Thursday, April 30, 2009

An amendment related to S604 Fed Transparency was opposed by The Political Class, including Senator Dodd

In a recent post I mentioned that Bernie Sanders (Populist - VT) introduced the "Fed Transparency" bill. I hadn't seen any press about it though, so I started searching the web and came across something at The Sunlight Foundation.

The Sunlight Foundation mentioned an AP article which states:

The Senate has gone on record in favor of requiring the Federal Reserve to reveal the names of the banks and other financial institutions it has lent money since a crisis hit the financial system last year... Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke refused to (reveal the names) at a recent hearing.

Anyway, the concern I raised in my previously mentioned post was whether Senator Dodd was going to demand transparency at the Fed and let the voters know where the Fed's recently printed $10 trillion went.

Who reaped the benefits of Bernanke's fake money fiat money? Or at least, who besides Goldman Sachs, gained from the Fed bailouts?

And now that I stumbled across this piece by the Sunlight Foundation, I see the Senate roll call on this vote for transparency.

Unsurprisingly, Senators Schumer (Political Class - NY), McConnell (Political Class - KY) and Lieberman (Political Class - CT) all opposed transparency.

And in staying true to their electoral mandates, Senator Sanders (Populist - VT), Feingold (Populist - WI), Demint (Populist - SC) and Coburn (Populist - OK) supported the legislation.

In a nod to his boss, Senator Dodd (Political Class - CT) opposed transparency and supported The Banksters who run The Fed and fund his campaigns.

Tim White

Public outreach and the "value" of the advertising budget

Anyone see today's editorial in the Herald? I see the point. It would be nice if state and town officials routinely held forums in Cheshire. And it was kind to point out that both the Superintendent and Rep. Esty held such forums in the past month, as compared to others such as Rep. Nardello. In fairness though, other elected officials have tried a similar outreach in just the past twelve months.

My favorite 3rd District Council member, Laura Decaprio, had a few informal gatherings regarding Mixville. And in an effort to increase public awareness about "energy issues," I organized four forums. Councilman Jimmy Sima spoke about his professional experience with geothermal energy at one of them.

Frankly though, the editorial wasn't directed at me, Laura or Jimmy. So I wasn't too concerned about it at first. I just took it for what it was - words of encouragement for everyone to get involved.

Then I remembered something I came across in the past week or so on the Town website:Hmmm...

When I first noticed the "press release" on the Town website I chuckled. I thought... "I should start doing a press release for new blog posts everyday. I'm sure the Town Hall would be receptive to mentioning this blog on the Town website."


The website is a focal point of information. And control of the information is central to controlling the agenda put forward by Cheshire's Political Class. In other words, things don't get posted to the website without serious thought.

And so now I see this forum mentioned in the Herald and on the Town website.

Interesting. And while I don't believe that Rep. Esty had anything to do with these promotional aspects of her forum (which I think was a good idea), it seems as though others are concerned with increasing her public exposure and name recognition.

Coincidentally, during the town budget discussions this year I noticed the Town has an advertising budget of $30,000:Ignoring the departments for a moment, I wonder who effectively controls that $30,000? And if you had a client who paid you $30,000 / year... out of total revenue that's, for instance, in the range of $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 per year... would the person controlling that budget have your ear?

Tim White

Two fundraisers in May

One is for a good cause...

Cooking up a cure for childhood cancer

Monday May 18
5:30 - 9:00pm
The Watch Factory Restaurant
122 Elm Street


The other is for... ummm... well... a cause that some here will think is good. Others of you... not so much...

It's a fundraiser for the Cheshire Republican Town Committee

but at least you have to love the event!

Mother's Day hanging basket sale

11" baskets for $15

Order soon though or they'll be blooming well after Mom's Day. You can call the RTC Chair, Marilyn Bartoli at 271-2497.

Tim White

A physician on the swine flu

Congress is filled with lawyers, but not many medical doctors. One member of Congress (who is also a physician) offers his comments here. One very important point is that it needs to be taken in perspective. For instance, how many people have contracted it so far?

Tim White

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Ratings agencies just abjectly failed" - SEC Commissioner

Bloomberg News' David Evans and Caroline Salas write:

“Ratings agencies just abjectly failed in serving the interests of investors,” SEC Commissioner Kathleen Casey says.

Cheshire's rainy day fund policy was adopted in January 2008 and largely based on the advice provided by the ratings agencies. I disagreed with it. But when challenged, Cheshire's Advocates of Big Government denied this truth. Too bad their words betray them.

While the ABG were obfuscating over their only measurable rationale for the Town's huge slush fund rainy day fund, they forgot that the 8% number for a minimum rainy day fund came from the now-thoroughly discredited ratings agencies.

But long ago, regulars here knew the ABG for what they were. And more recently, a few more of us started seeing the ABG and their beloved ratings agencies for what they were - not an answer, but a problem.

The Bloomberg piece continues:

"In the run-up to the current financial crisis, credit companies evolved from evaluators of debt into consultants."

But hey, Cheshire's ABG weren't the only ones drinking the Kool-Aid. They had company. For instance:

Ron Grassi... has set up a war room in his Tahoe City, California, home to single-handedly take on Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings. He’s sued the three credit rating firms for negligence, fraud and deceit.

Grassi says the companies’ faulty debt analyses have been at the core of the global financial meltdown and the firms should be held accountable. Exhibit One is his own investment. He and his wife, Sally, held $40,000 in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bonds because all three credit raters gave them at least an A rating -- meaning they were a safe investment -- right until Sept. 15, the day Lehman filed for bankruptcy.

The story goes on to paint a picture of how America's Political Class (everyone from Wall Street to Washington) knew the system was rigged, yet failed to address it... and continue failing to address it!

Don't get me wrong. I certainly didn't see the magnitude of this problem in January 2008. But I knew there was a problem when a salesman recommends action that likely gives that salesman more money. And the ratings agencies perpetuated the whole scheme because they were making huge profits.

As far as I'm concerned, when the current Council majority adopted their tax hike policy fund balance policy they "abjectly failed in serving the interests of" taxpayers.

Fortunately though for the taxpayers, the 5-vote Rubber Stamp is dead. But there's still a few no-questions-asked Rubber Stamp votes sitting behind the dais. A watchful eye is needed to ensure they don't continue wreaking havoc on taxpayers.

Tim White

Florio says there will be layoffs, retirements or concessions

From the MRJs Jesse Buchanan:

School Superintendent Greg Florio recommended to the Board of Education the elimination of about 12 teaching positions from the district to satisfy lean budget requirements...

"Right now, the shuffling ends at about six to seven teachers," he said at Tuesday's board meeting. Those teachers will have to be laid off, he said, unless concessions by the union are made or more teachers retire.

I'll take wagers on staffing reductions through retirements. There will be no layoffs. Keep in mind:

1) Teachers maximize their pension at 37.5 years. I believe it's 2% / year for a maximum pension of 75% of their salary.

2) There are currently
413 teachers.

So if every teacher stayed for 37.5 years (and that'll never happen for a variety of reasons, such as a spouse relocating), you'd have 11 teachers retiring every year on average. And since teachers don't always work for 37.5 years, you'll always have more than 11 teachers leaving.

It's true that layoffs are an option. But it's far-fetched.

It's like saying the current Town Council majority will direct staff to address the two dozen town-owned take home vehicles or stop giving out raises in the range of 5% - 7% at a time when the economy is falling apart. We know it's a hypothetical possibility, but it ain't gonna happen!

Elsewhere in the article, BOE member Gerry Brittingham took it straight to the teachers' union:

he believes the unions should give concessions if their priority is the quality of education."

If the parties who have said for years, 'It's about the kids,' - if they really meant it, they would have been at the table a long time ago," Brittingham said.

"Never once did he say it was for the kids," Brittingham said. "I was glad to see Mr. Leake say what it was all about - the money."

We will need to check back in October to see how this year's October 1, 2008 number of 413 teachers compares with next year's October 1, 2009 number of teachers.

My guess is that it'll be over 400 teachers. And that would be a reduction far less than the predicted layoffs of dozens of teachers.

Tim White

Southington PD cast "no confidence" vote

From the MRJs Richie Rathsack:

Frustrated with what it classifies as a lack of oversight in the Police Department to address problems, the police union said it had "no confidence" in the ability of current leadership to run the department.

I wonder if something like that could ever happen here in Cheshire?

Imagine... could Cheshire's police union ever cast such a vote? What about the other unions?

For the SPD to do this, I'm certain there must have been widespread discontent with senior management.

Could such a widespread discontent exist in Cheshire? In the PD? In other unions?

Hmmm... I wonder.

Tim White

The allocation of stimulus funding

From the MRJs Amanda Falcone:

Everyone wants some of the $3 billion in federal funding that is coming Connecticut's way, but before that stimulus money can be doled out, applications have to be submitted and requirements must be met.

That's where Matthew Fritz, of Meriden, comes in. Fritz is a special assistant to Gov. M. Jodi Rell

He worked with state agencies to identify potential projects and he, along with another one of Rell's special assistants, began to screen projects and think about ways to expedite the approval process.

And therein lies a serious problem with the stimulus package. While President Obama was rushing to spend money, he decided to give all decision-making authority to the states' Governors. And in our case, Jodi Rell delegated that authority to Matt Fritz - not the legislature.

Doesn't this situation just lend itself to favoritism and cronyism? And that's not a reflection on Matt Fritz. Rather, the Governor (and President) should have told the legislature to lay out criteria for allocation of stimulus funding. But instead, power is now consolidated in the Executive Branch with basically no input from the legislature.

Not good.

Tim White

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A request for vetting the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch easement request

In an attempt to ensure a thoughtful discussion on the easement request for the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch age-restricted housing proposal, I sent the following to the Council Chairman with a "cc" to the Budget Committee Chairman:

Hi Matt,

With regard to the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch easement, will this be going directly to the Council? I have a number of questions about it. So I think it would be worthwhile to vet it through a committee, perhaps the Budget Committee?

You may recall that at the last Council meeting I asked what benefit would accrue to the Town if the easement were granted. The response was that the development would be a tax benefit to the Town. Considering that, it seems the Budget Committee would be appropriate.

Thanks for your consideration.


My email request is intended to address a number of questions I mentioned last week in this post. And another question crossed my mind since then. I touched on it in my fiscal impact analysis of the proposed development:

Will this development impact the values of the other age-restricted developments in Cheshire?

With 8,000 or so houses, I'm guessing that 17 more colonials* on this property would have relatively little impact on the price of other houses. But with 200 or so age restricted units being increased by 20%, I'm guessing it may significantly impact the value of those units.

I hope the Council and voters will have ample opportunity to discuss all the questions / concerns that exist. I see no reason to pull a Bush Bailout with this and rush it through without thoughtful consideration.

Tim White

* PZC minutes from 2005 repeatedly use housing numbers from 15 to 20 units, if colonials are built. The minutes also mention that such numbers are usually reduced as projects move forward and the actual land (not a map) is reviewed for suitability.

CRRA money: fund pensions and bulky waste

From the NHRs Luther Turmelle:

The five towns in the consortium served by a trash-to-energy plant in Wallingford now have considerably more money in their bank accounts after The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority distributed a $26.67 million surplus.

The CRRA wired the money Monday morning from its bank account into the accounts of Cheshire, Hamden, Meriden, North Haven and Wallingford, said Paul Nonnenmacher, a spokesman for the quasi-public agency in Hartford....

The distribution by town is: Cheshire: $3,471,075; Hamden: $6,010,094; Meriden: $5,953,740; North Haven: $4,036,328; and Wallingford: $7,203,342.

Anyone think this money would be appropriately spent on bulky waste? I think so.

I also think the Town should use this money to begin offering employees and former employees a pension buyout plan. For instance, I'd have an actuary determine the estimated remaining benefits to existing retirees, then offer that as a lump sum payment to terminate benefits.

The upside to employees? You get the money in hand and can pass it to your heirs.

The downside to employees? No continued payments for life.

The upside to taxpayers? Budgetary certainty.

The downside to taxpayers? If the payment was extended to and accepted by too many employees at once, you could have a huge momentary swing in the budget.

Basically, this idea is just an extension of my belief that the Town should be moving from Defined Benefit Pension Plans to Defined Contribution Pension Plans because DBs have a great deal of uncertainty for the taxpayers and provide an opportunity to manipulate and deceive. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that happens in Cheshire. But let's look at the state to understand my concern.

Have you heard about the former state employees who "double dip?" Here's an example:

An employee makes $100,000 per year. S/he retires and collects a pension for $60,000 per year. The following day, s/he is rehired for $45,000 per year.

And the politicians brag about the $55,000/yr "savings" they found! But you and I know that expenses actually increased by 5% or $5,000/yr.

Again, I'm not saying that happens in Cheshire. But I'm not comfortable allowing such opportunities to exist. My preference is to eliminate such opportunities. Moving away from DBs to DCs would require the Town to address expenses as they are incurred... not 30 years down the road.

I think this CRRA money offers an opportunity to begin closing the door on the DB plans. And on a related topic, there's a Pension Board meeting tomorrow at 6pm at Town Hall.

Tim White

Elim Park plans to add 40 apartments

From the NHR:

Having completed a $6 million expansion last year that included a new chapel, performing arts center and a fitness center, officials at the Elim Park senior living complex are now looking to add 40 new independent living apartments.

Elim Park officials have filed plans for a 23,524-square-foot, three-story building that would be located at the southeast corner of the senior living complex, which is on Cook Hill Road.

The article correctly continued:

A nonprofit organization, Elim Park is exempt from paying property taxes but annually makes contributions...

with one error:

in excess of $1 million to both the Police and Fire departments, he said.

The Police and Fire each got $165,000* this year for a total gift of $330,000.

Tim White

* To the best of my memory, that was the number this year.

Ron Paul gives an update on HR 1207 - Audit the Fed!

The House bill is nearly 100 cosponsors as of today. I'm not sure where Bernie Sanders' Senate version (S 604) stands. Though I understand that Jim Bunning (R-KY) signed on with Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Chuck Webb (D-VA).

Audit the Fed!

Tim White

Monday, April 27, 2009

School participation fee survey

The Schools are looking for feedback on reinstating a student activity fee. They're asking the question:

1. Given the current budget situation, the Board of Education is faced with the elimination of some activities or the institution of a participation fee. Do you support the concept of a participation fee?

Nice idea to ask, though I suspect the results will be of dubious value as the poll is probably not scientific in nature.

Tim White

Understanding the pension audit

A few days ago, I published a piece that began to address a concern for me:

Could Cheshire get Madoff-ed?

The first concern for me was to determine if the auditors used in relation to the Town's pension fund were legit. And without doing a real investigation, they seem reasonably legitimate.

But even if you're a legitimate CPA, you still rely on certain principles.

You may have heard of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles? Commonly referred to as GAAP, any CPA relies on such principles to offer an opinion. And in years past, I'd say you could simply rely on "everything being fine." But we no longer live in that world. We now live in the world of CDS, MBS, CDO and ARS.

And now I see this in relation to our pension:


What's Regulation 4.7? What's this "exemption from certain regulatory requirements?"

Frankly, I'm not sure if it's a big deal or not. I need to research it further. But I do know that the current regulatory structure over banking and investing is far too complicated. I suggest it get simplified:

Eliminate fiat money, fractional reserve banking and The Fed.

Tim White

NYTimes shows Geithner for the globalist banker that he is

I thought I had run out of steam and couldn't get any more disgusted with Treasury Secretary Geithner.

I was wrong.

The NYTimes' (JO BECKER and GRETCHEN MORGENSON) tells the truth about the man President Obama went to bat for... even after we all knew Geithner lied about his taxes. In my opinion, this article let's the world see Geithner for what he is... a chum of the globalist bankers to whom he reports. The article is long, but it's an extremely worthwhile read. It shows quite clearly the relationships (Sandy Weill, Robert Rubin, etc.) that enabled him to climb to the pinnacle of power. And it paints a picture of someone who spent far too much time befriending the Masters of the Universe, instead of regulating them.

What really troubles me though...

Why do President Obama and Senator Dodd heart Geithner so much? I suspect it's because neither of them have the faintest idea about the meaning of monetary policy. And given the choice between tackling issues (healthcare, energy) that are near and dear to them or learning something about issues (fiat money, fractional reserve banking, The Fed) that few Presidents have ever understood... Obama and Dodd take the easy route.

They outsource monetary policy and stick to their bread'n'butter issues. But there's a problem with that.

Money is a far more important issue than either healthcare or energy.

Geithner and the whole Bush economic team that Obama rehired needs to go.

Tim White

Energy Commission 4/27/09

There was an Energy Commission meeting tonight. Several items were on the agenda. Most interesting to me - the pool RFP. See, last month we heard this:

Also from tonight's EC meeting, it's worth noting that after only 14 months, the town may actually be issuing an RFP for a permanent structure for the pool later this week!

Tonight we heard this:

The pool RFP may be issued tomorrow.

This is unreal. But I guess it fits well with The Pool.

There was also discussion of benchmarking the energy consumption of the town buildings. This is another one of the issues facing the town that goes in the "huh?" column. Recall, this was a role to be filled by town staff beginning in February 2007. Then in February 2009 we learned that a $150,000 consultant was going to be doing the benchmarking for "free."

There was some further discussion about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including the energy-related benefit to taxpayers.

The Historical Society will be getting their new boiler. It should be getting installed shortly and may take about two weeks to complete.

The EC is also looking for people to come forward with ideas to use a $3,000 grant that is intended to help educate the public about green power. If you know of anybody (Scouts, a church, etc.) who needs a few bucks to make a project happen, feel free to call me. Or you could call the EC Chair, Rich Ogurick.

Tim White

10 games and counting...

Wow. Definitely an improvement from a 2-6 start.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (51/51)

Paragraph 51 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man, who views it in the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Request for a status update on collective bargaining

At the April 14 Council meeting, I asked about the status of the contract negotiations on the Town side:

Basically, I'm wondering if negotiations are continuing, headed to mediation or into binding arbitration.

Contracts expire on June 30 and typically run on a three year cycle.

Tim White

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Determining if Cheshire could get Madoff-ed

Bogus auditors are a problem in America. I first came to realize this as a result of this guy's criminal behavior. More precisely, Bloomberg News' David Scheer and Ian Katz reported on March 19:

The arrest of Bernard Madoff’s accountant highlights the peril posed by bogus auditors at the heart of Ponzi schemes that have bilked investors out of billions of dollars...

“Too many Larry, Moe & Curly accounting firms” are now auditing money managers, said James Cox, a law professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “While we made progress with accounting for reporting companies, we have not with investment advisers.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission is working on a proposal, first disclosed last year, that may force hedge funds to identify their auditors and brokers, said Robert Plaze an associate director in its investment management division. U.S. Representative Paul Kanjorski, a Pennsylvania Democrat, introduced legislation last month to let the PCAOB inspect and discipline the auditors of brokerages like Madoff’s. The measure would fix a “loophole” that lets auditors avoid PCAOB supervision, he said.

And therein lies the heart of my concern. I want to know if Cheshire's pension plan could get Madoff'ed.

While I know the Town's auditors (McGladrey) are a well-established, reputable firm... I also know that when it comes to the Town employees' pension plan, McGladrey doesn't audit it. Instead, there is a certain degree of reliance placed on other auditors. In other words:

1) the Town's pension plan has about $40 million in assets;
2) the assets are invested by about ten different investors; and
3) those investors are audited, but not by the Town's CPAs.

So I wanted to determine if these other auditors were real.

As such, I first called our auditors for some degree of comfort and have asked Town staff to speak with them on this. I mentioned this at the April 14 Council meeting:

In the meantime, I obtained the names of the auditors of the three hedge funds investing pension assets. Then I googled them and found:

1) Ernst & Young - These guys are a brand name. They're real auditors and don't have "virtual offices," as described in the Bloomberg article.

Anchin, Block & Anchin - A website means little. But I googled them and found them mentioned by the NYTimes 20 years ago, so at least they're not a fly-by-night... even though I didn't recognize the name.

Rothstein & Kass - Again, a website means little. But I also found this firm on the NYTimes online. In this case, the first hit was from 1992. So they've also been around a while.

And while all of that was valuable information to me - and gave me comfort with respect to the firms being reputable - reviewing the audits led to a different question. I'll address that in a separate post, probably this week.

Tim White

Wiese Road & Buckland Drive

I drove by Wiese Road this morning. It looked like the CPD has done a good job controlling the traffic situation as youth baseball kicks off their season... which, btw, it seemed like everyone there was having fun... beautiful day outside.

I also stopped by Buckland Drive to ask residents if they have an opinion on the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch easement. I spoke with a few people and they said that everyone there is talking / emailing about the road. Hopefully the Council will get some feedback from residents before we vote to grant an easement in exchange for $10. I figure the least the Council can do is have a discussion about the easement before we increase the Town's non-environmentally-friendly impervious surfaces.

Also, I've been reading the PZC minutes on Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch from 2005. Based on what I've read so far, several members said throughout the process that they were "on the fence" in terms of whether the proposed development was worthwhile. That suggests to me that all nine Council members will likely see merits for and against. But the near total lack of discussion is unacceptable.

Tim White

Friday, April 24, 2009

The next Federal Reserve Board Chairman - Ron Paul?

Robert Schmidt and Hans Nichols reporting for Bloomberg News:

President Barack Obama fully backs U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said.

“The president has 100 percent confidence” in the Fed chief, Emanuel said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with
Al Hunt,” airing this weekend.

That's too bad and, frankly, incomprehensible. President Obama claims to champion transparency, yet - using a "national security and trade secrets" clause in the Federal Reserve Act - the Federal Reserve has been stonewalling credible journalists for six months on their quest to learn the beneficiaries of the $2 trillion printed by The Fed over the past twelve months. So seems to be a disparity between the President's words and his actions.

I'm not alone though in lacking confidence in Bernanke. Even self-avowed Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (Populist - VT) wants to know more about the Fed bailouts, but Bernie doesn't seem to be getting any help from President Transparency.

Regardless, I hope the President soon realizes the err of his ways and begins demanding good government. If we're lucky, he may not only fire Bernanke... he could appoint Congressman Ron Paul as the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve! Now that would be history in the making.

Tim White

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Questions about Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch

1) Why is this easement worth $10? Or is this easement worth $70,393?2) Why not put the land up for auction?

3) On April 15, the MRJs Jesse Buchanan reported:

During Fazzone's presentation of the request, Town Councilor Tim White questioned the value to the Town of granting the easement. Fazzone answered that there would be a benefit. "It would appear to be a tax-positive to the town," he said.

When will the town see the basis of this assertion? Has someone created a fiscal impact analysis?

4) The PZC approved this plan in 2005. Has CT's "age-restricted housing" market changed during that time? How about during the past year? If so, and if the Council approves this easement, will there be a request - similar to New Jersey - to eliminate the age-restriction before the development is even complete? Why does AARP seem to think that age-restricted housing is overdeveloped?

5) Was the Council given good advice on the runup to the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch vote?

6) If this easement is not granted and the town-owned land remains undeveloped, what will most likely happen with the abutting property?

7) Has the Council been given a thorough debriefing on all the actions and key dates leading up to this easement request?

8) Do town residents, particularly those in the Buckland Drive neighborhood, support this easement?

These are (at least some of) the questions that I think need to be considered by the Council. I suggest starting with a Planning Committee meeting.

Tim White

Trash hauling bids due April 30

The Solid Waste Committee Chairman, Matt Altieri, has announced that the trash hauling bids will be opened on April 30. There will be a Solid Waste Committee meeting on May 5. And the Council is expected to vote on May 12.

Tim White

HB 1207 - Audit the Fed - 88 cosponsors so far!

Jesse Benton at the Campaign for Liberty is reporting that Ron Paul's bill to Audit the Fed! reached 88 cosponsors as of 3pm today. That's great news.

Also worth noting is that while I view Chris Dodd (and Joe Lieberman) as an opponent of good government (and Bernie Sanders seems to agree), I am still unaware of any of Connecticut's five House members cosponsoring the bill. I have no idea why. But I am particularly concerned with Congressmen Chris Murphy and Jim Himes. Chris is my Congressman, so that's my business. But I work in Himes' district and he's on the House Financial Services Committee - the place where Ron Paul introduced the bill. I'm thinking that I'll write to both of them this weekend, encouraging them to cosponsor this legislation that simply provides transparency to one of the most opaque parts of the US Government.

Tim White

RTC meeting 4/23

The Cheshire RTC discussed:

1) The Memorial Day Parade;
2) Betsy Adams' retirement as Registrar on May 14; and
3) A possible successor to Connecticut's next US Senator, Sam Caligiuri. His name is:
Paul grew up in Wolcott, then moved to Waterbury and has lived there since. He's an eight year member of the Waterbury BOE and served on their Board of Aldermen for a term... if I recall his introduction correctly.

The 16th Senate district consists of parts of Waterbury and Cheshire, as well as all of Southington and Wolcott.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (50/51)

Paragraph 50 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that my Country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Student activity fee is back on the table

The NHRs Luther Turmelle reports on the discussion regarding the reinstatement of the student activity fee.

Tim White

The vetting of Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch

This thing just keeps getting more and more intriguing. It's late though and I want to research some stuff before posting. I do have a question though...

Why has the Council not sent this to committee? Instead, we're expected to just wield The Rubber Stamp.

I'm sure The Rubber Stamp would argue that this issue has already been vetted by the PZC, WPCA and Inland Wetlands. But riddle me this Batman...

Why is this easement worth $10? Or is this easement worth $70,393?

What are the chances that if the Town put this easement out to auction, someone would bid in excess of $70,403? I'm quite certain someone would bid it up. If the developer is willing to pay $70,403... and is making money on the project, then it stands to reason that this easement is worth more than the April 2005-agreed-upon-price.

And there's no fiscal impact analysis.

But the Council should just accept that this is a "tax benefit." Unreal.

Tim White

Geithner admits his globalist desires

An American Political Class leader, Tim Geithner, acknowledges his globalist worldview in a Bloomberg report today:

“Collectively we are weathering this storm, but we must build a better global system,” he said. “Progress is going to take time.” (By Robert Schmidt and Rebecca Christie)

A global system?

I suggest an alternative: sound money, hard money, commodity money. Fiat money doesn't work because insiders like Geithner - insiders who believe they are smarter than The People - run the show.

Tim White

Pancake breakfast fundraiser - Sunday 4/26

The Cheshire Masons will be serving pancakes and sausage this Sunday from 7:30am until everyone is full! (That'll probably be sometime around noon.)

Breakfast is $5
Kids under 5 are free

Cheshire Masonic Social Hall - at the corner of Highland Ave. and Country Club Rd.

Tim White

Chamber breakfast

I didn't get to stay til the end, but Rep. Esty spoke for a few minutes before I left. And I saw Senator Caligiuri as I was leaving. As usual, Elim Park's food was great.

Tim White

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why does Chris Dodd oppose good government?

During his Presidential campaign, Ron Paul said End the Fed! But we all know that didn't get very far. So earlier this year Congressman Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1207. It's a bill commonly referred to as Audit the Fed!

Writing for, Donny Shaw explains that Audit the Fed:

is gaining co-sponsors quickly and could actually get a vote this session — the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009. The co-sponsor list, currently at 58, is strongly bipartisan. It includes progressive Democrats like Rep. Alan Grayson [D, FL-8] and Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30], Blue Dogs like Rep. Gene Taylor [D, MS-4] and Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7], and conservatives like Rep. Michele Bachmann [R, MN-6] and Rep. Scott Garrett [R, NJ-5].

And here's the critical ingredient that gives fangs to the auditors of The Beast that tried to kill Andrew Jackson:

Audits of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal reserve banks may not include – (1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a foreign country, or nonprivate international financing organization; (2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations; (3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or (4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to clauses (1)-(3) of this subsection.

Seems plain as day to me. Transparency is good. Ron Paul supports good government. If you oppose this bill, you oppose good government. But this is all on the House side. Chris Dodd is on the Senate side.

And now there's a bill (S.B. 604) that is a sister to Ron Paul's bill. I thank Bernie Sanders (Populist - VT) for demanding good government. I also thank his co-sponsors, Russ Feingold (Populist - WI) and Chuck Webb (Populist - VA). See Bernie here explaining that there is no legitimate reason to not support his bill:

Senator Sanders notes that Americans know what happened with the $700 billion of TARP money. But we have no idea what happened to the $10 trillion $2 trillion of Fed-printed bailout money.

Senator Sanders is right, but I take it one step further.

Failure to support this bill is tantamount to opposing good government.

Why have Senators Dodd (Political Class - CT) and Lieberman (Political Class - CT) not yet co-sponsored this bill?

Particularly when it comes to the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, I must conclude that Senator Dodd opposes good government. I mean, if he were serious about transparency, accountability and good government... he could've subpoenaed all of that by now. But he hasn't.

I guess this is what I should expect from a member of The Political Class.

Tim White

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Age-restricted housing: Can it become unrestricted?

At this very moment, New Jersey is considering converting their age-restricted housing... opening it up to anyone. In March, NJs House and Senate passed a bill that:

Allows for change of age-restricted housing units to non-age-restricted housing units under certain circumstances.'s John Caulfield elaborates on the situation in NJ:

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has on his desk a bill, which the state's Senate and Assembly passed last month, that would open the gates for developers to convert certain age-restricted projects to non-age restricted.

The bill would cover residential projects that have been approved but are not yet started, and would be in effect through 2011. Its advocates frame this legislation in terms of how it would stimulate the state's housing industry and create more affordable homes, as converted projects must set aside 20% of their dwellings for low- to moderate-income buyers.

Of course, this is NJ. It's not CT. But I find it hard to believe similar calls won't soon begin in The Nutmeg State.

As I've said before - if a developer owns property, then they can develop it. But I don't see why the Council should be voting to grant an easement - in exchange for $10 - without having any thoughtful consideration of the possible / likely consequences of the action.

Don't most people agree that one of the major flaws with the bailout was the rushed urgency with which it passed? Yet this Council wants to do the same thing the proposed Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch development.

Tim White

Happy Earth Day! And good luck job hunting!

Whereas, it's Earth Day and
Whereas, the job market stinks and
Whereas, President Obama wants to create green collar jobs;

Therefore, be it resolved, environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible job boards will proliferate across the web!

If you're looking for work and you're more focused on "doing good" than "doing well," then click some of these websites: - This has the most job postings, but the database isn't very user-friendly. - This has the most expansive list that is limited strictly to socially-responsible jobs. - Strictly limited to sociall-responsible jobs, but very few postings. - Another socially-responsible job board.

Then there are the name-brand, environmentally-friendly NGOs to consider: - The Environmental Defense Fund is a big non-profit. - I think Rep. Esty worked at the Natural Resources Defense Council. - We all know this one.

And there are socially-responsible for-profits businesses: - An investment fund. - Esty Environmental Partners seeks to help clients develop and implement environmental strategies that provide business advantage. - A headhunter with an environmental specialty.

And of course, you've got the big boys with their own - use your own phrase: Environmental, Corporate Citizenship, Social Responsibility, Sustainability - "do good" departments: - Nike's got their "Corporate Responsibility" department. - Along with Walmart, Disney is probably one of the most progressive companies out there.

Anyway, have a good Earth Day... and if you're in the market, good luck with the job hunt!

Tim White

Financial industry legislation: Pelosi wants Pecora, Dodd wants to be done

Back in 1933, the US Senate conducted an investigation into the events that led to the market collapse of 1929. The investigating body became known as The Pecora Commission. Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants a similar body established to understand the events we're currently experiencing.

Of course, her call for such a body is unnecessary as far as I'm concerned. From the demise of Sound Money and the rise of Fiat Money, to the end of Full Reserve Banking and the ascendance of Fractional Reserve Banking... this entire mess was driven by public policy. And Nancy Pelosi is a policymaker. So I have no doubt that this commission, likely filled with other members of The Political Class, will offer no real answers. Instead, it'll place blame on bankers - who deserve some blame - and ignore the enabler:


Regardless, I do appreciate Speaker Pelosi trying to do something. And it seems she wants this investigation to be completed before any new financial legislation is passed. That's where Bloomberg News really caught my interest today.

While Pelosi and CTs own Congressman, John Larson, are calling for a full investigation - both apparently wanting it completed before passing legislation - other members of their own party seem to disagree:

Some lawmakers say passing reforms without a complete study of the credit crisis would be premature. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, made that point at a hearing on modernizing financial rules in February. He cited the Pecora hearings as the “best precedent.”

Senator Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and committee chairman, responded: “Certainly we want to examine what happened, but also we need to move forward.”

Members of Congress may be reluctant to tackle the recommendations of such an inquiry because of financial industry donations to political campaigns, said Wall Street historian Charles Geisst.
(By Mark Pittman and Laura Litvan)

Imagine... Chris Dodd may be reluctant to tackle the recommendations of such an inquiry because of financial industry donations to his campaigns? No. Couldn't be.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (49/51)

Paragraph 49 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me, a predominant motive has been to endeavour to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency, which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

RTC meeting - Thurs 7:30pm - Senior Center

The Cheshire Republican Town Committee's next meeting is Thursday @ 7:30pm at the Senior Center. If you're interested in running for office, helping get candidates elected or just curious... feel free to stop by. New faces are always welcome!

Btw, the RTC usually meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:30pm. The location switches though between Town Hall and the Senior Center.

Tim White

Monday, April 20, 2009

AARP seems to think age-restricted housing is overdeveloped

You may recall this Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch exchange that was printed in the MRJ a week ago:

During Fazzone's presentation of the request, Town Councilor Tim White questioned the value to the Town of granting the easement.

Fazzone answered that there would be a benefit. "It would appear to be a tax-positive to the town," he said.

"I'm not convinced of that," White replied.

And I continue trying to get to the reality of this proposal - rather than simply accepting the eleven word answer and ten bucks - before supporting the easement grant. As such, a constituent (and fellow blogger) dropped me a letter and article in the mail. Thankfully, I was able to find the April 2, 2009 article online.

Kenneth J. Cooper wrote for AARP:

The market for age-restricted housing has gone bust as the economic downturn prompts many boomers, unable to sell their homes, to age in place instead...

sales of new homes have lagged so badly that many developers have asked to lift the age restrictions—typically requiring residents to be 55-plus—they had imposed. Local officials have often granted the requests, rather than have near-vacant complexes.

And though the article doesn't mention CT, it does mention both New Jersey and Massachusetts where "some towns have lifted age restrictions."

Tim White

Thanks to Ms. S!

The final hurdle

The April 9 Council vote on the budget is now available on the Town's website. And if you read my LTTE in the Herald last week, you may have wondered what I meant by "the final hurdle." If so, click here.

Also, now that the Council meetings are being uploaded to the web... I don't expect to be uploading full meetings any more. I'm sure I'll still be doing "highlights" though. ;)

Tim White

Moving to "defined contribution" pension plans is back on the agenda

Many of you know that I've been trying (for years) to move the Town of Cheshire away from offering Defined Benefit Pension Plans (DB) and to Defined Contribution Pension Plans (DC). Most of my efforts were quiet, trying to find five votes to make the change. After a while though, I realized the votes were not forthcoming. So I took my case directly to the voters on June 24, 2008 when a related pension change was on the agenda.

Recognizing that not all employees are the same, I tried to begin addressing the DB and DC in a more systematic way, like this:And the Council Chairman graciously referred my concern to the Personnel Committee (despite resistance from the Personnel Chairman). And though I thought my immediate concern (elimination of DBs as an option for future non-union hires) would be addressed by September, it never hit the Personnel Committee agenda until October. And it was at the November 10, 2008 Council meeting that we heard this promise:

Well, the budget has now come and gone. Did anyone hear any discussion about DB vs. DC plans?

No. There was no discussion.

And I knew there would be no discussion. See... after a few years of doing this, you start to be able to distinguish between genuine consideration and pure lip service*. And I knew this discussion was lip service. So back in December I took a few days to compile this history... knowing full well that it would be necessary to demonstrate what had been happening.

Regardless, it's obvious that the Personnel Committee opposes my recommendation. And while they continue to employ their usual tactics of deny, defer, delay, The Rubber Stamp has died.

There's a new sheriff in town.

A Council committee open-minded to the notion of eliminating DBs for future non-union hires has agreed to place it on the agenda. The Ordinance Review Committee Chairman, Sheldon Dill, will be reviewing my recommendation. We'll see where it goes from there. But I'm confident that Sheldon will at least seriously consider my suggestion... unlike the lip service that has been paid to the voters of Cheshire since June 24, 2008.

And there's another benefit to using DC plans that I had never before considered. If an employee retires and returns, there's no "double-dipping." That's a problem the state has faced. And using DCs would eliminate that problem.

Tim White

* For another example of lip service, click here. Performance contracting is a perfect example.

Geithner's "stress tests" further demonstrate his arrogance

Bloomberg News' Timothy R. Homan and Robert Schmidt are reporting on the political reality in Washington - People are angry about the bailouts and they're telling members of Congress No More! But the really interesting part of the article for me was a bit further into it. It shows that President Obama's Fiscal Guru, Taxman Tim Geithner, can be as arrogant as he wants in thinking that he - a card-carrying member of America's Political Class - is smarter than the rest of America. But time and again, he proves that Joe Sixpack's common sense is more valuable than Geithner's "intellectual heft."

Bloomberg reports on the Catch-22 facing Geithner's "stress tests" of banks:

The disarray highlights what threatens to be a lose-lose situation for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: If all the banks pass, the tests’ credibility will be questioned, and if some banks get failing grades and are forced to accept more government capital and oversight, they may be punished by investors and customers.

“There are plenty of ways to go wrong here,” said Wayne Abernathy, executive vice president of the American Bankers Association in Washington. “It might have sounded good at the time, but now looking back, it has far more risk than benefit.”

My advice to Tim Geithner... just because President Obama placed his faith in you doesn't mean you know everything. Stop trying to please your friends in America's Political Class and start working on behalf of America's Middle Class.

Tim White

The Political Class dislikes the Tea Parties

Rasmussen Reports continues with the polling that divides along the usual R / D lines, as well as its more recent analysis of Populists vs. The Political Class.

Discussing the Tax Day Tea Parties:

While half the nation has a favorable opinion of last Wednesday’s events, the nation’s Political Class has a much dimmer view—just 13% of the political elite offered even a somewhat favorable assessment while 81% said the opposite. Among the Political Class, not a single survey respondent said they had a Very Favorable opinion of the events while 60% shared a Very Unfavorable assessment.

I hope that someday, perhaps in the not-so-distant future, Washington's Political Class will be tossed from office.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (48/51)

Paragraph 48 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

Chamber's annual legislative breakfast

From the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce:

The Chamber Legislative Breakfast is Wednesday, April 22, 7:45 am, at Elim Park. Our state legislators will be discussing important issues in the current legislative session.

If you want to attend, the phone number for the Chamber is 272-2345. And I'm guessing the tickets are about $15, but the price wasn't included in the email I received. I'm planning to attend... though I'll have to cut out early to get to work.

Tim White

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Some issues facing state & town government

I've got several issues of concern to me, but this was such a beautiful weekend. Besides attending a few events, I did some work around the house, knocked on a few doors and visited Mixville Park. I'll try to get back to posting some thought pieces this week.

Issues of concern to me right now:

1) Who has the authority to change the pool fees?

2) Who is going to ensure the Mixville pump station is retrofitted? My idea is performance contracting. But we already know any discussion on that is only lip service.

3) The state is getting $38 million in energy-related stimulus funding. As I understand, the Administration has sole discretion. Does the legislature intend to sit back and allow for another $38 million in Crusher-Fritz-Altieri-Turf-style favor dealing allocation of grant funds?

4) Will anyone besides me take the time to put pen to paper and create a fiscal impact analysis before the Town grants an easement for $10 to a business for a presumably lucrative housing development?

And I'm sure there are plenty of other issues to consider.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (47/51)

Paragraph 47 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

The considerations, which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the Belligerent Powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

WRA on yesterday's fundraiser for Eric Tracy

The WRAs Andrew Larson reports on yesterday's fundraiser for Officer Eric Tracy.

Tim White

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Volcker says Fed may finally face scrutiny

Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker is suggesting that the unthinkable may happen.

When it comes to monetary policy and the Federal Reserve, both Ds and Rs alike are a bunch of Rubber Stamping, Kool-Aid drinkers. And have been largely that way since the passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.

But with the recent market upheaval and the now well-known monarchical authority with which Bernanke and Geithner have acted... Congress may have actually found a backbone?

Paul Volcker seems to think so.

From Bloomberg News' Timothy R. Homan:

“I don’t think the political system will tolerate the degree of activity that the Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Treasury, has taken,” Volcker, head of President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, said today at a conference at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

U.S. lawmakers from both political parties have expressed concern in recent months that the central bank has overstepped its authority

I didn't see this coming. I think I missed it because I had been seeing Washington through the perspective of members of Congress who:

1) seemed to give a damn,
2) didn't drink the kool-aid and
3) asked questions.

I respect the likes of Russ Feingold and Jim Demint. But for years, they were considered outsiders. And I loved the likes of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. They never cared what the press called them. They spoke their minds. But in turn, the word "fringe" was often used to describe them.

But the Populists in Washington have been questioning the Fed for years. I suspect the only reason Volcker is now raising this topic is because The Political Class in Washington realizes that people are angry and The Political Class is worried about what could happen in 2010.

Look no further than our own Chris Dodd. He's running scared right now and realizes his opposition to transparency will be doing him no favors in his campaign. So he's stuck between a rock and a hard place... does he continue kowtowing to Bernanke and Geithner and ensure Washington's Revolving Door remains welcoming after his "public service" has finished? Or does he try to retain his seat and actually start representing the voters, instead of The Political Class?

I suspect Dodd is central to Volcker's comments. And if I'm correct, it is sad that Dodd would be looking for "consensus" before demanding good government. But good government - in this case asking questions and demanding accountability - is worthwhile regardless of the motivations of individual public officials.

The article continues:

“It’ll be very interesting to see what the role of the Federal Reserve will be,” Volcker said. The possibilities “range all the way from giving the Federal Reserve more supervisory and regulatory responsibility to largely taking away” those powers.

I say End the Fed. 96 years is long enough. We should return to sound money and transition away from fractional reserve banking. We've been living on credit and it simply doesn't work.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (46/51)

Paragraph 46 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

Human Services Committee & Alcohol Awareness Week

The Human Services Committee is embarking on their annual Alcohol Awareness Week. They updated their website, Cheshire Cares. And here's some of the literature they'll be distributing this week in an effort to curb underage drinking:Tim White

Today's events

Yesterday I mentioned some events that were happening in Cheshire today. Both the solar panel dedication and the benefit for Officer Eric Tracy appeared successful to me.

This AM, the Energy Commission and Library had a joint event to dedicate their recently installed photovoltaics (solar electric, not solar thermal). Click here to see real time data on the electricity they produce.

Representatives from the CT Clean Energy Fund and the PV installer spoke. Council Chairman Matt Hall and State Rep. Elizabeth Esty also spoke about the Town's clean energy efforts. Chairman Hall had some kind words for a number of people, including me. Thanks Matt!

This afternoon there were hundreds of people at the fundraiser that included a meal, a silent auction and a raffle. Best thing for the kids may have been the entrance to CHS with the lights going on the police cars and one of the firetrucks having its ladder extended with the American flag hanging.

Tim White

Friday, April 17, 2009

HR 1207 - Audit the Fed!

The Campaign for Liberty created this 57 second commercial about HR 1207 - Audit the Federal Reserve and Sound Money.

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (45/51)

Paragraph 45 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my Proclamation of the 22d of April 1793, is the index to my Plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your Representatives in both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

Some weekend events

Some people helped clean up the Quinnipiac River today.

Saturday at 10am the Energy Commission and others are hosting an Earth Day event at the Library.

Saturday from 2pm til 8pm there's a fundraiser for the CPDs Officer Eric Tracy at the high school.

And the MS Walk will be on Sunday at CHS. WTNH seems to say the walk begins at 9am with registration at 8am.

Tim White

Obama Administration obfuscates on transparency

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner opposes transparency. But now his opposition to transparency is being seen in The White House.

Reported by Tabassum Zakaria:

WASHINGTON, April 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. government will release some results of its bank stress tests in May as it tries to diagnose problems and stabilize the ailing banking sector, the White House said on Wednesday...

"Early in May, you will see in a systematic and coordinated way the transparency of determining and showing to all involved some of the results of these stress tests," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Huh? Transparency? Sounds to me more like obfuscation and bloviation.

Tim White

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Energy Commission's Earth Day event at the Library

I hope some of you can make it to the Library on Saturday morning to attend the...

Cheshire Solar Panel Dedication and Earth Day Celebration

Sponsored by:

Cheshire Energy Commission
Cheshire Library
CT Clean Energy Fund
Connecticut Innovations

Saturday, April 18th 10:00AM
Cheshire Library-Mary Baldwin Room

Welcoming Remarks
10:00 C. Wilson, Energy Com., R.Harten, Library Dir.

Cheshire ’s Commitment
10:10 M. Hall, Mayor and Council Chairman

State Energy and Technology
10:15 E. Esty, State Representative, 103rd

Committee Installation Details
10:25 Aegis, inc.

Public Participation
10:35 Tim White, Town Council 4th district and Liaison to the Energy Commission

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
10:45 R. Wall, CCEF, Cheshire participants

Coffee and Viewing of Cheshire

Schools Posters and Exhibits

I guess this means I'll need to think of something to say! haha.

Tim White

The runup to the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch exchange

At Tuesday's meeting, David Schrumm started laying out a sequence of events that covered the runup to the discussion (soon-to-be vote) on the proposed Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch development between Wiese Road and Buckland Drive. I touched on some of the events he mentioned in this post. But here's the video of the February 13, 2008 meeting in which the TM offers comments (the comments appear between 1:13:30 and 1:14:30):

I realize that as a member of the Council, I should've asked more questions. So I take part of the blame for not having advocated for the Town to address OPM. But also from my perspective, if an issue of significance arises such as this... I wouldn't say:

I don't think that there's anything that we have to do as a community at this point... but I did want to make you aware of the fact that this petition is pending before the Office of Policy and Management... ok... we can just let it sit and take its natural course.

Instead, I'd tell my boss:

There's a potentially big issue coming down the pike. Can I have ten or fifteen minutes to explain the history and the potential future?

And as I think about this more and more... it's rather difficult for me to believe that this is yet another example of staff wanting to drive policy through inaction. I doubt this was a priority for staff. I'm thinking that this inaction may have been suggested by someone else - someone above staff's paygrade. So I have to ask the question:

Cui bono?

Hmmm... I wonder?

Tim White

Startup businesses in Cheshire

In the past two weeks I learned of two Cheshirites who are braving the economic hurricane and starting businesses here.

Fellow blogger, Craig Houghton of CTP, has a photography business that compliments his painting and illustration business. Some of the long-timers here may recall this portrait from his portfolio. (I tried uploading the portrait, but am having a problem I often encounter in uploading *.jpg files.)

Also a neighbor (Bradford Drive), Jamie Arute, has started a martial arts studio:I wish them both luck!

Tim White

George Washington's farewell address (44/51)

Paragraph 44 (of 51) in George Washington's farewell address:

How far in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

China and India want the IMF to sell its gold

I found this article by KA Badarinath (on as a cross-posting on Bloomberg News... so I'm assuming it's credible.

India and China may press for the sale of the entire gold reserves of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to raise money for the least developed countries.

The IMF holds 103.4 million ounces (3,217 tonnes) of gold that, if sold, can fetch about $100 billion.

Interesting. The article mentions the stated intention of India and China - to help poor people. But I doubt that's the only intention. This would also impact the "basket of currencies" that's being promoted by China, Russia and (when he's being surprisingly candid) the US Treasury Secretary - and CFR Globalist - Tim Geithner.

Tim White