the people of Wallingford.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Chris Shortell For Wallingford Town Council

One of my votes for Wallingford Town Council will be going to Republican candidate Chris Shortell. He is an energetic and established candidate who offers a variety of different and useful ideas.  He has done an excellent job in my opinion as a member of the Wallingford Town Council  He is a family man with two wonderful children.  
Some thoughts from his campaign information:

Fiscal uncertainty at the state level and its impact on Wallingford
Maintaining our strong finances and not wasting our surplus on frivolous spending.  This means potentially making tough decisions on services like Community Pool, which has seen a massive decline in usage and is in need of replacement.
Looking for ways to cut spending where possible.  As I have often said at our meetings, there should be “no sacred cows.”  That means that all departments--from police and fire to the school system--should be actively looking for ways to cut spending and be more efficient.
Modernizing our town health insurance program, which will help save money (more on that below).

Continuing to modernize our town health insurance program
Include an HSA or high deductible plan as an option in all future contracts that do not already include it.
Begin exploring strategies to migrate town employees into these lower cost plans via town payroll contribution.

Promote economic development
Support the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) initiatives, including exploring more aggressive tax incentives to spur downtown development.
Continue to explore opportunities to assemble parcels and package for developers
Assess the old train station and make a recommendation for future usage
Parking strategy for both uptown and downtown

Protect our community
Our police, fire and public works all do a great job, and we need to continue to support them while being mindful of the tough economy and budget limitations.
Education, advocacy, and support for both the police and organizations like the Coalition for a Better Wallingford, as we grapple with the devastating opioid crisis.  This is a situation, as the Deputy Police Chief said last year, that we “cannot arrest our way out of.”
I feel Chris Shortell would be an excellent candidate for Town Council.  I urge fellow Wallingford voters to vote for him in November.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

No Connecticut Budget On October 14

Yes there is still no Connecticut budget as of October 14, 2017.  Connecticut remains no only state in the country not to have a budget.  Connecticut still has a massive amount of short and long term debt, short and long term unfunded liabilities along with a massive budget deficit.  Connecticut is ruled not by an elected state legislature but by an omnipotent state labor union along with a core of management non union employees whom are all paid above market salaries, benefits and pensions.  These above market union and non union salaries, pensions and benefits have helped to contribute to Connecticut's constant economic decline and enormous debt.
Thus we still have no budget.  Governor Malloy chooses to insult all groups that he dislikes in the state with regards to his economically illiterate budget proposal he presented several weeks back.  Governor Malloy chose to veto a bi-partisan budget that passed the House and Senate that would have started to address the massive tax and spending problems the state has.  But no the Governor has hissy fits and tantrums when he is being questioned about his budget or lack of leadership.  Yet budget negotiations trudge on and on and on. 
And the best part of the entire crisis is that Connecticut Taxpayers will paying Malloy's pension for years to come when he gets out of office.
A dictatorship is seen in Hartford.  Connecticut Taxpayers support this dysfunctionalism on a daily basis due to the high levels of taxes they must pay to live in the state.  The Malloy Administration has been an abysmal failure in governing.  The Connecticut Democrat Party is a tool of the state labor unions.  And Connecticut Taxpayers are governed by an elite few and told what they can have and not have.
There is still no Connecticut budget as of October 14, 2017.  There are still no answers to Connecticut's massive amount of short and long term debt, short and long term unfunded liabilities along with a massive budget deficit. There are still no answers to Connecticut's above market state union and non union salaries, pensions and benefits.  No answers.  Just political grandstanding by the Connecticut Democrat Party.
It is time to take back Connecticut in 2018.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The 2017 Wallingford Election: Board Of Education

Wallingford is a great town and community.  It has a strong sense of fiscal responsibility and of self government.  It has an excellent school system that has been helped over the past with a Republican majority on its Board of Education.  The election in 2017 is no different with six strong Republican candidates running for the Board.  They include: incumbents Roxane McKay, who chairs the school board, as well as Shauna Glidden and Karen Hlavac.  This year we also have newcomers Ray Ross, Lou Czerwinski, and Erin Corso running for seats.  The Republican candidates believe in fiscal responsibility and getting the most out of the Board of Education budget.  I urge my fellow Wallingford voters to elect a Republican majority for the board on November 7th. 

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Malloy Gimmick Veto-Still No Connecticut Budget

Governor Malloy vetoed on September 28 what he called a "gimmick-laden" budget that passed the House and Senate on September 15/16.  The Governor long on rhetoric and short on economic literacy continued his rants and raves about how bad the budget was since it made cuts to higher education especially the University of Connecticut.  Malloy then took to the road with UConn's President Susan Herbst who in fiscal year 2015-2016 earned a mere $911,037.50 in salary along with $75,062.21 in fringe benefits ( to state the devastation that will take place to the University if those budget cuts were made.  The Board of Regents for Higher Education President Mark Ojakian who earns in excess of $332,000 a year in salaries and benefits took equally to the streets to stir up a posse of complaints about the new budget and its cuts to his department. Cries of "Tax the Rich" were heard by several special interest groups even though many of the wealthiest Connecticut Taxpayers are moving out of the state each year thus furthering the collapsing tax revenues the state receives each year. 
Obviously here in Connecticut cutting spending is wrong especially when its comes to higher education.  If one examines closely the higher education budget especially for administrative non teaching positions salaries, benefits and pensions there seems to be a massive amount of money being spent in these areas. The only solutions in response to these budget cuts being put forth by its leaders is to raise tuition for students.  There is never any mention of cuts to either President Herbst's or President Ojakian's salaries, benefits or pensions.  Nor there is ever any mention of any economic solutions by what is supposed to be some of the smartest and brightest individuals in our society who run Connecticut higher education on how to do more with less money. Connecticut Taxpayers must finds ways to do more with less on a daily basis.
Thus we still have no budget nor do I believe we will have a budget in the near future. 
Governor Malloy and the Connecticut Democrat Party wishes to inflict as much pain and suffering it can on Connecticut Taxpayers in order to protect and nurture a ruling political class that has decreed upon itself one of the highest levels of salaries, benefits and pensions in the country at the expense of the state's economic well being.  
Connecticut continues to be an economic nightmare with this budget mess.  Connecticut continues to have failed leadership in its government.  Connecticut's short and long term debt continues to be massive. 
It is time to take back Connecticut.