Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cheshire RTC meeting - June 24, 2010

The Cheshire Republican Town Committee met tonight. Several candidates were there:

Al Adinolfi - State Rep. 103rd
Richard Abbate - State Rep. 90th
Joe Markley - State Senate 16th
Len Suzio - State Senate 13th
Matt Jalowiec - Probate Judge

And several campaigns were represented:

Sam Caligiuri - CT-5
Linda McMahon - US Senate
Tom Foley - Governor

We discussed a few of the hot topics in town... pool and turf.

Tony Perugini (BOE) told us that the BOEs annual end-of-June-budget-transfer meeting will occur on Monday at 7:30am. I'm not sure what will happen this year, but typically money gets moved from the teachers' salaries account to operations & maintenance. At that meeting, the BOE will likely vote on something turf-related.

When the pool was being discussed, someone mentioned voting against the pool partly due to the Town's Management. -- Why keep spending money when the same Management will be handling the structure? -- In support of that comment I was given the floor by RTC Chairman Adam Grippo. Then when echoing those concerns, my esteemed colleague Mr. Schrumm began speaking over me,* hrr-umphed, stood up and began to walk out of the meeting. Frankly, I wasn't too surprised. David and I do not see eye-to-eye on the Town's Management. And while it was only a year ago that I was applauding his words, my colleague's sentiments seem to have changed between then and now. I wonder what changed?

Here's a brief update from Sam Caligiuri's campaign manager, Greg Cogswell:

Finally, speaking of Sam... on August 10th, Cheshire's GOP will have at least four primary elections on the ballot:

US Senate
US House of Representatives
Probate Judge

Tim White

* He shares this trait with the TM -- neither are particularly respectful of others. However, they do recognize the power of the TV camera. So you won't see such things happen while watching on television.


Anonymous said...

there will also be a primary for Attorney General on 8/10. I ask Cheshire Republicans to check out Ross is the best hope we have of ending the four decade plus Democrat monopoly on the AG's office.

Tim White said...

Are any of the other Constitutional offices (Comptroller, Treasurer, SOTS) having a primary? And who is running for them on the GOP side anyway?? Farrell is running for one of them... SOTS, maybe?? I guess I should go check out the CTGOP website sometime before Aug 10.

Comptroller might be interesting if Wyman is the LtGov nominee.

Anonymous said...

I almost wish Sheldon Dill had won his district seat, but at least Schrumm wasnt elected council chair. Dave doesnt always express his disagreements in a civil way; he has too contentious a style to be chair/ mayor.

Anonymous said...

Dave Schrumm is one of the best qualified numbers guy in town when it comes to understanding the Town budget & we need him on the TC. Unfortunately, he can be a bit of a zealot, and at times, a little to full of himself. But he'd be on my team any day.

Anonymous said...

Tim - When you say "the same management will be handling the structure, are you talking about the pool manager and P&R or the town manager? Could you provide any details on the problems as you see them?

Anonymous said...

The Boe always has their last meeting at 7:30 in the morning. NOT a good time for anyone who might want to go. You'd think their last meeting would be a business meeting at 7:30 pm at town hall where it would be video taped. People might be interested in hearing about these transfers of money.
Also, why are they taking any kind of vote on the turf at this early am meeting? There's no way the public will be able to comment before the vote is taken.
If the morning meeting is a finance meeting to wrap up the budget, why is the topic of turf even on the agenda?

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim, did you ever think that people get tired of your adolescent babble and leave the room because of that?
He probably had better things to do.......maybe shake out the floor mats in his car?

Anonymous said...

Before everyone gets their shorts bunched up into a knot over turf...the agenda item for Monday morning's joint BOE Finance/Business meeting is a motion to appoint an engineering firm for the design phase of the project. The cost of which is to be paid for by either money set aside for this specific purpose at the Cheshire Education Foundation (anonymous donor) or Money from the turf fund-raising efforts.

There's an amendment (to be voted on Monday) to add the Turf Field/Track Field to the 5 year capital plan so that it can be tracked by both the BOE and TC. Though, the line item for installing Turf will show a $0.00 cost on the capital plan.

Interviews with the engineering firm candidates has already revealed that the drainage system at the field won't be able to handle the turf field. At least that's what I've heard. So, more than likely, the cost of the turf field may be going up but until an engineering firm is hired for the design phase the town won't know the true costs of this project. Also, a curtain drain is needed for the track and there's no cost estimate for it yet. At best, the turf field project is still in it's infancy. And cost is just one factor that has to be considered among a slew of unanswered issues.

I don't have a problem with using turf donation money to hire an engineering firm for the design phase. I'm happy to spend their money for them if it's gets answers to unanswered questions.

But by no means (should the motion pass Monday morning) does it mean that the BOE is approving the project to move forward. If that were the case, I would vote No.

I'll ask Tim to post up the budget transfer report when it's finalized Monday. If you have questions but can't make the meeting, let me know and I will ask them.

As for Tim White's comments on the pool/TM at the RTC meeting...he didn't say or do anything wrong. He was responding to an RTC members' concern about pool/TM. Prior to this topic, the CPD issue was discussed which also included concerns about the TM. However, I suspect there are three more TC members that share Tim's concerns as well so I don't believe he's alone on the subject. But that's my own speculation.

Tony Perugini said...

5:41 is my post, I hit publish instead of preview.

Tony Perugini

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony for clarifying. Also, could you let us all know the actual number of teachers that got laid off? I think that number is a lot less than many people think.

Tony Perugini said...

"Thanks Tony for clarifying. Also, could you let us all know the actual number of teachers that got laid off? I think that number is a lot less than many people think."

I answered this in Tim's post about the NHR's article on teacher layoffs somewhere around here. Bottom line, is that 17 positions were targeted for elimination. 13 are actually eliminated. (4 were saved by raiding the remainder of a grant. These 4 positions are for Academically Gifted Program, Business & Technology). There will be no more grant money for these 4 positions in 2011-2012.

It's true that the actual number of layoffs is less than 13. Why? Because the majority of the 13 individuals resigned and found positions in other districts. 1 retired. The rest received layoff notices.

In the end 13 positions are gone, eliminated be it via layoff, resignation or retirement. Those positions will not be filled since there's no money to refill them.

What is still up in the air is elimination of freshmen sports at CHS. I've not received any new information on whether this was saved by reducing the number of events or not.

I have asked Dr. Florio to provide a list of teachers, grades and schools affected by the elimination of the 13 positions. I will list those positions (sans names) when I receive it hopefully on Monday.

Tony Perugini

Brian of Cheshire, CT said...

Hey Tim...I like you, I always vote for you and I grew up in a poor family, then got rich and live here. You are the only guy who has brought me a notepad with your name on it and talked to me for an hour at the door. So my Democratic party/The late father/the history/ goes down the tubes...because like I said...I like you.

But Linda McMahon? When I sub taught, the kids used real steel chairs to bash each other over the head. And they learned it from her and her business. If the business of America is her kind of business, may we all just give up.

Rethink it, buddy. I can switch affiliations. She is no good for this state. When Mr. T runs, we'll talk again.

Tony Perugini said...

The motion to approve a design firm for turf was tabled and will be discussed at a public BIE meeting TBD (evening) next week.

There are a few reasons for the tabled motion. The design estimates that were received on Friday ranged from $2,500 (with caveats) to $26,000 and nobody in the administration is comfortable with the bids, scope of work, etc. The bids needs to be ironed out before a recommendation can be made to the BOE.

Another reason for the tabled motion is that the BOE wants this motion to happen with the full BOE (4 members were present this morning) in attendance and it needs to happen in front of the public. One of my campaign promises was/is to provide transparency. I didn't feel that a 7:30am summer meeting, with 3 people in the audience (1 TC, 1 Reporter and 1 staff) represented public input on the matter.

Regarding the year end budget transfer the BOE voted to transfer a budget balance of $270K to the medical trust fund which will have a balance of approximately $2.3M as of 6/30.

Keeping on my promise of transparency, I will make the budget transfer report available here shortly.

Tony Perugini

Anonymous said...

Just curious.
If the TC does not approve the turf because there is no detailed plan for the future replacement, and if the state recalls the grant after the November elections (as has been speculated), what happens to the money that was raised?
This is something that should also be addressed if the TC turns it down. There is a lot of money involved.

Anonymous said...

Interesting about the possible recall of the grant by the state. No wonder the turf heads are in so much of a hurry to stick the shovel in the ground.

tim white said...

Brian, I'm not sure what I said about Linda... but I'm voting for Peter Schiff.