Connecticut is one of the few states ( it figures ) where a man ( McCormack ) can lose an election ( 1st. Selectman ) and then take office ( as a Selectman ) a few weeks later. That is, if he shows up and actually makes a decision. M. McCormack was not present at the last Finance Bd meeting, neither did he ( as far as we know ) show up at any other meeting. So, where is Waldo ( Mike )?
We asked the First Selectman if there was a time limit as to whether or not someone who was sort of elected as a Selectman ( that is, for someone coming it second to the First but coming in first to the Second...sounds like an old Abbot and Costello routine) has to make a decision in a case like this.
"Well", said Mr. St. John, " it's something we've never faced before, I'd have to check it out".
We know for sure Elaine and Ed will be sitting in a Selectman's chair, but will Waldo waft in?
The id is the most basic part of the personality, and wants instant gratification for our wants and needs. If these needs or wants are not met, a person becomes tense or anxious.
The members of the Middlebury Board of Education must have big id problems in that their needs or wants are never met. In fact their needs and wants are immaterial to the manner in which votes are taken on the Region 15 Board. Basically their votes don't matter. So why are they there?
We don't know why we bother putting people on the Board of Education for Region 15. If their votes don't matter what is their purpose? Ed St. John needs to make it clear to the Middlebury Board of Ed members that they are more than bookends. He needs to make them see that they must act as political catalysts relative to Middlebury and Region 15. If our representatives on the Region 15 Board of Ed are in a situation whereby their votes don't matter to the overall board then maybe they should be lobbying in Hartford where they might do us some good...or maybe mowing the lawn.
Perhaps Middlebury should begin the process by refusing to take part in what is basically a sham..i.e., the voting methodology. of the Region. Ed St. John and the Selectmen should begin the process of investigating a procedure that sucks up a large share of the monies of Middlebury taxpayers and yet allows for no voting representation.
Meanwhile , perhaps, our Board of Finance could do something useful relative to Region 15 instead ofnickel and diming the town.
The Albini family bought land in Middlebury and planned to put a crematorium on said property. The Albini family paid the town $ 200,000 for the parcel of land on which rested a tax lien of $75,000.
Mr. M. McCormack, of the Finance Board, objected to the town collecting ONLY $ 200,000 for a piece of property which lay fallow. McCormack objected to the deal because...
and two town meeting. For 5 of the 6 meetings the only sound heard from Mr. McCormack was...crickets.
For someone who says he wants to promote commercial development in town how does turning down 125 thousand dollars and keeping a well known and successful family business out of town equate to a modern' approach to commercial development in Middlebury?
You tell us....
The developers that initiated the first Battle of Straw Pond in 2004 came back to town. They recently attempted to resurrect that hideous development.
The developers , probably trying to recoup some of the money they lost in the first battle refused to go away and proposed a 'new plan' for the straw pond area. We didn't read the plan, we know only that it amounted to 100-140 units.
If you don't know the straw pond area , it is largely a ledge filled hill with two vernal pools and a pond surrounded by beautiful second growth forest. There is a HUD housing unit tucked away neatly in the lower quadrant of the area. The housing unit presently sitting there provides for the elderly.
Some say there is a need for more elderly housing on this site.
Yes, the elderly need housing, but the town also badly needs commercial development and housing that will keep and attract the young.
If one reads the enrollment figures in CT high schools, colleges and universities it becomes singularly evident that what we need is to keep young , talented people in our state as well as to provide housing to the elderly.
Regardless of what kind of housing or commercial buildings are built in Middlebury they should be built on eco-friendly land not on a ledge filled, vernal pool dotted, two acre pond area that is a treasure to the people of the town.
On that hill known as Straw Pond the developers had proposed what many thought was a crazy idea of a retention pond at the bottom of the ledge hill which was to take the volumes of water that would run off proposed roofs and roads. Such a pool, in our opinion would have been as dangerous as it would have been ugly.
And the retaining walls...the hill is so steep the retaining walls would be at a height that would be dangerous to old and young. Thousands of trees would have been destroyed and deep ridges of ledge would have to have been blasted...one can't imagine a worse place to build homes or buildings for any population.
Anyway the application submitted by the developer was turned down by the town.
As it should have been.
In the past election Mike McCormack claimed he was in favor of 'modern' financial methods. Obviously not so modern that as Finance Board Chairman he couldn't read the writing not only on the wall, but in the education movements in the United States. Simply stated, schools across the country have noticed that, like Middlebury, school population is DECLINING.
In Middlebury we are about 700 students lower that in the past. Across the U.S. school districts, colleges and universities are mandating ENROLLMENT DRIVEN BUDGETS. In other words if the number of students drop off in your system you get LESS, NOT MORE FUNDS IN YOUR BUDGET.
The budget for Region 15 is approximately 64 million per year, our 'share' equates to 2/3 of OUR local Middlebury budget.
What have MIKE MCCORMACK AND THE FINANCE BOARD done to address this situation...nothing... the Finance Board has been seemingly terrified of taking on the school unions.
Mike and the Finance Board feel they can fill the 2/3 hole in our budget by putting up SOLAR PANELS..., A LOCK BOX..., A REGIONAL DISPATCHING SERVICE? What has MIKE done relative to Region 15 other than nickel and dime town services and town employees while we bleed millions of dollars into a school system that we use less and less.
What can Mike and the Board do, you ask? What about a political action group to lobby the state, what about bringing the issue up to the governor,s office... he can light a fire under the likes of John Cookson and the other members of Middlebury's "silent minority' that supposedly represent the MIDDLEBURY TAXPAYERS on the Board. Mike and Board are seemingly afraid to take on big issues instead they nickel and dime the town budget, squeezing the town employees and citizens to eke out a nickel here, a penny there.
If the town is in as bad a shape financially as Mike has stated in the past, well, what was his Finance Board doing about this situation for all these years?
The failure of the BOF and of the Chairman of this Board in particular has been stunning and in many ways has outlined the political decline of all involved.
The Middlebury Fire Dept. Inc. did a first rate job at the Larkin barn fire of Oct. 18.
When the Dept. arrived on scene smoke was already billowing and the flames were roaring. Under the guidance of Chief Bruno and his officers the fire was brought under control without any injuries. Contrary to the statements of some, our Fire Dept. has great leadership and contains men and women willing and able to face emergencies of every sort.
The Dept. has had some rocky moments at late, but are quickly putting their financial and departmental affairs in order.
In fact a recent court ruling Naugatuck firemen demolish the Middlebury Finance Board's insistence that the Fire Dept....well let's start at the beginning…
The Middlebury Government in the past agreed that the town would pay certain ambulance expenses and the fire dept. would keep certain ambulance proceeds. Under this agreement the former Fire Chief was allegedly mandated to provide quarterly reports, tax returns, and audits concerning the Ambulance Fund.
Evidently the town failed to put itself on the list of those receiving these reports as over a four year period the MIddlebury government claims it got none of the 16 quarterly reports, just 2 audits and no tax returns.
As a result of this former failure M. McCormack and the BOF in 2015 mistakenly decided to charge the Fire Dept. a $30 per call charge relative to the ambulance. Chief Bruno rightly countered that there was never any agreement on the part of the Fire Dept. to pay that fee ..
You can retrieve the minutes of that 2015 meeting to confirm what we just said or you can sit back knowing that under the court order given in a similar case with the Naugatuck Fire Dept. the BOF won't be assessing anyone anything. The court order in Naugatuck precludes such an arrangement All the recent action of the Finance Board really did was to make it appear that the town would have a mysterious jump in income amounting to $ 25 ,000 when this is not the case. Once again the town was left holding an empty bag.
Democratic Town Committee Chairman Curt Bosco occupied two badly needed parking spaces in the lot at Shepardson on this past election day with his gigantic 'McCormack" magic bus/rv.
When somebody reported his space grabbing maneuver to the police Bosco claimed that it was a Republican who had made the complaint...not a 'person' you see, but a 'Republican'. 'Republicans' evidently are not people and as such have no right to complain about a behemoth taking up too much space during an important event. As a 'democrat', and therefore a 'real' person Bosco evidently felt the need to report such a 'violation' and someone contacted the the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Among other things reporting the magic buss issue to the state made the dems look like a bunch of horses asses at the state level, which of course, complimented their local position.
And these people want to run our town! Maybe Mr. Bosco should use that bus to take a trip around town and begin the process of cleaning up some of the yards in our town that look worse than some of the houses in the South end of Waterbury. After all, that is his job.
Police chief Viadero adjudicated the dispute by allowing the ostentatious bus to remain in place. Viadero then promptly left for a job in Newtown and the State Elections Enforcement Commission is probably still laughing at Middlebury.
Let's look at some numbers.
In a 2014 report the Alliance for Audited Media listed the total daily circulation for a 6 month period ending Sept. 30, 2014 of the Republican-American at 38,266. Another newspaper tracking publication, the Mondo Times lists the daily and Sunday circulation of the Republican-American at roughly 42,000. What we found soooo interesting is that the Voices of Southbury has a circulation ( according to Mondo Times ) of 39,000. We were amazed that a newspaper based in the suburbs of Southbury has a circulation almost equal to a 'big-city'newspaper...you know, Waterbury, Watertown, Naugatuck,etc.
We also noted that according to a Hartford Courant article by S. Williams in 1996 the total circulation of the Rep-Am was at that time almost 60,000. It's no surprise that newspapers are losing traction especially among the young who prefer Twitter, Yahoo., etc. But if that drop in circulation is accurate...wow!
The newspaper we spoke of in the initial lead was the Republican American. A newspaper trade publication Editor & Publisher criticized the Republican-American's editorial page for an August 2005 editorial, "Is New Orleans Worth Reclaiming?" which called for the abandonment of New Orleans post-Katrina. Wow, pretty cold...imagine if the gov. went that way in 1955 in Waterbury.
Anyway, who is covering little old Middlebury?