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Financial Facts, Comparisons Showing What I Believe Is Abuse of Discretion?

These are comparisons between 1998 and 2010 actual costs, with some 1986 actuals. During these times the average earning for private sector stagnated or lost real income.

Editor's note: According to the blogger, the following numbers come from research at the Stratford Library, and email exchanges with Sue Collier of the town's finance department and Michael Feeney, chief operating officer for the Board of Education.

Follow the Money

1985-1986: Audited Adopted Budget $55,464,197;

1998-1999: Adopted Budget $109,221,819;     

2010-2011: Adopted Budget $185,278,902;    

 

1998-1999: Town Employee Benefits $8,005,753

2010-2011: Town Employee Benefits include pensions $34.3M                             

2010-2011: BOE Employee Benefits include pensions $17.4M                     

2010-2011: Combined Benefits: $51.7 million=11.69 mils

 

1998-1999:

Education $56,219,713;

Municipal $39,560,120;

Capital Improvment Debt $10,590,986;

Pension $2,851,000

 

2010-2011:

Education $92,402,182;

Municipal $61,882,060;

Capital Improvement Debt $11,344,289;

Pension $19,650,371

 

Education Benefits Cost:    

1998 $3,426,644*

2011 $12,220,600*

Education Attorneys Fees:

1998 $70,845*       

2011 $152,170*

 

1985-1986-Actual: Town Attorney Fees $130,073*      

1998-Actual: Town Attorney Fees $185,000*

2010-Actual: Town Attorney Fees $1,205,310* + HR Fees $296,052=

2010 ACTUAL TOTAL TOWN ATTORNEY FEES $1,501,362*

 

1986-1987: Actual TOTAL "Police/Public Safety BUDGET": $8,176,956*

1998-Actual: Police Payroll $5,264,087*                         

2010-Actual: Police Payroll $8,991,681*

 

1986-1987: Actual TOTAL "Fire Dept BUDGET": $4,112,769

1998-Actual Fire Payroll $4,994,148*                              

2010-Actual Fire Payroll $8,655,744*

*Police-Fire Payroll categories combined-added

 

Finance Director Collier e-mail September 2, 2011:

1998-1999 Estimated Averages:

Residential sales price: $139,725;   

Assessed value $97,808;    

Tax Bill $3,423           

 

2010-2011 Estimated Averages: 

Residential sales price: $250,000;   

Assessed value $175,000;  

Tax Bill $5,977          

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

George E. Mulligan December 07, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Budget for 2010 was about $188 million. Benefits Total: $51.7. Included $ 19.65 Million Defined Benefit . 2009: $ 17.4 Million to 603 people. 12/2011 $18.6 to 611 Included Pension Administration costs. Recent Budgets are on Town Website. Stratford Library has all of "Town Proposed & Final Budgets" & "BoE proposed Budgets." Final Budgets only created recently. > Why? I advised BoE COO (ex-Town Manager) Ben Branyan & Gavin Forester who (then-Democrat) ran Budget workshops & Budget Hearings that the Library told me there were NEVER "FINAL BoE Budgets." > Between myself, Ben, & Gavin, Stratford now has tradition of "FINAL BoE BUDGETS." - BUDGETS are GUIDELINES, whereas MAYOR & SUPERINTENDENT have discretion of moving/spending money INSIDE DEPARTMENTS, without CONSENT of the "elected" TOWN COUNCIL or BOARD of ED. > Only "elected" TOWN COUNCIL or BOARD of ED are authorized to add money outside Departments or specific Categories. > This is per STRATFORD'S TOWN CHARTER, similar to a CONSTITUTION for the TOWN. > It is my political opinion, the Political parties made the Town Charter unworkable as CAUSATION to JUSTIFY & RATIONALIZE "REVISING" the Town Charter." - > Town Attorney Burturla's opinion to his paid "special assistant Town Attorney" John Florek who was "appointed by politically selected>elected Town Councilors" <> Stratford does NOT have a REVISED TOWN CHARTER, but NEW TOWN CHARTER > PUBLIC INITIATIVE RIGHT to PETITON GOVERNMENT for REFERENDUMS.
Dave Fuller December 08, 2011 at 04:26 AM
George does a service posting the historical trends in the numbers here. The pensions adn benefits issues were several decades in the making; some of which are town decisions and others broader state and national mandates and socioeconomic trends. Much of the health care financial woes due to the rampant inflation in leaht care our nation has experience in the past 15 years, in addition to contract negotiations that did not forsee the massive rate increases in the later years of aforementioned contracts. The Town and BoE must do a better job during the next round of negotiations to ensure a more stable health insurance cost projection. Also, the Town and BoE must consider health insurance pools with other municiaplities and BoEs, nonprofits and midsize businesses in order to have better leverage in cost containment. State mandates force much educational expenses, even personnel expenses onto towns. Reform must happen in Hartford, where BoEs and town halls can have more direct influence in shaping education budgets. Referendum for budgets is not unheard of. Monroe adn Oxford routinely present theri local budgets before referenda and finance boards.
Kimberly Meuse. December 08, 2011 at 06:20 AM
In agreement with Dave on the need for regionalizing BOE and municipal employee health insurance expenses. The issue isn't healthcare, but the skyrocketing cost of healthcare insurance. Teachers and municipal employees do not drive the costs into the stratosphere, the insurance industry does. On another note, a special thanks to George Mulligan, as well as several other town residents including Walter Rimkunas, Marsha Stewart and the late Frank Esposito who made a point to regularly attend Council meetings to question, voice concerns and participate in issues that affect every resident in Stratford. Doing so keeps the elected officials on their toes and aware of public sentiment. There is great need to hear from more residents. I'm glad to see George has a blog on the Patch. Not many in town have the historical insight or budgetary/numbers acumen that George has. Personally, I'd like to also take this opportunity to thank him for his wit, wisdom and generosity in the two years that I served on the council. Keep keeping us honest, George.
Tom December 08, 2011 at 06:52 AM
I’m not much of a number guy but I would imagine that a lot of the costs here are the result of unfunded mandates that, based on what I have observed, are more often self-imposed. Regarding the collective bargaining part of it all, I tend to lean toward the fact that a deal-is-a-deal. A lot of the wrangling that goes on during negotiations is simply a way of nickel-and-diming hourly wages so some times the packages presented to the employees might be a way of cowardly politicians hiding numbers so they look like they kept salary increases low. In my opinion, this is not the fault of the worker and has more to do with electing people who owe favors, worry more about their cronies, and fancy their next jobs that will follow holding office. The teachers have no choice in the matter but to collectively bargain, that is the law. They can only decide whether to stay or go after a deal has been made for their next contract. The numbers you have provided are alarming and, to anyone looking at them that lack a sense of concern, I suggest they wake up. They are obviously unsustainable. Again, I am not very good with budgets and actuarial stuff; yet, I am concerned that this new business of reshaping medical packages is nothing more than employers having a second bite of the bargaining apple that ultimately will result in less money per employee each year.
Tom December 08, 2011 at 06:55 AM
Trust me, I have my issues with some of the teachers of this Town; in my opinion, they have kept their mouths shut on a radical behavioral modification program, the likes of which is foreign to a democratic republic. They remained silent, yet in private they have confided that they would pull their children from the District before exposing them to it. Some have engaged in self-perpetuating politicking that advances costly programs that are unsubstantiated statistically and ensnares us in interlocking relationships with outside entities that are outside of the reach of voters. I am not a Republican, a Democrat, nor am I a Liberal, or even a Conservative. I believe in the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and that my rights have been endowed by my Creator. I do not want my rights to be granted by my state, as that would allow the state to remove those very rights when necessary. This would make me less free and therefore merely a serf of the state.
George E. Mulligan December 08, 2011 at 11:45 AM
My political belief/opinion are: Berchem - Burturla Law firm has 1996 deals with Police, Fire, BoE & Town Unions; Fed/CT/Town Republican & Democratic Committees; Florek & O'Neil Law firm; Bishop, Kelly & Jackson Law firm; Willinger & Bucci Law & other firms; Federal & State: Judges & Prosecutors: Investigators; Elected & Parties' officials. If deal is ABOVE BOARD it's LEGAL/PROPER. If there's FRAUD, CONSPIRACY or other factors, (from my Years as USPS (Postal Service) (NALC - Letter Carrier Union Steward) then contracts can be VOIDED &Criminal Prosecution may follow? U.S. Attorney Ronald Aptor (Raptor) who coined the logocy term CORRUPTicut! Not me! CT. General Assembly passed a LAW that if Government Employees were involved in ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, they could LOSE their PENSIONS. Not me! - The IRONY is that I can Mitigate/exculpate since I believe the real issues are (ENTRAPMENT) ATTEMPTS to DESTROY our CONSTITUTION & Representative, Democratic, Republic, to create World Federalism, using Rockefeller type front organizations for Europe & World Royal Plutocrats I believe there's RAMPANT ILLEGAL ACTIVITY by people throughout the ENTIRE POLITICAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, not just what I believe is TRUE in CORRUPTicut and stRATford, by myopic selfish DEMONcRAT / HYPOcrats (Not real Democrats) & RepubliCONNartists & RepubliCANT's (Not real Republicans) Who can prosecute Bush-Cheney types if ENTIRE POLICE/PROSECUTOR/ JUDICIAL is CORRUPT?
Jezebel282 December 08, 2011 at 12:55 PM
George, I am a bit surprised you left out the two gangs that rule this Town. While it is true one of them is currently hospitalized for wounds received in the last brawl, there is no doubt they will fight to get their turf back.
George E. Mulligan December 08, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Jeze, I can comment on PUBLIC ISSUES/PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. Examples, Town Attorney Kevin Kelly's mother was secretary to Police Chief Mossman & before an attorney, Kevin worked as an Investigator for now Senator Blumenthal Esq. Burturla's father retired 1985 Stratford Police Captain Town Attorney Richard Burturla was 1987-1989 Town Council chairman, which created the Mini-Budget (double taxation), which led to Diane Buda & Eleanor Burke "PUBLIC INITIATIVE" to create "TOWN REFERENDUMS," which created "TOWN ORDINANCES." 1996 TOWN COUNCIL/MANAGER gave UNIONS a DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION where retirees contribute $ 80,000 to $ 120,000, before CASH OUT from 20-30 years contributions. Over 350 retirees' PENSIONS RANGE from $ 30,000 to $ 134,000, plus Health Benefits costing TAX PAYERS about $ 20,000 annually per family. 1996: Town started using Burturla - Berchem. Then Board of Ed, where I believe Esq Burturla has earned over $ 150,000/year between them. I think during the Miron Mayoralty, Esq, Burturla may have earned over $2.2 million, while Esq Kelly earned $600,000+ from future State Senator opponent? State Senator Dan DeBicella's father & Dom Costello were both Bridgeport Police. Ex-Stratford Police Chief John Burturla, brother to Esq Rich Burtula, was CT STATE TROOPER HOME LAND SECURITY head, while Lieberman (Blumenthal's mentor) chaired Senate HLS Committee. RTC Tom Moore, ex-State Police DTC ex-chair Tony Schirillo State Police
George E. Mulligan December 08, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Correction in 2010 - BoE Pensions are by the State. I meant to type exclude (not include) BoE Pensions - - How many Stratford Patch bloggers live in Stratford? A few blogger identified themselves as living in Milford, Trumbull, & New Haven area? - Being on Town Republican & Democratic Town, State, and Federal Political Committees can be for completely altuistic reasons OR for political connections, which can lead to Business contracts or jobs for Committee members & friends/family. Bridgeport has a National Reputation for corruption (Ganim & Newton jailed, Fabrizzi coke) (See Frank Picollo urban legend) they are upfront having City & BoE Employees on City Council. In Stratford I have rarely seen people recuse themselves on votes & Town Attorneys (hired by the Mayor or Town Councils in the past, & are leaders & major contributors to Political Town Committees) use logic analogous to the Chinese Wall defense! What is a Chinese Wall? Look it up, as used by Goldman Sachs. If there is NO Direct CONFLICT of INTEREST, then it is OK for someone to VOTE on an ISSUE. However, what happens behind closed doors, where VOTES can be TRADED? > # 1 VOTES for things benefitting # 2, who recuses self > # 2 later VOTES for things benefitting # 1, who recuses self How many people get jobs or contracts 2- 3 years after voting which don't appear logical or for Public Interest? Do Lawyers Triple Bill? Who knows? Ever seen justification?
George E. Mulligan December 08, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Do Town Attorneys Triple Bill? 3 AVCO + 3 SHAKESPEARE FALLED BIDS. If they solved problems, would they be outta work? Shakespeare Festival Theater, Lou Burke & merry crew KKP (Carp >) Kerner Kornfeld Parners Hanney (Farce) Were all involved (negotiated) with Berchem Moses Devlin Burturla? Team Stratford # 1 - Aaron Hochman - now Hock man Team Stratford # 2 - Montiposilico or is it Monty (python) po silly co. Team Stratford # 3 - Natera / Dogstar / Were Willinger-Bucci-Aldrich all involved with Berchem Moses Devlin Burturla? Is it true FBI moved WHITEY BOLGER to Stratford? How is it the FBI oversigt people are consistently outsmarted by High School dropouts, Grammar School dropouts & surfs, so I guess they are out classed by their cousins in the Bar Association and Multilateral Tribranch? I am AGAINST AL QAEDA and ALL TERRORIST? I am curious who believes .... Government does not profit from War & Crime & High Petro Costs & high credit card & foreclosure rates? Almost makes one want to make the old style Mafia the third party, because Cocaine was under 5% in 1950s and many families could own a home & raise a family with one worker and mom "could" raise children. It was BAD for rights for women & minorities. The American Dream & MLK Jr Dream has beome nightmares, unnecessarilym for far too many. I know how to raise revenues for the Town, BoE, Unions, & Public. Rather raise the low, than lower the highest!
George E. Mulligan December 09, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Real Republicans (fiscally & value conservative) are irate. Country club "nominal" Republicans caused 40 % over real Budgets TAXATION in Stratford since the so-called Republicans dominate Town Councils, BoE, Zoning, etc for most of 30 years... Real Democrats in Stratford and across the USA are almost apoplectic about the counter intuitive state which a "Liberal Arts" Education deems unsustainable and unfair. Nominal "conservatives" are self branded pimps. Nominal "liberals" promote aberrant behavior. The real people have "enlighted self interest" accepting & expecting "fair returns on the American social contract." Interesting that the Republican dominated Town Council & BoE keep the same, same, and same Law Firms, including a DEMOCRAT who is on both the Stratford Democratic Town & State Committees? Maybe because certain people work with people who control not just local rank police, but CT STATE POLICE, PROSECUTORS, & JUDGES and FEDERAL JUSTICE/FBI or investigators & JUDGES. Is it in the best interest of the United States to have an INTERLOCKING POLICE, PROSECUTORIAL, JUDICIAL, ELECTED, MILITARY, CIVIL BUREAUCRACY, CORPORATE DIRECTOR/MANAGEMENT, PRIVATE SECTOR MONEY / POWER CLASS? What happens to a SEALED TEAPOT with high HEAT stimulating the contents? Isn't a "just rule of law" in an unrigged system is in everyone's best interest? By packing police, fire, pw, education, & government with politically connected, are they MARXISTS?
George E. Mulligan December 09, 2011 at 03:54 PM
HUGE ISSUE: STRATFORD ZONING CHANGES DEC 20 > Do you want 4 + STORY CONDOS / APARTMENTS / HOUSING PROJECTS all OVER STRATFORD? > Do you WANT AVCO + LORDSHIP BOULEVARD to be CONDOS or Businesses with good paying local careers, building the Tax Base, Property Values, and INCOMES of STRATFORD and SURROUNDING TOWNS? > Please call, mail or email against ZONING CHANGES to Stratford TOWN HALL, Room 113 Attn: GARY LORENTSON, ZONING ADMINISTATOR 203 385-4017 glorentson@townofstratford.com
George E. Mulligan December 09, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Anyone have suggestions on how to attract blog comments here? This Stratford Patch blog is about real cost of living in Stratford. Bird Feeder-chicken feed & Office Depot wish list are fun. Yet until citizens pay attention to your wallets .... do you like being robbed? Is Voting for a Republican or a Democrat like figuring out which robber you want to take your money? Anyone have suggestions on how to attract blog comments here?
Rusty Nail2 December 10, 2011 at 04:10 PM
There is no one in town who has more accurate information on the history of out of control government spending than Mulligan. The facts above are a perfect summary of when you give any government entity more funding they just spend it. In addition, once a program is created, it can never be modified (BOE healthcare) or eliminated (Pensions to 401K) even though the program is out of fiscal control to the point the taxpayer cannot fund it. Good work here George!
George E. Mulligan December 10, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Rusty, I fear CHAPTER 11 & contracts' repudiation is in the Stratford's future, and many other Towns and States. top pensioner, a police captain who the POLICE UNION filed a grievance, but not criminal charges, despite self payroll Total 27 year net contributions: under $ 96,000. Highest Base Pay $ 85,850 Annual Pension .... $ 134,500 Huh???? if 30 years RETIRED: gets $3,050,000 He contributed under $ 96,000 SUSTAINABLE? LEGAL? FAIR? It is counterintuitively clever to BRIBE POLICE, EDUCATION, JUDICIAL, LEGISLATIVE & ELECTIVE, while using PETRO / CARBON Taxation and outrageous WAR / CRIME Budgets, to B R E A K the United States Financial system, on the way to making the C O N S T I T U T I O N to be unworkable. The local political parties made the Town Charter unworkable. The local political parties' hand pick Town Councilors, Managers/Mayors, and Town Attorney REVISED the Town Charter, not once, but twice, with what I believe are INTENTIAL FLAWS. In 5 years Stratford is likely to be unrecognizeable, and I believe there will be movements for a NEW TOWN CHARTER and a REVISED CONSTITUTION. The IRONY? The government workers, who are extremely patriotic, are being used to dig their own graves, and to expedite the graves of the rest of U.S. While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sought to hear the church Bells ringing all over this great land, for Freedom ..... and by being against War .... Dr. King did not have to ask for whom the Bell Tolls?
George E. Mulligan December 11, 2011 at 12:04 AM
JIM MIRON - PLEASE COMMENT! ANY inaccuracies? - Tonight's YAHOO - Almost on CUE> - Public retirement ages come under greater scrutiny By DON THOMPSON and JULIE CARR SMYTH | AP – 3 hrs ago - COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After nearly 40 years in public education, Patrick Godwin spends his retirement days running a horse farm east of Sacramento, Calif., with his daughter. His departure from the workaday world is likely to be long and relatively free of financial concerns, after he retired last July at age 59 with a pension paying $174,308 a year for the rest of his life. Such guaranteed pensions for relatively youthful government retirees — paid in similar fashion to millions nationwide — are contributing to nationwide friction with the public sector workers. They have access to attractive defined-benefit pensions and retiree health care coverage that most private sector workers no longer do. Experts say eligible retirement ages have fallen over the past two decades for many reasons, including contract agreements between states and government labor unions that lowered retirement ages in lieu of raising pay. With Americans increasingly likely to live well into their 80s, critics question whether paying lifetime pensions to retirees from age 55 or 60 is financially sustainable. An Associated Press survey earlier this year found the 50 states have a combined $690 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $418 billion in retiree health care obligations.
George E. Mulligan December 11, 2011 at 12:31 AM
ANYONE NOTICE: JIM MIRON, GAVIN FORESTER, and ANY MEMBER of the PARTIES' controllers AVOIDS CHALLENING my FACTS/OPINIONS? - Continued from YAHOO: Three-quarters of U.S. public retirement systems in 2008 offered some kind of early-retirement option paying partial benefits, according to a 2009 Wisconsin Legislative Council study. Most commonly, the minimum age for those programs was 55, but 15 percent allowed government workers to retire even earlier, the review found. The study is widely regarded as the most comprehensive assessment of the issue. Police and firefighters often can retire starting even younger — at around age 50 — because of the physically demanding nature of some of those jobs. Yet with cities, counties and states struggling to pay pension bills, changes are afoot. In November, San Francisco voters supported a local ballot initiative to hike minimum retirement ages for some city workers. Since that time, laws increasing retirement ages for government workers were signed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in efforts to address underfunded pension systems. Earlier in New Jersey, part of a legislative deal struck between Democrats and Republicans raised the normal retirement age from 62 to 65. An initiative circulating for California's 2012 state ballot seeks to increase the minimum retirement age to 65 for public employees and teachers, and to 58 for sworn public safety officers. - DRUGS/OIL/GAS/COAL/WAR/CRIME = Destabilies CONSTITUTION
Dom DeCicco December 11, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Well said George. The two have become one -- just like way back in the 1930's.
Dom DeCicco December 11, 2011 at 01:19 AM
Has anyone watched the TC in action? $200,000 here -- "all in favor say aye" Lemmings: "Aye." "All appose say no. That's ten in favor and no appose. Moving on...” Thousands of dollars for this and for that project; I have yet to see any true form of opposition or even legitimate inquiry. Giggling and compliments abound and some will even slip in an Atta a boy and some cheesy niceties. I am sure most are great people individually; however, the rhythm in how funding is approved is too lose in my opinion.
George E. Mulligan December 11, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Dom, thank you for your observations. MAY 2011 this Town Council AUTHORIZED $ 103 MILLION BONDING $ 103 MILLION! !!! ! - Between usual $ 10 to $ 12 annual Capital Improvements each year, including late 2011, They also REBONDED at least $ 20 MILLION last year. These are supposedly Republicans. Fiscally conservatives? Has A N Y O N E ever seen the TOWN ATTORNEYS have to JUSTIFY their BILLINGS? $ 1.8 million: Up 1500 % 1986 to 2010 Up 1000% 1998 to 2010 I am not against legitimate OVER TIME. OT $ 2,000,000 FIRE DEPT OT $ 1,500,000 POLICE DEPT - At least $ 600,000 was reimbursed from Private Sector, which is NOT PENSIONABLE. I favor good Benefits. But almost 33 % of the Budget is Benefits Put it another way $ 2 of Budget all non Benefits $ 1 of Budget is Benefits From that direct Benefits add 50 % to the Budget. Are Lawyers, Police, and insiders taking bribes or kickbacks as a form of INSIDER TRADER, hidden as "COLOR of the LAW?"
Jezebel282 December 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM
George, As long as Stratford citizens think the Republican and Democratic Town Committees are actualy Republican or Democrat and vote for the "R" or "D" nothing will change. Most citizens have no idea what the council does or what they vote on. Sadly, citizens believe that because it is "local" it is not worth their time or attention. Unfortunately, the most important factor in our mortgages and rent payments are the decisions of the Town Council, BOE and Mayor. With no opposition on the Council or BOE from any cohesive group (you know, like Independents or Democrats) you can pretty much gaurantee that everyone's mortgage and rent will be going up again in the next budget.
George E. Mulligan December 11, 2011 at 03:07 PM
JEZE, do you actually believe EVERYONE pays FAIR SHARES of TOWN TAXES? - Certain North End Estate Castels, pay proportially far less than TARGETED MINI-LOT / HOMES & the HMES of the UNAFFILIATED. - Every 2 years, the LATE GREAT ED "BEEFY" HARGUS would shuffle to the Town Council Public Forum & BELLOW: "This is the WORST TOWN COUNCIL E V E R." WE would CRINGE. It would turn out: * He was understating the situation. * Stratford & American political traditions perpetuate the degenerate. The DYNAMIC DIANE BUDA & ENTHUSIATIC ELEANOR BURKE created "PUBLIC INITIATIVE" "PETITIONS" and "PUBLIC REFERENDUMS" which threaten the CORE of POLITICAL POWER to LEGISLATE, to TAX, to REWARD FRIENDS, to PUNISH ENEMIES, & to ROB & Victimize the IGNORANT, the UNORGANIZED, the DISENFRANCHIZED, & APATHETIC. FDR: ORGANIZED MONEY is more DANGER than ORGANIZED CRIME. MARCIA STEWART has been the Steward of the Marshes, protector of the Lordship sovereignty from noise pollution & unelightened expansionism. Where will leadership come from to inform and educate the public from the political piranhas & political patronage plutocratic pariahs?
Jezebel282 December 11, 2011 at 03:31 PM
It doesn't matter at all what I believe. What matters is that voters and taxpayers don't care. Town Hall is an open cash drawer and taxpayers just keep filling it up. Realistically, as long as it's there for the taking why bother to stop?
Dom DeCicco December 11, 2011 at 04:01 PM
It might be time to start using the room over at the library and discussing important issues such as these. A diverse group can offer maore than a group only informed in one area of public issue. I'll make the time. First topic could be based on something like: where we went wrong in history on a local, state, and federal level.
George E. Mulligan December 12, 2011 at 07:33 PM
Thanks' Jeze comment: "What matters is that voters & taxpayers don't care. Town Hall is an open cash drawer & taxpayers just keep filling it up. Realistically, as long as it's there for the taking why bother to stop?" Thanks Dom: "start using the room over at the library and discussing important issues such as these. A diverse group can offer more than a group only informed in one area of public issue. I'll make the time. First topic could be based on something like: where we went wrong in history on a local, state, and federal level." There is a cost associated with the Lovell Room Rooms in Library Basement & Baldwin Center can be free. Nights are difficult for Senior Citizens. Weekends have limited hours. Christmas shopping / family events will impact attendance. New Year it will be cold / weather issues likely. It also takes a little time to organize and try to build a turn out. Getting Press to cover a group of 20 or more, could be good. Tea Party & OWS are at opposite ends of desired policy changes, yet are confluent in feeling government is corrupt. Perhaps blogging can organize an agenda / platform?

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