Friday, October 31, 2008

A preview of Tuesday night

Local media endorsements

The WRA and the Herald have both endorsed Sam Caligiuri and Al Adinolfi.

In the 13th Senate district, the WRA endorsed Tim Lenox... while the Herald endorsed Tom Gaffey.

In the 89th House district, the WRA endorsed no one... while the Herald endorsed Vickie Nardello.

And in the 90th House district, the Herald endorsed Mary Fritz... while the WRA endorsed "Republican Peter Votto." I have to wonder about that endorsement. Peter Votto is not running as a Republican, but as a member of the ironically-named Connecticut for Lieberman party.

Anyone know if the MRJ or NHR have done any endorsements? From two years ago, I recall only the Herald and WRA offering endorsements.

Btw, for anyone who's interested... IMO, while the Herald makes its own endorsements... don't underestimate the influence of Town Hall on those endorsements.

Consider the election from the perspective of Town Hall.

Is the status quo:

1) good
2) bad
3) absolutely perfect?

I know the answer... and I'm sure regulars here can figure that one out pretty easy.

Tim White

Cheshire streaks to 5th straight victory

The WRA reports (BY MARK JAFFEE):

The numbers told the whole story Thursday night for the surging Cheshire High football team, which won its fifth-consecutive game with a 35-13 win over North Haven.

Tim White

Turmelle reviews the 89th - Atkins vs. Nardello

The NHRs Luther Turmelle looks at the race in the 89th between Republican challenger Marty Atkins and Democratic incumbent Vickie Nardello.

Tim White

State GOP Election Night party

Previously, I mentioned where the Cheshire GOP (including Al Adinolfi) and Cheshire's junior state Senator, Sam Caligiuri, would be holding their Election Night festivities.

Here are the details for the state GOP:

WHEN: 7:30 PM Election Night - November 4th
WHERE: New Britain Victory Headquarters
321 Ellis Street, Suite 501 New Britain, CT
(Food and refreshments will be provided)

Anyone know the location for Cheshire's Dems? Are their headquarters across from St. Bridget's?

Tim White

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Absentee ballot update

I spoke with the GOP Registrar of Voters, Betsy Adams, today.

Although the Registrars don't "own" the absentee ballot process (it's owned by the Town Clerk), she needs to remain aware of the status of absentee ballots in order to ensure no one votes more than once.

She said there's been about 1600 AB requests so far. And approximately 1200 have been returned.

Btw, I'll be voting for Betsy on Tuesday.

Tim White

Referenda mailer process

Yesterday I was wondering why I had not yet received the mailer regarding next Tuesday's referenda. So I sent an email to the Town Manager to get an understanding of the process. Here is his timely and succinct response:

By state statute, the Town Clerk is responsible for preparing and distributing the explanatory text. As a practical matter, the Registrars run the mailing labels for all voting households. Once the Town Clerk forwards the final explanatory text document to us, our office oversees the printing, the affixing of labels by Senior Center volunteers, and the delivery of the boxes of texts to the Post Office for bulk rate mailing. This year’s explanatory text was brought to the Post Office for bulk mailing on October 24, 2008.

I'm glad to hear about the Town using volunteers to make stuff happen. And I thank both the volunteers for their help and the Town Manager for his prompt response to my question.

Tim White

She's "there for... our tax dollars"

Here's the flip side of the mailer from State Rep. Mary Fritz:Is anyone else surprised by her apparent candor? She acknowledges that she's "always there for... our tax dollars." Yeah. I kinda noticed.

If you live in the 90th, I encourage you to support the Connecticut for Lieberman candidate. Vote Votto!

Peter Votto.

Tim White

Changes for Cheshire staffing levels?

From the Courant's Don Stacom:

Many local governments have reduced hiring, frozen overtime and pushed off big construction jobs as the effects of the late-summer national financial crisis hit their budgets. Chronically troubled big cities with meager fiscal reserves have declared layoffs — 56 in Hartford, 34 in New Haven and 28 in Bridgeport.

Personally, I hope Cheshire's implements a hiring freeze. If we don't, are we looking at hiring someone today who will be laid off in six months? I think it's best to just slow down... at least until the election is over and the legislature has had some time decide where to cut spending... or raise taxes. And since they're scheduled to meet in mid-November... I think we should just sit tight for at least a few weeks.

What I found really interesting in the article was at the end:

"That's the larger, looming issue," (Manchester General Manager Scott) Shanley said. "This is not a problem that looks like it will go away in the next year or two. I've been through what we might call sharp downturns before, but what's different this time is that we never really recovered from [20]01-'02. We've been cutting and tightening since then."

Manchester is different from Cheshire. Here are the staffing numbers for Cheshire for the ten years up to our most recently completed audit of June 30, 2007:
Tim White

A referendum on the legislature?

The WRA editorial board tattooed Alaska's Ted "I'm not a crook" Stevens and made an analogy to our own Senator, Chris Dodd.

And now I offer the Courant's piece regarding polling on Question 1 - Shall Connecticut have a Constitutional Convention?

From Mark Pazniokas:

A new poll suggests that voter alienation is prompting support for proposed revisions to the Connecticut Constitution, not opposition to gay marriage...

Instead, the poll found a correlation between a poor opinion of the General Assembly and support for the ability of citizens to legislate by petition and referendum.

"The constitutional convention question appears to be a referendum on the performance of the General Assembly," said Christine Kraus, who directed the poll.

It's refreshing to hear I'm not alone in Connecticut. There are many others who appear to be just as disgusted with both Hartford and Washington.

Tim White

Murphy vs. Cappiello, Burbank & Winn vs. blackout

The Litchfield County Times' Scott Benjamin wrote this fairly long piece on the race between Murphy and Cappiello. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, the passionate Harold Burbank and Lieberman-supporting Tom Winn were largely ignored in the article.

Tim White

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Referenda questions

Has anyone gotten them yet? I don't recall getting the usual mailer.

Tim White

Vote "no" on the energy referenda

Yesterday, I posed a statement and question on two local referenda that will be on the ballot next week:

vote no on the two energy referenda next week. Why?

Because when it comes to intelligent energy conservation, this obstructionist Council majority is appropriating funds in a foolish manner. They're asking for money for windows for which "the payback... would not be ideal."

Doesn't it make sense to spend money on projects with ideal payback? Say... a three year payback, instead of a 25 year payback? And if these economic circumstances don't cajole The Rubber Stampers into action, what will?

The MRJs Jesse Buchanan did a piece on the referenda. I wish he called me. I wouldn't have been quite as diplomatic as Tom Ruocco and Jimmy Sima.

And in all serious, when it comes to the confluence of energy and engineering... hasn't this gang of five proven they are entirely incompentent?

1) no comprehensive energy action plan
2) the CHS air conditioning installation delays
3) hotWatergate

The list continues. But I trust you get the point.

When you see a member of The Rubber Stampers, tell them how you feel about them taking direction from their friend from staff... rather than from the voters.

And vote "no" on the energy referenda.

Tim White

Campaigning on the Altieri/Fritz/Amann turf

It's official.

State Rep. Mary Fritz (D-Cheshire/Wallingford) is campaigning on the $525,000 turf grant obtained from Speaker Amann's annual $12,000,000 slush fund discretionary fund:
I wish her opponent, Connecticut for Lieberman Peter Votto, the best of luck! If I lived in the 90th, he'd get my vote.

Tim White

Two years in the making...

I understand the photovoltaics (PVs or electric solar panels) have finally arrived at the library and will be installed over the next week. I'm in disbelief that they're actually here.

Tim White

Election night - GOP events

The Cheshire Republican Town Committee will be gathering at Cugino's Restaurant after the polls close on Tuesday, Nov. 4th. I expect Al Adinolfi will be there.

Sam Caligiuri will be holding his Election Night festivities at:

Grand Ballroom
Waterbury Holiday Inn
(near Costco, attached to the new water park)
3580 East Main Street
Waterbury, CT
7:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
All are invited to this FREE event!
Food, music, fun and just a few political speeches. Cash bar available.

I'm not yet sure where Dave Cappiello will be... though I'm guessing in Danbury. And no word yet on where you'll find the GOPs 89th House district candidate, Marty Atkins, or the GOPs 16th Senate district candidate, Tim Lenox.

Anyone know where the Cheshire Dems will be holding their festivities?

I certainly hope that Cheshire's own Connecticut for Lieberman candidate, Peter Votto, takes a victory lap on Tuesday.

Finally, I'll try to update as quickly as possible on Tuesday... maybe do a liveblog with results, if I can find a connected laptop.

Tim White

No candor, no honesty = no mandate

The NYTimes' Jackie Calmes reports on the deficit of substantive spending reductions advocated by McCain and Obama:

Mr. McCain, the Republican nominee, has proposed bigger tax cuts. He has also promised more in spending cuts, but he has not specified where most of them would come from. Even now that the financial crisis has given rise to one bailout package and prompted both candidates to call for billions more in stimulus spending, Mr. McCain has stuck by his promise to balance the budget by the end of his term, a pledge that fiscal analysts call unachievable.

Mr. Obama, his Democratic rival, has vowed to reduce the deficit and put it on a path to balance. He also promises an expensive effort to make health care insurance more widely available, a raft of other spending programs and tax cuts for most families and small businesses. He would raise taxes on the wealthiest households to help pay for his health care plans.

Neither presidential candidate has provided enough detail, especially about spending programs and what they would cut, for budget groups to put price tags on their agendas.

The problem I see with this approach is that regardless of who wins... if they offer no details now on how they intend to balance the budget... they'll have no mandate. So in a sense, their mandate would be to continue our current fiscal policy of increasing spending and cutting taxes. And that's not going to close the gap of $53 trillion in unfunded long-term liabilities... and the failure to address that would be totally irresponsible.

Tim White

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tonight's "financial review"

Anyone catch tonight's financial review? Though the Council majority wasn't giving Tom Ruocco any credit for his idea to press for mid-year spending cuts, the Council did meet tonight in response to his request.

In short, we were reminded about all our reserves that are available if the Town has less money coming in the door. And to the delight of the Council majority, spending cuts were basically ignored... though Tom Ruocco pressed during the session.

Then when staff were done offering their views on the budget, Council members were basically told there'd be no discussion tonight.


But not surprising since the Council majority insists on wasting money. I can't wait for November 2009.

In the meantime, we could immediately take several easy steps to reduce spending:

1) eliminate wasteful spending - i.e. the strategic plan
2) visit the vehicle use policy and gas use policy
3) ban out of state travel

The list goes on and on.

Also, I'd vote no on the two energy referenda next week. Why?

More on that tomorrow.

Anyway, we could've taken action tonight to begin to reduce spending, but we didn't. And who knows when we'll ever get around to taking action... most likely not in the next twelve months because we all know who's in charge... certainly not the taxpayers.

Tim White

3 arrested for home invasion

From the MRJs Jason Vallee:

Three North Haven residents were arrested Monday afternoon after police said they were caught breaking into a home along Coleman Road.

Police said Edwin Quijada, 23, Hector-Javier Zamora, 19, and a 17-year-old have all been arrested...

Good job by the Cheshire PD.

Tim White

Esty has a fulltime Kossack on her team

According to dKos, for the next week the Democratic challenger for the 103rd - Elizabeth Esty - will have a full time staffer. Actuary4Change is a "retired" Obama supporter who lives in the 103rd and wants to help beyond the Presidential race. Impressive.

The level of enthusiasm on the Dem side is pretty amazing.

No word on whether any Kossacks are helping Uncle Al. ;)

Tim White

Sam Caligiuri TV ad

With no major party opponent, I'm guessing that Sam isn't going to be doing too many TV ads. And while I think this is his first of the 2008 election, it may also be his last.Tim White

Chamber Notes 10/28

Many thanks to Elim Park for hosting our economic forum breakfast - “Surviving the Present Connecticut Economy” on Thursday, October 16th. They did a fabulous job, as always. Special thanks to our speakers Peter Gioia, Bob deJongh, Joan DiVincenzo and Charles Bollier. While on the subject of Elim Park, congratulations on the Grand Opening of their Wellness Center and Nelson Hall, the auditorium for Performing Arts in Cheshire on Friday, October 17th. It was a wonderful evening!

Many thanks to The Watch Factory Restaurant for hosting our annual Oktoberfest last Tuesday evening. The food and entertainment were outstanding. A special thanks to all who attended and made this a sell-out event again!

Save the Date for the following events: Last call for tickets for the "Cheshire Night" men's ice hockey game at Quinnipiac University, this Saturday, Nov. 1st at 7:00 p.m. v.s. UConn. Tickets are $10, call the Chamber to reserve your tickets. Don't miss our 1st Business BEFORE Hours at Tattza's - THE STEAMING BEAN on Wednesday, Nov. 5th from 7:30a.m. to 8:30a.m.. They are located at 118 South Main St.(in the rear of the building). Our November Business After Hours will be held on Tuesday, Nov.18th at Opticare Eye Health Center, 1785 Highland Ave.from 5:00p.m.-7:00p.m. Watch for your invitation in the mail. The Chamber Holiday After Hours will be held on Thursday, December 11th at the Dental Office of Marc Craig, 1090 Meriden Waterbury Tnpk, Cheshire. Dr. Craig has a lovely holiday painting that the Chamber is selling raffle tickets for. The proceeds will benefit our Scholarship Fund. Watch for a separate email soon.

Chamber meetings for the week are: Governmental Relations, Tuesday, Oct. 28th, 7:30a.m.

Tim White

Adinolfi vs. Esty in Wallingford

Based on this blog posting, it seems the October 22 debate between Al Adinolfi and Elizabeth Esty was televised. Anyone catch it? It could good to upload to the web... and I can help if you recorded it.

Tim White

Monday, October 27, 2008

CT-5 debate with all four candidates

I attended tonight's CT-5 debate - the only debate including all four candidates, rather than only the candidates from the two major parties. The four candidates are:

Democrat Chris Murphy
Green Harold Burbank
Independent Tom Winn
Republican Dave Cappiello

Some random highlights:

Most appreciated comment - Murphy commenting on the value of having all four candidates in the debate.

Most convincing criticism - On the bailout, Cappiello mentioned that Bush's 3 page rubberstamp request became a 450 page request with "safeguards." But somehow those safeguards couldn't stop Bazooka Hank from his switching of buying mortgages to buying banks.

Most convincing defense - Murphy said Cappiello offered no alternative.

Most passionate - Harold Burbank when he pleaded for the impeachment of Bush. Agree with him or not, I just don't see the point in running on this platform at this point. Nonetheless, he was by far the most passionate candidate on stage.

Most polished speaker - Chris Murphy

Best presentation - Harold Burbank as he stood up straight, not slouched... and all the other candidates sat down on tall chairs.

My least favorite candidate - Tom Winn didn't seem able to articulate why he was running. And frankly, some of his answers didn't make sense... and not in a "I disagree with him" way. No, a few of his answers simply didn't make sense.

I'm a Republican and I like Dave. But I see a real problem for him because I believe an election is a referendum on the incumbent. And two questions must be answered by each individual voter:

1) Should the incumbent be fired?
2) Is the challenger a credible alternative?

Regardless of your answer to question #1, the answer to question #2 was obvious.

To which I offer a simple alternative - the gold standard.

Yes, a thoughtful debate on the gold standard would bore most people to sleep. But I firmly believe that it's a credible alternative... and that's what Dave needs right now.

Overall though, I give the debate to Burbank. I disagreed with a number of points, but his knowledge and passion provided him with the best debate performance. Also, I spoke with a reporter afterward who said a number of other people said the same thing. Channel 30 was there, so some of it may make it to their website.

Tim White

Ted "the bridge-to-nowhere" Stevens is guilty


Senator Ted "The Porkmeister The Criminal" Stevens is almost certain to lose his Senate seat! At least that's what it seems to show on RealClearPolitics with a bunch of preconviction polls.

But there's even more upside to this... even more dirty Republicans are bound to lose!

And the downside?

A bunch of good Republicans will also likely lose... John Shadegg (R-AZ) comes to mind... and some shady Democrats will likely hold onto their seats... Jack Murtha (D-PA) comes to mind. Oh well. 2010 isn't that far away.

Tim White

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Early voting in Cheshire

I understand that Presidential election years normally generate 1,000 absentee ballot requests. And this year has already seen 1,500 requested... with 1,000 returned.

As for a demographic breakdown, I can't give it to you. But I know from experience that absentee ballots will be sent to college students, out-of-state military and seniors - who have headed south for the winter or are unable to get to the polls - among others.

Tim White

Rasmussen Reports electoral college breakdown

I always find the Rasmussen Reports electoral college breakdown to be an interesting and easy read.

Tim White

Energy Commission agenda 10/27/08

Tim White

Defined benefits vs. defined contributions: pros & cons

These are the pros'n'cons of Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans and Defined Contribution (DC) Pension Plans... as set forth for staff. And I don't necessarily agree with this as written, but it does give a good idea of lot of the pros'n'cons:

Additionally, I understand that since my June 24 request to eliminate DB plans for (then) future non-union employees... we've hired about a half dozen new staff. New staff that could been given a DC plan - but got a DB plan... a DB plan that has recently dropped by probably 33% in value. And guess who picks up the tab for that?

Leadership matters and action counts. Twiddling your thumbs could be done by anyone.

Tim White

Council meeting 10/28/08

7:30 P.M., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2008

1. Roll call.
2. Pledge of Allegiance.
3. Status of Property Revaluation process.
4. Financial overview and FY 09-10 budget planning.
5. Natural gas purchase agreement.
6. Land acquisition, executive session.
7. Adjournment.

The financial overview is a result of one person - Tom Ruocco and his request for some fiscal responsibility. I've got ideas for some budget cuts, but am entering this discussion with little more than high hopes for finding five fiscally responsible votes.

Tim White

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ron Paul on Fox - October 24 2008

CT-5 debate with all Burbank/Cappiello/Murphy/Winn

Reported by the Simsbury Post's Brian Woodman, Jr.:

All four candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 5th Congressional District will participate in a debate that will be hosted at Farmington High School on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce.

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Chris Murphy, Republican candidate David Cappiello, Green Party candidate Harold Burbank II and independent candidate Thomas Winn will discuss issues and answer questions from the audience following the debate. NBC political reporter Thomas Monahan will moderate the event.

I'm glad there'll be at least one debate in which all four candidates have an opportunity to voice their views. I'll try to attend and ask my question:

1) America's debt burden continues to grow at an ever-increasing rate.
2) America's money supply continues to grow at an ever-increasing rate.
3) Do you feel it is appropriate for America to continue increasing spending money on the credit card and paying for it with money that grows on trees... I mean, money that gets printed by The Fed?

Tim White

Turmelle follows the F&S Oil biofuel plant sale

The NHRs Luther Turmelle did an article before the proposed October 23rd sale and today after the sale had been extended for three weeks.

Tim White

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ron Paul on Greenspan's 10/23/08 comments

Retirement Advisory Board 10/23

The Retirement Advisory Board met tonight and there were a lot of people there, including the Town Manager.

Here is a breakdown of the plan's $52 million in assets as of September 30, 2008:And here is a breakdown of the plan's $60 million in assets as of June 30, 2008: Also worth mentioning... I think there was a cash injection of $200,000 on July 1. And again, I asked for the June 30 2008 liabilities, but was told that they're still unavailable.

Anyway, it's late and I'm not getting into the details now, but the conversation was interesting... though at one point I decided that I was hearing too much Happy Talk and chimed in myself. I pointed out that while some people were suggesting the market may have bottomed out... I see absolutely no reason to believe that... and that's totally independent of my Gold Standard school of thought. Rather, I think common sense says that no one truly knows if the market is going up or down... so there's no reason to keep up with the Happy Talk.

Finally, no action was taken... though there was discussion regarding how "quick action" could be taken if deemed necessary in the near future.

Tim White

Postal delay coverage continues

I mentioned the Post Office delivery delay yesterday. And while I think the Post Office has some explaining to do, I questioned why it's getting so much press... including in today's MRJ online (by Jesse Buchanan).

It just seems to me that this is something that should be handled by a letter from either the Council Chair or the TM... or even better, a personal conversation between an elected federal official and his counterpart in the Post Office.

Nonetheless, this is getting into all the papers. So I can't help but feel as though the real issue here is something else... and these recent volleys are just a symptom of a bigger problem - like the Post Office refusing to move. How many decades have we been having that discussion? Talk about getting the runaround.

Anyway, I don't think anyone will be surprised to hear me encourage town officials to use the bully pulpit whenever you feel as though your "one-on-one" conversations have gotten you nowhere. Some people may say using the bully pulpit is inappropriate or excessive. But I say that bringing public pressure to bear is often the only remedy for redress of grievances.

Tim White

Burbank vs. Winn in the CT-5

Ok... this post doesn't have much to do with either Harold Burbank or Tom Winn... but I'm tired of the two-party system in which others are blocked from debates... debates which should be a debate of ideas.

And what sort of debate is America hearing between McCain and Obama?

Obama: "I support the $850 billion bailout!"

McCain: "Senator Obama is a big spender! We should only support the $700 billion bailout!"

There is far too little debate of ideas because everyone agrees that we "need" to spend more money.

Anyway, the Litchfield County Times has an interesting piece on the CT-5 race:

State Sen. David Cappiello (R-Danbury), the GOP candidate in the Fifth District, said that the United States, starting with the federal government, is a savings-short country that has relied far too heavily on credit.

I absolutely agree. And I'm happy to say that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I'm expecting to finally have my credit cards paid in full within a week or so... that's a big deal to me. Credit card debt is a pet peeve of mine.

The article continues:

New York Times columnist David Brooks reported in June that national credit-card debt went from $238 billion in 1989 to $937 billion last year.

From there it paints a picture of Cappiello saying that Washington, including Murphy, has failed America. I agree. But more on the Washington part, than on the Chris Murphy part. Thing is, I absolutely view Dodd as having been a major part of this problem... but not Murphy. He's only been there two years.

Further on, I agree with Cappiello that the Congress has failed to uphold its "pay-as-you-go" promise. Else they would've had to cut $850 million in spending when they bailed out those Wall Street Billionaires. And when has Congress ever met a spending cut it liked?

Speaking of the bailout... about a month ago I detailed that all the recent bailouts were up to $2 trillion. But more recently I've heard the bailout is now in the $4 to 5 trillion range. I'm not entirely sure how, but believe it has something to do with America's Central Planners at the Federal Reserve issuing huge amounts of new credit that weren't included in the bailout.

This whole thing stinks. I wish I could cast a vote against The Incumbent Party. I know Pelosi and Reid aren't about to get booted... but Porkmeisters McConnell and Stevens may get tossed... so that'd be a start.

Tim White

Chamber of Commerce has online video!

First, Craig Houghton over at the Cheshire Town Post offered online video.

Then we got video here on this blog, including this Hollywood impression of Bazooka Hank and his Billionaire Banker Bailout Bomb:
(Click here to buy Tim Burton's 2003 Planet of the Apes)

And now the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce offers online video!

But the Town can't figure it out. I guess the Town can't find anywhere to squeeze the free Google Video service into its $100,000,000 annual budget.

Tim White

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Council leadership should define micromanaging

In August 2007 I suggested the Council direct staff to begin adding Council video and Council meeting minutes to the town website. But my calls for enhanced transparency in Town Hall were quashed by the majority. (You can see the nine minute video clip here.)

And not to leave their public repudiation alone, a week later the Council Vice Chairman suggested I was micromanaging:

Which begs the question, what is micromanaging?

For instance, is it appropriate for the Chairman of a Board of Directors to have daily contact with his/her Chief Executive? Or is that micromanaging?

When voting on the TMs annual review in August 2008, Chairman Hall said that he has spoken with the TM on a near daily basis for seven years: Personally, I don't necessarily have a problem with a Chairman speaking with a Chief Executive on a daily basis.

I wonder though how Councilman Ecke feels about Chairman Hall taking so much of the Town Manager's time? Also, if a Chairman speaks with a Chief Executive on a nearly daily basis for seven years, isn't it likely that the Chairman would have a fairly good
"understanding of what the daily pressures of the office entail?"

Tim White

Dodd cites "ethics inquiry" for delay

From the Courant's Mark Pazniokas:

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd said today he is waiting for the conclusion of a Senate ethics inquiry before he releases documents related to two mortgages he received from Countrywide Financial.

This excuse is nonsense. He's not facing a court of law. He's facing a court of his buddies in the US Senate... and the court of public opinion.

He should just release the documents, since he promised that he would release them. Personally though, my expectations are so low for our elected officials... a sweetheart mortgage deal is the least of my concerns.

I want Senator Dodd to explain what he was doing for the past two years as the financial meltdown unfolded.

And here's my brief history of the financial meltdown that I mentioned on August 30 of this year...

1) the bad loans continued getting worse and worse through May of 2007... with the upcoming crop of not-yet-bellyup loans beginning to be issued in early 2006. And

2) with 30 years on the job, I say that Dodd's culpability began on Election Day in November 2006. So he had a good six months in which he took no appropriate action... then did nothing for another year.

I think it's more important for Dodd to answer questions about his Chairmanship, than about any sweetheart mortgage deal that he may (or may not) have gotten.

Tim White

F&S Oil biofuel plant auction on Oct 23

The long overdue auction of the now defunct F&S Oil is slated for tomorrow, October 23.

The WRAs Dave Krechevsky reports that the bidding will begin at $1,000,000.

Tim White

Delivery delay by Post Office

The WRAs Lauresha Xhihani wrote this piece on the delivery delay by the Post Office.

I think the NHR and MRJ also gave coverage to the TM's concerns:

Anyone else feel as though the Post Office gets as much coverage as the pool? If so, have you ever wondered why?

Tim White

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Town pension funds - Sept 30 2008

On June 30, the Town's pensions were funded at $60.6 million.

On September 30, the pension numbers were $52.1 million.

As far as I know, neither of those numbers are audited.

Anyway, the Retirement Board meets on Thursday at 6pm. I'm probably go to be travelling that day for work, but will make every effort to be there on time.

And for those of you who are wondering... I'm still not certain of the current liability. I learned tonight that although the assets are measured every quarter... the liability is measured only once every two years on June 30... with the most recent measurement this year. So our liability will not be measured for another 20 months or so.

Frankly though, I'm a bit perplexed as to why the liability isn't measured every quarter. I understand that "funding the pension plans" may not occur every quarter... but why the liability is measured only every two years seems odd to me. And I will see if it's possible to get that number more often.

Tim White

Cappiello / Murphy debate, Burbank / Winn excluded

The Courant's Daniela Altimari had this writeup in today.

Apparently there was a bunch of irrelevant conversation about President Bush. But there was some substantive discussion also.

Their positions diverged on whether the government should allow Social Security payroll taxes to be placed in individual retirement accounts. Cappiello favors such a plan, which he says would allow young workers to tap into "tightly controlled" market investments. Murphy dismissed it as a risky proposition, especially given the recent turbulence in the financial markets.

My view is that everything should be on the table... though it really needs to start with spending elsewhere in the federal government, such as overseas spending, the Dept of Education, etc. Remember:

Something has got to budge.

Tim White

Eliminating DBs for future non-union ee's

The Council's Personnel Committee met tonight. I mentioned yesterday that the discussion was going to cover pension plans (defined benefit (DB) vs. defined contributions (DC)). When I asked for this discussion in June, my goal was to move the long-term liabilities risk* from the taxpayers to the employees.

But to fully understand my desire, let me breakdown town employees into four categories as such:

The left side of the table is irrelevant for my purposes here. Unions negotiate. And while I'm comfortable spending more to encourage the unions to move from a DB to a DC plan, negotiations are necessarily involved. And that process would take time. But in the meantime, the Council could act immediately with non-union employees.

However, if existing non-union employees suddenly had their DB plan revoked (or simply changed), I think there'd be legitimate outrage. So if that's to change, there ought to be input heard from employees by management. Nonetheless, this still leaves one category - future non-union employees.

I'm of the opinion that we should have eliminated the DB as an option for future non-union employees back in June... and should do so immediately. Of course, fewer options would increase the difficulty in finding the best staff. Frankly though... with the economy looking the way it does... I don't think the town will need to be offering huge benefit packages to get qualified employees.

Tim White

* I define this risk as the potential underfunding of pension plans. Such an underfunding would be similar to the underfunding of the teachers' pension at the state level and the underfunding of social security at the federal level.

Freedom vs. Security

It's the age old question of government:

Freedom or security?

And Politico's David Mark caught a glimpse of Ron Paul's worldview in the very first question he asked him in the interview that was published today:

Q: With the stock market still in flux and the risk of massive financial failures growing, what’s the worst-case economic scenario you envision over the next couple of years?

A: The worst part could be that this would linger for a decade or more. In fact, a very serious recession or depression is on schedule. You cannot avoid it. Eventually it has to come, but it doesn’t have to end badly. We could take our lumps, save money, pay our bills, restore liberty, and in a year we could have the most booming economy ever. But it would take a complete change in attitude.

If we continue to believe it’s freedom, capitalism and private markets that are the problems, we’re in for very bad times.

And it’s going to be used to further undermine our individual freedoms. We’re already seeing the nationalization of many industries. We’re going to all be a lot less free. I worry more about the loss of liberty and the socializing of our country.

Don't get me wrong though. A complete deregulation would be bad. On the contrary, I firmly believe regulation is necessary. I'd start here:

The Congress shall have Power... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures (Article I, Section 8)

Yeah. I think that sounds like a perfectly appropriate regulation that should immediately be adopted by the gang of 535. But I suspect that part about "weights and measures" would fly in the face of our unconstitutional fiat money that is destroying the dollar and America as we know it.

As our former Fed Chairman said after retiring:

"Some mechanism has got to be in place that restricts the amount of money which is produced - either a gold standard or currency board or something of that nature - because unless you do that all of history suggests that inflation will take hold with very deleterious effects on economic activity."- Alan Greenspan, October 2007

Tim White

Introducing Governor Sarah Palin!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Defined pension plans - benefits vs contributions

The Council's Personnel Committee is scheduled to meet:

Tuesday, October 21, 7:30pm

The topic of discussion is:

Defined benefits and defined contribution pension plans, possible executive session.

I'm not sure why there would need to be an executive session or why there's much discussion. I'm fairly certain this topic began with my request at the June 24 Council meeting.

My request was simple - the Council should immediately* determine if new non-union hires should be offered a defined benefit plan. I'm of the opinion that the option should no longer be offered.

But the majority, under the "leadership" of Councilman Altieri's Personnel Committee have no interest in this discussion because they're afraid it may upset their boss.

Anyway, I don't expect this conversation to be related to my initial question... even though it'll be billed that way.

After all, I asked for a five year trend line of employee grievances. And what were we told?

These aren't the droids you're looking for. The numerical value of the grievances doesn’t mean anything,” explained staff.

Asking questions does seem somewhat fruitless with this Council majority.

Tim White

* immediately = within a week or two, though I accepted a "summer-deadline" which was obviously ignored in a typically passive-aggressive way, if you ask me.

Do not question staff publicly!

As many of you know, when I ask a question during a Council meeting... many insiders get upset. For instance, Town Hall insiders have gotten upset during the past year when I've voiced concerns about:

1) out-of-state conferences & seminars
2) the take home vehicles with unlimited gasoline
3) a lack of a comprehensive energy action plan
4) the energy wasted on the pool
5) the corruption memo
6) the benefit of the tax hike fund balance policy
7) the lack of Council video on the town website

8) the volume of employee grievances

And residents, such as Marie Carolla, have even started asking why the Council refuses to answer my questions.

But I think this Council has reached the end of its rope.

Starting a few months ago the Council Chair decided that most probitive questions were no longer allowed.

You hadn't noticed this new prohibition?

Well, here's the new law of the land being spoken during the October 14 regular Council meeting:

That's right...

Council members shall not question staff publicly!

Of course, we're permitted to email staff with questions. But we all know what's happening here:

Control the information, control the agenda.

Tim White

Constitutional convention - good idea?

"Shall there be a constitutional convention to amend or revise the constitution of the state?" is the question we'll be seeing on November 4. And it's the question posed by the Courant's Christopher Keating.

Apparently, support and opposition to the question are falling along ideological / party lines - Ds opposing a convention, Rs supporting one.

I'm still undecided. While I like the idea of initiative, a convention means everything is on the table. And similar to my opposition to a Charter revision at this moment... I question the ultimate outcome of a convention. Instead of giving voters the power of initiative, the legislature may rewrite the rules to do some crazy stuff that I'd never even considered.

Do you think a convention is a good idea?

Tim White

Tonight's artificial meeting

Did any of you get to the turf meeting tonight? Any updates on how they intend to "substantiate" their goal?

I spoke to Jimmy Sima. He tried to attend, but didn't get there until about 7:45pm. Which raises another point... anyone know why the fake artificial meeting was scheduled for 6pm? That's a bit earlier than meetings are typically held.

Tim White

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Artificial Study Committee 10/16

Whoops! I mean the Artificial Turf Study Committee had a meeting on 10/16. The NHRs Luther Turmelle wrote:

The chairman of a committee created to consider the pros and cons of installing an artificial turf field at Cheshire High School said Thursday night that it will be at least another four months before the group will be ready to report its findings...

The subject of installing artificial turf at the complex has been controversial since it was first raised. Some residents are concerned that there are health and environmental issues about turf, which includes a component that is made from chopped-up rubber. Others are concerned how the town will come up with the $325,000 to $475,000 that school Athletic Director Steve Trifone has projected will be needed, in addition to the grant, if the field is to be installed.

Personally, I'm not too concerned about how the Council majority will come up with hundreds of thousands of additional dollars to pay for the turf. Their intention is obvious - sneak it in, just under the referendum threshold of $350,000. And we all know that if government pays, it's free money! Besides, we have so much money in the rainy day fund, we need to spend it!

But seriously, I will try to do my best to encourage some fiscal responsibility within this Council... don't hold your breath though.

Tim White

Cappiello / Murphy / Burbank / Winn for the CT-5

If you're still looking for more information on the candidates in the CT-5 race, the MRJ has some lengthy write-ups on:

Dave Cappiello (R)


Chris Murphy (D)

but nothing I'm finding on the two non-major party candidates:

Harold Burbank (G)


Tom Winn (I)

Tim White

Cheshire electronics recycling - Oct 25

The following details apply to Cheshire, and presumably to the other four towns (Hamden, Meriden, North Haven & Wallingford) in our trash disposal consortium with CRRA:Tim White

3-3 baby!

We're still in it... I kinda like the 21st century version.

Tim White

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Artificial Turf meeting on Monday Oct 20

For those of you want to watch the Rubber Stamp "democracy" in action, there will be a meeting of the Turf Committee on Monday:Tim White

Ron Paul on money (CNN Oct 17 2008)

I drove to New Hampshire twice last winter to knock on doors to support the Ron Paul Revolution. Agree with him or not, Ron Paul was probably the only candidate who understood the big issues (such as the relationship between money and spending) with true clarity:

This system that we've had since 1971 is nonviable, and it's coming to an end.

That's what this whole story is about, the end of a monetary system that we've had since 1971. And something has to give. You just can't create more money out of thin air and propping up everybody.

It's an immoral system. You're asking the poor people to bail out the rich. You're asking the innocent people to bail out the guilty. You're asking people to just totally defy the Constitution because there's no place in the Constitution that says that we can do these things.

And, besides, economically, it's a disaster. This is going to cause a great deal of harm. It's like a drug addict taking a strong fix, and he feels better for a day or two. But believe me, we're going to kill the patient. And the patient here is the dollar system and our entire world economy.

And today, Bush appears poised to take the first step toward some sort of global monetary system... which likely would be a subversion to U.S. Constitution.

Tim White

Some dates for CCSUD

Here are some important upcoming dates if you're interested in the efforts of the Cheshire Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking:
Tim White

CHS questions for Harold Burbank (Green)

These were the questions (prepared by Cheshire High School students) asked of the Green Party's Harold Burbank (CT-5):
Tim White

Friday, October 17, 2008

Elim Park's Grand Opening of Nelson Hall

Elim Park had its grand opening of Nelson Hall tonight. Nelson Hall is a 350-seat theater that (to some extent) will likely be available to the public.

The event featured a performance by The Inman Piano Trio of Atlanta. They were simply wonderful. A piano, a violin and a cello. And it couldn't have gotten much better IMO. Now I'm not an acoustic expert... or an expert on music, but I thought it sounded beautiful. And the best part was their encore... probably one of the most distinctive songs in much of the world - The Tango!

Elim Park's President, Ron Dischinger, offered the honor for Cheshire's Person of the Year - Sheldon Dill. Sheldon and I have the same alma mater, Norton School. So I know he's spent a few years here and he does care about Cheshire. I think he was a great choice.

And with all the sponsors, including New Alliance Foundation, Naugatuck Savings Bank, Omnicare, USI (formerly Webster), Sodexo, Blum Shapiro, Hines Hardware, Eye Center, Campion Ambulance, Cheshire's Red Carpet Inn, Paul's Fine Clothing, The Window Box and Yellow Fin's, among others... there were plenty of delectable desserts for the post-performance gathering.

It's also worth noting that Elim Park is already planning more events that (I understand) will be open to the public... though they may charge for tickets, depending on the event. Some events already cookin':

The Greater Middletown Chorale - Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:30pm ($25/person)
The City Singers of Hartford - Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:30pm
Val Ramos Flamenco Ensemble - Jan 17, 2009 7:30pm
Yale School of Music - February 2009

Tim White

The battle on monetary policy never ends

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

"The paper-money system and its natural associations--monopoly and exclusive privileges--have already struck their roots too deep in the soil, and it will require all your efforts to check its further growth and to eradicate the evil. The men who profit by the abuses and desire to perpetuate them will continue to besiege the halls of legislation in the General Government as well as in the States, and will seek by every artifice to mislead and deceive the public servants. It is to yourselves that you must look for safety and the means of guarding and perpetuating your free institutions. In your hands is rightfully placed the sovereignty of the country, and to you everyone placed in authority is ultimately responsible."

- Andrew Jackson, 1837 (see Andrew Jackson and early Tennessee History by S.G. Heiskell, 1921)

He was the father of the Democratic Party, but I care that he was a populist.

As for the significance of Jackson's views on the same issue I keep bemoaning - monetary policy - Jackson was the only US President to kill a central bank:

After a titanic struggle, Jackson succeeded in destroying the Bank by vetoing its 1832 re-charter by Congress and by withdrawing U.S. funds in 1833. (

Some of you may recall this tell-all picture from grade school:

Now I'm not sure that we need to kill the Central Bank, but we definitely need to end fiat money and end the policy of inflating the currency by printing the money.

Printing more money won't solve our problems.

Tim White

Candidates fail to address entitlement reform, fail to earn a vote

The President of the Peterson Foundation and former Chief Accountant for the United States, David Walker, has said that if a candidate refuses to address the fiscal tsunami America faces (if we fail to enact entitlement reform), then that candidate doesn't deserve your vote. Here is one example of his simple reasoning:

And the Courant editorializes that candidates for federal office are not addressing this issue in substantive terms:

But there has been little said about entitlement reform on the campaign trail this fall. Presidential and congressional candidates don't want to touch this hot topic with the proverbial 10-foot pole. They have approached it only in the most general terms.

Mr. Obama said he would cut a $15 billion subsidy to insurance companies and would go over the budget line by line and cut programs that don't work. Mr. McCain favors a spending freeze — but would exempt the military and veterans budgets. He said he'd veto all earmarks, which this year total about $18 billion. These are inadequate answers on the part of both presidential candidates.

What surprises me is that with McCain's prospects looking so bad... why doesn't he swing for the fences and deal with reality? America is facing the collapse of the dollar and financial ruin. Seems to me that now is as good a time as ever to dustoff the Straight Talk Express, stop talking lipstick and deal with reality.

I doubt this would resuscitate his campaign. But if he gave some truly honest answers on fiscal policy and simultaneously addressed monetary policy (calling for an end to fiat money)... then his party may have a fighting chance in 2010.

Without a setup man in 2008, I don't see how the GOP mounts a real comeback in 2010. Though they may win seats... the country will likely continue to have no leadership on fiscal or monetary policy and the steady decline of America (including the dollar), will continue... with Washington becoming more distant with each election.

Tim White

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Norton boiler installation completed? (hWg 43)

Councilman and PBC liaison, Matt Altieri, sent the following email to the Council on Wed Oct 15:

Hello Fellow Council Members

As a follow up to my liaison report I have some word on Norton Boiler. All three boilers are up and running and providing heat for the school. At least one boiler has been operational since Sept. 26. Due to a minor wiring problem there was a delay in getting all boilers on line-they were all put on line on Oct. 6th There is one more subcommittee meeting of the PBC that will go over certifications and reports and that will take place on Oct 17th. There were no problems reported with the boilers since they were put on line-as far as I know.

Best regards
Matt Altieri

But if you look at the history of hotWatergate, you'll see a "substantial completion" date and a "final completion" date. So I've already asked staff about that.

Furthermore, Councilman Altieri's description of a "minor wiring problem" is a red flag to me. How does one define "minor?" Considering this project has faced allegations of corruption... I want to understand this project well. (Hopefully we can get some new Council leadership next year and finally get to the bottom of this... as this Council has been derelict in its duties and taken a pass on truly understanding what happened. It's really disgraceful in my opinion that we never learned why The Corruption Memo was withheld for ten days... or what happened to The Disappearing Memo.)

As a reminder though, I don't view this mess as a result of any unilateral action by the Council's PBC liaison. Rather, it's an incomprehensible mess because of the refusal of this Council to ask real questions and get the truth, the whole truth and nothing, but the truth about what happened.

Tim White

Chamber breakfast

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce held an Economic Forum this morning at Elim Park. I had to leave early to get to work, but heard from Peter Gioia, an economist.

Two of his comments really caught my attention:

1) expect the $300 billion projected state budget deficit to balloon to at least $1 billion for each of the next two years, and

2) expect (a conservative) 27,000 layoffs in CT in the near future.


Not to worry though. Amann / Rell / Williams will be able to save the day with their $36 million slush fund discretionary fund.

Seriously though... 27,000 layoffs in the next year or so would be pretty bad. And I could easily see a $1 billion state budget shortfall translating into a $1 million cut in local funding.

Election Day is Tuesday November 4. I'm sure Donovan (Amann's presumptive heir) and Williams are urgently scheduling budget cut meetings for November 5. That's what has happened in the past.

Tim White

Open forum 10/16

The fall foliage is gorgeous. And for the first time ever, while driving south on Route 10 and being around 7-11, looking at Sleeping Giant... I noticed that South Main is virtually covered with power lines... not very attractive.

The Herald has a writeup on 3 strikes. And the NHR has their own writeup on the recent 3 Strikes press conference at Town Hall.

The MRJ has posted the "confidential draft" of Covanta's proposal on the trash plant.

Senator Chris Dodd still isn't releasing his mortgage documents. According to the Courant: When asked after a speech in Hartford whether his mortgage documents ever will become public, Dodd replied, "Not right now. No." And the Courant editorial board tattoos him for it.

What else is happening?

Tim White

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Open thread on Candidate's forum

Anybody watch the Cheshire debate?

I couldn't believe that Bob Moran didn't show up... I hope he's ok. Though if he is ok and he didn't show up... that'd be really unfair to the other Registrars after all the charges that have been lobbed.

I thought the state Rep forum was good. Too bad Peter Votto (Connecticut for Lieberman) didn't attend. I'd loved to have asked him and his opponent, Rep. Mary Fritz (Democrat), about what they will do to ensure the I-84 fiasco doesn't happen again. And perhaps they could also opine on the punishment that should be meted out to anyone who misrepresents their qualifications in an effort to win a state contract, such as what happened with I-84 Chief Inspector William Fritz and the stormdrains-to-nowhere.

But the big disappointment for me was not having my question asked:

Do you support giving state's attorneys the power of subpoena?

And why is that question so important?

As the NYTimes opined:

the federal government cannot keep galloping in like the cavalry to save the day. Connecticut has to change its culture of corruption in much the same way, says Andy Sauer of Connecticut Common Cause, as the South had to change its racist attitudes 50 years ago to make repeated federal intervention unnecessary. The analogy is apt.

And concluded:

Strengthen the chief state’s attorney’s office by giving the state’s top prosecutor the power to issue subpoenas during investigations. The Legislature stripped away that power several decades ago when the chief state’s attorney was deemed too aggressive in fighting in-state corruption. The office must have more authority...

Sooner or later, state legislators must set aside their ingrained desire to protect their friends and instead strengthen the rule of law for everyone. It is the only way to fix a state that, for good reason, has become known nationwide as Corrupticut.

But since it didn't get asked, I approached my Rep. Vickie Nardello after the forum and asked her myself.

To my disappointment, she wouldn't give me a yes or no answer. She explained that the issue is nuanced and must be handled delicately.

What a joke.

There's a reason why The Constitution State is now called Corrupticut. The fix is in. The body politik is corrupt.

And though I doubt many legislators are personally corrupt... it's those wishy-washy answers that enable Connecticut's Culture of Corruption to flourish.

I'm disgusted with Hartford and their preference to "just get along," rather than address the real ills facing our state. Of course their nonsense about "getting along" is really driven by their desire to maintain legislative support for when they get their own DWI (Rep. Pat Dillon) or tolerate a bribe (Rep. Don Clemons), etc. Any reasonable person can see it for what it is.

But on a happier note... anything else catch your attention tonight?

Tim White

Bailout fails; nationalization is even worse

From the NYTimes (By MARK LANDLER and ERIC DASH):

The chief executives of the nine largest banks in the United States trooped into a gilded conference room at the Treasury Department at 3 p.m. Monday. To their astonishment, they were each handed a one-page document that said they agreed to sell shares to the government, then Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said they must sign it before they left.

by 6:30, all nine chief executives had signed — setting in motion the largest government intervention in the American banking system since the Depression and retreating from the rescue plan Mr. Paulson had fought so hard to get through Congress only two weeks earlier.

So the bailout bombed. And now Print'em Paulson wants to nationalize the banking sector.

Anyone else hear echoes of a fellow native of the western hemisphere?

Aug 1, 2008 - President Hugo Chavez on Thursday ordered the nationalization of the Banco de Venezuela "to put it at the service of Venezuela" after denying approval for its sale.

Maybe we could nationalize our oil fields while we're at it?

Or maybe we could take over the telecom or cement industries?

Heck... let's nationalize Everybody's and Stop n Shop!

But on a serious note... where exactly does this slippery slope end? And I point out that neither McCain nor Obama did anything to stop the Bernanke / Paulson fearmongering that they spread like wildfire in September.

Bush's bailout is bad news. And neither McCain nor Obama appear to understand monetary policy... so despite some great rhetoric, don't expect either of the candidates from the two major parties to really effect "fundamental change." Whether Obama or McCain win, it's still gonna be more of the same failed Bush policies fiat monetary policies.

Tim White

Change that to "discussion stifled"

Yesterday I discussed the stifling of open discussion during Council meetings. But upon further reflection, I want to add to it.

Over the past year or so, there have been several times when I've been denied permission to speak.* However, I don't recall a time when I challenged a denial and was again rejected. So it's been my experience that discussion is allowed. And I needed to say that. Additionally, I do see a benefit in moving meetings along when the hour is late.

Nonetheless, it does seem to me that every time I challenge the denial of "the floor" that I end up getting publicly chastised for a comment... or my question goes unanswered... even though it often takes five minutes to explain why the hour is too late to answer a yes or no question.

Furthermore, as I mentioned yesterday, it'd be simple enough to split an agenda into two meetings.

Anyway, I decided my headline yesterday "Discussion prohibited - what's new?" was too strong. But the basic premise of the stifling of discussion remains. And I'm tired of it.

Tim White

* though they're not necessarily part of the public record

Senator Government

Anyone catch that comment by McCain? It sounded unintentional, but I'm not sure.

Tim White

Discussion prohibited - what's new?

Here's the resolution that seemed to stir up the most controversy tonight:
Two things that run through my mind:

1) Will we soon hear that we need to "repair" the natural turf?

2) If you saw the end of the meeting, you may have heard me voicing a concern about the stifling of open discussion.

But first some background... earlier in the meeting when we voted on the above agenda item, I quietly asked for the floor to speak. I was told "no." So I left the meeting rather disgusted, particularly since we could have done half of tonight's meeting at our usual second-meeting-of-the-month that we skipped in September.

Anyway, my point about this whole fund is simple... much of these infrastructure improvements could be funded through a performance contract. But we all know that the Council majority is effectively opposed to energy conservation... because they're so concerned about having campaigned on their vaunted bond rating... a rating which, as we heard tonight... doesn't mean squat because no bond market even exists today.

Any other comments / questions on tonight's meeting? I'll probably post a few more times on tonight's meeting.

Tim White

A stop at the Watch Factory

I stopped by the Watch Factory Shoppes today. Here are two of the shops I visited:
They were both very nice and offered an assortment of things that you might consider as holiday gifts. I really liked the environmentally-friendly Wild Green shop.

I also stopped in the Funky Monkey Cafe. They're having a comedy night on Thursday... and have a whole bunch of events planned there... in case you're ever looking for something to do.

Tim White

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Three Strikes press conference

From the MRJs Jesse Buchanan:

The Three Strikes Now Coalition, state Senator Sam Caligiuri and state representative Al Adinolfi held a press conference in town hall in support of the coalition's efforts to pass tougher criminal penalties.

Dr. William Petit also spoke in support of the legislation, saying protecting citizens was a fundamental role of government.

Tim White

Candidates' Forum - Oct 15

The Cheshire / Wallingford League of Women Voters is sponsoring a Candidates' Forum night on Wednesday Oct 15 at 7pm.

I understand it will include the four candidates for Registrar of Voters (Betsy Adams, Paul Doherty, Aleta Looker and Bob Moran).

Then there will be a forum of candidates for state Rep and state Senator.

Tim White

CSpan on the bailout

The skinny on the bailout:

Tim White

Town Attorney fee increase proposal

This proposal raises the monthly retainer for the TA by about $4,000/mo.I have a few questions, but my main concern... where are we incurring all the fees?

One of my concerns is if the TA is answering questions posed by the TM... or more specifically... answering policy questions that should not be raised by the TM... but should only be addressed if the Council collectively wishes to get an answer to a question.

Tim White

Trash plant proposals

From the MRJs Dave Moran on the trash plant proposals:

WALLINGFORD - With a December 31st deadline steadily looming for some sort of decision on the future of the trash-to-energy plant on South Cherry Street, both parties involved have submitted proposals to the town....

both the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority, the quasi-public agency that wants the town and the four other municipalities serviced by the plant - Meriden, Cheshire, North Haven and Hamden - to publically purchase the facility, and Covanta, the for-profit New Jersey-based trash-to-energy corporation that currently manages the plant and would be eligible to purchase it for $1 if CRRA declines, are faced with the prospect of going back to the drawing board and refining their proposals.

But the more important question...

I want my trash to be burned by:
do I care? Just get rid of it!
Who's in charge anyway? free polls
Tim White

Burbank challenges Murphy

The MRJs Amanda Falcone explains why Harold Burbank is challenging Chris Murphy for his Congressional seat:

In 2007, Harold H. Burbank II said he asked U.S. Rep. Christopher S. Murphy, D-5th, why he was not calling on Congress to impeach the president.

"He did not answer the question," Burbank said, adding that the lack of response has caused him to believe Murphy does not respect his constituents.

Tim White

CT-5 debate schedule - Cappiello / Murphy

I understand that the Green Party's Harold Burbank and the Independent Party's Tom Winn are still excluded from these major party only contests. I strongly disagree with the prohibition on minor party candidates, but it is what it is.


October 15, 2008
Host: Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce
Time: NOON - 2:00PM
Location: Courtyard by Mariott, Grand St. Waterbury, CT
TICKETED EVENT: Contact Waterbury Chamber of Commerce at 203.757.0701

October 20, 2008
Host: AARP
Time: 10:30AM - NOON
Location: Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 275 Research Parkway, Meriden, CT

October 22, 2008
Host: Litchfield County League of Women Voters, Cablevision
Time: 7:00PM-8:00PM
Location: Litchfield Community Center, 421 Bantam Rd., Litchfield, CT

October 27, 2008
Host: Farmington Chamber of Commerce
Time: 6:00PM - 7:30PM
Location: Farmington High School, 10 Monteith Dr., Farmington

October 29, 2008
Host: Brookfield League of Women Voters, Danbury News-Times, Danbury
Portguese Cultural Center
Time: 7:30PM - 9:00PM
Location: Portuguese Cultural Center, 65 Sand Pit Rd., Danbury, CT

Tim White

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jesse Hamilton's On Background - on CT

The Courant's On Background blog (by Jesse Hamilton) wrote this informative piece on the CT blogosphere.

Tim White

WRA on Cheshire sports

The WRA has a couple writeups on Cheshire High School sports today.

First is this piece that mentions my old cross country coach Rob Schaeffer. I started with Ron McReavy, but he retired from that coaching position while I was in high school. So I guess Coach Schaeffer has been at it for about 20 years now!

Then there's this piece on the culture of Cheshire sports. As for the competitiveness that's mentioned... I participated in sports, but I was never competitive. I never won any competitions... and I was perfectly happy. I participated to have fun... I don't recall winning ever being a goal of mine when I played sports. From football to foosball... I just enjoy myself and am perfectly happy if others win.

Tim White

Troubles for municipal bond market

The MRJs George Moore wrote this story on a multi-faceted financial problem facing Cheshire:

While bonded debt is the lifeblood of municipal construction projects, cities and towns are hesitant to issue new bonds these days because of volatile financial markets, experts said last week.

Some towns, like Cheshire, are in a state of uncertainty as bond sale dates approach. Cheshire had planned to borrow roughly $10 million this December to cover sewer and general government projects, said Deputy Finance Director James Jaskot.

If the market is still unfavorable at that time, the town might be better off selling a short-term borrowing note and bonding later, Spoerndle said.

And beyond the recent Wall Street meltdown, there have been other problems for new muni issuances that I've been following this whole year... though I think it's fair to say that all the problems are somewhat related.

Tim White

CRRA proposal

The MRJ has posted some documents described as a CRRA proposal here. I don't recall having seen these documents yet.

If it were up to me, I'd ensure there are also ongoing discussions with Covanta in Wallingford and Wheelabrator in Bridgeport. Or more precisely, I'd issue an RFP for trash disposal services.

Tim White

Cappiello / Murphy Litchfield debate - no Burbank or Winn

Some details on the CT-5 Cappiello / Murphy debate in Litchfield:

The Wednesday, October 22, debate will take place at the Litchfield Community Center. The event will be moderated by Ray Hardman of CPTV's Front and Center and WNPR's Morning Edition, presented live on CPTV and WNPR.

Between 7 and 8 p.m., the debate for Connecticut's Fifth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives will take place.

Harold Burbank and Tom Winn will also be on the ballot, but neither have been invited to the LOWV debates.

Click here for some details on their other debates. Anyone have additional details on the Meriden or Waterbury debates?

Tim White