Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Votes of the State Bonding Commission

In an effort to understand the process by which Councilman Matt Altieri and state Rep. Mary Fritz got Speaker of the House Jim Amann and the State Bonding Commission (SBC) to dedicate $525,000 for the construction of an artificial turf field at CHS, I emailed the SBC yesterday.

Here's the text of my email:

Dear (staff name)...

I often hear about the State Bonding Commission and am writing to you in hopes of getting a better understanding of (three) issues in particular.

1) Over the past few years, how many times has a project (item) been on the Commission's agenda and it has not been approved?

2) Of the items that have been approved, how many were not by a unanimous vote?

3) How many projects (items) have been on the Commission's agenda? (over the time period that you recall)

Thanks for the help. And so as not to waste your time... feel free to answer from memory, if you have a pretty good recollection of the history.

Tim White

And here's the prompt reply I got from the SBCs staff today:

Mr. White,

Agenda items are rarely disapproved. Sometimes items are withdrawn and re-submitted at a subsequent meeting with modifications that address the members’ concerns.

Voting is by voice vote with an occasional no vote by a member or two or an occasional abstention by a member because of possible conflicts of interest. Over the last five years, there has been only one item that required a roll-call vote which passed by a one-vote majority. Every agenda has about 30 to 50 items on it, with some items having multiple projects within them.

(staff name)

And for further clarification on what is meant by a "voice vote" and a "roll call vote" (a.k.a. a recorded vote) from Wikipedia:

A recorded vote is a vote in which the names of those voting for and against a motion may be recorded.

In many deliberative bodies (e.g. the United States Congress), questions may be decided by voice vote, but the voice vote does not allow one to determine at a later date which members voted for and against the motion.

In other words... over the past five years, the SBC has voted on hundreds, perhaps thousands, of projects. And of those many projects, ONE project has been contentious.

I wonder if the SBC is similar to the Cheshire Town Council... does it follow Rubberstamping Robert's Rules of Order?

Tim White


Anonymous said...

any wonder why the state is so deep in hock...remember Amann and Williams wanted the authority to add their own stuff to the Bond Commission agenda.

That would be like hiring Eliot Spitzer as the doorman at the Mustang Ranch

Tim White said...

Amann and Williams wanted the authority to add their own stuff to the Bond Commission agenda.

I recall... but that was to pull the whole bonding commission from the Governor.

Nonetheless, Amann, Williams and Rell each still have their $2,000,000 "discretionary funds." And Amann's "discretionary fund" is the source of this $525k.

Anonymous said...

The mere word "discretionary" should allow us to use it for more important items like the pool.

The council needs to request that the funds be redirected to the pool. If it can't be done, refuse the funds.

For those who want to "go green"...turf fields don't fit the bill. Do the research.

Anonymous said...

As in all political moves, what does Amann wan from us?
He thinks he will get our support for governor because he got us turf?? How much more will this cost the town?
He is nothing but a bully and I hope he never gets close to the governor's seat.

On another note, why not ask the bonding commission for money for our pool structure. SInce they seem to be giving it out to anyone who asks, that may be the easy way to get funding.

Anonymous said...

Because the Cementheads who run the TC think anyine against turf is a CAVEman.

Evidently "progressive" thinking is to have two projects that will require constant replacement (pool bubble every 15 years; turf every en years) than one project that actually may have a useful life beyond the maturity of the debt service that financed it.

There is a great example of the local Democrats and their version of "fiscal responsibility"

Anonymous said...

By the way, why not reallocate the "yellow brick road" STEAP money on West Main to the pool, too?

Anonymous said...

If one remembers at a meeting in front of the TC Mary Fritz did say "why not ask for money for the pool". I guess someone changed her mind. Guess who? This person has done nothing but promote spending for sports.