Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Candidate Lisa Diamond...YOU Be The Judge

Dr. Lisa Diamond is a Member of the Board of Education and is the Chairman of its Operations Sub-Committee. One of the functions of the Operations Sub-Committee is to review purchase orders and make recommendations with regard thereto to the full BOE.

Dr. Diamond is the Director of Psychiatric Services at New Milford Hospital and the Director of an entity named Behavioral Health Services located at 21 Elm Street, a building that is owned by the Hospital and a location of outpatient health services.

On March 6, 2007, “Purchase Resolution D-598” was on the Sub-Committee's Agenda. That item included a number of purchase orders, one of which was Purchase Order Number 19787 for $10,000 to be paid to an entity entitled “New Milford Behavioral Services,” located at 21 Elm Street, to provide a High School counselor. Diamond participated in the discussion.

According to the Minutes of the Meeting:

“Dr. Diamond explained the history behind this purchase order and the quality of the counselor that is providing the necessary, skilled services. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find someone of this caliber and experience to provide these services at the rate the district is currently paying.”

“Dr. Diamond stated that the counselor is assigned to the high school for the entire school year and actually puts in more than 20 hours a week.”

Fellow Sub-Committee Member David Lawson made a motion “that the Operations Committee bring the monthly financial reports to the full Board for approval.” Purchase Order Number 19787 was part of the “monthly financial reports” and Diamond voted in favor of the Motion which passed 5-0-1.

Should Lisa Diamond have voted to give money to her employer? YOU be the judge and issue your ruling on Election Day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

McLaughlin To 'Aggravate and Torment'

I almost forgot the most important benefit of electing GM to the TC; to aggravate and torment the entrenched members of the TC for the next two years... Not only will that be very compelling theatre, but it may even compel the TC to have shorter meetings resulting in less legislation, less regulation and more money in the pockets of hard-working taxpayers. A potential win-win situation for the citizens of New Milford!

Tom DiCandido
New Milford

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Piece of History Lost Forever: The Voting Machines Are Dumped

The voting machines were dumped at the Recycling Center. I wonder if we'll miss them...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The November Ballot

The November Ballot

Information About Monday's Mayoral Debate

Information About Monday's Mayoral Debate

The Kostes "Vote"

I have read the provisions of CGS Title 9 ("Elections') including Section 9-261 very carefully and, more importantly, I have discussed the Kostes "vote" with Arthur Champagne from the Secretary of State's Office. No changes to voting records may be made -- including the record of who voted or, more properly, who checked in with a checker -- without an order to do so from the Superior Court. Not by the Town Clerk, not by a Registrar, not by a checker, not by anyone. Until such order is made, the Bob Kostes "vote" does not exist.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Morey Critical of Voting System

Having worked as checker several years ago, it amazes me how screwed up and antiquated the Connecticut voting process has been and continues to be. I thought, like most people, that we were getting new state-of-the-art voting computers that would automate and streamline the voting process. It appears, however, that we've gone backwards. It reminds me of being back in grade school minus the #2 pencils.

Take a look at the back of your drivers license and you'll find a secure USPC strip. Why couldn't the state implement a scanner to log you in before you vote. This would be verified against the registrar's database and unlock the voting computer before you can even use it. Once you've voted, the same system could lock you out so you couldn't vote twice. The voting terminals could be wirelessly connected to the main computer that could give an instant analysis of exactly who voted where and at what time, etc.

Now, some have said that there needs to be a paper trail, so why not have printers at different phases of the process that logs only pertinent information needed at that phase of the process. Think about it, less paid checkers fumbling with voter lists and maybe crossing off the wrong name. The old need for runners to bring back voting stats to party headquarters could be eliminated by allowing party officials secure wireless access to voting stats.

Pipe dreaming? No I'm not. It is, after all, 2007 not the 50's and we are adults not in grade school anymore. We should all revolt and seek an up-to-date system that's not the junk that we've been required to buy and fool around with.

Tom Morey
New Milford

'Stop Whining About It And Take Action'

This is an e-mail that was sent to New Milford First by former Planning Alternate Pete Helmus:

New Milford First is probably right about the need to update the POCD, but so what?How about this? NMF seems to be able to raise some cash. Why not raise the cash necessary to hire an organization that can update the POCD and seems to have the education, certification, experience and expertise to do it correctly? A company that isn't front loaded with a vocal minority that will skew a POCD to their own agendas. A company like Planimetrics.( that would be a first, and exactly what the Town needs!Yeah a transfer of the funds to the Town would probably be complicated but work on that too. Stop whining about it and take action!

'What Is The Appeal of Third Parties Like New Milford First?'

What is the appeal of third parties like New Milford First? When disenfranchised voters see no difference between the two major parties, a vote for a third party candidate is essentially a vote of "no confidence" in the two party system.

When the block of disenfranchised (third party) voters is large enough, their "protest votes" can and do effect the outcome of elections. Some 20th century examples are the "Bull Moose Party" in 1912, the "Dixiecrats" in 1948, Ross Perot in 1992 and Ralph Nader in 2000.

In each of these examples, third party "spoilers" cost the incumbent president's party the White House. This is possible on the state or local level as well, depending on the extent of voter dissatisfaction with the status quo. In other words, New Milford First voters may not be casting their ballot for Bob Kostes et al. They may simply be voting against all the other choices...

New Milford

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kostes, Kane Fail to Vote In Ambulance Barn Referendum

I guess it just wasn't important enough for them. Kostes, the wannabe Mayor, was probably too busy looking at himself in the mirror, looking for his socks or looking at his money. As for Council wannabe Kane, well, I don't want to go there.

It's always interesting to see who has the biggest mouth and then's a no-show. At the Rotary, Kostes went on and on about how the press has failed to help get out the vote. How the Town should use the internet to get out the vote. How there's too much voter apathy. And then what does he do?

And these people want us to vote for them? Think again.

McLaughlin Joins the Ranks of New Milford Hypocrites

Council wannabe George McLaughlin, shunned by the Republicans, has joined the New Milford Kanes and Gambinos by speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

He's quoted in Nanci Hutson's story today in the News-Times about the funds to preserve Hunt Hill Farm: "Finance board member George McLaughlin said he would vote in favor, but said he had something of a problem with 'pushing the envelope' on the use of Waste Management settlement funds."

Now wait a gosh-darned second. Isn't this the same George Mclaughlin who proposed using the Waste Management funds to pay for the ambulance barn, a use that's not permitted under the Ordinance? Who is he to be accusing someone else of "pushing the envelope?"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

News-Times Coverage Of KC Groundbreaking

I have to step back sometimes and wonder about the News-Times. KC, a Town staple for decades, makes a $50,000,000 investment (that's 50 MILLION dollars!) in its plant and the story gets buried somewhere near the back of the Paper. But shoeless-Joe Kostes rants on about his so-called vision with no specifics and no substance and he gets front page. And Med-Instill? Similar placement. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Ambulance Barn On The Way

869 yes; 614 no. A total of 1483 votes or 9% of the 16354 electors.

Kostes Proposes New Form of Government

In today's News Times, Nanci Hutson quotes Mayoral candidate Bob Kostes. "He will rely on his directors and an administrative aide to assist him with routine duties." Wow! Now that's creative. A Board of Directors in the Mayor's office! Let's see who'll serve on the "Board." Gambino, Monaghan. Greenspan, Kane? Oooooh, it's the "boo" season. This must be meant to scare.

Kostes made an appearance today at the Rotary and members of the audience were heard giggling. And why shouldn't they? Kostes knows no facts and never has any specifics.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Facts Mean Nothing to New Milford First

The facts never get in the way of the group of political rejects and has-beens that got together and call themselves New Milford First.

Destined for what is certain to be his third strike, Kostes assembled his group on Route 7 to hold a press conference about the unsightliness of a used car business and the alleged failure of the Murphy Administration to address the Town's aquifer. The people in the line-up looked more like they were waiting for the Hart bus to take them out of Town. I can wish, can't I?

Kostes, My Boy, when you call around Town scraping at the bottom of the barrel for issues, why don't you listen to what you're told? You pay attention just long enough to enable you to say what you want to say but never get the whole picture or all the facts. Then you misquote and anger the people you just spoke to. That's not a good thing and is a sure-fire way to make enemies, not friends.

Here are some facts:

As to your alleged water-pollution danger, State records show that the owner of the car lot got a clean bill of health from the State many years ago, having been forced to clean up a huge mess that was left there by his predecessor. It's all a matter of public record.

No aquifer protection agency? Town records show that the Sewer Commission passed a resolution so that the WPCA (Water Pollution Control Authority) has jurisdiction over aquifer protection. This is what is required by the State Regulation. It's all a matter of public record.

Mapping of the aquifer has been on-going for some time. It's all a matter of public record.

And what else do I find in this press conference? As usual, not a small dose of genuine New Milford hypocrisy. Look at some of the players, from left to right. Larry Greenspan, former Zoner and Council Member, did absolutely nothing about these issues when he was there. Jerry Monaghan, former Planning Chair, did absolutely nothing aboout these issues when he was in office. Finally, former Mayor Bobby Gambino. What the heck did he do about these issues when he was Mayor? Nada, like everything else. And then there's New Milford's Chief Hypocrite, Zoning violator John Kane who has finally applied for a Zoning Permit to legalize the use of his barn for his business purposes. Who is he to be complaining about the used car lot?

Kostes, My Boy, I expect you to ignore the facts but did you stop to think that it might be a bit embarassing to hold a press conference and surround yourself with the very do-nothings who themselves failed to address the issues that you are complaining about? From your haughty perch above, do you think New Milford voters are so stupid? You'd do yourself a great service to think again.

The moral of the tale? Don't go in half-cocked. As the Kid From Brooklyn says, "Tink About it!"

NMF Puts Schomp on Ballot

Rejected by her own Party, Democratic Planning Member Marian Schomp was put on the November ballot today by New Milford First for the 2-year Planning seat. Marian is a voice of reason, does her homework and makes a valuable contribution to this very important Commission.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Adult Ed Kids Should Be Allowed In School Athletics

I read in The New Milford Times this morning that Lance Pliego left. I would make a big suggestion to the new Athletic Director at NMHS. They need to figure out a way to include kids who are in adult ed, who may be 18 or under, into school athletics.

I don’t know what they do now but when my son was in adult ed, he was 17. He wanted to try out for the varsity soccer team, and the AD at the time (the one before Pliego) said no. I asked why not? He said, “I don’t know, we’ve just never allowed it, they’re usually too old”. I said, “My son is 17”. It was still no. There was a definite bias against adult ed kids.

With all the problems with the kids in New Milford and the permissiveness of the parents, I don’t see why a kid who’s in adult ed can’t participate. This particularly holds true for those kids who take the 7-9 classes, which do not conflict with practice. Hopefully the new AD could do something about this??

Former Soccer Mom

Thursday, October 11, 2007

'Gambino Running for Board of Finance Is A Joke'

New Milford Town government is predominantly guided by a group of great volunteers so when they say or do something objectionable, we tend to forgive and forget . But here’s one for the record books.

Former Mayor Bob Gambino is running for a seat on the Board of Finance. Bob advocated to the Charter Revision Commission that they consider eliminating the BOF but now he wants to be elected to it. I’d say Bob is confused. Very confused. But no more so than when he was Mayor and completely out to lunch about the Town’s money. Him running for the Board of Finance is a big joke.

When I read about it in the newspaper, I nearly fell out of my recliner. Maybe I should go buy a new one from Art Peiler who's selling furniture in Macy's in Waterbury.

Gambino's term will expire before he even begins to get a clue about municipal finance.

Scarlet Fever
New Milford

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Spatola 1, Town 0

Many remember the frivolous Ethics Complaint that Council wannabe John Kane filed against then Board of Finance Member John Spatola. It was eventually dismissed but not before protracted proceedings.

Some also remember that Mayor wannabe Bob Kostes sat at Kane's side, helping him with his case.

Spatola asked the Town to reimburse him for his legal fees under the provisions of a State Statute that require reimbursement if a "claim, demand or suit" against a Town official is dismissed but the Town and its insurer refused to do so. Spatola then sued the Town and the insurer, on the Town's behalf, tried to get the case thrown out.

It argued that the words "claim, demand or not include an ethics complaint which does not expose the plaintiff to liability for money damages."

In the first case to address the issue, on September 26, 2007, Superior Court Judge John W. Pickard held that "the plain meaning of the words 'claim' or 'demand' could encompass an ethics complaint." Citing dictionary definitions, Judge Pickard wrote, "A complaint to a local ethics commission falls within both definitions. There is nothing in either definition which would imply that the complaint must seek monetary relief."

So the $150,000 question is, will this substantial determination in Spatola's favor result in a settlement of the case?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Council Candidate Kane Violates Zoning Regs

It's just another classic story of New Milford hubris and hypocrisy. As you may remember, John Kane renovated his barn on Crossman Road and started using it for his photography business after he moved it from West Street. Totally illegal. I discussed it with then Mayor Bobby Gambino but, being the good buddies that they were, he did nothing. What a surprise. Then a Zoning Reg was proposed that would legalize this use. Of course, Kane was its biggest proponent, talking about how great this would be for New Milford. So here we are, years later, and Kane hasn't even complied with that Zoning Reg. It requires him to get a Special Permit from the Zoning Commission and he has been told to do so. And this is a guy who wants to be on the Town Council? Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Morey 'Outraged' by Monaghan on POCD, Says Kostes Ignorant

As an elected Member of the Planning Commission, I am outraged at the attempt by former Planning Chair Jerry Monaghan to deceive the public. I am not at all surprised by the comments by mayor-wannabe and land schemer Bob Kostes who has again advertised that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Last week, they complained that the Town isn’t spending enough money on consultants to update the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, the POCD.

Let me explain.

The POCD is an inventory and road map of the Town’s land-use policies, development patterns and preservation, recreation and future municipal needs. The legal plan, about which they both appear to be ignorant, is the Zoning Map. They don’t get that the Zoning Map evolved from the strategies outlined in the POCD. Contrary to Kostes’ assertion, the POCD is obviously not a “business plan.” If Kostes hasn’t gotten this basic information by now, he’s too long a study and ought to quit the Mayoral race immediately. The Town can’t afford on-the-job training.

What the Town must do soon is review the POCD, not re-write it and there is plenty of time to get the job done. Spending huge sums of taxpayer money to review the POCD isn’t going to get better results. The Planning Commission interviewed various planning consultants and chose Planimetrics for its demonstrated expertise.

Should you pay any attention to Jerry Monaghan? You be the judge and then decide if you should vote for him in November. I won’t.

During the Peitler administration, Monaghan served with ethics-challenged David Hubbard on the Route 7 advisory committee that acted as liaison between the Town and the State. What you see and experience today is, to a great extent, its work product including the traffic light where Hubbard owns property that resulted in an ethics complaint against him and his subsequent resignation. Now we are experiencing the hazards of the design. Thank you, Jerry Monaghan.

I’ve written before about hypocrisy in New Milford and Jerry Monaghan is a superstar in this regard. Monaghan was the Chairman of the Planning Commission in the late 90s when the POCD was updated. Now he and Kostes are complaining about strip malls on Route 7. It was Monaghan who then helped engineer the Plan and now he’s complaining. That’s the ultimate hypocrisy. If Kostes doesn’t like strip malls, blame it on his friend Jerry. If Kostes wants to try to do something about it, run for Zoning instead of for Mayor.

Route 7 is the largest commercial corridor that the Town has for a tax base. The Route 7 North and Route 202 corridors are limited for commercial use and they should be. All this was established 36 years ago when Zoning was adopted and Kostes was in grade school. Any further commercial expansion along those northern corridors will only intrude into residential areas.

Due to Monaghan’s failure to understand State Statutes, New Milford residents hold him accountable for what became an embarrassing moment in the planning Commission’s history that a subdivision off the Carmen Hill area was awarded automatic approval.

Also, ask Monaghan about a passbook bond that was lost along with several letters of credit that had expired leaving the Town exposed to financial liabilities with various subdivision improvements.You want more? Ask him about his zoning violation. How could a Town Official violate zoning regulations? And the list goes on.

These are some of the reasons why he was rejected by both major political parties. Those parties rejected Kostes also. Now the Kostes-Monaghan Team, promoted by their spokesman and thankfully short-termed former Mayor Bob Gambino who created chaos and confusion, are back as a minority party called New Milford First consisting of political malcontents, neophytes and rejects. It endorses people for re-election who have deplorable attendance records.

Bob Kostes’ claim to fame was running a computer software business with a 5 million dollar budget. The Town’s municipal budget is almost 35 million. It seems to me that Bob Kostes needs more experience...he’s only 15% of the way there. Taxpayers cannot afford on-the-job training.

The whole group should be “first” to take the Hart Bus to Danbury.

Please get out and vote on November 6.

Planner Schultz Withdraws From Race

Democratic Planning Member Jeremy Schultz has withdrawn his name from the November ballot.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Former Mayors...Where Are They Now?

Stuart Halpine (87-89) retired
Walter Rogg (89-91) retired
Liba Furhman (91-95) HVA, Director of Operations
Art Peitler (95-01) Furniture Salesman, Macy's, Waterbury
Bobby Gambino (01-03) Flower Grower

'Thank You, Mayor Murphy, For Route 7/Still River Passing Lane'

As every commuter knows, driving on Route 7 has been a nightmare. I know that the Mayor can't control what's going on since it's a State Road but I took a chance a couple of weeks ago and called her to see if she could do something about the intersection of Route 7 and Still River Road. Driving south, there was always a frustrating backup waiting for cars to make a left turn at the light. The problem was caused by the contractor who dug up the road and left no shoulder for cars could get by on the right. She solved the problem! An engineer at the State told me that she was in Hartford talking to them and demanded that something be done. Traffic is moving much better. Thank you, Mayor Murphy!

Commuter Mom
New Milford