Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Turf grant

There are a few more pages to the turf grant, but I think this is the most relevant part:I thank Anne Giddings (Council, at-large) for having gotten these grant details.

And here is the second part (of three parts) of the July 8, 2008 Council discussion on the turf:

Tim White


Anonymous said...

You really have to hand it to Anne Giddings for getting this and then contacting the state official to find out if and how we can re-direct this grant. I wonder why no current member of the TC hadn't done that yet?

This is ludicrous that we are even discussing turf when we have so many other issues that need to be discussed.
I would hope that Tim or one of the other TC members will approach Mary Fritz and ask her to consider re-directing this. Since Altiri and Ecke went directly to her without consulting the TC then there is no need to discuss it with them at this time.

Anonymous said...

Tim, stop blogging and complaining and start doing what Anne is doing; getting things done. If you put half the effort into finding out this information rather than complaining about the turf heads you could have been doing what was neccessary to get the ball rolling on redirecting the funds. Between the 4 current TC republicans this information was not found out.

That is why all TC members should be paid.

Anonymous said...

Ms. DeCaprio said in her remarks that because the town encourages its personnel to go after state grant money, the town can't turn around and refuse to take such grant money.

This is like the cart leading the horse. Based on this rationale, if Altieri had obtained state grant money, say, to widen the linear trail and open it to vehicle traffic, the town is obliged to accept it.

Her rationale is faulty. Not all state grant money is compatible with the wishes of residents. It’s the council’s job to determine what state grants are good or bad for the town based on the merits of the proposed projects, not on whether one of her pals obtained the grant.

The horse should be pulling the cart. But then, Ms. DeCaprio herself is a follower, not a leader (when she even bothers to show up at meetings).

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 7:22,

As Ms. Giddings mentioned in a previous post, this grant was created via "political action."

At the July 8, 2008 meeting Councilman White made a motion to request then-Speaker Amann to redirect the funds to a permanent pool structure.

Whether White got the particular document is irrelevant. He did his homework, knew exactly what was happening, and addressed it.

The problem is the Chief Rubber Stamper, Matt Hall, who described White's motion as "preposterous."

The Democratic trolls can come here and try to rewrite history, but White did his job.

It was Hall and his fellow Rubber Stampers (who are hellbent on turf) that need to go.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:22 AM.

The 3 R Councilman attending that meeting expressed their complete dissatisfaction with the turf grant. Tom Ruocco was not at that meeting but he had expressed clearly in our caucus his opinion that this grant should not be accepted. That July meeting was about essentially accepting the grant for the turf. The majority did its work around stating that TC action down the line would mean acceptance but the bottom line is a D majority will find a way to create a field of their dreams and a Republican majority will keep it out of reach.

The grant won't be redirected as it was a patronage move on Amman's via Mary Fritz and company. If we don't use it we lose it but its a loss well worth it.

The next council has to work with the town's state delegation to get funds we really will need, ie, the pool. This may not happen either but its the effort worth making.

As far as I'm concerned that rubber turf project should hit the road. Cheshire hasn't done well with big rubber products especially the bloated Michlin man suspended over the town pool.

Tim Slocum

Anne Giddings isn't getting paid for her efforts either nor would she want to. How does her diligence justify paying town councilors to do their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Tim W. or Tim S.
How long can we waiver on using this grant?
Is there a time fram involved before it expires?

I find it hard to believe that we can talk about this for over a year and not do anything with it.
I say give it back since we don't have the remainder of the funding to do it at this time.

Altieri, Ecke, should never have requested this until they had the remainder of the funding in place. What did they think would happen? Did they think the taxpayers would jump for you at only having to pay $500K for the fiels instead of the full $1million?
This just goes to show how ill prepared these 2 TC members and their cohorts are. They did not do their due diligence, which is not surprising for them. How do you spend all that time getting a grant, but have no idea of the exact costs and no idea on how they will raise the rest of the money??
Clear stupidity which should get them voted out in November!

Cheshire Dems said...

RE: Altieri and Ecke "did not do their due diligence, which is not surprising for them. How do you spend all that time getting a grant, but have no idea of the exact costs and no idea on how they will raise the rest of the money??"

But doesn't money grow on trees?

Anonymous said...

Supposedly we have 10 years in which to get the turf field installed.

But I agree with the rest here. This turf is just a pet project of Altieri & Ecke. They could care less if anyone else wants this - it's a dem project fueled by Bowman, Ecke, & Altieri. None of the D's on the council will want to go back to Fritz on this so the R's might as well take that step.

This turf field is what's going to make the dems lose the election. They obviously care more about it than education or any other real need in this town.

Anonymous said...

Tim Slocum,

7:22 here, please write an article to the Herald. Please state that the republican TCs vehemently oppose this turf grant and are acting looking for ways to redirect the money to possibly the locker rooms or the track as that maybe within the spirit of the agreement.

Please inform the public how these democrats are acting and squandering the taxpayer’s money. If the road to change is via Mary Fritz then ask them to contact her; but I am sure Anne Giddings will find out the road to change and let you know what it is. Please shed some light on the “patronage move on Amman’s”.

Please do more than express your complete dissatisfaction at a meeting, and pout about Matt Hall.

Anonymous said...

I would like to make a suggesion; let's wait until the State completes the study on the safety of the turf before we move foward with this. That's the reason I would give to any State official as to why we need more time or use it for other improvements at the HS. Let's move on to more important issues in this Town.

Anonymous said...

6:07 PM,

Thanks for your direct questions and comments. I hope my answers clear a few things up for you.

Town Council meetings are the forum Town Councilors express their concerns on town business....its all shown the tape provided by Tim White on this blog. That is the process. I felt compelled in my post to mention that fact so there was no misunderstanding or confusing facts as to where the R's stood on the turf.

As for pouting over Matt Hall you have me confused with someone else. Pouting is not my M.O. Further I have no issue with Matt Hall...we are both pretty agreeable about our disagreements.

Also be advised I made a very clear statement when the capital budget was voted on in September 2009 that the turf was never mentioned in the capital plan. I asked if it was on the front or back burner. There was no answer other than the mention that the committee was nearing the end of its due diligence.

Now here we are as the election looms and the committee has managed to make it an issue, which is terrific as far as I'm concerned because their ship may sink on this one. Certainly the voters get a chance to way in.

Tim White can expound upon the patronage componant...he made it pretty clear at the July 2008 meeting.

As to writing a letter in the Herald or elsewhere I would urge you to do so. You can write. You should be the one making demands of of the Republicans and holding them accountable.

I've been clear...I don't support the turf. I'm also a realist...that money won't be converted. It has to be refused.

Tim Slocum

Anonymous said...

7:22 / 6:07 again,

Tim Slocum,

If you are so sure the money won't be converted then tell the story why, make it more public than this blog.

What is the better story: TC republicans fight hard to have turf money converted for needs over wants, but are rebuffed by TC democrats every step of the way vs. what you are doing. What if the democrats actually get a dose of common sense and they start pushing Mary Fritz for the change?

Even if you do not make the change, but fight for it, your actions will speak for you!

And don’t look to me to right the article, you do it. If you are passionate about this issue and what your party represents then do it.

Also on another note Cheshire RTC website is in need of some love. There is no mention of the Ashcroft event. When I hit the contribute link there is no information. There are two meet the candidate links and neither of them I get to meet the candidates. There is no place where it discusses your platform. Now if I was an uninformed voter going to get information about the candidates and went to your website or the Democrats, who do you think I would be voting for?

BTW, I am going to contribute $100 to the RTC and there are two reasons: You spend less money than the Democrats and Anne Giddings.

Anonymous said...

Make your donation to Anne Giddings. This is one time Anne has to spend money on Anne to get elected. If she's your favorite your $100 would help get HER message out.

Anonymous said...

"Make your donation to Anne Giddings. This is one time Anne has to spend money on Anne to get elected. If she's your favorite your $100 would help get HER message out."

I think we should donate to each Republican candidate...most of these folks are out there busting their butts trying to reach voters and listen to concerns. Giddings, Perguini, Nichols, White, Slocum, etc... can use donations I'm sure. The RTC website a POS...can someone tell me how to donate money to the RTC so it gets to these candidates?

Anne Giddinbgs said...

Contributions to the RTC can be sent to Todd Dixon (the treasurer), 34 Barkledge Ct., Cheshire.

I appreciate all the kind comments about me, but I am just continuing the kind of things that the Tims and other R's have been trying to do--clarify the why's and wherefore's for the Council and the public.

My attitude as an educational administrator was that EVERYTHING done in the school district should be open to the public, except individual student records and personnel records (and parts of the latter should be available to the public--certification, academic degrees, etc.). The same holds true of the town governent.

I have the advantage of being recently retired, with lots more time than all of you who are working full-time and raising families. I should be doing things to help our town.

I am running because I would like to improve the way town government works--to be truly open and responsive to the public. Too many people think, probably with reason, that actions have hidden agendas. I have no ax to grind and neither my husband nor I have a business in town. I am not interested in making money. (I sub and homebound tutor occasionally, but that is because I love being in the schools and helping students with math.) My only other relative in Cheshire is a 6th cousin (I am a genealogist, too), and I have no idea what he does for a living. I have lived here a long time, raised my children here and love my town.

And, I hate to waste money, especially public money!

Anonymous said...

She has my vote. A breath of fresh air.

Anonymous said...

She has my vote too. I thought it was great that she was out at 7:00 a.m. waving to those on their way down Route 10 near the Green. Good luck Anne!!

Anonymous said...

Anne, How would you suggest we get the council to contact Fritz and get this turf grant redirected to some worthwhile project? Emails to the D's on the council go ignored and I'm sure our emailing Fritz directly would do no good either. Why couldn't the R's on the council contact Fritz directly? Ecke & Altieri apparently did this when trying to get the grant without consulting the rest of the council. What would you suggest?

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

2 problems with the grant.
First - It specificly states that the money is to be used for turf. Apparently, that is what the applicant stated the money would be used for. Since it is worded the way it is, we have to refuse the grant and reapply for it.

Second problem - Refusing a grant from state or federal government is a big no-no. Sending the money back to a committee that spent time deciding if your project, plan, or request is justified enough to receive help tells them that you do not need their assistance. Future requests would be jeopardized. Plenty of information is kept on every town that applies for a grant such as how often do they apply, how much do they ask for, completion rate, return rate, etc... Returning the grant is not a wise move for Cheshire at this time.

Solution - IF we have 10 years to use the grant, lets sit on it. Let the state do their research on the health risks. If they find that turf is too dangerous for student athletes to play on, maybe they will outlaw it. Then, we can return the grant - no harm, no foul. If, in the next 10 years, the economy changes, studies find it safe, and turf costs come down, we could then consider the installation.

These decisions do not need to be made today, tomorrow, or next month. Lets sit on the grant for a little while and see what the future holds.

Anonymous said...

Robert DeVylder Jr.,

Excellent idea. What are your thoughts about redirecting the money to the track or locker rooms? Do you think it will fly?

I think it could if framed correctly. Town of Cheshire asks that grant money be used for needs instead of wants, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

If Wallingford can get grant money redirected, then so should Cheshire be able to. The problem is that no democrat on the town council would even want to try to do that. The same people that control "football" are the people who want to control everything in this town.

Tony Perugini said...

Solution - IF we have 10 years to use the grant, lets sit on it. Let the state do their research on the health risks. If they find that turf is too dangerous for student athletes to play on, maybe they will outlaw it. Then, we can return the grant - no harm, no foul. If, in the next 10 years, the economy changes, studies find it safe, and turf costs come down, we could then consider the installation.

These decisions do not need to be made today, tomorrow, or next month. Lets sit on the grant for a little while and see what the future holds.

Robert, this is a great idea. I have no doubts that TC folks like Anne Giddings will fight to have the grant money redirected for greater needs, not wants IF that's what the residents of Cheshire believe is the right thing.

In the the meantime, I don't believe there's ANY valid reason to shove in the turf field right now. It's premature and, quite frankly, just the wrong thing to do at this point in time. What's the rush?

We (Cheshire) still have many unanswered questions about the turf field. What value does it bring to the table? Costs? Potential health issues? it true we'll have over 300 events a year on the turf field and, if so, what exactly are they?

What are the short and long term costs and who will foot the bill? Does it make sense to spend money that we just don't have for the turf field?

My colleague BOE member Gerald Brittingham said it best "We, as a committee, are throwing up every roadblock we can think of so we can figure this out. We want to make sure we have covered everything we need to cover." This takes time...and with a 10 year window to use the money...what's the rush?

In the meantime, we have more pressing needs to address in the education system. For starters, a deteriorating math curriculum at the CHS. Real infrastructure issues, specifically, the boys locker rooms, deteriorating education buildings, No Child Left Behind compliance and rising medical costs. Did you know that July was the highest month ever regarding medical costs for the education's health insurance? This will certainly trend up over time...what's our plan to bring these costs under control? There is none.

If we could only spend the same amount of time and effort on say solving the math curriculum issues at CHS as we do with the turf field proposal...we'd have a math curriculum that students would be thrilled to study, better test scores and better prepared for college and life. There would be far fewer parents shuffling their students between math tutors after school hours.

If we could only spend the same amount of effort on developing a renovation plan for our aging school buildings... Does anyone realize that we throw $500K a year (at least) on band-aid fixes to our aging facilities? Let's focus on our foundation Reading, Writing and Arithmetic as well as the roofs over our students and teachers heads...let's focus on the true needs and EARN our wants.

The turf is a want. This want has not been earned. Again, if we didn't execute on the turf in the best of times...why would we do this in the worst of times?!? One thing is for certain "doing it now will be cheaper than doing it in the future" is NOT a valid reason.

- Tony Perugini
(R) Candidate for BOE

Anonymous said...

We still have some sharp and caring people in Cheshire as shown by this dialogue on the Turf. It has restored my faith that some will put the Towns best interest first. People that I believe will do this will receive my vote in Nov. You have about 30 days. Show me.

Anne Giddings said...

I posted a comment after the video of Bob Behrer's presentation to the BOE.

I sent an email to Mary Fritz seeking information.

I will let you all know what response I get.