Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who's withholding information? (Norton boiler 8)

As I mentioned in yesterday's post about "Being kept in the dark,"... as of April 22, I thought that staff had received this memo on April 7 (I've excluded the strongly worded middle of the memo):
and staff had decided to leave me (and all nine Council members) in the dark.* However, upon reviewing this video from April 8:
Council Chair Matt Hall seems to be acutely aware of the above memo from CT Combustion to the Town Manager (granted, there could be another memo, but I haven't seen it yet... and that would make this episode even more troubling).

So my question is... did the Town Manager make the Council Chairman aware of this memo between the time of receipt (you can see it arrived via fax at 01:31AM on April 7, so I'll assume the TM saw this by 8:00AM on April 7) and the time of the Regular Council meeting (7:30PM on April 8)?

And if so, did the Council Chairman direct the Town Manager to withhold the "corruption" memo from me (and others) and to exclude the "corruption" memo from his Town Manager's report on April 8?

And if so, where does the Chairman get the authority to withhold information from other Council members?

Or was the decision to withhold this information made by the Town Manager?

And if so, what authority is given to the Town Manager to inform the Chairman of certain information, but withhold that information from other Council members?

Taken in the context of this memo:

and noting that none of the GOP Council members requested this information (because we had all been kept in the dark), I'm wondering...

Did the Council Chairman attempt to cover up HotWatergate by directing the Town Manager to withhold this information from GOP Council members?

And if so, then when Democratic Council members learned that litigation was possible (the litigation document I have is stamped "confidential," but the town fax timestamp reads "Apr 02 08 03:36pm"), did they begin requesting information from the Town Manager?

And if so, then after eleven days (April 7 to April 18 - when Council packets were being delivered) did the Town Manager decide that he could no longer support a possible attempt by the Chairman to withhold information from GOP Council members?

Did staff decide that the "corruption" memo would need to be distributed to all Council members... regardless of party affiliation?

Since the taxpayers are getting screwed for an additional $70,000 for this botched project (plus attorney fees, wasted staff time and unnecessary heating costs due to the extended life of both an inefficient boiler and inefficient windows), I think the taxpayers have a right to get answers from the Chairman and Town Manager to the above questions.

And remember... if it weren't for Democratic Council members asking for copies of the "corruption" memo...or for the State Marshall-delivered CT Combustion "book"... it seems that GOP Council members may never have learned of this mess. And this whole thing would be chalked up as just another PBC project gone awry (now repeat after me... P-O-O-L).

Tim White

* This would be nothing new for staff. In more than four years on the Council, I've repeatedly requested that I not learn of town issues by reading the newspapers.


Anonymous said...

If this is the case, then the Chairman and/or the TM should both turn in their resignations.
Didn't Mr. Hall recuse himself from the talks at the last meeting because of conflicts with having the Bowman's as clients?
He should be the last person the TM should be providing information regarding possible litigation if his clients are invilved.
This is totally unethical and should be brought up to the entire TC.
This will cost this town way more than the original bid on the boiler in order to pay all the legal fees. Do you think Mr. Bowman will sit back if they change their minds and award the contract to CT Combustion? I am sure he'll hire Mr. Hall's firm and sue the town. It's a win/win for Mr. Hall. If they keep the bid as is then CT Combustion will continue their lawsuit and will probably win.
This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. I can't believe it has gotten to this point!

Anonymous said...


I don't know if you remember my email to Town Council after the last election in reference to the democratic members having a change of position on the 3 Strikes Bill from before to after the election.

They were all for the bill before the election and then they stated that they would need to wait until Hartford acted first before they made a decision. Some democrats on the council even said that it should not even be on the Councils agenda.

The email was sent to Josh at the Cheshire Herald (without my knowledge)and I was ridiculed and hit with defamation when it was printed. In my email I indicated that there were democratic candidates that ran on the premise of being in favor of the 3 Strikes Bill as a election promise changed their minds after they were elected.

I asked for them to resign or face an impeachment. I was laughed at in my opinion. The HotWatergate hearings should commence asap. I would love to be the one who is laughing for a change.

Unfortunately my laughter would be at the expense of the honest Cheshire taxpayers. We as a town should file a class action law suit against those personally who intentionally or not got us into this mess.

They are to put the interest of the town residents first, which they abused that theory by covering up their mistakes. Michael Milone, his attorney, Joe Michaelangelo, Matt Hall and all other Town Council members who knew about these mistakes and covered them up by not speaking out should go.

Mike Rocci

Anonymous said...

Regarding town grievances--
Zullo explained that the “Dress Down Fridays” was scheduled to be every other week on payday, but the practice evolved into every Friday. He further elaborated that the business casual “Dress Down” day somehow developed into employees wearing sweatpants and Hawaiian shirts, with other exempt employees participating as well, so the police chief stopped the policy.- Cheshire Herald 5/1

Lou Zullo failed to mention that the grievance was filed due to the abolishment being retaliatory by the Chief. That looks like positive spin to make the town look good. Lou Zullo, during negotiations and hearings, always tries to make the Union sound petty. Has anyone else noticed that the TM has ruled on behalf of management/not the employee in EVERY case, does that mean management is never wrong, how about fundamental fairness. Also why arent these questions being answered by the public information official???

Anonymous said...

How many different ways are there to spell arrogance?

Town Manager
Supt of Schools
Personnel Director
Chairman of the Town Council
and many more

These people have to be told this is not there personal playground and kingdom.

Anonymous said...

These questions need answering also:
What local company donates lots of money to sports and has gotten lots of jobs in the schools?

Who donated money for a turf study?

What local hardware store sells or has sold lots of parts & supplies to the schools even when their prices are much higher than other stores?

I think the answer is same for all questions. Does it surprise anyone? It shouldn't. This is Cheshire, Corrupticut

Anonymous said...

And one more that I forgot -

What company bought equipment for Dodd around 6 years ago, found out it wouldn't fit properly, charged an additional 20K to make it fit, and when it doesn't function correctly, gets paid again to fix it?

Anonymous said...

Do you think Mr. Bowman will sit back if they change their minds and award the contract to CT Combustion?

1:49 The last action that the council took was to vote for the approval of CT Combustion doing the job. As far as I know there was no action by the council to throw out the bids nor did they vote and approve a contract for Bowman.

Anonymous said...

What a freaking mess. What else is going on?

Anonymous said...

Hall should be strung up for this as well as the TM.

Lets see some heads roll!

Anonymous said...

The Attorney General should be called in to investigate.

Anonymous said...

This bolg spot is great! Let's take it further (or shall I say laterally)and start a letter to the editors campaign! I'll start by submitting a readers digest version of my last post on this topic.

Mike Rocci

P.S. Josh I hope you're reading this because I don't want one word changed in my editorial this time! but I still believe you do an outstanding job my friend.

Anonymous said...

Pretty soon the town will be changing it's name to Bowman CT.